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Old 01-28-2007
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Be very suspicious...

You didn't say, but I suspect this may be your first boat. I'd say you are asking for trouble with this boat.. as mentioned this will be a high maintenance boat at best. You will find surprises with any boat even with a survey, a boat that isn't in normal operating condition is a bad place to start. An inexpereinced buyer should not but a "needs work" boat, where the purchase cost ends up being more of a downpayment.

Does this boat have teak decks...?

Buy what you can afford in a Catalina or similar make, where you can enjoy using the boat rather than fixing it. Pay a good dollar for a well maintained, "needs nothing" boat and it'll cost you far less than soemthing "cheap" that will suck up big bucks getting repairedand upgrades..
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Old 01-28-2007
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Trust no one, including the surveyors. This is business not family, and sadly even family may disappoint or screw you.

If "completing" the boat to sailaway condition was so simple and fast and cheap, the owner would have already done that because a boat that needs no work is always worth more. It may only take an engine mechanic 90 minutes to hook it up...but what's that ace mechanic going to charge you? Versus how long (all day?) it will take a newbie to do the job right.

One way to deal with these things is to say "Look, I'll pay you $xxxx for the boat, but I'm going to hire a mechanic to complete the engine installation and if he costs more than $150, you're going to have to pay the rest of the bill, parts and labor, whatever it needs to be installed and running smoothly. We're going to put $100 in escrow against that. "

If the guy says "Hell no" then you know HE'S expecting bigger issues too. Escrow agreements against more or less anything you aren't sure of, are normal in boat sales. If both parties go into this expecting "this is the way we'll get a neutral third party to work it out" it usually works.
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Old 01-28-2007
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Should I be suspicious

Thanks for the good advice!
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