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Old 07-25-2010
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descriptions on boat listings

Reading the descriptions on boat listings I'm not sure what to make of certain statements. What do the following statements mean:

"Bilges clean fairly dry and well maintained", It's the 'fairly dry' part I'm not sure about.
"Bulkheads secure and serviceable", would this imply that the bulkheads are good but need work?

Another boat I'm looking at I notice the bottom was freshly painted before the boat was put away for winter storage. There are autumn leaves all around, the keel is still shining from wet paint, and an open can of bottom paint is next to the keel. As a motor boat owner for many years I cant think of any reason to paint the bottom before winter storage. Are they hiding something?

After spending a weekend looking at boats in eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island with soft decks and other signs of neglect maybe I'm being paranoid. On one of the boats if I poked a little harder with my index finger I would of punctured the gelcoat on the top deck. Another one had a 3-4 inch kink in the leading edge of the keel that the owner said was from a sand bar.
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Old 07-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan View Post


Another boat I'm looking at I notice the bottom was freshly painted before the boat was put away for winter storage. There are autumn leaves all around, the keel is still shining from wet paint, and an open can of bottom paint is next to the keel. As a motor boat owner for many years I cant think of any reason to paint the bottom before winter storage. Are they hiding something?

If you are trying to sell a boat, you want it to look as good as possible. A good bottom job will make one look much better than one that has old, dirty paint. I currently have a Catalina 22 for sale, and I first tried selling it with the old bottom paint, with the idea that the new buyer could paint when he put the boat in the water. But responses were slow, and I decided that it would look better if the bottom was painted. So I had the yard paint the bottom and it really picked up the appearance. While the boat has not yet sold, interest in it has increased significantly. While an experienced boater would know that you usually paint just before you launch the boat, new buyers frequently don't understand this, and seem to be turned off by the old stained bottom paint. I did however search for and used one that is rated for up to a year out of water before loosing its effectiveness.

As a buyer, you should inspect any boat closely to make sure that it is in good condition, but you shouldn't be surprised that the seller will try to put his boat in the best light possible.
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I'm sure that there must be some contact information on the website. Why not email or call and ask what each of them are? You'd have to get hold of them anyway, if you were going to rent.
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Old 07-26-2010
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Boat listings are nearly complete fabrications, based on wistful memories of how the boat used to be, and the pictures are often years old. I would ignore any statements of condition and check everything out personally.

I wouldn't try to read anything negative into the bland statements you quote above, either, brokers aren't necessarily great writers and no broker is going to intentionally inject subtle hints that things are not all they seem.

Just ignore all the language that isn't explicitly stating something is bad, and check everything thoroughly.
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Old 07-26-2010
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Having just spent a few months on a successful boat hunt in the USA I feel that the situation out here is much better than the UK when I bought a boat there I quickly came to the conclusion that

"There are liars, dammed liars and people selling boats" in the UK.

If the boat is listed by a broker at no time did I feel that a broker WHO HAD ACTUALLY SEEN THE BOAT tried to mislead me. Do be aware of the multiple listing jobs where the broker is relying on some one elses view of the boat.

But you may have to ask the right questions, ones like

has it ever sunk? Three boats that I was interested in had been under water!

has there ever been a major hull repair? More common than you might think esp in the charter industry. I have a pic somewhere of a Moorings 51 missing the first 2 feet of the bow. Sleepy delivery crew found St Lucia the hard way! It was out on charter a month later.

do you have dated evidence of the standing rigging being replaced?

are those the true engine hours?

It is common for brokers to suggest that the boat is antifouled if it is on the hard, it "shows" better they say.

Get Caseys book on how to check a boat yourself, money well spent. Have a checklist and take lots of pics. This is really important esp if you look at a number of similar boats as it can be hard a month later to remember which was which.
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Old 07-26-2010
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As far as the bottom paint, I wouldn't necessarily see it as a bad omen. I've often seen people put it on in the fall at haul-out in anticipation of splashing earlier in the spring. Also, if I were selling I would think a fresh bottom job would appeal to a buyer and be one less thing they could use to nickle and dime me. When I was in the market, it seemed virtually nobody was willing to contribute a thing toward having the boat hauled, cleaned, painted, splashed, etc. so finding a seller who would is helpful.
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Old 07-28-2010
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TQA, none of the brokers I spoke to seemed to try to mislead me. In fact they wouldn't commit to making any statements to the condition of the boats over the phone. Just ordered Casey's second edition.

LookingForCruiser, no question that the owners I spoke to are more willing to deceive than the brokers were.

NCC320 & 4arch, you are probably correct. The fact that they are willing to spend money on a boat they are trying to sell is a good indication. I changed sticky throttle cables on my outboard knowing I was selling the boat even though they still worked. The new owner got a well maintained motor boat. I was able to sell it for 1500 less than I bought it for, I had it 4 years.

Minnylolly, none of the brokers I call or email will make statements as to the condition of the boats. I sent an email to a broker asking specific questions about the boat's condition and they didn't reply. I called and left a message to the same broker and they didn't return my call. Sure, all their websites state 'send us an email ...'. All they are willing to do is set up appointments to see the boat.

Anyhow, off to see a Sabre 30 MK1 and late 70s Tartan 30 this weekend.

Thanks for the replies - Evan

Last edited by evan; 07-28-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan View Post
[FONT=Arial]"Bilges clean fairly dry and well maintained", It's the 'fairly dry' part I'm not sure about.
My boat (that I'm selling) has a "fairly dry" bilge. It is a keel stepped mast in the PNW. Even in Summer we get rain. If it rains, a little fresh water gets in the bilge. There is a little fresh water in the bilge that the bilge pump can't quite get out. Not a problem, but I wouldn't call it "dry" but it is fairly dry.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
My boat (that I'm selling) has a "fairly dry" bilge. It is a keel stepped mast in the PNW. Even in Summer we get rain. If it rains, a little fresh water gets in the bilge. There is a little fresh water in the bilge that the bilge pump can't quite get out. Not a problem, but I wouldn't call it "dry" but it is fairly dry.

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Old 07-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
As a buyer, you should inspect any boat closely to make sure that it is in good condition, but you shouldn't be surprised that the seller will try to put his boat in the best light possible.
Amen. I bought a boat once without getting it surveyed first and regretted it almost immediately. Most folks are honest, but not everybody. I will never again buy a boat without a current survey.
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