Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
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I would say that you are a little too narrow in your view of the "perfect" used boat. No used boat is going to be perfect; you need to realize that first. I have not read the hull surveys you have gotten but there are levels of severity of hull and deck moisture; from the readings being totally wrong to there being wet/damaged core. It really depends on the type of moisture meter, the condition of the hull (if the paint is too thick it can cause a bad reading), if the boat was in the water prior to survey (the hull WILL have a non-zero reading).
If the deck had elevated moisture readings it needs to be tapped out to find any hollow spots. It's possible that there is moisture but no rot, and it's possible that simply re-bedding the deck fittings and potting the penetrations with epoxy is all you need to do.
Surveyors are mostly going to tell you "what the possibilities are"; not what repairs are needed. An elevated moisture reading alone is not a clear indication of what actually is going on in a cored deck or hull. What were the valuations placed on the boats relative to the asking prices? What were the condition of the rigging, spars, and sails (big expense items for long-term costs also)?
I think you will have a hard time finding a boat without some elevated moisture somewhere in the hull or deck. You CAN negotiate and get the appropriate price reduction to have repairs made if the seller is willing to take your counter-offer and accept that his boat is likely going to be on the market for a long while if he lets you get away.