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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

After a few months of searching, I've found "The One". An Ericson 27. Since I am a boat-buying virgin, I need some help on what is customary. I am not willing to rely strictly on the Broker for advice as they are after max commission. (sorry to any brokers out there).

I will make an offer subject to personal inspection, survey and sea trial and a reasonable amount of time to launch the boat to new destination (till end of current month). Those are really the only stipulations I can think of as I am a cash buyer and have no other boat to sell.

What else do I need to know? What is the customary deposit to hold a boat through inspection? Do I have to be specific about what is not acceptable with the survey report or is it up to my discretion upon survey review? Is the offer a written or verbal process? Under what conditions is my deposit at jeopardy if the boat does not meet with my approval upon survey?

Anything else you seasoned boaters can suggest would be very much welcome information. I am hoping to make the offer today.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
 

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I just bought my own sailboat...
Start with an offer of 20% less than asking price. There may be some haggling after the first offer.
After the the sea trial, you will need to decide on whether you want that boat or not. If you do take a really good look at the vessel while you are aboard it. Any discreptencies can allow you reduce the agreed on price lower to cover the cost of repairs. If they demand "As Is". You will really need to take a good look at the vessel to see if you have the skills or money to do the repairs. Usually you may want to walk away and look else where.
You may have to put about 10% down with the first offer, (with good brokers) it is refundable, but it goes to toward the price of the boat and the broker knows that you are serious.
And talk with the broker and get a feel for him/her also. The good ones will be up front with you on any boat you are interested in.
 

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I'm not an expert by any means but...

The offer needs to be written and signed. If accepted, a 10% deposit is usually customary and the selling broker would hold it. If you don't like the boat on inspection or sea trial, or you don't like the survey for any reason, you can back out and get your deposit back. The only reason for the deposit is so the seller knows you are serious.

The process is really very much like buying a house. Make offer, they counter, you accept, counter again, or walk.

Good luck. The Ericson 27 is a nice boat.

Dave
 

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But one minor detail, You will have the onus of paying for the survey and haulout. This was close to a thousand dollars for both on the vessel that I've gladly acquired. So how enthralled are you with this boat??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have seen pictures and read alot of reviews. I have not seen the boat and broker is telling me he has offer already. I am not real comfortable making any offer without my own visual inspection. The boat was just listed and I can't go down until Saturday to inspect. I am wondering if broker is just trying to turn the heat up on me. Boat is well equipped and looks very well cared for - but pictures have a way of making all look good. . .
 

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You end up making the offer based on what you think the condition of the boat is. If they accept the offer, then you find out upon inspection that it isn't in as good of shape as you thought, then you withdraw right then. Bosun makes a good point about the survey.

Sequence of events goes like this:
1. Ask questions of broker about condition of boat.
2. Make offer based on that information.
3. If accepted, inspect the boat yourself (there is a good thread on that here).
4. If you still like it, then you do a sea trial.
5. If you still like it, then you have the boat hauled and surveyed.

Keep in mind that after steps 3, 4, or 5 you can amend your offer. If you see something on inspection you don't like, tell the broker and that due to inspection you would like to renegotiate the price. If they agree, great. If not, you walk. You can do the same after the sea trial or survey as well.

PS: Keep in mind that it is a buyers market. Don't feel pushed by a broker. You have cash in your pocket and are buying in one of the worse boat markets ever and are doing so at the end of the season.

Dave
 
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Sequence of events goes like this:
1. Ask questions of broker about condition of boat.
2. Make offer based on that information.
3. If accepted, inspect the boat yourself (there is a good thread on that here).
4. If you still like it, then you do a sea trial.
5. If you still like it, then you have the boat hauled and surveyed.

Dave
The thread referred to is the 'Boat Buying Trip Tips' by Sailingdog in the Boat Buying Forum here on Sailnet. Print it out and take it with you when you travel to see the boat.

Remember, boats grow on trees. If this one gets away or it's just not the one for you, don't worry. There will be another one soon. Good luck!
 

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If you have decided on the type and model of boat you wish to own, stay away from the brokers and just buy one private party. They made lots of Ericson's. They are tough boats with lot and lots of fiberglass in them. Not a bad choice for a boat of that size, but then again Columbia 26's cheap, fast and roomy. The biggest decision is to settle for what you want. Then find one that has been loved and care has been taken to keep it in good order. If you seek, ye will find. There is some private party guy out there right now chomping at the bit to upgrade or get out right this second. Everything should always be contingent on a survey. If you find something that looks the part on the topside, when it is hauled out and gone over you will be in a better place to make a deal, and you can re zinc/ bottom paint before you relaunch with true peace of mind.
 

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I'd amend Dave's advice above as follows -

Make your own inspection before making an offer - I wouldn't accept a broker's word on anything. If the broker won't let you inspect the boat without an offer, keep walking.

If you don't find anything horrifying during your own inspection, you make an offer, and usually a deposit, then you get your sea trial, etc as described above.

I would also really emphasize what Dave mentions about amending your offer based on sea-trial/survey results, but I'd suggest that you hold it all in for after the survey unless you find anything really flagrent.

Try to find out how long the broker has had the boat, this can be a good clue to how motivated the seller is - my boat had been sitting at the brokerage for over a year - and come down very significantly from the initial asking price already.

Also, don't take the broker's advice on surveyors, and ask around - find the most particular person you can to help you identify every single problem with the thing, then itemize those to the broker as reasons why you won't pay more than _____ for the boat.

Best of luck,
h
 

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Don't ever give one second thought to a broker's pressure.

Never fall in love with a sailboat until after you own it. There are always others.

The only other contingency I would consider is that you can get it insured, if you intend to insure it. This can be a bigger issue with larger boats, as your experience is going to dictate that as much as the boat's condition. However, condition is on your radar with the survey already anyway.
 

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But one minor detail, You will have the onus of paying for the survey and haulout. This was close to a thousand dollars for both on the vessel that I've gladly acquired. So how enthralled are you with this boat??
These costs depend on the size of the boat, what marina you use for the haul out and how much the surveyor charges. Our haul out and survey wasn't anywhere near a thousand dollars.

But yes, the prospective buyer pays AND eats the cost if he or she decides not to by the boat. But don't give up the survey even if you bought the boat. You paid for it, it's yours. If the boat owner wants a survey he or she can pay for one. I have heard of owners asking if they can have the survey if the buyer decided against the boat.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all who have offered advice. Do I have to get all of this in writing from the broker? That I can back away post inspection, post survey, post sea trial or is this a given? Deposit is 100% refundable at any point prior to actual agreement of sale? As for the offer, I manage and train comodity buyers, so it is not lost on me that it is the mother of all buyers markets and it is end of season. Sellers will be more likely to want to clear the books so as to avoid winter storage. Additionally, it is an estate sale.
 

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If you are dealing with a broker, he or she will have an offer form that you need to complete and sign, and accompany with a 10% check. If it is the standard YBAA form, you can walk away for just about any reason - within reason ;).

However, I read in your previous post that there is already an offer on this boat. If there is already an offer, why are YOU looking at it? Yes, I know that the offer may be rejected. If so, then there is no offer on the boat. DON'T let the broker use you for leverage.

Ask the broker if the other offer is still being considered. If it is, tell the broker that you need to look at other boats. The broker should only tell you about this boat if, and only if, the other offer is rejected. If ANYONE has the right of first refusal, it puts both buyers at a disadvantage. I would only enter into negotiations if I were the only one making an offer on a boat.

I had an experience with another member of sailnet where the other member was selling a gorgeous boat, that I would have loved to purchase. However, he told me that another person had made an offer, and he granted that person the right of first refusal. I never made any offer for that boat, and have no regrets. I have nothing but respect for the other buyer, and the seller of that boat. I can only hope that they respect my decision not to initiate a bidding war.
 

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These costs depend on the size of the boat, what marina you use for the haul out and how much the surveyor charges. Our haul out and survey wasn't anywhere near a thousand dollars.

But yes, the prospective buyer pays AND eats the cost if he or she decides not to by the boat. But don't give up the survey even if you bought the boat. You paid for it, it's yours. If the boat owner wants a survey he or she can pay for one. I have heard of owners asking if they can have the survey if the buyer decided against the boat.
You can make a pre arrangement with the seller to split the cost of a survey. The advantage for the seller is that a recent survey is good for the prospective buyer if you opt out. It is just part of the dance. It is the same with aircraft.
 

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A good broker will tell you all that upfront and it will be in the agreement you sign.

Although it's good to approach a broker with eyes open, they aren't all bad. We had an extremely good one who was open with us and stopped us from making some potential mistakes.
 

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A good broker will tell you all that upfront and it will be in the agreement you sign.

Although it's good to approach a broker with eyes open, they aren't all bad. We had an extremely good one who was open with us and stopped us from making some potential mistakes.
A good surveyor will do the same, and is unbiased towards the sale.
 

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can someone comment on how surveyor's fees are structured? Is is a flat rate based on boat size, or a percentage of surveyed value? Or something else.

I'm also considering an upgrade to a boat in the 9k range, and in this economy plan on offering around 5k. Boat is a mid-80s Cal24, so prone to age issues. I don't want to pay more for a survey than the boat, but don't want to blow 5k on an irreparable problem, either. I don't mean to hijak, but thought these tied in to the OP's question.
thanks
 

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can someone comment on how surveyor's fees are structured? Is is a flat rate based on boat size, or a percentage of surveyed value? Or something else.

I'm also considering an upgrade to a boat in the 9k range, and in this economy plan on offering around 5k. Boat is a mid-80s Cal24, so prone to age issues. I don't want to pay more for a survey than the boat, but don't want to blow 5k on an irreparable problem, either. I don't mean to hijak, but thought these tied in to the OP's question.
thanks[/QUOTE]

Depends on the arrangement you make with the surveyor.
 

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If you don't have and idea how the boat sails the sea trial is not the correct way to find out

The further you get into the deal the more difficult it is to back out without losing money UNLESS there is a true deficiency in the boat that shows up in the survey OR the sea trial which is at least around here the final part of the deal

For example on Long island i payed 300 just for and insurance survey in my driveway BUT you cant get real marine insurance without a survey from someone accredited with SAMS or its equivalent as a big part of the deal is them putting a value on the boat that can be justified

You surely don't want to be paying for several surveys as a way of weeding out boats
 

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can someone comment on how surveyor's fees are structured? Is is a flat rate based on boat size, or a percentage of surveyed value? Or something else.
I've only paid for a survey based on a quote, which in turn is based on LOA. I did pay by the hour once, but it was capped at that quote based on LOA. I stopped the survey about mid way, rejected the boat and saved money.

On another point made, that seller did ask for the partial survey. I did not provide it. They could have bought it from me, however. The boat was not as represented in many way, which is why I rejected it.
 
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