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Things look to be lining up and I need some words of wisdom. I've been dreaming for a couple of years and crawled over a few boats looking for a nice inland racer/cruiser for the family. I have an appropriate sum of ready cash and and a clean, nearby example of the boat at the top of my (realistic) dreamlist.

The boat in question is an S2 9.1 on the hard at Lake Lanier north of Atlanta GA. The current owner pulled her last summer ('07) to paint the bottom and make other repairs (new lifelines, halyards) but has not been able to relaunch her as the drought and Atlanta's thirst continues to drop the pool at Lake Lanier and the travel lift can't launch boat of this size. A year later the water level is still depressing so she is up for sail and he is looking for something with less draft. My home port will be on the Tennessee River in North Alabama so no problems with the 5.5' draft.

So the question is what do I need to look for on a boat that has been on the hard for over a year. And how do I handle the diesel c/o, test sail, etc. She is on a trailer ready to ship which seems attractive butt...

Thanks for any advice.

John
 

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Essentially the owner has the boat for sale in a location where it is not possible to properly survey and sea-trial the vessel, as required by most P&S agreements.

That is his problem, not yours.

You should structure the deal so you can survey the vessel where it is, but withhold a significant escrow -- more than the cost of a replacement engine and installation -- until a proper sea-trial can be conducted. I say more than the cost of an engine installation because there could be other unforeseen problems beyond the engine.
 

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You could run the engine, although not under load, by simply supplying cooling water to it while it is still on the trailer. Ay least you can tell if it runs in which case, structure the contract such that you hold back some agreed-to percentage of the sale price in escrow pending a subsequent sea trail to be completed by a date certain.

Just take caution in not supplying pressure water to the engine as you can easily hydro-lock it.

Boats are often bought without a sea trial which in most cases is not done thoroughly or correctly making it often nothing more than a futile exerice to make the buyer feel good. Unless you go to the extra effort and expense of a marine engine survey, the sea trial purpose can be easily replicated by carefully inspecting all rigging and sails.
 

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IMHP it is a bit tricky your dealing with a 20 to 30000 dollar boat and a motor problem could eat up 10k if it was bad enough

I am not really sure who's problem it is to get a boat into the water when the expense to do it is so high BUT i do know plenty of people who adjusted the price to make the risk worthwhile


In this case it sounds like the boat would have to be hauled a significant distance along with mast stepping to float it
 

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I agree with Jomsviking, and wouldn't buy a boat without a sea trial. My boat was on the hard when I first inspected it. You can negotiate who will stand the expense of launching the boat. I maintained that, if I wanted to buy a boat, I had to take the expense and risk of hiring a surveyor, and if the seller wants to sell the boat, he should be willing to stand the expense and risk of launching it. The fact that I was willing to sign a purchase contract and take that risk made it clear to the seller that I wasn't just a looker. The sea trial is probably the only chance you'll get to have someone explain all the boat's systems, and show you how everything works. If you don't take advantage of it, you'll have to figure everything out for yourself, which will require that you read a bunch of owner's manuals and take much more time.
 

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I guess I am in the minority. I would have no problem buying a boat on the hard without a seatrial as long as the survey included running the engine and an inspection by a mechanic. As long as you have done your research and are convinced the boat fits your needs and the survey is well done and shows no major problems, the seatrail is only going to confrim what you already know.
 

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No reason you couldn't put a deposit down and then buy the boat in the spring subject to survey and seatrial.
 

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Splashed
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Sea trials reveals more than the eye ever will

Yes, you can survey and measure most things - But some things that affect how a specific boat sails, are often not discovered before you do a thorough sea trial. How (well) the boat sails must be verified IMnsHO. Even minor damages to the keel (even though repaired professionally) could affect eg. a boats ability to sail to windward on one tack.
 
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