Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract - Page 4 - SailNet Community
 21Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #31 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
Member
 
JimMcGee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Marathon, Florida
Posts: 2,377
Thanks: 100
Thanked 83 Times in 78 Posts
Rep Power: 15
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Something I have to say here is I've come to question the REAL value of a survey.

When I bought my first boat in 2000 the surveyor was sharp. She knew boats and systems inside and out, told me her conclusions during the test sail, what repairs to do right now and what could be done over time. She didn't miss a thing and her report was detailed and thorough. She didn't comment on price other than to say the agreed upon price was within the normal range for that boat (which I knew).

When I sold that boat in 2008 I had a similar positive experience with the buyer's surveyor. However the surveyor on the boat I was buying was so poor I nearly refused payment. I got a worthless boiler plate and almost everything in his report were items I'd pointed out. And I discovered later he'd missed some significant items.

Fast forward to 2018 and I'm selling a boat my boat yard and everyone I knew described as Bristol. A local broker would actually tell people to stop by our slip to see how good these boats could look when they were well cared for. I'm anal about my boats and ours was improved well beyond anything on the market. The only known issue was the refrigerator had packed it in right as I was listing the boat (which I disclosed up front). There were no issues on the test sail and the surveyor even commented on how rare it is to find a boat so well cared for.

Then I received a copy of his report.

A 30+ page boilerplate about all the things that "could" be wrong with a boat. There "could" be hidden wiring problems, there "could" be hull problems that weren't found, there "could" be structural problems. In particular he kept harping on the fact that there "could" be a hidden exhaust hose leak where it ran behind a bulkhead and couldn't be inspected, despite the fact there was no diesel exhaust odor in the boat or the cockpit locker. I even paid the yard to inspect the exhaust hose to put the by now hysterical buyer at ease. The yard's response was WTH is he talking about?

Long story short, all the CYA "could" and "might" language running for 30+ pages scared the hell out of the buyer who was new to boating. To add insult to injury he used a semi-abandoned boat that sold well below market at a local marina as a comp bringing the "average" price down by thousands of dollars. So the buyer was left with the impression that I was trying to rip them off by charging too much for a boat that was about to sink !

I've heard similar stories from a few other owners the past few years.

This is VERY similar to what I see from "home inspections" these days. I've done a few flips and most of the "inspectors" don't know what they're looking at. They use some boiler plate software to create filler and mostly leave buyers with false impressions due to a lot of CYA. I've seen inspections from different properties that use the same language word for word. Evidently you can take an online course to become a home inspector. Is the bar now just as low for boats?

It feels like folks like BoatPoker and my first surveyor from 20 years ago (now retired) are becoming the exception, and if the surveyor isn't REALLY knowledgeable what am I paying for?

Rant over...

Currently Boatless

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
JimMcGee is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #32 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
bell ringer
 
Don0190's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: on way toward New orleans
Posts: 4,130
Thanks: 10
Thanked 113 Times in 103 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Wouldn't the real answer be to to talk to the owner to find out what the real issue is? The whole thing sounds like a failure to communicate.

BUT if not there's only 2 actions
1 - walk away
2 - suck it up buttercup

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Don0190 is offline  
post #33 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
Dirt Free
 
boatpoker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,514
Thanks: 22
Thanked 142 Times in 137 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post

When I bought my first boat in 2000 the surveyor was sharp. She knew boats and systems inside and out, told me her conclusions during the test sail, what repairs to do right now and what could be done over time. She didn't miss a thing and her report was detailed and thorough.
You have to be talking about Catherine M.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
boatpoker is online now  
 
post #34 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

As a recent buyer I walked away from one boat that was (probably) good because the seller refused the "hassle" of a survey insisting that he had priced it as a steal, that it was in good shape, and it would go quickly - and it did. But for my own peace of mind I wanted a professional's opinion, particularly as it was my first 'big' boat purchase. The boat I did end up buying I got a somewhat generic report back from the surveyor and he had an entirely different opinion about the condition of the standing rig than riggers I later talked to but he was good in person, pointed out a number of items I wouldn't have known about and added value to the process. Was it perfect? No, but it was worthwhile in my opinion.
aaron1987 is offline  
post #35 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 19,331
Thanks: 82
Thanked 544 Times in 521 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

I think too many buyers price shop the survey and expect to have some “price per foot”. It’s totally unrealistic, as boats become more complex.

When I bought my current boat, I had a quote from a single guy that said he could do it in 6 hours. I had another quote from a guy that said it was either one guy for two days or two guys for one day. I took the more thorough option. Yes, I recall finding a single mistake, but not death defying and can’t even recall what it was now. The survey has been a good reference tool for me, to this day.

From memory, the survey identified a dead battery bank for the winches, a stern light hidden by the dinghy and a couple of others that weren’t noticed by either the seller or me. He cleaned them all up and I paid my offer. It’s been ten years and he and I remain in touch to this day.
JimMcGee likes this.


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

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Minnewaska is offline  
post #36 of 40 Old 04-18-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 542
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 19
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I think too many buyers price shop the survey and expect to have some “price per foot”. It’s totally unrealistic, as boats become more complex.

When I bought my current boat, I had a quote from a single guy that said he could do it in 6 hours. I had another quote from a guy that said it was either one guy for two days or two guys for one day. I took the more thorough option. Yes, I recall finding a single mistake, but not death defying and can’t even recall what it was now. The survey has been a good reference tool for me, to this day.

From memory, the survey identified a dead battery bank for the winches, a stern light hidden by the dinghy and a couple of others that weren’t noticed by either the seller or me. He cleaned them all up and I paid my offer. It’s been ten years and he and I remain in touch to this day.
Right. But there is kinda a difference between a 54DS and a $25K plastic GOB. I'd only buy a DS like that without a survey if I could absolutely steal it, and I'd go over it with a fine toothed comb and I'd be all over what's his name at East Coast Yacht Sales or whatever it is in R.I. (the Jeanneau dealer guy). There's boats out there circumnavigating that were purchased for less than $10K (with, of course, the obligatory pricey upgrades after the fact).
VIEXILE is offline  
post #37 of 40 Old 04-19-2019
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 19,331
Thanks: 82
Thanked 544 Times in 521 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIEXILE View Post
Right. But there is kinda a difference between a 54DS and a $25K plastic GOB. ......
I only used my recent experience to make a point about avoiding worthless surveys, not to suggest every boat would require the same level of diligence. Folks get worthless surveys, when they sign up for a worthless survey. Cheap and fast.

There are some who are competent enough to do their own survey to whatever standard they feel they require, but need a piece of paper for the insurance company. In that case, I understand fast and cheap. However, many complain that their surveyor missed things, therefore they missed it too, so they require a thorough survey and that comes at a price.

p.s. I think all the Eastern guys went to Bluenose in Newport. I've heard some interesting stories. I bought my boat out of town.


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

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Minnewaska is offline  
post #38 of 40 Old 04-19-2019 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
I’ve always found this to be a good reference. Not cheap but I’ve collected a few over the years. After you restore a couple GOB’s, certain things catch your eye and you “just know that ain’t right”.. I may be mistaken, but I think these are the standards surveyors go by too. Off topic but if you’re installing something or fixing something on your boat, it pays to do it right and to standard. Much of what’s written has been learned over time through experiences of others. Kind of like when the 70 year old sailor who’s been hung over longer than you’ve been alive tells you to do something...you listen.

https://abycinc.org/page/StandardsSupp58

Anyway, update, as someone warned there turned out to be some legal issues with title. Friend backed off and i don’t get to go to SC where it’s warm......

Interesting discussion though. I’ve only dealt with insurance surveys recently and they were what’s expected, minimal. The last time I utilized a proper “should I buy this” surveyor was probably decades ago. Remember him well, big ass cigar and looked like he was left in the sun for a few centuries. Walking encyclopedia though, especially with wooden boats. Learned a lot from that guy before he passed away.

As someone mentioned above, guys like that are becoming a rare breed indeed.

What are surveyors charging nowadays anyway?
ApparitionS is offline  
post #39 of 40 Old 04-19-2019
Member
 
JimMcGee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Marathon, Florida
Posts: 2,377
Thanks: 100
Thanked 83 Times in 78 Posts
Rep Power: 15
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
You have to be talking about Catherine M.
I wish I could remember her name. She was already retired when I bought my last boat in 2008.

It was my first boat, and I was fresh out of sailing school with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. I remember her as an encyclopedia of boat maintenance knowledge. I learned a LOT that day.

Fast forward 20 years and I'm the guy on the dock people come to with questions. That said my expectation going through the boat with a surveyor was that they would know more than I do and I would learn a thing or three. I was disappointed that it didn't quite work out that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I think too many buyers price shop the survey and expect to have some “price per foot”. It’s totally unrealistic, as boats become more complex.
So very true. Your 54DS is more complex than a house.

Currently Boatless

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau
JimMcGee is offline  
post #40 of 40 Old 04-19-2019
Senior Member
 
davidpm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 5,061
Thanks: 520
Thanked 90 Times in 80 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
Re: Working with sellers who refuse a pending survey contract

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post

It was my first boat, and I was fresh out of sailing school with just enough knowledge to be dangerous. I remember her as an encyclopedia of boat maintenance knowledge. I learned a LOT that day.

That said my expectation going through the boat with a surveyor was that they would know more than I do and I would learn a thing or three.
It could be argued that the quality of surveyors has not been reduced but that your knowledge has increased sufficiently that most surveyors could not be expected to know more than you.

I'm not saying this is the case but it might be possible that your increased knowledge and experience is part of the perceived difference from 20 years ago.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
davidpm is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

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

Password:


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

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











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
Cash-strapped council refuse to support prestigious sailing event NewsReader News Feeds 0 02-07-2013 10:20 AM
Contract and 10% deposit required before survey allowed? Is this typical? patrickstickler General Discussion (sailing related) 37 04-07-2010 09:23 AM
Charges pending against owner of sunken sailboat - Summit Daily News NewsReader News Feeds 0 07-06-2007 12:15 AM
ID still pending in Labor Day drowning - Florida Today NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-07-2006 11:15 AM
Search for missing sailboat scaled back 'pending further ... - Vancouver Sun (subscription) NewsReader News Feeds 0 05-11-2006 02:15 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