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post #1 of 10 Old 02-22-2010 Thread Starter
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Education On the Buying Process Please

First off: my experience.

I've sailed and owned small sailboats. I've helped others learn to sail and navigate sail and motor boats up to 35'.

So I am in the market for a liveaboard sloop/ketch in the 38-45' range. We are looking in the 100K+ range or so and are finding a lot of good possibilities.

I am also taking the time to educate myself on what I'm going to need to make all this happen.

The process, as I understand it, from talking to brokers and reading is:

1) find boat
2) look it over carefully
3) provide an offer, contingent on passing a survey and sea trials.
4) if owner accepts contingent offer
5) arrange and complete survey
6) if seaworthy, do sea trials
7) counter offer, if necessary, based on performance of survey and sea trials

So, if that is correct...if not, you are invited to tell me I'm wrong.

A few questions:

1) Why in the hell would I make an offer on a boat that I have no idea how it sails? I am not interested in joy riding yachts this summer and wasting broker and seller time.

2) Why would I spend a thousand or so (haul out plus surveyor fee) for a boat I haven't sailed?

I think my sticking point is really the survey. I don't want to get into a situation where I don't know how the boat sails (if I'll like it and think it's suitable for our needs) but go spending money on a survey anyway.

I try to be an honest seller and buyer. I don't yank people around. I don't waste people's time looking at items I don't have the capability of purchasing. In this instance, I'm not looking at million dollar Swan sloops. I completely understand the need for the broker/seller to qualify me in some reasonable manner before I get to be on their boat with my hands on the wheel.

So, if I'm way off here, or don't understand the process, please feel free to educate me. I have no problem with being ignorant. It's only a crime if I don't fix it.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-22-2010
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Many people aren't going to want to take you out for a sea trial unless they have a tentative sale...this cuts down on the lookee lous... Taking a boat out for even a short sale requires a fair bit of time for the broker and the owner, and getting the weather to cooperate makes it even more difficult.

If you don't know how well a given make/model boat sails, then getting a ride on one is probably a priority for you. If the boat is still being made, talking to the factory or a dealer about getting a check sail is a good possibility. But don't expect a broker or an owner to take you out without a deposit down and a tentative offer on the table.

When I was looking to buy a boat, I did just that... went to the factory and asked if I could go out on a test sail. Not only did I get a chance to test sail a Telstar 28, but I was able to sit down with Tony Smith, the designer of the boat and talk with him about for over four hours.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-22-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Many people aren't going to want to take you out for a sea trial unless they have a tentative sale...this cuts down on the lookee lous... Taking a boat out for even a short sale requires a fair bit of time for the broker and the owner, and getting the weather to cooperate makes it even more difficult.

If you don't know how well a given make/model boat sails, then getting a ride on one is probably a priority for you. If the boat is still being made, talking to the factory or a dealer about getting a check sail is a good possibility. But don't expect a broker or an owner to take you out without a deposit down and a tentative offer on the table.

When I was looking to buy a boat, I did just that... went to the factory and asked if I could go out on a test sail. Not only did I get a chance to test sail a Telstar 28, but I was able to sit down with Tony Smith, the designer of the boat and talk with him about for over four hours.
That all makes sense. I'm educating myself as much as I can on various boats. I'll look for opportunities to learn more about my choices.

And just to clarify. I'm more than willing to put down an offer, contingent on sea trials...I was just stuck on paying for a surveyor and wind up hating how the boat sails.

Thanks.

Last edited by blackjenner; 02-22-2010 at 01:33 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-22-2010
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Well, the sea trial really isn't to see how the boat sails, since you really aren't out there for very long. It is really just to check the engine, transmission, cooling system, and other systems that can't really be checked tied up to the dock. Raising the sails is often part of this...but not the main point of it.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-22-2010
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Its pretty unlikely that a sea trial would happen in weather that would show the boats warts

I think you would hard pressed to find many boats that will not appear to sail pretty well on a run of the mill 8 to 15 knot day sail


A lot of people will seek out a boat to charter before they commit 6 figures to buying OR find the owners group and join it to learn about the boat

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-22-2010
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You arn't likely to have an offer accepted that is contingent on a sea trial. As SD ssays the purpose of a sea trial is to confirm the proper operation of equipment that cannot be verified on land. It is definitely not to test sailing qualities.

Sellers and brokers don't want to be giving free rides...you need to do your own homework to filter and find boats that sail as you prefer. If you have a good broker, he/she can help a lot in that regard, then try to find other owners and maybe somewhere along the road you cnan hitch a ride. But it is mostly word-of-mouth reputation buyers need to rely on...most brands have fairly well-established and widely recognized sailing characteristics...ask some experienced hands and you'll find surprisingly common perspectives.

When you make an offer, there is nothing tentative about it, you are legally commiting yourself. You can make the sale contingent on a survey satisfactory to you, which requires you to put money into the game. Usually only a holdback amount is contingent on the results of a sea trial.

The first thing to do in buying a boat is to cleary define what you want in a boat, especially whether you want a racer, daysailer, coastal cruiser or blue-water, and thern only look at boats' whose PO used in the manner you want to use yours...that will save you a lot of money.

Certified...in several regards...

Last edited by sailingfool; 02-22-2010 at 02:31 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-22-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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The first thing to do in buying a boat is to cleary define what you want in a boat, especially whether you want a racer, daysailer, coastal cruiser or blue-water, and thern only look at boats' whose PO used in the manner you want to use yours...that will save you a lot of money.
That is exactly what we are doing. We are getting it down to a narrower list of possible boats as we move forward.

I understand there is a process. Since I'm new to this particular arena (always was at everything I became decent at) I just want to ensure I understand what that process is so I don't waste anyone's time or money.

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-22-2010
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I would point out that Don Casey, in his book, Good Old Boat, states that many boat owners don't keep their first boat for very long. That they buy a boat, not being sure what exactly they're looking for, and settle on a boat. Then, after owning that boat a few years, they go out and buy a boat based on what their first boat has taught them about what they want in a boat and what is truly important to them. In many cases they keep this second boat for decades.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #9 of 10 Old 02-23-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I would point out that Don Casey, in his book, Good Old Boat, states that many boat owners don't keep their first boat for very long. That they buy a boat, not being sure what exactly they're looking for, and settle on a boat. Then, after owning that boat a few years, they go out and buy a boat based on what their first boat has taught them about what they want in a boat and what is truly important to them. In many cases they keep this second boat for decades.
Well, this will be my third boat, though the first one I will live on, so then again, you may have a point.

I would agree with Casey, that many owners don't know what they want at first. I found that in motorcycles all the time.

In this case, it's mostly wrapping my head around the process so I can work with it, not fight against it.

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-23-2010
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I agree with the motorcycle analogy - I bought an old Triumph 900 and then realized I needed something nippier to learn on. Same even with my bicycle - took me two or three years to work out the balance of speed and comfort. The real problem with boats in this respect is the cost of making the wrong decision first time, particularly in this market. More so if you have a crappy job and really want a multihull!
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