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  #1  
Old 01-27-2007
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Should I be suspicious

On of two boats that I am currently looking at is a 1971 Cheoy Lee offshore cadet. The owner's asking price is in my price range, but I'm a little worried b/c my price range is at the low end of what cadets generally go for. The owner says he is anxious to sell b/c he needs the money.

According to the owner the boat topsides have new white enamel, and the bottom has been painted with anti-fouling paint. The boat has a rebuilt volvo diesel, on motor mounts but not hooked up and needing an exhaust.
The mast needs to be sanded and varnished. The sails are not new by supposedly still serviceable has yet to be run since rebuild. Also, one of the windows to the cabin leaked at some point causing some minor separation of the veneer from the fiberglass in one spot.
The owner says that the mast we should be able to do ourselves, he estimates an exhaust at around $300, and 1-1.5 hours labor to hook up the engine.

Other than these issues he mentions no problems with the boat. Also, the boat comes with a trailor.

I am worried that he his asking price is so low. Why hasn't the boat sold yet? What questions should I be asking the seller?

Since it looks like we will be financing our purchase, I will likely have to get the boat surveyed. Can I trust that the surveyor will catch other items. Can I expect a cost estimate as part of the survey, for the items that the surveyor finds?

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GMK
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Old 01-27-2007
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Survey survey survey. Did I mention survey? Find a reputable surveyor in the area by asking around. No, they won't catch everything, but they will catch a lot. Don't get an "insurance survey" as these are shorter versions that don't look at as much. They are worth their weight in gold. Well, maybe not gold, but they are worth the money.

It's a buyer's market out there. There are far more boats than people looking to buy, and this time of year (depending on your region) is very slow for sales, so perhaps your seller is motivated. On the other hand, maybe the boat needs a lot of work. Did I mention survey?
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Old 01-27-2007
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My two cents ... get a mechanic to look at the engine and give you an estimate to install and overhaul it. Find out how much aluminum spars are going to cost you, and get a yard foreman to look at the "minor" separation of veneer and give you an estimate to repair it. Subtract these costs from the asking price. Then get the survey done and subtract the cost of any more work needed from the asking, then make your offer...there are lots of boats out there.
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Old 01-27-2007
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Get a survey... get estimates for any problems that the survey finds... and then subtract the costs of repairs from the price, and see if he is still willing to deal. If not.. bail on the deal.
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Old 01-27-2007
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On a different tack. If it is only $300 for exhaust and 1.5 hrs to hook up engine that's not too much $$$$ wise. Up your offer by the amount to cover the yard doing the work and put the responsibility on the CO to get the work done. Make the entire deal pending survey. If he is telling the truth, he shouldn't have any trouble with the deal. This is a standard practice when buying a home, but often overlooked in other transactions.
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Old 01-27-2007
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Have the vessel surveyed. With the engine unable to run and the owner wishing to sell it in that unfinished fashion, I would lowball the hell out of him. That engine may be worth nothing more then a mooring weight, and a damn poor mooring weight at that.
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Old 01-27-2007
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Here is another perspective to consider. A boat is expensive to maintain and sometimes a seller will sell her just to stop paying costs on a boat that they are not using. A friend of mine bought a boat worth 4to 5k for 2k because the owner had not touched her in a year. Nothing wrong with the boat,just good timing for both parties. His slip fees are equal the the cost of the boat in 15 months.
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Old 01-27-2007
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Go into this with your eyes wide open, your heart on the back burner and get the best advice you can.

Also be certain that you are a)willing and b)capable of doing those tasks that need to be done. Often it's mostly time and effort, but poor techniques can lead to continued problems down the road.

Pigslo has a point - try to find more about the reasons for the boat being for sale - sometimes a really good deal is in fact a really good deal.... but.......sometimes not.
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Old 01-27-2007
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Get a survey and have money in escrow for items he says works and if they don't work use the escrow to replace or repair the items.
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Old 01-27-2007
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It has been a long time since I've seen a Cheoy Lee cadet. But as I recall they are high maintanence boats - lots of hard to refinish wood. A wooden mast is a real liability. You have to have it on the ground at least once a year to inspect and repair. And there can be hidden problems in it. I like "Fasters" advice, eyes wide open and heart on the back burner.
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