Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 129 Times in 126 Posts
Rep Power: 11
CW, you might want to hire a surveyor.
I have no idea on the worth of that boat, but when a deck or mast step has collapsed, "dinged" or otherwise, it indicates a structural problem. Could be the mast was tensioned down too much, could be the core of the deck is all rotted out from water leaks (very expensive repair, yes) could just be a local spot that can be repaired. You need someone who knows what they are looking at, to take a look at the boat itself. Could be a surveyor, or it could be "let's take it to the shipyard and get an estimate".
If you're happy with the price of the boat, you can always ask the seller to work with you. Maybe you pay $10k and put $5k into an escrow fund (a bank or attorney or broker can set that up for you) under the terms that the $5k will be used to pay for professional repairs and the seller gets anything left over. If the repairs exceed that amount, that's your problem, so an estimate is still a good idea.
If the seller thinks the repairs will be a couple of hundred bucks...he's got no reason not to take the risk, right? Odds are, he knows what those dings will cost to repair, and whether there are issues with the deck core. If not, you'll both find out when the survey or estimate is done.