Buyer beware?

ARC

Captain
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Posts
885
Likes
886
Age
66
Location
great South Bay
Boat Make
31’ eastern Casco Bay
People are funny. Some don’t give a shit about anything and some worry About everything. I bet someone a long time ago told him ‘ if you start it , run it ‘ . And he never forgot . If you like the boat and can make a financial deal , then set up a proper trail and go forward. Maybe he really took care of it And doesn’t want to break his own rules .
 

Crabboater

Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Posts
73
Likes
98
First Name
Rick
Boat Make
MDI 30 / Farrin
I am with Chortle, FWIW. this is not necessarily a walk away, IMO. I both bought and sold in 2021.

In general the rule is you do a static exam , maybe even on the hard. Come up with a price and deposit and then survey, with an absolute or near absolute right to walk away. Often you have never heard the engine until survey - I never have.

Sellers don't want to run their boat for every manure kicking Looky Louie who shows up, and the last ten guys to look at it might have been unqualified jerks - not your fault. So, declining to run the boat or take you out without a deposit and a deal does not offend me per se.

(yet...A really recent oil change can be a trouble sign for just the reason you suggest. ...so,How many hours were on that engine 4 years ago?)

You are buying a boat, not a new friend, and some sellers are odd ducks. so what.

do you like this boat and the pricing? if yes to both then maybe pursue some diligence with the seller on both of these: engine and oil. is he evasive? does he have a tale which makes sense?

after that you could easily say "look, Fred. I really like the SS Run Away if she runs like she looks and you say. But I don't want to waste your time or mine. If we make a deal the vessel is tied up for weeks, and you lose other buyers. If we make a deal and then the engine flunks I am out time and survey cost, and you lose time - we both lose. FYI, my surveyor is Sherlock Holmes, world's fussiest diesel guy, and my oil lab is former NASCAR guys. If there is a problem with that engine my guys will find it, guaranteed, so please know that up front. Do you want to make a deal at $x or not? let me know"

if i a Fred and I know my engine is trash I will flinch, dance or both. but if i am fred and i believe in my engine, i make a deal with you.

the other factor you cannot control is the Crazy Other Buyer - who will skip survey and swallow whatever tripe Fred feeds him. lots of COB's out there.

good luck either way!!
 

Codcruncher

Captain
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Posts
657
Likes
882
Age
59
Location
Souwest NH
A 4 year old survey is no good - agreed I’m not as concerned about the boat as I am about the drive line -
Right...the drive line would be included in the 4 year old survey...or at least it should be...but a 4 year old survey probably has no relevance to the boat and drive lines current condition...if it is something you are serious about buying, put the deal together with a deposit pending a favorable survey....that would include a sea trial with the surveyor on board...also, your full deposit is refunded if the survey is not favorable
 

chortle

Captain
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Posts
981
Likes
616
Location
Annapolis, MD
Boat Make
Herreshoff Coquina, 1972 Jarvis Newman 36, PT11
A 4 year old insurance survey that looks fine -
Its a starting point not reliable for the condition of the boat today. So, do you like the boat? I have to assume so, you drove a long way and posted on here about your concerns. It sounds like its in the water so you could:

1. Get a broker that is certified by ABYC or one that you know or was recommended to you by a friend. Make an offer contingent on sea trial and survey. You will have to give a deposit to his broker. It should be clearly stated that this is fully refundable for any reason, this is normal practice.

2. Do the surveys in stages, do an engine survey first, by a mechanic that knows or is certified on that make of engine, that involves running the engine and taking samples of the oil, coolant and transmission. If you don't like what you see, pay the surveyor and walk away. This if fairly short money to see if you need to proceed to steps 3 and 4.

3. If the engine survey goes well then a survey and sea trial in the water. See how that goes. At this point you know how well the engine runs, how the boat runs and the condition of deck, house and equipment.

4. If that goes well, pay to haul it out and surveyed to inspect the bottom. See how that goes. This could happen immediately after the sea trial, no need for a separate trip.

You can walk away at any time. You don't need to be there for the engine survey but you should be there for the sea trial and bottom surveys. Each of the three surveys involve a separate cost so you only commit to each one, one at a time. Small bites of the apple. You will at least need item 3 and 4 in order to get insurance and a bank loan.

The only downside to this approach is that, depending on availability of the surveyors and the boat, it can take a week or two to complete. Someone else could come along and buy it.
 

Thirdgoaround

Ensign
Joined
May 7, 2021
Posts
2
Likes
3
First Name
Cheryl
I recently looked a boat to buy that was in the water. The owner showed me the boat - not the broker.
The owner would not start the engine for me or take me for a ride?
After further discussion the owner who maintains the motor him self can’t recall how many hours since the last oil change-
But is sure it has been no more than 10 hours- I ask about getting an oil sample knowing the engine oil needs to be run for at least 20 hrs to get an accurate sample/ the owner states he will not put another 10 hrs on the motor to get to the 20 hr minimum for a sample.
Do I RUN away from this sale?
Yes
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Posts
679
Likes
513
Location
stevensville, md.
Boat Make
26 JC
The oil sample thing doesn't mean much to me. Unless there is obvious water/oil sludge in the recovery bottle or the bottom of the pressure cap then an oil sample really doesn't really tell you anything. It's more for commercial fleets to do comparisons over time. Traveling 6 hours and the seller won't start it is frustrating. It's more a sign of mental illness than anything else. "running it for a few minutes is bad". I have an uncle who every time he uses his car he parks in front of the house, opens the hood for an hour to let it "cool down". Wack job.
Seller can't really hide an engine problem for long if he expects to sell this boat. If you really like the boat stay away from this guy and deal with the broker. He'll know how the real world works. And if you want, tell us what it is and where. I'd like to know.
 

Jonathon

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Posts
156
Likes
46
Age
58
The oil sample thing doesn't mean much to me. Unless there is obvious water/oil sludge in the recovery bottle or the bottom of the pressure cap then an oil sample really doesn't really tell you anything. It's more for commercial fleets to do comparisons over time. Traveling 6 hours and the seller won't start it is frustrating. It's more a sign of mental illness than anything else. "running it for a few minutes is bad". I have an uncle who every time he uses his car he parks in front of the house, opens the hood for an hour to let it "cool down". Wack job.
Seller can't really hide an engine problem for long if he expects to sell this boat. If you really like the boat stay away from this guy and deal with the broker. He'll know how the real world works. And if you want, tell us what it is and where. I'd like to know.
Well this guy I would say is a very nice person - not here to bash anyone. He didn’t seem to caring when I withdrew my offer - that tells me he may not have wanted to actually sell the boat - who knows
It is a 38 H&H cruiser that is I’ll say “highly customized” and hand finished by the current owner / it’s in NH - has potential but I would have had to do a lot of work to make it “ my own” and the motor for me was probably under powered at best so when he started saying no to everything- I’m like - let me get out now before I start spending $ on surveys and then find out the guy won’t work with you on issues that may arise out if a survey
 

Randy48

Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Posts
83
Likes
91
Location
Penobscot Bay
First Name
Randy
Boat Make
Eastern 31
I would ask one very important question…”Are you representing to me that everything works as it should?”
If he says “Yes”, pull your deposit check out of your pocket and show it to him. Tell him that the contract MUST be conditional on sea trial and survey and it must say that the seller represents that everything works. And before you hand over the check you want to hear the engine run. Anything less than that, walk away. If it was me, I’d want a good broker involved, if for no other reason than he will hold the check in escrow.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2013
Posts
679
Likes
513
Location
stevensville, md.
Boat Make
26 JC
Ok, so you think the boat is underpowered. That's fine ,it's your opinion and you are the one making the decisions.

From someone one who has been on a lot of engine surveys, Randy is right. It's your checkbook. You shouldn't have to pay for anything to see if the boat is OK, that's all on the seller. He's not doing you a favor by putting the boat up for sale, you're doing him one by looking at it, i hate to be like that, but that's how it is.
All laughing aside as for stopping and starting I'd love to know, or not, how many times my little B engine has been started and stopped, with the ladies on box wine and the kids on whatever, when I'm not around.
 
Last edited:

Jonathon

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Posts
156
Likes
46
Age
58
I would ask one very important question…”Are you representing to me that everything works as it should?”
If he says “Yes”, pull your deposit check out of your pocket and show it to him. Tell him that the contract MUST be conditional on sea trial and survey and it must say that the seller represents that everything works. And before you hand over the check you want to hear the engine run. Anything less than that, walk away. If it was me, I’d want a good broker involved, if for no other reason than he will hold the check in escrow.
That’s what I did - I have a broker to rep me and told the seller that my broker would be representing me and the seller did not answer his emails or sign his contract the seller had no broker. Was selling it him self my broker sent c
2 contracts and the seller did not respond or sign so -….. moving along this is a dead issue or someone else’s
 

Mickey

Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Posts
38
Likes
38
Age
62
Location
Chesapeake Bay
First Name
Mike
Boat Make
Acadia 25
I am with Chortle, FWIW. this is not necessarily a walk away, IMO. I both bought and sold in 2021.

In general the rule is you do a static exam , maybe even on the hard. Come up with a price and deposit and then survey, with an absolute or near absolute right to walk away. Often you have never heard the engine until survey - I never have.

Sellers don't want to run their boat for every manure kicking Looky Louie who shows up, and the last ten guys to look at it might have been unqualified jerks - not your fault. So, declining to run the boat or take you out without a deposit and a deal does not offend me per se.

(yet...A really recent oil change can be a trouble sign for just the reason you suggest. ...so,How many hours were on that engine 4 years ago?)

You are buying a boat, not a new friend, and some sellers are odd ducks. so what.

do you like this boat and the pricing? if yes to both then maybe pursue some diligence with the seller on both of these: engine and oil. is he evasive? does he have a tale which makes sense?

after that you could easily say "look, Fred. I really like the SS Run Away if she runs like she looks and you say. But I don't want to waste your time or mine. If we make a deal the vessel is tied up for weeks, and you lose other buyers. If we make a deal and then the engine flunks I am out time and survey cost, and you lose time - we both lose. FYI, my surveyor is Sherlock Holmes, world's fussiest diesel guy, and my oil lab is former NASCAR guys. If there is a problem with that engine my guys will find it, guaranteed, so please know that up front. Do you want to make a deal at $x or not? let me know"

if i a Fred and I know my engine is trash I will flinch, dance or both. but if i am fred and i believe in my engine, i make a deal with you.

the other factor you cannot control is the Crazy Other Buyer - who will skip survey and swallow whatever tripe Fred feeds him. lots of COB's out there.

good luck either way!!
I like Crabboater's approach. You definitely don't want to waste 4 weeks or more plus $1000 to find out the engine has major problems in the survey. A serious offer that includes running the engine for you pre-survey should do the trick.
 

Jonathon

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Posts
156
Likes
46
Age
58
I like Crabboater's approach. You definitely don't want to waste 4 weeks or more plus $1000 to find out the engine has major problems in the survey. A serious offer that includes running the engine for you pre-survey should do the trick.
My thoughts exactly, that is one of the reasons why I bailed. I think it is completely out of line for a seller to expect a buyer to spend a grand put a deposit in escrow- to hear things run -
 

Blitzen

Admiral
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
Posts
5,563
Likes
5,775
Location
Sumday Isle, RI
Boat Make
Flowers Boat Works 46 hull #1, Flowers Boat Works 36 hull #1, Wayne Beal 28 Hull #1, Repco 30 1968,
Do you have any pictures of the boat you can post?
 

Latest Posts

Top Bottom