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  #21  
Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Any insurance company is going to demand a survey anyway, so you might as well make your contract contingent on it.
Not necessarily. We have insurance through BoatUS and they didn't require a survey.
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  #22  
Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

I agree. I have Progressive. They didn't ask for a survey for our Catalina - we were only seeking to insure it for $4,000 ("book" for it was closer to $6-8,000), and paid $1000 for it. I wanted a survey on our Allmand because I knew we were paying a lot less for it than book value and wanted to insure it for closer to its book value, but I suspect we may not have needed one for this boat, either. If LakeMI isn't paying much for the boat (a few thousand) then a survey probably won't be needed.

Now, whether a survey is prudent is another idea entirely. They aren't cheap, especially as a percentage of the cost of the boat when you're in our range, but surveys can be very good for peace of mind. A good surveyor will help you establish a list of "must-do" and "good-to-do" things, and that's very helpful when first starting out. That alone can be worth the $350-500 for the survey.

Another 2 options to consider before hiring a surveyor for a formal survey: 1) post here asking if anyone lives near you/the boat and would be willing to come help you go over it, and 2) ask the surveyor if he/she offers a "sanity check" quickie survey. Mine did. Basically, he spent about 30-45 minutes aboard her one day looking for all of the really glaring things that would tend to make someone walk away from a boat. Things like cracked thru-hulls, rotting chainplates, soft spots in the deck, etc. He even took moisture readings at several places. I think he charged me $100 for that, and gave me $50 credit toward the full survey. To me, the $50 extra that I paid was insurance. I could have walked away from the boat and I'd have only been out $100.
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  #23  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

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Some boats are worth less than $0. They will suck you dry (or threaten your life) no matter how low the purchase price. Be careful.
Best advice, so far.

Assume that if you buy a boat for how ever much less than the normal going rate, it will take that much and more (depending on how much you do yourself) to make it right. That can be a good thing too. You will learn a lot about your boat fixing it. OTOH, if you want to sail, and not work on the boat, get one that is in good shape.
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  #24  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Good luck, try not to fall for the first boat you see, at least have a look at a couple of others, hard to compare with a sample size of one. Get someone along with you that either knows a bit about sailboats, or even just another pair of eyes that isn't going to be involved in the sale. They can often see things you look past, don't notice or are just blind to in the excitement. The Ranger is a decent boat, assuming this is a reasonably OK example. Make sure you think about the things that aren't on there that you might want in future, they are the bits that get expensive - stove, electronics, bbq etc.
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  #25  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Ok so look for soft floor, rotten chain plate, bad running/standing rigging, outboard, tiller, sails, leaks around ports, water down below, check batterie and all electronics. Is there anything that I'm missing? Anything that must be looked at very closely? Survey is to much. If I was looking at a boat that was 10k or more I would do it in a heart beat.




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  #26  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Insurance would be $298 a year? Sounds high. That is full coverage basic is $100.


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  #27  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Insurance sounds about right. The overriding question should be whether or not this particular boat fits your boating goals. Is it too big, too small? Does it have the equipment you will need? Will it be safe sailing where you want to sail? Where will you keep it? Does the yearly cost of dockage, repairs, storage and normal upkeep fit your budget? Once you know what your plans of use are, you can decide if the boat fits those plans or if maybe another boat might be better. In this terrible market for sailboats in this terrible economy, there are LOTS of boats on the market for the right price.
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Just make sure that you know what you are getting no matter the price. Some boats cost more to get rid of than to buy. Some sellers know this and they offer a low price to make it your problem....not theirs!
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  #29  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

I agree with smurph, but in some ways, since this is your first sailboat, you won't really know what your wants/needs/desires are/will become.

Don't forget to test the engine. See if it will start in 2 or 3 pulls (even if it's an electric start). Have you worked a little outboard before? Make sure the engine puts out a steady stream of cooling water out the telltale. Keep the engine down at idle, and put it in gear, then slowly increase the throttle to make sure it doesn't stall. Can you see the prop spinning (or the water being pushed by the prop)?

Also, the soft floor is throughout the entire boat. That includes the cabin top (the "deck") and the cockpit floor, plus the cabin. Make sure you don't wear squishy shoes, or take your shoes off as you're walking around on the boat. One of the boats I was aboard had BIG soft spots. I had never experienced one before that, but once I hit one, I understood what they were. You'll know as well.

You won't always be able to tell if the chainplates are rotten. So look for signs of water leaks, like wet/stained wood (many chainplates attach to wooden bulkheads) or soft wood around the chainplates. Take pictures of anything you think is questionable, and come back and ask.

Since the owner won't be there, I think you're in luck. This is a great opportunity to start familiarizing yourself with sailboats, and you can take as long as you want to do the inspection. In one of my earlier posts, I linked to the Catalina 25 self-assessment list and the thread from here about self-assessing a boat. Read those both 3-4 times. Take the Catalina list with you, and walk through it step-by-step, even if you're ready to run screaming from the boat the moment you are aboard. You'll be glad you took the time on this boat, because on the next boat the owner may be hovering over you, trying to sell you and to steer you away from problem spots (or at least distract you from them).

Be sure to bring a flashlight or two (I donated one of mine to Poseidon's toolchest when I was inspecting a boat), a notebook, and a digital camera.
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Going to look at a boat

Honestly if the discussion on loose footed sails is going way over your head then I'd suggest slowing down, spending more time learning about sailing (through classes, local clubs, hanging out at the docks) and assessing what you want or need.

The problem with moving too fast is that you can easily end up with a boat that has negative value and be stuck with either a massive "Fix it" project or figuring out how to dump it. Neither option is going to be any fun.

The Ranger 26 is a good boat design. Figuring out if this Ranger 26 is a good one takes some skills that it sounds like you don't have. Any mechanically inclined person who can be objective can get those skills by reading a few books and looking at a lot of boats.
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