400DB Upgrade Went South – Buyers Be Aware

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Alex F, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    The purpose of this thread is to share my experience about another upgrade process (or I shall I say an attempt to upgrade) and provide some useful info, and alert my fellow boaters on some things to avoid.

    After watching the boating market and compiling a list of potential boats that met our criteria I made contact with the sellers/brokers to get the feel what I’m up against. We all know that prices are all over the place, so prior making travelling plans and looking at any boat I first have preliminary agreements and try to negotiate the price to be within a range that fits what I’m willing to pay for a boat. We had a separate thread on this and some people didn’t agree to this approach, but it’s my personal method. Once I know we’re within the range the rest is required detailed work, including performing personal inspection and sea trial.

    After looking at few 2000 and 2001 models we also looked at one 1999 that was presented as “in MINT condition”. Well, this was just another case when everyone’s view of a mint condition is very different and in some cases we walked off a boat after 5-10 min. So, with some level of disappointment we decided to include 2002 in our criteria and found one that was a good candidate. The only concern I had that it was a sale with bank involved. Not a REPO, but a short sale. But, I figured that as long as the boat is in good shape and the price is right that’s what matters the most.

    Here’s some information on the boat and the broker:

    http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_full_detail.jsp?slim=broker&boat_id=2003691&ybw=&hosturl=sovereign&&ywo=sovereign&&units=Feet&access=Public&listing_id=76276&url=&hosturl=sovereign&&ywo=sovereign&

    HULL NO: SERP54575102
    ENGINES:
    ENGINE MODEL NO. 6CTA 8.3 M3 450C (430HP)
    ENGINE SERIAL NO. PORT 46146406, STARBOARD 46146951

    [FONT= ]The Marina info: [/FONT]
    [FONT= ]Harborage Yacht Club and Marina[/FONT]
    [FONT= ]415 NW Flagler Ave.[/FONT]
    [FONT= ]Stuart[FONT= ], FL 34994[/FONT][/FONT]

    Selling Broker I worked with:
    Mike Ballard

    During my last conversation with the broker he assured me that this is one of the cleanest and well maintained 2002 the market with all items in the ad being true. This boat is in Stuart FL and he said that not to worry about travelling, because we won’t be disappointed after we see her. His most comforting statement was “I stand by my word as I’ll have to face you upon your arrival”. So, we booked the flight and went to see the boat.

    Upon arrival, our first impression was satisfying as this boat was definitely the best 400DB we’ve seen so far. However, we were faced with two surprises:
    • The canvas appeared in very used shape with fuggy panels. We were disappointed b/c the ad clearly stated “new canvas with strataglass”.
    • After performing basic engine room inspection I found that the last service was done in January 2008 (yes, almost 3 years ago).

    The first thought was that we have two warning flags and if we can’t find some solution and get comfort level we have to back off the deal before investing any more time and money. Well, after seen a serious buyer that just flew 1300 miles the broker apologized about the canvas and said that his firm will contribute $4K to the replacement cost. I thought that it was fair enough and now the only item I had to get to the bottom of was the true maintenance history.

    This was the time when broker had to confess and explain to me that the boat was at his company’s possession for the last year. Apparently, the owner wasn’t thinking clear and had her for sale at the skyrocketing price for over a year (since spring of 2009). After the bank started chasing him, then he finally realized that he’s got to drop the price to have her sold. This is when he took the original name “7 Day Weekend” off and relisted the boat as “new to the market” dropping $70K off the price. Note to the buyers, this is another sales tactic to watch out for.

    So, at this point everything above still doesn’t help me with the maintenance history, but the broker says that the owner has tons of maintenance records and it’s just a matter of time to provide them. The broker was able to stop me from walking away by producing a log of receipts showing that while they had the boat, they had a captain/mechanic who would go through all the systems (including running the engines and genny for 20-30min) and make sure that all is in working order. This was a monthly service the owner paid for, including a diver to maintain the bottom condition. At this time we were faced with the decision to keep going or walk away. Considering the fact that we’ve got canvas issue resolved and now we know that the boat wasn’t just a sitting dock, but rather somewhat cared for we decided to keep going and see what the next step will bring.

    The next obvious step was performance test, which tuned out to be another puzzle. The weather was perfect, 85 degrees with very light wind. We were in the local spot on ICW where the water was like a glass. The boat was very light on fuel (1/4th), no water or waste. She produced only top speed of 26.5kts @2600rpms. At that time I wasn’t sure 100% if those Cummins were 2600 or 3000 RPM rated. Based on my homework I thought they were 2600, but a mechanic I spoke to said that without checking by serial numbers we can’t say for sure. According to the SR specs the boat should be running in the range of 35-39MPH @ 2600rpm with these 6CTAs, which was a clear indication that the boat performed well under the speed range. This was my new concern to which the broker responded that they’ll be hauling the boat to clean the bottom and I would be able to test her again the following day. Sure enough she was hauled out and we could see enough bottom growth to create the drag. So, here comes the 2nd test run and she picked up 100RPMs and gained 1.5-2kts. The best numbers I saw 28.5kts(32.7mph) @2700rpms. At this time I knew that if these are 2600RPMs engines, having new bottom paint I have room to play with the props, providing that by loading her with all the fuel, water and gear I won’t loose all 100 extra RPMs she’s got to spare at the moment. It was another positive indication to keep going.

    Here comes another puzzle, when the genny was fired up it was running loud and making some extra knocking noise. I knew that Westerbeke generators run louder than Kohler ones, but this one just didn’t sound right. Having lack of experience with diesels and WB gennies I knew that professional opinion will be necessary here, but the extra noise sounded like a valve knocking noise. The broker advised to speak with his mechanic who was the person performing the monthly check routine on the boat. I also told the broker that due to the fact that the boat wasn’t used for the last year, I won’t proceed with the survey until I see comforting oil sample results. The mechanic came by to take the oil samples and said that the extra noise from the generator was nothing more than a leaking intake air filter gasket, which is 15min job to replace. He put a rag over it and the noise was somewhat gone. So, I figure that I’ll assume that this is the case for now and will wait for the oil results.

    My next step was to get as much as maintenance records I could and determine how much was really done and what’s due/overdue. It took these guys sometime to produce what they called complete historical records. Well, in reality it turned out to be about 50 pages of BS (some small stuff and one or two bottom paint jobs) and only couple of pages showing that generator was serviced in 2008. Zero info on the mains and the rest was the receipts of the monthly checkup service. No records were found for 2005, 2006 and 2007. Sea Ray produced good report that the boat had no recalls and Cummins also came back clean. All the info from boathistoryreport.com came back also clean.

    So, here come the oil sample results that show no red flags for the mains, but generator has some kind of a problem that require professional mechanic to investigate.

    At this time I compiled a list of all of my findings and concerns and present them to the broker. I also expressed a concern that this was my first time dealing with the bank-involved boat and I wanted to know what we’re up against. His response was that this is nothing very different from a regular sale and all the bank needs is the official survey report. The owner and the bank won’t listen to me or the broker, regardless how knowledgeable we might be, so if we want to move on we must proceed with the survey. He said that if we present a solid case with list of, let’s say $15K, “Mr. bank” might comeback and say “ok, we’ll give you $6K-$7K break to make the deal happen”.

    After performing intensive research on everything I found so far, I saw no extreme red flags other than unknown issue with the generator. To comfort me, the broker offered to contribute a full working day of his mechanic to go over the stuff I will ask him to do.

    Finally, considering that it looks like we worked out most of the big ticket items (at the time), we made the decision to commit and go with the survey. I figured that as long as I find top class surveyors to help me inspect her and answer some puzzling history on the engines and generator, providing the hull is dry we may have good chance to proceed with the purchase. I will leave out some details in regards to my shocking experience finding the surveyors, but I will share the fact that I found an outstanding hull surveyor who exceeded my expectations. Here’s his info:

    Blake Stahl
    (561) 722-1874 (Cell)
    (631)-946-0033 (Office)
    http://marinesurveyorgroup.com/about/

    Blake also recommended to me a local certified Cummins dealer ACE MARINE DIESEL, INC. who sent me a person specialized in surveying and delivering boats (Matt 772-564-7055).

    I will simply say that Blake and Matt (Cummins mechanic) did an outstanding job and were worth every penny. At the end of the day I knew everything about the boat. These guys were able to find that the boat had a grounding about 5yrs ago and had damaged port side running gear, which required transmission replacement. The strut was not 100% aligned creating extra ware on the cutlass bearings. Blake was extremely thorough and was also able to find that the bow thruster was an after market installation that was done poorly. After spending extra time analyzing it we found that it had a very tiny leak.

    I always played back broker’s statement about presenting a good case with official report, which should make the owner and the bank face the reality and make necessary price adjustments. Well, needless to say the “figure of speech $15K number” broker used turned out to be $32,000 in reality to cover everything. Just for mechanical items the estimate was $13K, which included $3.5K for “REBUILD CYLINDER HEAD-CYLINDER #2 PROBLEM WITH INTAKE VALVE”. This is instead of 15min job broker’s mechanic told me. This is a classic example why it’s worth paying extra for mechanical surveyor besides just the hull surveyor. The rest of the $9,500 (on mechanical side) was for recommended service items where only couple items could have been postponed while majority was overdue since the last service was done in 2008.

    At this point I presented the case to the broker and said it’s his turn now to convince the owner and the bank and make them adjust the price. To make a long story short, weeks later the broker’s last words were “sorry, but my plan didn’t work and the owner is not willing to drop the price much to compensate the repairs, except for having our mechanic to fix generator and the bow thruster tunnel”. If you guys recall, this is the same guy who couldn’t tell the difference between $50 vs. $3,500 in generator repairs in his analyses.

    I know that anything is fixable and I personally can do a lot of the work myself, but I wasn’t planning to spend tons of money and end up with a pile of expensive projects on the new to me boat. This is the time when I said enough is enough and requested the refund of my 10% deposit.

    In the end, this turned out to be a very expensive learning experience. But, I felt more comfortable walking away from what one of my friends called “a pig with a lipstick on” vs. dealing with all the problems on this boat. In addition, I always reminded myself that I have a huge list of things that were found, but there could be always something that we (surveyors and I) still didn’t discover. As part of the deal we were also planning to keep the boat in FL over the winter and take some trips, but with the amount of work involved I was sure that most of the vacation time would require fixing the boat instead of enjoying it.

    I hope that this story will help some of CRS members keeping themselves out of similar troubles. But, this was a good lesson and reminder how brokers work and how they try to paint the picture where everything looks positive to suck you in deeper and deeper thinking that if a buyer just spent over a month of his time, $5K-$6K between travelling back and forth and the survey, he’s locked in. In this case the broker was wrong.

    Obviously, I left tons of details out of this long enough post, but if anyone has specific questions, feel free to post them here or PM me and I’ll be happy to share all the info.

    Happy boating,
    Alex.
     
  2. AKBASSKING

    AKBASSKING Active Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    SE Alaska Summer/Columbia River winter
    1988 Yacht Fisher
    Twin 375hp Cat 3208 T/A
    Thanks for sharing Alex! :thumbsup:

    I know one theme that keeps repeating here at CSR is to ALWAYs get a survey! BTW are you will to share the cost of the survey, both hull and engine?
     
  3. skolbe

    skolbe Active Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    Wow - thanks for sharing - good luck in your continued search.
     
  4. douglee25

    douglee25 Active Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    NJ
    Cabrio
    Volvo Drivetrain
    Alex - Sorry to hear about the trouble you went through. I have been pulling for you!

    In my opinion - Feel free for all to comment....

    From your story, I understand for that last year or so, several items may have been neglected on the maintenance side. Realize though that it's the surveyor's job to find EVERYTHING wrong with the boat plus he will also recommended inspection/replacement of many maintenance items as part of his checks. Those maintenance items add up quickly. There is no rule of thumb that says the owner/bank MUST deduct for maintenance costs or any item for that matter that is discovered after survey. Everything is negotiable in my eyes. It sounds like the engines were in good shape - obvious big ticket item. Hull was OK - another big ticket item, less minor repair on thruster leak. Interior looked good from the pics. Canvas is nothing to worry about - I would venture to say a lot of boats from Florida are going to be similar. I guess I'm not seeing what exactly there was that was sitting wrong with you? Any boat I purchased would get the immediate maintenance items replaced regardless if they were done by the prior owner or not. I would do this just so I could have a baseline for myself. I'm sure many other diesel boaters have sunk an immediate $10k into their boat purchase for just maintenance items.

    I know some of the items that you spoke with the broker prior to inspection didn't measure up exactly as to what you expected, but let's be frank. The broker's job is to get people to view the boat. He probably deals with a ton of different boats every day. Either his memory was fading, he inadvertently mispoke, or he flat out lied. Your story painted him as a rather decent broker, so I'm banking on either memory fading or he mispoke.

    Again, it's hard for me to comment without knowing the whole story, but just figured I'd share anyway.

    Doug
     
  5. Jakeo

    Jakeo New Member

    47
    Jan 2, 2009
    Ohio
    '70's Mirrocraft w/t Johnson-REDONE, 21' Sea-ray Seville w/t 165 4cyl CC SOLD w/t over 2000 hours.
    Outboards
    Thank you for opening up our eyes to things that people will do to sell ANYTHING.
     
  6. Carver370

    Carver370 Active Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    New Buffalo Michigan
    1994 Carver 370 Motoryacht
    Twin Crusader 454 - 350 HP Each.
    It sounds like you had a bad experience, but....

    Some brokers will go the extra mile to ensure that they give you their 100% honest opinion on the boat, maybe he did and didn't start the generator, didn't look for the leak in the bow thruster and items like canvas are expendable. You yourself said that the boat looked good upon arrival, chances are thats about as in depth that the broker got with the boat when he was listing it. Its his job to market the boat to the best of his knowledge, not to survey the boat prior to a sale on a brokerage boat. You would be surprised at how many owners there are out there that simply don't know whats wrong with their boat until something catastrophic happens.

    Its a used boat, thats 8+ years old in salt water and Florida sun. There are going to be minor things wrong with any boat. It is my true belief that there is not one single boat thats a "10", theres always a hidden gremlin. True, when buying a boat all mechanical systems and structural systems should be in order. The broker seemed like he went a few steps further than he even had to to try to get the deal done. Its more often that a broker or a seller are not willing to fix ANY items found on a survey let alone having the brokerage house go in their pocket to fix some items that the owner obviously wont. Thats good business sense.

    I'm not saying you can't find a better deal but it seems like even with some of the defects on this boat it might still be close to the top of the list after you end up surveying a few other boats. The fact that the hull is dry, the engines are good and the broker will fix the generator and bow thruster leak seems like the high dollar items are out of the way (unless some of the stuff you left off are major machinery items).

    As far as the speed, I have never seen a 400 DB with the Cummins or any engines even brand new off the showroom floor hit 35-39 MPH. Thats from personal experience. If you hit 32.7 mph I think you're doing pretty well. The Sundancers with the same engines barely exceed that.

    I think its great that you were able to walk away, I'm not sure I would have been able to if I was in that far without trying to figure out another solution to make it happen.

    My question to you is, have you had your boat surveyed VERY recently? It might be well worth it so you have no surprises when trying to close a sale. I know my boat better than most people but I am sure a surveyor can come up with at least a page full of suggestions or flaws. After all you just experienced it on the opposite end.

    I made this post just to think about the other side of things. I am not saying the OP was wrong for walking away and I am by no means trying to defend the broker in question as I have ZERO vested interest.

    One last question though, you mention the boat is a short sale. Was the price adjusted enough in the first place with your offer that some of these items may be accounted for? I wouldn't want to invest in any bank repo or short sale unless I personally knew the boat, I mean if the guy is having trouble making the payments would you really expect preventative maintenance to be performed. If the boat hasn't been serviced since 08 I would be willing to bet that is when the financial trouble began. You have to believe he had to make the choice of oil change or payment so it wasn't repossessed.
     
  7. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Sure thing. The hull surveyor cost me ~$1150 and the mechanical surveyor ~$900 (including cooling samples) + $250 for oil samples. The bottom line with the hauling the boat and pressure washing the bottom for the sea trial during the survey and both surveyors I paid around $2700.
     
  8. douglee25

    douglee25 Active Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    NJ
    Cabrio
    Volvo Drivetrain
    Alex - The above post is exactly what I was trying to convey as well.

    Doug
     
  9. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    Great lessons learned, though I'm not sure what they are. I'll remember your story as I work toward the next boat.
     
  10. Hellman Huddle

    Hellman Huddle New Member

    510
    Nov 6, 2009
    Lake Wateree/SC Coast
    2005 260 Sundancer
    2000 F-350 Diesel
    350 Mercruiser Bravo III
    I have always said if you are going to buy a used boat, buy one that has been "used". Not a boat that has been sitting around and rotting away. Find and individual owner that is upgrading like yourself that has taken pride intheir boat. In the end you may pay more but you will have more peace of mind inthe long run.

    You did the right thing backing out on that deal. Good Luck finding your next boat!
     
  11. jason78

    jason78 Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 3, 2008
    Fort Mill, SC / Lake Wylie
    1997 20 Outrage
    200 Merc Offshore
    Alex, Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. I think the expensive lesson would have been if you had trusted the broker and ended up with a mess on your hands. It is disappointing that we have people who are more interested in making a buck than doing the right thing. I find it hard to believe that broker did not about those issues if they have had it a year but who knows. I guess the real test will be if they continue to represent the boat as trouble free now that we know, that they know the truth.


    That boat will no doubt end up someone’s nightmare but maybe not anyone on CSR thanks to your post. Thanks again.
     
  12. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    I’ll try to provide answers to some questions and comments.

    It seems like there’s some sense of defends for the broker. So, here’s my personal opinion about him. He seemed to be very reasonable guy. He did some things that other brokers wouldn’t. We felt comfortable doing business with him and this is one of the primary reasons we were getting slowly from one step to the other. Now, the information he provided turned out to be very conflicting and misleading. Let me go over a few items:

    • Old canvas – We all know that this is expensive item, especially on 45’ vessel. So, when an ad states “new canvas with strataglass” and when the broker confirms verbally that yes it’s new, I treated as a selling point. This was the first misleading big ticket item. If I knew that the boat had old canvas I wouldn’t fly to FL for the purchase price we had agreed.
    • Boat usage – have he being straight upfront or have I known somehow that this boat was sitting for a year or longer I wouldn’t even think twice, but crossing her off my list. So, he knew about it and purposely was holding this info away from me until I personally found some things that lead him to confess about the situation.
    • Very well maintained – this is another lie on the broker’s part. If he didn’t see the records or if he knew that her last service was done on 01/2008 don’t tell me that her maintenance is fine. If he wasn’t sure then it’s his fault to provide misleading information just to get me to see the boat.
    • Maintenance records - He shouldn’t tell me that all maintenance records are in order since the time the current owner has the boat if all he really had was 50 pages of total crap.
    So, in the end I blame the broker for providing misleading information and withholding critical information just to make me fly over and see if he can get away with this. He was counting to get a person that has no clue about boats and he happened to get something different instead.

    Let’s not kid ourselves here. I’m perfectly aware that I’m buying 9-10yrs boat and there’s no way she can be perfect. I wasn’t expecting that as I closed my eyes on about 50 items from the punch list that included some seating ware, scratches and tears. I was also expecting, as Doug mentioned to spend around $5K-$10K, but not $32K to invest to get her in desired shape.

    This is a good point, but I personally don't need to survey my boat as I know it inside out. I totally agree that a very good surveyor might find something I'm not aware of, but this is where I just have to make a decision that if I want to sell her I'll have to make necessary repairs or a price adjustment to satisfy the potential buyer. If you get a bill of $10K you can't expect a buyer to settle for $2K. At leaast to me it makes no sense. This is pretty much what broke this purchase attempt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  13. douglee25

    douglee25 Active Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    NJ
    Cabrio
    Volvo Drivetrain
    Fair enough. Point taken.

    Doug
     
  14. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    Alex, Thanks for the details on your experiance. I guess the bottom line is the boat was not priced right to reflect the additional money you would need to put into it to get it right... If the boat was priced well below market value, you might be inclined to eat the $32K in known maintenance costs. Seems to me that the boat you looked at, will be heading to repo, where it will be priced to sell. With you repo you expect to do al lot of catch up maintenance, but this was a "bank involve" or short sale not a repo... It is always better to walk away from the bride at the alter, than to marry the wrong girl... A boat will come you way, and will meet your expectations, you just have to be patient...
     
  15. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Thanks Rod!

    I'm expecting this boat enter a REPO market in couple of months and I wanted to alert our CSR members that in case if anyone will be interested to buy her she's got a high price tag to catch up. So, don't think you're getting a killer deal.:smt009
     
  16. HUMPH

    HUMPH Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2009
    SF BAY AREA
    2003 410DA,
    2004 C14 Caribe
    CAT 3126TA's 350HP/
    50HP Honda
    Alex, Thanks for posting this as the timing is good for us. We are in negotiations right now and I need to ask some more questions. I did fly to see this one but it was well before an offer was made and I was able to get a visual at least on the condition. I am calling in a favor for a a certified CAT mechanic to survey so that cost will be minimal but I want to make sure everything is good with the engines that for sure!
     
  17. comsnark

    comsnark New Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    NJ Shore
    SeaRay SunSport
    5.7LX
    A great lesson about "going in with your eyes open".

    The key for me was the maintenance checks. Starting the boat once per month to make sure it runs for a potential buyer is NOT the same thing as performing routine maintenance. And that is what they tried to sell you.

    Better safe than sorry. . this one simply did not check out.
     
  18. Four Suns

    Four Suns Head Pot Stirrer TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    2003 480 DB
    Zodiac ProJet Dinghy
    Yamaha 110vx WaveRunner
    QSM-11 Diesels
    Man.... I haven't changed the oil in my boat in 7 years... I'll never be able to sell it.
     
  19. Alex F

    Alex F Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    John,

    I guess, it’s easier for me to say that I had a good lesson as I was involved in all of the details. So, no doubt that I’ve learned a great deal of new stuff for myself mostly in regards to the diesel boats than the purchase process itself. So, here’re some things that it’s worth mentioning as a reminder or something new that many might benefit from:

    • In general, the bottom line is that it’s our (the buyer) job to make all necessary steps in getting to know the boat and learn everything about the boat and her history. What I mean is that don’t even think about spending money on the survey until you know that (to the best of your knowledge) this is the one you want, she performs to acceptable level, her usage and maintenance are good and you’re comfortable to take it to the next level.
    • Don’t take seller’s/broker’s word for nothing and see a solid prove before spending your money. A 50 pages BS checkup notes vs. important records for the engines and generator was a good example in my story.
    • I was careful enough to gather all the info I needed, including oil samples report and only then I made my decision as to where do I go from there.
    • I think the hardest part in the process is to find the balance of some trust and some level of prediction based on the information you have at hand. What I mean is that in my case everything made sense and sounded “sweet” when broker was explaining to me how this is very motivated seller, the bank is ready to write this one off their books and it’s in everyone’s best interest to satisfy me. So, he made his best making me believe that when we present the punch list to the seller the cost might be split among 4 parties (the seller, the bank, the broker and finally me). So, we figured that if this is the case, then even if we get $20K estimate it’ll be acceptable if all goes as the broker states. But, I think it’s safer to proceed with the next step with the assumption that the seller and the bank (if one is involved) won’t contribute a dime. So, it might end up being just between you and the broker whose hands are tied. I did this only based on my own punch list and what threw the whole thing off is that the surveyors were so good that they found number of items that raised the price tag to the point where the situation (if it just between me and the broker) no longer worked.
    • I’ve learned that running gear doesn’t always match to SR specs and the performance doesn’t match as well. We’ve had several discussions where it was pointed out that sometimes SR specs only creates a confusion. But, in reality we need some basic guidelines and in the end we have to set our expectation as to what is the minimum acceptable performance for you (speed for that matter as we can’t settle for lower than rated engine RPMs, unless the props are oversized or have bigger pitch/cup or totally off). In my case the props were much smaller that specs called for, but we figured that they were tuned for boat to achieve the best results. So, with extra 100RPMs at WOT running 32.7MPH it was acceptable to me despite that SR stated 35-39mph range. Like I mentioned, I used the SR specs as a guide, but had my expectation properly set.

    I’ll post more when I’ll think of something else….
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
  20. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    Good story. Didn't mean to sound negative.
     

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