Join Date: Oct 2006
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Re: Boat Broker Ethics
Buying a $20K boat, sight-unseen, and never having seen a similar model before would be scary for anyone of sound mind, I believe. That is the position I was in. I was following the advice of one of the moderators of this forum, who is far, far more knowledgeable in sailboat characteristics/construction than I would ever be.
If the boat "felt good" when I saw it, had adequate storage (for my wife) and needed only reasonable work, I would buy it. I was "close enough" towards a purchase to initially arrange a full survey (with a $400 haul out fee involved, as well) when I subsequently decided that having the surveyor look it over first to see if the trip and expense of a full survey was warranted was a more reasonable approach.
When I told the broker this, he agreed that having the full survey done would be premature for a boat that I had never seen. He had agreed to hold it for me until the surveyor had taken a look at it. He did say he would continue to show it, but that he wouldn't sell it until my surveyor had looked at it. IF HE HAD PROVIDED ANY SCENARIO THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO LOCK-IN MY PURCHASE CONTINGENT UPON THE SURVEYOR'S INSPECTION I WOULD HAVE TAKEN IT!
My plan was to have the surveyor look at it and if it was in reasonable shape, I'd drive the 13 hrs. and participate in the survey, just for the education on MY boat. If the survey went OK, I'd buy the boat.
In retrospect, I should have said "I'll buy it", read the contract carefully, then taken advantage of any escape clause. Tough lesson learned.