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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share my latest boatshopping experience with the forum. Comments, as always are welcome!

I saw a boat of the year make and model that I wanted advertised at a rediculous price (200% of NADA average, 150% of BUC) For Sale By Owner. I contacted the owner and told him that my budget was in the 90-100% of NADA range. I asked him in an email "is it worth our talking further?" He replied that he would consider discussions at 150% of NADA.

A month goes by and the boat is still advertised, so I contact the owner to see if it would be possible to take a look. He connects me with a friend of his that will show the boat because he is out of town, and we arrange for me to look at the boat. I drive 500+ miles to look at the boat, and stay overnight at a hotel so that I can see the boat at the appointed hour. The guy that showed me the boat is a nice guy, but he warns me that the owner is 80 years old and "stubborn." I ask him if he has showed the boat much - he's evasive. I ask him if he's showed the boat at all - again he's evasive.

I go through the boat and conclude that it has not been used, other than as a floating condo. There are several issues with the boat, not the least of which is that the keel bolts are badly corroded, the electrical system is mickey-moused (wire nuts and electrical tape connecting the bilge pump, Romex connecting the battery charger to a 110V outlet installed in the rear quarterberth), and when we finally got it started, the engine looked like it was going to jump out of it's motor mounts.

After looking at the boat I decide that this guy is not going to get serious about selling, and so I decided not to follow up. He then contacts me via email. He heard that I liked the boat, and that I took lots of notes. He wants to know if I am "a tire kicker or writing a book." :confused: So, I tell him that I did not want to offend him but shared my observations with him, and that my soft offer at NADA value stands, pending the outcome of a survey.

The guy then gets huffy with me saying that any sale is as is, where is, and that he will now sell the boat to me for 400% of NADA value.

Just a warning to those of you who are boatshopping - there are some real fruitcakes out there! There are real advantages of working through a broker!!
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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7,545 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No way

Just offer him cash. He will take it... and have patience.
Thanks for the encouragement.

I would have paid cash - but, after dealing with his current reaction, I don't want to be dealing with this guy at all!

There are 8 similar boats currently on Yachtworld that meet my criteria, and are at 100-120% of NADA. I just have to keep shopping.
 

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Keep looking!!

There are some nutcakes out there, and then I guess some who are just ignorant. I was looking at a 2-3 year old 34 catamaran last year, found one at a decent price. Made two trips to see it, around the bay. ALthough I was there at the appointed time, "you just missed him" he was out sailing. I finally got him on the cell phone. When I asked about survey...his answer was "as is, where is" no survey no haul out, no nothing. I said thanks, told him I was no longer interested at any price. (he was asking $125K). Went on my way. Several weeks later, he called and emailed in the same day...he was going to be in my area, did I want the boat, he was prepared to step off. I asked about haul and survey...NO, he says..you don't get the picture...I said no, YOU don't get the picture. Phone calls continued for several weeks, I just let them go.

There ARE other boats out there. DOn't let this fool get to you.

dave
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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7,545 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks kd3pc,

I completely agree that there are other boats out there, and this guy is a fool, if not a psycho. Uh, hello?? - The entire world is in a recession, and the used boat market is not where most people are investing what money they have. :hammer It is not like this is a Passport/Valiant or something either. This make has widely been called the "Chevy of boats."

In my detailed response I let him know that; I liked his boat, but his price is way out of line with the market, next week, my wife and I are going to look at 3 other boats in the same/adjoining state that were priced within reason.

Today, I received an email from him telling me that he has slept on my offer, and he will split the difference between his 150% price and what he inferred I would offer. I have still never made an offer, or discussed a specific price. In his mind, we're now at 130% of what NADA says it's worth, and 140% of what it's worth to me in it's current condition. I believe that he is still offering as is, where is. If I were to make an offer, because I would have to deal with this AFOC, I would deduct an additional 10% of the boat's value.

Thanks for letting me vent!:cool: :)

BTW - I am using percentages of NADA, in order to blur the picture to protect the guilty. I realize that the actual value of the boat (or anything else for that matter) is only what any particular buyer is willing to pay at a given point of time.
 

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Sometimes I wonder if guys like this are only listing the boat so they can tell their wife they are trying to sell it.

Don't want to be macabre, but maybe if you can wait a couple of years you can buy it from his estate at 70% of NADA value.
 

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Aquaholic
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Don't want to be macabre, but maybe if you can wait a couple of years you can buy it from his estate at 70% of NADA value.
:laugher :laugher :laugher

SOMEbody had to say it!!

:laugher :laugher :laugher
 

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Sometimes I think some owners tack on their 'sentimental value' to the value of the boat. They seem to overlook the tired sails and rotting wood. All they see is what the 'new' boat looked like and the fond experiences they had while aboard. That scenario happened to me with an older owner and her 30' Baba...when there were the attorneys, I passed.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sometimes I think some owners tack on their 'sentimental value' to the value of the boat. They seem to overlook the tired sails and rotting wood. All they see is what the 'new' boat looked like and the fond experiences they had while aboard.
I don't think that that's the case here. I think that the old guy is used to getting his own way, and just likes money.:rolleyes:

Anyway, I did reply to his latest email, and let him know that there are other boats in the sea. :) I plan to look at several next week.
 

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Cabin boy
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split the difference

Today, I received an email from him telling me that he has slept on my offer, and he will split the difference between his 150% price and what he inferred I would offer.
My first job out of college I worked in a computer company. The head of the department had it in for one woman. She was horribly underpaid. He belittled her in almost every staff meeting. He spent his time running status on her workstation, and if she was idle for a few minutes he went and harassed her. Finally she went and found at new job at almost 70% more pay. When she gave him her resignation, he counter-offered to "split the difference" with her. And he seriously thought she would accept. I don't think he has a sailboat now, but you never know.
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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Here's the thing, there are many, many boats for sale. There are not many buyers, even fewer with cash in hand. I would tell him this next time he contacts you. I would also let him know that you are willing to buy hs boat at 50% of NADA value, deducting from your offer for "crazy" and pain in the assness".
 

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No one in their "right" mind would expect a six figure boat (I am inferring $$$ here) to sell absent both a sea trail and thorough survey unless of course there are valid reasons the seller would prefer to not want either or both. There are too many other boats for sale to put up with what you described.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Sometimes I wonder if guys like this are only listing the boat so they can tell their wife they are trying to sell it.

Don't want to be macabre, but maybe if you can wait a couple of years you can buy it from his estate at 70% of NADA value.
Exactly. Dude will croak in a few years and his estate will dump the boat for 70 cents on the book-value dollar. Too many nice boats sold by nice people to waste your time on dodgy boats or annoying sellers. "For Sale By Ogre.":D
 

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I asked about haul and survey...NO, he says..you don't get the picture
Wow. A seller refusing to allow a survey? Talk about a red flag. As an owner, I'm very proud of the care and maintenance my boat has received under my ownership. If she were ever for sale, I would absolutely want the buyer to conduct a rigorous survey to give him confidence and comfort in the deal he's making.


A seller who refuses to allow a survey? Wow. Now I've heard it all. You were wise to walk.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The rest of the story...

Thank you for all the support. Sailnet ROCKS!:cool: :cool:

Because you have all been so supportive, I thought that I would share the conclusion of this deal.

To put this in context, the boat is currently in her slip, so beneath the waterline examination was not possible. According to his last email;
Up grades to current codes and specifications is not being offered.
However, below are two pictures of the bilge of this vessel. Other than the bilge, and a loose radar mast, the rest of the vessel looked as if it was never untied from the dock in the last 20 years.

These pix were shared with the owner in my initial follow up email.


I loved the tape and wire nuts. Any ideas about what killed the battery? :rolleyes:

There appear to be keel bolts, but I shudder to think of what is left of them.



Here then, with minor edits and redactions, is the email reply that I sent to the owner after his offer to meet me half way (?!);
Mr X,

Thank you for showing some flexibility in your price.

I had hoped that my earlier email would show you that I am a knowledgeable buyer, that would appreciate and take care of Slip Queen. I suggested that she would be worth in the mid X thousands to me. I have not, however, made any offer, so I don't know where you are getting your figure from. Please do not make assumptions, or mistake me for a fool.

I am sure that you realize, that boats require constant maintenance and care, yet they are a depreciating asset. The longer you own them, the more money that you have to put into them, yet the less they're worth. Also, I am sure that you know that used boats are not selling briskly right now. NADA states that a boat of this model and year, in average condition, is worth $X. "An average retail valued boat should be in good condition with no visible damage or defects. This boat will show moderate wear and tear and will be in sound running condition." Slip Queen does not meet these criteria for the reasons that I detailed in my earlier email.

If you and your family feel that you are getting $X of enjoyment from her, then spend the money to have the keel bolts replaced, get the motor serviced, and have the electrical fixed - properly, and take them out sailing. Otherwise, sell her. If you decide to sail her, in her current condition, you are putting yourself, your passengers, and whomever comes to rescue you at risk.

If you decide to sell and wish to wait for some fool with 150% of NADA to spend, good luck to you, but be prepared for a long wait. I know of another same year and make boat that has been on the market in my state for over 5 years, yet still hasn't sold. Do you really want to wait that long? However, if you decide that you would rather sell her at a fair price, then I invite you to reply. Before you reply, please think about how often you sail her and whether you really want to sell her.

I am planning to look at three other boats of the same make and model next week. I will go through each of them as I did Slip Queen. Each of these boats is represented by a broker (who will take 10% of the agreed upon price), and I expect to find that they all meet the criteria of "average condition." All of these boats have more equipment than Slip Queen, and asking prices below 130% of NADA.

I suggest that you think very carefully about what Slip Queen is really worth to you and your family.
I finialized making arrangement to see the other three boats today.
 

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It's difficult to infer from the pictures of the keel bolts and wiring precisely what condition either is in - the bolts may or not be fine under the surfacial corrosion and the wiring, as long as it isn't indicative of the entire boat, is easily fixed.
Regardless, to be redundant, "as is, where is" is a good way to quickly part with your money foolishly. Why pursue this at all?
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
CP - there was no broker involved. I guess that my point in this thread is that people should beware of For Sale By Owner

(I like bobmcgov's "For Sale By Ogre")
 

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1977 Morgan OI 30
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Too many boats...so little time

You are holding all the cards. Just communicating w somone like that is stressful and any reply you get will continue to be antagonistic. He has probably gone through life doing that to people and what you have seen of the boat is a reflection of his personality. That boat will be there after his demise. So enjoy looking at and negotiating with the many other 'nice' people that are out there.....it is a buyers market! :D
 

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We just closed on our "new to us" boat. We spent 6 months and looked at around 20 boats. We made offers on 5. Two of the owners were out of line with their asking prices and refused to negotiate, didn't want to sell or needed the $? Two sold their boats to other buyers for less than we had offered, with contract signed (by us) and deposit check in our broker's hand. So there are some issues with some sellers which escape my comprehension. Boat 5 was bought for about 12% above NADA avg., with survey and sea trial.

An interesting note: This boat was "sold" about the time we started looking. However the deal fell through. It seems the potential buyer was senile, he remembered he was buying the boat but forgot from whom or where the boat was! So the oddities can occur on the buyers end as well.
 
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