Buying from a distance - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Cool Buying from a distance

My wife and I are planning to buy an ex charter boat around 40’ in the Caribbean and cruise the islands for a few months before having boat shipped home to Australia where we intend to cruise the east coast and barrier reef. Now the problem we have is that we live in Western Australia, just about as far as you can get from the Caribbean….We are working to a tight budget so flying out there just to have a look is not really feasible. I guess this means we would have to put in an offer before physically seeing the boat. With this in mind any thoughts on where our starting offer should be on say a $100,000ex charter, bearing in mind most of these boats seem to need quite a bit of new equipment? Any other advice would also be most welcome.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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You might want to see if there is someone from Sailnet that is local to the areas where you'll be purchasing the boat that can do a physical look-see for you before you make any offers. There is a thread on people and what areas of the world they will cover.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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My thoughts exactly. If there is someone here that is in the area they may be willing to go have a "look see". That would at least let you know what kind of shape the boat is actually in before you make an offer and spend the money for survey.

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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Very simple to answer....three steps.

1. What charter company? (some are better that others).

2. Have someone look at the boat, as previously advised.

3. Full survey from a reputable surveyor.



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post #5 of 17 Old 04-15-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for replies, I have looked through ‘local boat buying assistance’ thread (great idea) but unfortunately can’t find anyone closer than Florida. I don’t have a particular boat in mind as yet. I guess my question was more generic. I have seen a number of threads on this site regarding asking verses selling price for privately owned boats, just wondered if it may be different with boats coming out of charter. A local Caribbean broker suggested 5%-10% below asking price as general rule for an opening offer, this seems a bit high and of course he could be seen as somewhat biased!!!
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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Try The Usual Suspects - Caribbean Sailing Adventures

(Edit - I just looked at his site for the first time in a while, and learned that he has sold the boat!)

This guy had a boat that fit your criteria, and he bought it sight unseen. He also has a complete list of all work done to the boat, and discussed how he did it. I would suggest following in his wake, and buying the boat and put it into charter for a short time to get to know the boat. Then, when you really are ready, take this boat that you know out of charter and bring it home.

Good luck!

Ed

Last edited by eherlihy; 04-15-2008 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Learned that he SOLD the boat!
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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Zerubb where is it in the Caribbean you are looking to buy at? It is kind of a big place. There is another Sailnet member that has his 45' boat for sail in the BVIs that might be worth your while to consider. Even though the "list" of buyer assistance on Sailnet may not list where it is you are looking, people come and go on vacation to the Caribbean all the time and might be willing to donate a bit of their spare time to take a look at a vessel you are considering. Perhaps you'd like to share more information.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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Just my opinion from someone who has recently completed a boat search:

I have flown back and forth to FL and other more local marinas. Boats looked great in the pics. They sounded great. Their price seemed reasonable. Upon inspection, one had fallen off its stands in a Hurricane, one had extensive water damage (nicely covered up in pics), another had not been stepped aboard in 1-2 years, another had been outfitted by Gilligan who preferred using Home Depot instead of a marine products.

I lie to you not. It was quite disturbing. I was saved one trip AT THE LAST MOMENT because the broker finally came clean and told me the boat had sunk in the last hurricane.

You are buying a boat out of a hurricane prone area - which has not been spared. Some (what was MANY for us) represesnt the boat in a less than honest way (I like brokers, just had several bad experiences). There are many things that can be covered up in pics and may only be obvious upon inspection. Buying a boat across a distance like that sounds simpler and more practical than what it is.

There is a LOT of junk out there right now. I do not mean to dampen your spirits about the purchase across a long distance, but want you to be informed on my recent experience. I would never consider a boat purchase without at least one (probably two) personal inspections - especially in this market.

- CD

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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I recently had a look at a boat in City Island, NY for a friend on the West Coast. Took some pictures--the ones they left out of the sales website, and emailed them to him. He decided to give it a pass.

If you find a boat which looks good, try asking on a forum like this if someone can take a look for you and snap a few pictures of the dodgy spots.

We are currently in Antigua and headed north, but there are sailnetters hanging out all over the Caribbean.
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-15-2008
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CD's warnings are wise indeed. Not wishing to debate the value of buying an ex-charter boat. There are some very good deals to be had on occaision outside of the charter boats. Right after a moderate to bad storm when folks arrive they sometimes are very quick to fly home and sell their boats for the first offer. It happens more often than you think.

The USVI/BVI area has not had any real hurricane damage since about 1995. Obviously the large charter companies can and do move their vessels around between locations and there is always the chance that a repaired boat can show up in an area where one would not think about storm damaged vessels. You should be able to do well with our weak dollar if you are buying in US dollars that is.

Last edited by FarCry; 04-15-2008 at 04:19 PM.
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