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Kalina-Lona 05-26-2013 06:11 AM

Boat Visit!
Hi All,

This boat buying is becoming a major PITA! I was to meet the owner of a 1974 Catalina 27, the boat is in it's slip but the mast is still on a rack.
It's an hour plus drive and was to meet him at 11:00 a.m. I arrived early at 10;30 and got a call on my cell , he could not make it. He said there are some folks at the club who will show the location of the boat and possibly answer any questions. Found the boat and went aboard, went down into the cabin and lifted the bilge cover. It was full of water and oil or diesel fuel, I had a quick look around and just left.
I haven't contacted the owner yet and hoped someone would offer what has happened. It does have a Volvo Penta Diesel, that they say ran well last season.
My gut tells me to just walk way?


chuck53 05-26-2013 06:37 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
Welcome to the world of boat buying. Most boats you will look at will look like crap. Sometimes you just have to look past the crap to decide if the boat is worth it. All boats will have problems, some major, some minor and sometimes what may look to be a major problem is really only minor. That's when you use your gut instincts and the services of a good surveyor.
When looking at used boats, you will have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince.

Our first boat was a Catalina 30. During our search, after looking at numerous brands, we decided a C-27 would be our best choice. We looked at many, most in poor condition. One day while looking at yet another C-27, we just happened to stumble on a C-30 and fell in love with it the moment we stepped inside the cabin.
We looked at several dozen boats during our search, many in appalling condition.

jameswilson29 05-26-2013 08:09 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
What was his response when you sent your written list of questions about the condition of the boat and your proposed contract to him before you spent 2 hours of your valuable time driving to see the boat?

Kalina-Lona 05-26-2013 09:09 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
Thanks for the replies!
I wonder if I'll end up with something larger than a 27 footer. When I looked at a Ericson 27, I really liked the cabin layout and the amount of space it was designed for. But most of the 27's have tight living space, a Irwin 28 looked a whole lot bigger...just in one foot difference.
The owner of the Catalina 27 and I have been emailing each other for a while now and he has assured me the diesel was running fine and that you can't do much wrong with a Volvo Penta engine?
I wonder if this is not the best time to buy and as others have suggested the fall is the best time to purchase?

Faster 05-26-2013 12:01 PM

Re: Boat Visit!
A bilge full of water, oil and fuel shortly after launch? A disinterested seller? Time to move on.

I don't believe there's a 'good' or 'bad' time to buy. I think it's all about finding 'the' boat with a motivated seller, or at least an honest, open one. Unfortunately the ratio of bad to good viewings is generally high. Probably the better situation to find is one where a fastidious owner has 'moved up' and now has a good example that he/she really needs to sell. However these examples probably move quickly, esp compared to the very common situation you ran into just now.

FirstCandC 05-30-2013 07:49 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
Touche'! The worst is when you see all of the nice "recent" pictures, and then you get down there, and the smell of mildew almost knocks you down.

Kalina-Lona 05-30-2013 09:01 AM

Re: Boat Visit!

Originally Posted by FirstCandC (Post 1037302)
Touche'! The worst is when you see all of the nice "recent" pictures, and then you get down there, and the smell of mildew almost knocks you down.

That is so true! I've seen pictures on Kijiji and you swear the boat is amazing only to find out they were taken years ago. What's the point of that, just be honest about what you are selling as the truth is going to be seen.

jameswilson29 05-30-2013 09:06 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
People will treat you the way you allow yourself to be treated.

If you act as if (1) your time is valuable, (2) you know what you are doing, and (3) you realize this is a buyer's market, you can avoid trips like this one.

Frankly, it appears the seller abused you. Demand more information from the seller before you spend your valuable time on the road.

I had a seller or two who offered to allow me to visit their boat after giving me the combination or location of a key to the lock. I declined. That type of seller is not motivated.

chef2sail 05-30-2013 09:20 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
Walk away. Honesty from the beginning not being there with the pictures is a clue and portend of other dishonesties.

BTW the Volvo Penta is not at the top of the engines I personally like and would scuttle my deal as they are expensive to fix and find parts for. IMHO

Ericson is a much nice boat. Find the size range and brand and when comparing choose the one in best overall condition. Remember electronics and can be updated. Hull integrity, room, etc can not.


Alex W 05-30-2013 09:49 AM

Re: Boat Visit!
Don't fall in love with any boats until after the survey. Look at lots of boats and assume that they'll all be a disaster. Eventually you'll find a good one with a good seller.

On the lower end of the market (under $10k I'd say) this is doubly true.

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