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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so this is going to be a little tongue on cheek, but there may be some truth here.

P.O., meaning "previous owner", of course.

I just bought a 2004 Precision 23 from the original owner. There boat is in very good condition with no issues.

But there are several indicators that the PO was a nitwit. I began to reach my conclusion by interacting with him during the sale, and being there when he rigged the sails on the boat. This is a guy who seemed pretty sure he knows EVERYTHING there is to know about sailing, by the way, or I suppose I'd cut him a break.

-coils line the same way you coil up an electrical cord...wrapping it around between thumb and elbow. Nice twist!

-When I left his slip with the boat, bound for my marina, casting off the lines (included with the boat) was an interesting chore. I doubt I could duplicate how he had the loop end of the lines wrapped around that boat's cleats, but they were secured in such a way that every time the boat tugged on the line, it tightened a little more. To remove the four lines required pliers, a screwdriver, and some sailor talk. So, he must have been leaving his dock by removing the lines from the dock cleats every time, and just coiling the lines up on deck....cuz there's no way he was going to get them off the cleats.

-Anywhere he secured a line with a knot, it had to be knotted several times, with multiple kinds of knots. Reeeeal tight.

-There was nothing on the boat that was immune from being secured with copious amounts of rigger's tape. He must have believed it had some sort of magical powers, bestowing mojo on his vessel.

-He must have spent all his spare time stenciling the boat's name on every piece of equipment. And it's a DUMB name.

-He bragged about the set of AGM batteries he bought for the boat, and looked at me like I was a fool when I suggested that they might not be the best choice for the boat. He had a separate AGM solely for starting the engine, and charged solely by the engine. Note that the engine is an alternator equipped outboard with a PULL START! So, if the house battery ever ran down, he still had the spare AGM to start the motor in an emergency. But it has a PULL START.

Oh, it goes on and on, and I'm enjoying the process of driving out the previous owner's demon's. I'm lucky that I'm only encountering small annoyances.

Anybody want to share a good previous owner story?
 

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One of None
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POs are just never as smart as NOs
 

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Master Mariner
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My boat's PO was an auto wrecking yard owner. He thought he was mechanically inclined and liked to do things himself. Can you see where this might be a tiny problem?
Unfortunately, the yard he used to repair his mistakes was just as bad or worse. The engine wasn't aligned at all because the disc for the hydraulic shaft brake would have cut through the hull. We have a MaxProp, a MaxProp; who needs a shaft brake w/a MaxProp?
Chime in here Maine Sail; I'm sure you've seen plenty like this.
 

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Anybody want to share a good previous owner story?
Sure.

The PO of my Ranger 20 didn't leave the boat wanting for anything needed for sailing, or for regular maintenance. He spent a good deal of time making me aware of things that could still be done to improve it (upgrades). During the time of his ownership, he updated trailer, rigging, canvass, dodger, and the outboard. Left an assortment of spare parts on board, and provided a binder with manual, historical information, and tech bulletins. And he spent an afternoon with me giving a "student trip".

Good guys are out there! :)

Oh......you mean good story - not good PO. Nevermind. ;)
 

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My PO was a crack head . He needed a new bag , so I got a good sale price . My apologizes to all the crack heads out there , but you guys sell boats way to cheap .
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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unless I wreck something, it always leaves my hands in better shape than when I got it.

but how is this for PO magic?



That is/was the switch panel on my SeaSprite 23. It is screwed inboard of a bunk (So it tries to take you shins out everytime you go into the cabin, only 1 screw secures the panel the 1/4 inch plywood.. and nothing is actually wired up
 

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Before buying my boat, from a good PO as a mater of fact, I had many laughs at some sellers expense. The most common response about any of my questions was "I don't know, I just sail and enjoy her." :eek:

It could have been "how old are the sails, what's that switch for, when was the last time you had her out of the water and looked at the bottom, does the head work, where's you bilge pump.":p

Well you get the idea.

My PO produced a 3 ring binder with all the manuals, receipts and service records for the past 9 years :D
 

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Corsair 24
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youll remember you said this when you sell your boat...we are all previous owners at one point in time...so just fix whatever you can and be happy

we all have our screw it...patch it up moments and prefer to sail...in a perfect world there wouldnt be used boats or idiot previous owners but that just aint gonna happen is it? jajajaja
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Of the 66 items on the surveyors report, the one that I keep thinking about was a plastic garden hose fitting (bright yellow plastic shut off valve, .79 cents at Lowes) capping off a seawater hose with one crusty hose clamp on it - below waterline, with the seacock open. I was with the surveyor when he found it, he looked at me, raised his eyebrows and reached over and shut the seacock. The PO had recently sailed the boat from CA to Hawaii and I'm sure this fitting was installed before he left. Yeah, a lot of POs are idiots.
 

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Daniel - Norsea 27
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My PO said I only needed to replace one broken fitting on the standing rigging and it would be ready to sail.

Looking at the rest of the rusted rigging, I knew it would need to be replaced. Later found another fitting that had three cracks, one of which was completely split open. Then I found that a seacock was so loose that the boat would have sunk as soon as it was in the water. Last oil change was four years earlier. Recently removed the head and holding tank and found a 2" x 3" hole in the tank and thankful I didn't try testing it out. Found out fuel tank leaks (using small 3gal tank for now).

Still plenty of work needed. I like to think I saved the boat from the PO. If or when I ever sell the boat, I can be happy knowing it's in better shape than when I got it.
 

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They are not all bad. I don't mean to brag, but the PO of my most recent boat was AMAZING. Pretty much the only thing the surveyor could find was that the garbage plaque was missing. The PO was digging around trying to find it and the surveyor was begging him to stop, "Please, I need something to write in the report." Not only did he care for the boat meticulously, everything he added was extremely thoughtful. Clearly every time he thought "wouldn't it be nice if there was a ____ here" he added it. Some of the things were of the category where I would have spent years thinking "it sure would be nice to have a way to secure this here" but never gotten around to doing anything about it. Some were things I never would have thought of, but make total sense.

Additional woodwork that you can't tell from the original. Detailed records of every bit of maintenance or repair that was done and when. Every manual for every piece of equipment with notes where he he didn't think it was clear, or info the company had given him, etc. A full carload of spare parts and things that he found handy while winterizing, or refinishing the cabin sole. Lists of every product he used for cleaning, refinishing, etc. Spent hours with me after purchase going through everything.

He was definitely more worried about my ability to care for her up to his standards than I was about anything he had done. I can only aspire to try to be as good a PO to someone else someday.
 

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Sometimes the best guys miss something important. I was doing a pre-purchase mini-survey on a boat.
The guy was an engineer and had extensive notes and talked for an hour about all the stuff he had done on the boat.
Just to make small talk I asked about the location of the engine zincs on his raw water cooled motor.

He didn't know anything about it and he owned the boat for over 10 years and did all his own work.
The broker called me back and said he had found them and that they were in good shape.
 

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Rant coming... as a very recent 'P.O.', I can tell you that the new owner got a great deal on one of the best examples of the particular boat he purchased. My 'P.O.' did a couple of odd things, but he did a lot right including setting the boat up with a superb sail inventory. During my tenure, we re-powered, re-cored deck, re-built the propane system, added to the sail inventory, replace all running rigging, etc... The boat surveyed very very well. The surveyor was impressed. The brokers where impressed. The new owner, bless his sole, at the moment probably (like myself when I bought her) suspects, but doesn't yet know the quality of what he bought. He will as he sails her.

For anyone who's a new boat owner, the best piece of advice that I received and would pass along to anyone is to sail the boat 'as is' once the basic survey issues have been addressed... a good 'P.O.' did things for a reason and probably with some forethought. Other than dealing with issues clearly identified in the boat survey, we sailed our boat for nearly a year before we made minor changes to the set up. We addressed a couple of other maintenance issues as they came up, but they were well in line with what anyone would face with keeping and maintaining a nearly 25 year old boat.

Now, Original Poster, I'm going to be tough and say simply, you own a boat now. Given the conditions you describe, you probably got a screaming good deal. You bought the boat 'as is'. It's yours to fix as you fully realized when you sighed the papers. Don't bad mouth the poor guy who sold her to you. He/she had his/her dreams, some realized, others not. You haven't been in their shoes. Again, YOU HAVE A BOAT. Do you know how many people sit on a beach looking out only ever able to wish they could be in your postion? Be gracious. Be thankful. Harden up, shut up, and sail your boat. A lot. Do it all the best you can, so when you sell your boat, it will be better than it was when you bought her, and you'll be a wiser, better sailor for your efforts. Most importantly, stop complaining and have fun. All O.P.'s, and yes you WILL BE ONE eventually, are NOT idiots. And yes, I take offense as should many others here who've invested money, time, and huge effort in making a boat a project and adventure worth having. My boat was much better when I sold it than when she was purchased. With any luck, the new owner will continue the trend and treat her with the respect due the design. If you have the right boat, consider yourself her curator. I new the designer of mine. Huge respect for him, huge respect for the boat... anyhow, I'm rambling, it's late, and I should be in bed. Best of luck on your new voyage. Again, smile and consider yourself fortunate while you recoil lines and the power cord.
 

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I agree with most of the OP, except to say that duct tape does have magical powers. Obviously you are a heretic.

These are my favorite threads here, because I always "win" ;)

The PO of my boat actually circumnavigated, when he returned he stripped the boat and bought a lot of high-end stuff to refit her. $1,000 head, $1,000 water heater, All brand new stainless steel hatches and ports etc.

Try to bear in mind that most of this is 'after' work that was done :D

My PO wired the AC by double crimping the ground and neutral together on a bus and then grounding the whole works to the steel hull, *every* 12v component including the windlass and nav lights is powered with one wire, also grounded to the hull.

Six 'diver's dream' Zincs lasted a month. Swimming near my boat; not recommended.

You can kinda see the white/green together. It's mostly BRAND NEW Anchor wire into harbor freight crimps and then into brand new blue seas terminal strips.



Then, AFTER all of that, it goes to a very nice 3kw galvanic isolator and THEN the interior plugs.:confused:

There were a number of areas of the cabin that were rusted. So he painted the 'cancer' areas, and then epoxied two sheets of Aluminum on either side, and then drove a screw through the whole thing (and into good metal to clamp the whole sandwich together)

Then a quick layer of bondo on the exterior, and then a brand new $600 stainless NFM port on top. "fixed!"


They weren't always made of aluminum though, here's a stainless/bondo sandwich:


Sail Batten/bondo sammich


Wood sammich:


windlass solenoids I could almost let this one go as 'temporary' except the hot wire was a 1/0 really crappy corroded black wire, and the ground was a short piece of 8 ga red wire from the windlass to the hull. Black hot, red ground to hull. The control wires are all brand new, cheap connectors that are neatly labelled under clear shrink wrap. Awesome! :)



He wasn't just good at electrical and welding repairs though, he did plumbing too! this is the black water out thru hull.

Steel thru hull > Galvanized pipe elbow > cross-threaded bronze pipe > Brass gate valve > marine hose clamped onto the threads > Top of the line Sealand Pump > hose again > clamped to glued rigid Household PVC (not abs) Pipe running 10' or so back to the sewage tank and attached with zip ties you can kinda see behind the torch.

(It took, ummm, a *little* effort to remove this thing. (2 days alternating heat and PB Blaster, 24" pipe on top of pipe wrench, sledgehammer, MANY curse words)



AND, I saved the best for last! May I present the Piece de Resistance:

He spent megabucks having a really nice stainless rail and davit installed. I have no idea what it cost, but it wasn't cheap! The boat has Hydraulic steering, And a tiller. It has a complete ST60 hydraulic Autopilot.

And then he added a second parallel ST60 system, computer/compass/display and attached a non-weather proof linear drive to the tiller. (using a very nice custom made stainless fitting)


Then, he attached it to the boat by two hose clamps on a sail car and a bolt. Pretty much ensuring that in weather it would either tear off and flop, OR push the rail off the boat. But it does say right on it not to expose it to rain. note the rain in the picture ;)




Basically, he always chose the most expensive possible way to half-ass it the worst way imaginable.
 

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I realise all of us boater owners could one day be an idiot nitwit PO unless we are fortunate enough to have our boat sunk and not recoverable, then we won't have a chance to be a PO. ;)
 

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.....These are my favorite threads here, because I always "win" ;) .........

Basically, he always chose the most expensive possible way to half-ass it the worst way imaginable.
Yikes. Did you buy this as a project boat and gut her to the keelson? Seems like a boat one would easily pass on.
 
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I have to say that the PO of our current boat was and is terrific. It's been years and I could still send him an email to ask about an obscure switch, wire, hose, whatever, and he would know. The only thing I ever found off was an outhaul that was labeled as a downhaul at the cabin top clutch organizer. Since there are no downhauls at all on the boat, it wasn't too confusing. I just put a new label and was good.

In previous purchases, I would say there had to be squawks that were known but not disclosed and found later. Collections of small stuff, really. That not as much poor seamanship as buyer beware, which always applies.
 
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