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  #1  
Old 09-30-2007
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Checking with Manufacturers

I have been looking at a 1983 Baltic 37, named Brut, in Muiden Netherlands and decided to get the hull number before the survey and ask Baltic for any information on it as well as any issues with this series. I subsequently found out from Baltic it is hull 009 from January 1979. The several year difference was not an insurmountable issue and the owner does have some forms from Baltic dated 1983, though the broker (Bach Stellendam) has sold other Baltics and the hull number date is easy to figure (series, hull number, month, 2-digit year). What has now caused concern is an email from Baltic that a surveyor in 2000 independently reported to Baltic that the boat had been improperly repaired after a grounding. They had no further detail and I am awaiting an explanation from the broker, but I plan to cancel the inspection/haul out and walk away. Anyone else have similar experience/help from the manufacturers, and am I risking walking away from a decent boat and deal based on a 2000 surveyor report?

Chris
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Old 09-30-2007
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Chris,

In the past I've been able to obtain similar information about build year, resins used, etc from the manufacturer of boats I've looked at. In one case the "model year" being advertised with the boat was two years later than the build year. [Note: The U.S. Coast Guard convention for Hull Identification Numbers puts the MODEL year as the last two digits. BUILD month and year are represented by the 4th- and 3rd-to-last digits, respectively. Manufacturers have a lot of leeway in designating "model year".)

As to the the survey report on your Baltic, it' not much to go on but it is something to look into further. If there turned out to be some truth to the report, coupled with the incorrect information about the age of the boat, it would give me pause.
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Old 09-30-2007
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When buying a boat, I think it's more important to avoid getting a bad boat than it is to risk letting a good one pass by. Presume guilty until proven innocent.

Not sure if you already tried; is there a way to contact the surveyor who reported the bad repair and get more details?
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Old 09-30-2007
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Sounds really dodgy to me. Have you checked on the boats VAT/BTW status? Theoretically, the tax paperwork should have the correct age on it. If no tax paperwork - walk away.
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Old 09-30-2007
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I'd agree with CapnHand... avoiding a bad boat is far more important that losing a good one.
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Old 10-30-2007
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By way of update, the owner was confident his Baltic 37 had been improperly reported and ponied up for keel inspection and half the haul-out. I hired a certified surveyor I had used before, and he found low moisture in the hull, no signs of osmosis (and a good epoxy treatment from a few years back), no underwater damage or repairs, and no sign of water ingress in the decks (but noting they needed to be tended to asap). There were a range of smaller issues, and I ended up deciding to buy her. I have also had some great private advice and suggestions from other Baltic owners (contacted through this and other boards). The owner has also been helpful, and is leaving her clean and organized.

I'll have a busy winter, but look forward to sailing her in the spring.

Regards and thanks,

Chris
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Old 10-30-2007
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Chris,

Congratulations!! Enjoy your new boat and show us some photos when you have a chance.
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