It's been several weeks since I last posted on our "Boat Quest 2009." Since then we have found a broker who has helped up identify what make and model boat we want, and is helping us identify our options of which boat we might actually want to buy. But there are a few questions that I wanted to pose to a broader community.
Yesterday we saw a boat the would be perfect, except the owner has neglected it for the last couple of years. It has languished on the market (almost 500 days - maybe more if he listed it with someone else first) because it is overpriced, and some things are starting to happen to really diminish its value. It's a shame for him because I suspect that no matter whether I buy it or someone else does, I suspect it will ultimately sell for less than if he had priced it right to begin with. Neglected boats always go down in value, and this boat is no exception.
As time allows I will post questions on a few of the problems that I saw. The first problem is mildew. We've seen a lot of boats with severe mildew - you get a blast of that sour odor as soon as you climb aboard. We've seen boats with mold covering all the interior brightwork, ceiling liners, everything. We've seen boats that my wife refused to even enter the cabin because the odor was so bad. This boat is not
that bad - but it could be on the verge of being that bad if this owner continues to neglect it.
We got permission to board her yesterday, but brokers and owner were not available, so we were looking at it on our own. The port settee cushion was removed to make room for a charger cord and we could see water stains on the board under the cushion:
The cushion itself was moved to the starboard side of the boat, and upon close inspection (difficult because of low light conditions), we could see mildew forming:
It is so sad that this is happening to this boat. It was a very rainy day (good for detecting leaks) and I could immediately see the source of the water. There is a "rain-drain" type porthole above the cushion, and water was streaming in even though it was closed. I opened it and found a large amount of organic matter coating the gasket seal. I wiped the gasket and window with a rag and re-closed it, and the water stopped draining in. Here's a picture of the open port:
I suspect from what the broker told me that the owner has not been on this boat for over a year. Had he simply visited periodically, he would have seen this and easily fixed it before potentially destroying his interior. There was a similar problem with the aft cabin as well.
So here are my questions:
- Can this cushion be rescued, or are we looking at costly replacement?
- Is this mildew problem correctable, and thus a potential value opportunity in price negotiations, or is it a deal-breaker?
I should mention that my wife is extremely sensitive to mold (even though she is not allergic), and any fix that falls short of complete removal from the cushions will likely result in us needing to buy new cushions - for both settees and potentially for the aft cabin. Obviously this would be extremely costly, and would require hard bargaining for price concessions or become a deal killer.
FYI, the boat is only 12 years old and could be a really nice boat for us if we can address this issue - and a couple others that I will write about when I have time.