The importance of honesty…*or* Why the hell didn’t the seller mention that the starboard engine is broken???

Another episode of my ongoing journey to buy a boat.

Last week after my survey day was well underway and we had already begun the sea trial, the current boat owner decides to say “the carburetor on the starboard engine won’t go into secondary so it doesn’t go above 3000RPMs”.

Even I knew that the beat needs to run at full throttle on a sea trial.  The owner obviously knew about this before we left the dock.  It wasn’t noted in the listing, nor at the beginning of the survey.  Did he think we would’t notice?  Why on earth did he drive in from Arizona to the survey if he wanted to hide information?  This wasn’t a craigslist find…a style of purchase which I’m assuming may be less likely to go through all of the proper inspections.  He has the boat listed with a broker so he must know that a potential buyer will have a survey done.

Speaking of the survey, it came back today.  There is about $16,000 worth of repairs that need to be done.  Plus more non-immediate things to be repaired.  The $16k refers to the work that is necessary for the boat to be insured and be permitted in a marina.  And that doesn’t even include the engine repair which must be done before the boat can go out on a full sea trial.  I’m not even sure how that will work as far as cost and scheduling.

One main problem is that the bonding wires are disconnected, which has caused a bunch of parts of the boat to corrode.  Why they were disconnected is a mystery.  There’s no benefit to disconnection, according to the people I’ve asked.  Apparently these wires control the scientific issue of electricity  and water and metal.  I’m not quite bright enough to explain that, but I am bright enough to understand that they should remain connected.

I am in quite the pickle now.  Today I also had a meeting with the dockmaster who has rearranged other boats in order to fit the Si Yes Da for me.  I can move in whenever I like.  Too bad I may not have a boat.  My loan approval is only valid for 30 days.  Annnnnd the slip I secured is only so big, we planned for an 11’6″ beam (width of the boat), which is fine for most sailboats, but a power boat may be more.

Worst case, I lost the money I spent on the survey, lose my loan, lose the slip and have to start all over again with a lowered credit score.  Better case…I get a survey allowance for the repairs and the owner repairs the starboard engine…then I only have to look forward to about $7k in other repairs that need to be done.   Best case…I forget about this boat, get reimbursed by the seller for my survey since he concealed information which prevented a proper sea trial and I magically find another boat in the same range, get a survey done immediately and move into the slip.

The search continues….

 

Haul out/sea trial day, whew!

Wow.  I am exhausted!  All I did was sit on a boat and watch other people inspect it, but boy oh boy, was it hot out today.  90 degrees in November…are we in the tropics?

As this is an ongoing learning process for me, I’ll explain everything we did today.  Since I am buying my boat through a broker (Jason at Cabrillo Yacht Sales is awesome!), I am going as by the books as possible.  After my offer was accepted, the next step was to schedule a survey…what the hell is that??  This whole process is similar to buying a house.  I had no idea since I had been super close to buying a boat as is off craigslist. The survey is similar to a home inspection, you need professionals to go through your boat and make sure it’s working as it should, and that it is seaworthy.   Jason provided me a list of mechanics and surveyors that his company has worked with.  He can’t actually help me pick one out or say one is better than the other, just provide me with a list of contact information.  I could also find my own…but I’m new to this world so an suggestions help!

Since I am not purchasing a sailboat, I did not need to hire a rigger.  There are two parts (almost 3) to the survey day.  First is finding a mechanic.  He goes through the engines and generator.  Then the surveyor, he goes through every other part of the boat, making sure the lights work, the bilge pump works, the bathroom, the horn (mine isn’t working, dang!) and under the boat.  This is the sort of third part.  I had to schedule a time with a boatyard, and seeing as how I’m in San Diego there are a lot!  We went to the Shelter Island Boatyard.  They literally haul the boat out of the water, then the surveyor pokes around looking for blisters or imperfections and examines the props.  “Pokes around” most likely is not the technical term, but hey, I’m a newbie.  The sea trial part took place on our way to  and from the boat yard.  The boat is currently docked in San Diego Bay, which is the larger bay in San Diego.  I thought that we had to go out to the sea…I mean it’s a sea trial.  Basically they just need to run the boat at full throttle and see how everything handles.

The boat owner came out from Arizona to be present for the beginning of the day.  He’s already cleaned out most of his stuff.  It looks like new boat owners just “acquire” some of the previous owners items.

The mechanic today was Alfredo from Quality Marine.  He was great!  I would absolutely recommend him!  And the surveyor was Dean from Frank K Wyatt Surveyors; also awesome and would also recommend!

I”ll get their findings back in a couple of days.  From there I share it with my broker and we communicate with the seller to see if we have some wiggle room.  The starboard engine has a problem with the carborator(which I can’t spell).  There are a couple options to move forward: 1-we can ask if the overall price can be lowered to compensate for the issues, and 2-we can get a “survey allowance”, which would be the amount of money needed to repair the problems, but held in an escrow account that can only be used for the boat repairs.  For the second option the sale price would be the same but the difference needed would be in escrow.

We’ll see how it goes!

Here are some photos of the boat up in the air!

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