So we found a boat we like..... Now what? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 39 Old 04-14-2011
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The normal procedure is to make an offer, negotiate, and then only if a price is agreed upon proceed to survey and seatrial. Surveys come with a price tag, so in most cases you don't want to expend that money if there is never going to be a meeting of the minds on price.
Well, maybe - as long as the seller understands and agrees that the price is based on a clean survey and subject to renegotiation based on what the surveyor finds.

I view it differently. I did the survey first. I knew what the asking price was, becuase it was listed in the seller's ad (of course). So I knew where he was starting. The only question then was how far down from that he would go. I didn't want to start discussing that until I had the surveyor's report in hand. Even if I ended up walking away from the boat, I figured the couple hundred bucks I paid the surveyor would be worth not ending up with a boat that had more problems than I realized (which, come to think of it, I kinda sorta did anyhow, a little but) or ending up paying too much.

Worked out very well - the surveyor came back with a valuation $700 less than what the seller was asking, which made it much easier to make him a lower offer - which he accepted.

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post #12 of 39 Old 04-14-2011 Thread Starter
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Well, maybe - as long as the seller understands and agrees that the price is based on a clean survey and subject to renegotiation based on what the surveyor finds.

I view it differently. I did the survey first. I knew what the asking price was, becuase it was listed in the seller's ad (of course). So I knew where he was starting. The only question then was how far down from that he would go. I didn't want to start discussing that until I had the surveyor's report in hand. Even if I ended up walking away from the boat, I figured the couple hundred bucks I paid the surveyor would be worth not ending up with a boat that had more problems than I realized (which, come to think of it, I kinda sorta did anyhow, a little but) or ending up paying too much.

Worked out very well - the surveyor came back with a valuation $700 less than what the seller was asking, which made it much easier to make him a lower offer - which he accepted.
I feel somewhat the same way; do the survey, see what is wrong with the boat, then make the deal, until I found out that, at least around here, a survey costs ~$300, and a haulout, which most surveyors want, cost $400!
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post #13 of 39 Old 04-14-2011
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If I surveyed every boat I ever liked before making a deal, the cost of all the surveys would pay for a new boat.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.


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post #14 of 39 Old 04-14-2011
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Sounds like this boat has a pretty big 'to do' list right off the bat. While this will result in surveyors' recommendations that can be useful tools to renegotiate a lower (compensatory) price, these same recommendations might complicate any attempt to secure insurance coverage as well. Frequently the carrier will expect all recommendations be dealt with in a timely manner, sometimes as little as 30 days.

I hope you've looked around so that you know for certain there isn't a better example available nearby - as has been pointed out many a time the premium you pay now for a nicer example may well be less than you ultimately spend on the 'fixer upper'....

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post #15 of 39 Old 04-14-2011 Thread Starter
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If I surveyed every boat I ever liked before making a deal, the cost of all the surveys would pay for a new boat.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.
Oh yeah, and if you reverse it, I'd have paid for a new boat without getting one, and would be too broke to buy another!
I'm going to compose an offer with reasons why I'm not offering his list price and see what happens. If it isn't to my satisfaction, well, continuing to look doesn't cost anything, or not much anyway!

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Sounds like this boat has a pretty big 'to do' list right off the bat. While this will result in surveyors' recommendations that can be useful tools to renegotiate a lower (compensatory) price, these same recommendations might complicate any attempt to secure insurance coverage as well. Frequently the carrier will expect all recommendations be dealt with in a timely manner, sometimes as little as 30 days.

I hope you've looked around so that you know for certain there isn't a better example available nearby - as has been pointed out many a time the premium you pay now for a nicer example may well be less than you ultimately spend on the 'fixer upper'....
No doubt about that. I'd not thought of the insurance side of it, and as far as good examples, we're still looking but have not travelled any distance as of yet. There is another one about 5 hours from here, if it's still there next month we'll be going that way on our vacation trip to the Keys and will give it a close look also.
Thanks again guys!

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post #16 of 39 Old 04-14-2011
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Cape Dorys traditionally have thicker than normal gel coat and that over time and strain causes disproportionately more gel coat crazing which is cosmetic only. If however the deck is soft, then walk away.
As a Cape Dory owner I can say:
Look at the backing plates using a mirror through the inspection ports. If it is darker (rust) than adjacent areas, walk!
The engine, and the above to me are critical. Other deficiencies are comparatively minor.

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post #17 of 39 Old 04-14-2011
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I own a 1967 Tartan 27'.
Older boats (and yours isn't that old) have special needs that newer boats do not. A lot of this is probably covered in SailingDog's boat inspection tips thread.
- chain plates. They may be behind headliners or otherwise hard to see. They can be replaced/repaired but they are critical components of any sailboat as is all the standing rigging - stays and shrouds.
- engine. Original engine? Diesel or gas? Model #? Does it look well cared for or rusty? How well maintained is the engine?
- drive train. Cutlass bearing ok? Stern tube and/or stuffing box need replacing or re-packing? Engine mounts still solid?
- cored decks. I'm not sure about Cape Dorys from 1982 but many boats were made with Balsa cored decks and moisture can/will get in there and cause spongy decks.

Water in the bilge and chalky gel coat are not alarming findings on a boat this old.

An asking price is just that. The owner/seller has built in a ceiling above the price they are willing to sell the boat for (hopefully). A bid offer of 10 - 20 % below the asking price should not be insulting to the seller. They can always say no if they want. What with summer slip/mooring fees coming up they would probably be happy to have an offer in the amount of Asking Price - Summer Fees. I'd go at least another 1K lower to account for survey and initial fixup/start up costs you will have.

As others have said there is no 'book value' for a boat this old. It all amounts to how well the boat and its systems have been cared for over the years and what will need to be fixed/replaced during your ownership.

Best of luck.

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post #18 of 39 Old 04-15-2011
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As others have said there is no 'book value' for a boat this old.
Sure there is. How valid it is though, is another matter.

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post #19 of 39 Old 04-15-2011
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pinay, I like your attitude. It seems like you are taking an objective view of the boat you're looking at, and are taking the advice you are given to heart. It sounds like you haven't committed the cardinal sin of ripping yourself off- you haven't fallen in love with the boat!

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post #20 of 39 Old 04-15-2011
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Well, maybe - as long as the seller understands and agrees that the price is based on a clean survey and subject to renegotiation based on what the surveyor finds.

I view it differently. I did the survey first. I knew what the asking price was, becuase it was listed in the seller's ad (of course). So I knew where he was starting. The only question then was how far down from that he would go. I didn't want to start discussing that until I had the surveyor's report in hand. Even if I ended up walking away from the boat, I figured the couple hundred bucks I paid the surveyor would be worth not ending up with a boat that had more problems than I realized (which, come to think of it, I kinda sorta did anyhow, a little but) or ending up paying too much.

Worked out very well - the surveyor came back with a valuation $700 less than what the seller was asking, which made it much easier to make him a lower offer - which he accepted.
Rust,

Sure, there are different schools of thought. I took it for granted, but probably should have mentioned, that of course the agreed price is subject to renegotiation, and the contract is subject to cancellation, if the survey reveals deficiencies.

As to surveying before having an agreed price... As a seller, I would not let someone survey our boat if there was no purchase contract in place. A survey is a day-long affair of crawling all over and through the boat, including haul-out and/or re-launch. I wouldn't permit that unless I knew the prospective purchaser was genuine. My solid reasons would be a contract to purchase at a mutually agreed price, and earnest money.

As a buyer, I would not go to the expense of a survey until I reached agreement with the seller on a purchase price. The survey contingency allows for price renegotiation or other concession if issues affecting the valuation of the boat are discovered, so there is no risk to me. I can renegotiate or even walk away from the purchase if I don't like what I find. But if I like what I find, I have already reached an agreement on price and there is no chance the cost and time of survey will be wasted.

I can see certain scenarios where someone might do things differently. For example, some buyers who are purchasing from a long distance sight-unseen, will hire a surveyor to essentially be their purchasing agent. In that case (i.e. in lieu of inspecting the vessel in person) it might make sense to get a complete survey before deciding whether to make an offer.


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