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  #11  
Old 03-25-2007
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There's something else that probably should be said about unfinished "home built" boats.

If the builder really knew about boats and boat work before they began--the boat would probably have been finished. Yes, each case will be different and there will be Real Good Reasons for not finishing. Personal, medical, boss ran off and embezzled the funds, Enron, whatever. But by and large, I think most of the "unfinished" boats and hulls we've all heard of, are the result of someone biting off more than they could chew, and running out of time or money--after investing a lot of it (so they want more than it is worth) and often doing things in a way "only a mother could love".

I'm not saying it can' t be a bargain, only to proceed very cautiously.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2007
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I agree with Sailhog here. You have identified a brand of boat that appeals to you. You want to make an offer but are not sure what the boat is worth - to you or to the owner.

Start by finding out how many of these boats are on the market, and what they are selling for. Is your boat in that range ? If not why not ? Next you need to determine what level of skill the person who "finished" the boat had. Is this a case of someone throwing in some pieces of residential grade marine plywood and painting it prety or is there beautiful joinery ? Pictures can tell you some of this, but the best thing you can do is to get a surveyor to talk to the person who fit the interior. They can tell a lot by asking a few questions.

If you are buying the boat to sail offshore, the interior needs to have been constructed in a way that will allow you easy access to to the hull, in order to repair, replace and install things. If it wasn't, then you have the choice of going to sea and hoping nothing ever goes wrong (highly unlikely) or ripping lots of things out and starting over.

It would be a very good idea to do some serious research on the net reading articles about and by people who are actually cruising offshore. What boats are they sailing ? If the brand that you are looking at is not mentioned occasionally, then this may be an indicator that it is not a good offshore boat, and vice-versa.

Remember that if you are buying a home-built or a kit boat, the market value of those boats is considerably less than factory-finished units. It will be when you buy it and it will be when you sell it. So are you going to hold on to the boat for a long time, or are you planning on selling it in five years ? If it's the latter, then think long and hard about how much money you are going to sink into it because you will not be able to recoup all of it. A general rule of thumb is that if you buy a boat in today's market, and maintain it nicely, upgrading things that need to be taken care of, you should get back your initial purchase price - but likely not your purchase price plus improvements.

You were asking specifically about purchase strategy...well you are here and the boat is there. The thing you need to find is a neutral third party to assess the boat. I would suggest finding out who the most reputable boat yard in the area is, and asking them to recommend a surveyor. Call the surveyor and arrange for him to interview the owner/finisher of the boat, inspect it and then give you a report on his findings.

It is going to cost you money, regardless of what you do. Boats are like that. Good luck and please update here with your progress.

Last edited by Sailormann; 03-25-2007 at 06:55 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2007
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I would amend what sailormann said with, "if you buy a used boat in today's market, and maintain it nicely, upgrading... " Generally, anyone buying a new boat is going to take a huge depreciation hit on the initial purchase price.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2007
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Yes - I did mean used - a new boat is a different kettle of fish.
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Old 03-25-2007
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If you can't afford to visit the boat..you can't afford the boat.
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  #16  
Old 03-25-2007
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Hi,
Really there is no reason for you not to negotiate a price range at least with the broker prior to viewing. Yes it is normally done the other way but rules are made to be broken. As an example I fell in love with an advert for a boat some 1000 miles from where we live but the price was defintely too high. We spoke with the broker and ended up with an agreed price range subject to the inspection. All this way before survey time. As it turned out the advert was painting a rosy picture of the boat that was not backed up in real life. That it probably my main point. You cannot realistically judge a boat from an advert so don't get your hopes up. Nonetheless try negotiating the price beforehand and see how you go. Remember that brokers are between a rock and hard place. On the one hand they want the sale at any price, on the other they want to maximise their commssion.
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  #17  
Old 03-30-2007
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It is obvious you will need to see the boat before you buy.

In cases like this I allways ask myself if I'm prepaired to walk away empty handed. If not, I have to be prepaired to pay the asking price. (off course I will still negotiate).

If you realise that you are not prepaired to walk away empty handed and not prepaired to pay the asking price, the price is to high for you and needs to come down before you come and see the boat.

Of course you still run the risk of the price going up again as soon as you see it (nasty broker or owner, feel free to go balistic) so you still have to be prepaired to walk away.

You can get the best deals if you are able to keep your emotions under control and only visit and buy if it is sensible.

If you can not get a good deal now, be patient and keep looking. It is worth it!
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2007
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I have talked to people who hired a surveyor to take a 'first look' at the boat before commiting time, effort & money to see the boat for themselves.
They did not pay for a full survey, just a brief inspection that was a fraction of a survey price.
So the first chore in this method is to find a good local surveyor that knows sailboats.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xort
I have talked to people who hired a surveyor to take a 'first look' at the boat before commiting time, effort & money to see the boat for themselves.
They did not pay for a full survey, just a brief inspection that was a fraction of a survey price.
So the first chore in this method is to find a good local surveyor that knows sailboats.
In the past I have used "internet aquaintences" as a first set of eyes looking over distant airplanes I was considering. I've also done the same for others.

By having a local person that was knowledgeable about airplanes take a look and perhaps send photos of the warts the seller chose not to publish, I avoided trips to look at several aircraft that "looked good on paper".

Perhaps in this case you could find someone nearby the boat that could take a look for you to see if paying a surveyor is worth it?
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There is an old saying...
"Only gamble as much money as you are willing to lose."

While getting a survey is a wonderful idea, there is no way on Gods green earth I'd lay out my cash for something that I've not crawled all over.. myself! Would you buy a home you haven't seen, a car you haven't driven?

There are just too many variables. From build quality to systems, to esthetics, to sailabiliity, to yadda, yadda, yadda.

Spend the dough and see it for yourself. If you have trouble justifying that expense, you can't afford the boat anyway.

The expense of 3k to ship it to where will seem like chump change if it gets there and its something that you just can't stand.

The alternative is buying it, shipping it, launching it, then, walk across the deck and mutter repeatedly "What the hell did I get myself into, and how do I get myself out of it."

Or, I could be an ass and full of crap and it could be the best thing for you on the face of the earth.
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Last edited by cardiacpaul; 03-30-2007 at 09:38 AM.
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