Boat Visit! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 14 Old 05-30-2013
Asleep at the wheel
jimgo's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,014
Thanks: 71
Thanked 117 Times in 115 Posts
Rep Power: 5
Re: Boat Visit!

I agree with everyone else, walk away. there are too many boats out there to buy one that you think is going to have problems, unless you understand what those problems are and what it will cost to fix them, and are OK with both. As I understand it, the Volvo diesels have a reputation for being a bit problematic - but my understanding is based on what I've read, not any first-hand experience or ownership, so take that with a grain of salt.

You also have to expect these kinds of things, unfortunately. Its frustrating, but your opinion of an "acceptable" boat and the sellers will vary drastically. I remember one that I drove 3+ hours to visit that the seller swore was in good condition and was perfectly fine for a family, plus he had a trailer to be able to move it home easily. Once I got there, I saw that it needed a good 3-4 months of work before I could let my wife and kids aboard, the trailer had 2 flat tires and rusted rims, and the area near the tow receiver was practically rusted through. It's annoying when stuff like that happens, but it will happen. I tend to look at those as learning exercises, though. You've been aboard a boat and now know what that model looks like, and where some of the oil and fuel collect on a C27's bilge, so you know where to look in the future.

Regarding specific models, I really thought I'd wind up with a C27 this time around (after having a C25). Then, one day, after discussing what I was looking for in a boat, a broker suggested I check out a C30 he had for sale. I didn't think I'd like it - too big, too much money. Boy was I wrong. The companionway made the boat feel welcoming, and the cabin and cockpit were well laid out for my family's needs. I ultimately didn't buy a C30, but that was more because I couldn't find one in my price range that was anywhere near me than by true choice. I still think I wound up with the better boat choice for what I want in a boat, but the C30 is a great choice.

I also have to say that I respectfully disagree with James. I loved it when sellers offered me the combo to their boat. It meant I could go to the boat at my convenience (as opposed to when our schedules and the weather matched up), I could take as long as I wanted to look over the boat, and I could ook EVERYWHERE I wanted, without the seller standing over my shoulder or trying to steer me toward this or that "feature" (and away from problems). I can see where James would think that is a disinterested seller, but I took it entirely differently. Granted, that only happened a few times to me, and I think they all offered to meet me if I wanted to, the flexibility that afforded me was greatly appreciated.

- Jim
Home: Western Philly 'burbs
1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by jimgo; 05-30-2013 at 12:34 PM.
jimgo is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 14 Old 05-30-2013
Senior Smart Aleck
jameswilson29's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 2,152
Thanks: 34
Thanked 70 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Boat Visit!

A very good resource is Don Casey's "Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual", the first section of which is entitled "Inspecting the Aging Sailboat", required reading for all saavy boat buyers.

I submitted the following questions to every seller before scheduling an appointment:

How long have you owned the boat?
Why did you decide to sell?
Do you have a certificate of title?
Has the engine been rebuilt?
How old are the sails and what is their condition?
Has there been any osmotic blistering, boat pox, or delamination of the hull?
Is there any spider cracking on the hull?
What is the condition of the gelcoat on the hull?
Is there any leaking at the hull/deck joint?
Is there any wet core in, delamination of, or soft spots on the deck?
Is there spider cracking on the deck? Around the stanchions?
Are the chainplates leaking? Is there any evidence of water in the bulkheads? Staining?
Has the boat ever sunk or had water inside at a level above the floorboards?
Does the electrical system work?
Has the boat ever been declared/determined to be a total loss by an insurance company?
Does anything need to be done in order for the boat to be cruise ready?

You should do the same. You will immediately eliminate the scammers, the low motivation sellers, the no motivation sellers, the con artists, the "Get Rich Quick Selling Used Sailboats" sellers and the unreasonable sellers.

I don't know about your area, but here in the Chesapeake, the market is even softer than it was 2 years ago and it appears folks cannot give away their used sailboats, even the decent looking ones.

You should be able to find a motivated seller with a good first boat for you. You want the seller to be there so you can gain even more information, gauge the seller's motivation, and establish some rapport. After all, you will be dealing with a real live human being, with thoughts and feelings. Don't let his or her presence stop you from inspecting or testing anything that would not damage the boat. Ask if you have any doubts about whether something will damage the boat.
Faster and jimgo like this.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 05-30-2013 at 02:36 PM.
jameswilson29 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #13 of 14 Old 05-30-2013
Just another Moderator
Faster's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 17,002
Thanks: 113
Thanked 357 Times in 337 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Re: Boat Visit!

Nice post, James.. to follow up a little on this comment:

Don't let his or her presence stop you from inspecting or testing anything that would not damage the boat. Ask if you have any doubts about whether something will damage the boat.
One of the easy things to do as a pre survey inspection is to look for serious, obvious voids and delam in the deck. A simple tap test will do it, you'll quickly here a dull/hollow thud as opposed to a sharp tap when you move from solid laminate/core to separated. Be aware that on top of bulkheads and other solid reinforcement the 'sound' will change too.

But you don't want to whip out a 5 ib ball peen hammer for this..... one of the handiest tools for this is a stubby screwdriver, used upside down as tap tester. It's small and fits easily into any pocket, and doesn't appear threatening or 'dangerous' to the seller.

Also don't wear soft, bouncy soled shoes.. (like the 'air' soles some sell).. that can feel like bouncy decks underfoot.


1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Faster is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #14 of 14 Old 06-05-2013
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 90
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Re: Boat Visit!

Look at several boats before you buy.
sailortrash is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Off to visit another long-distance boat this weekend. josrulz Boat Review and Purchase Forum 37 11-21-2008 04:20 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome