Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 170 Times in 167 Posts
Rep Power: 12
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.