Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reflections: Buying the boat

I think the first thing to get straight when buying a boat is the expectations side of things.  I know I do not spend sufficient time thinking this area through.  However, with each boat I purchase, I become better at this side of the equation.

For example, the Pearson 303 we just looked at was sort of an experiment to see what a P 303 really was.  In the beginning talks with the broker I received vague answers like "it is in the listing" and "i do not know" or "i will ask the owner".  I expected some snappy and correct answers but perhaps this was unreasonable.  However, I did tell him two things (1) Where we wanted to go with her and it would be used primairly for coastal cruising and a few trips to Bahamas, Cuba and perhaps over to Panama and (2) we did not want to do a lot of work to get her ready for travel.

So to move things along and to show we were serious I made an offer that was accepted.  We traveled many hundreds of miles to get to Florida miles, arranged for surveyor and the broker did the rest.  The two day trip down took a not insignificant toll on our old bodies and the Monday arrived with perfect weather.  The boat was hauled and the bottom looked pretty good except the mechanic, who was in attendance, said the paint was Trinidad but in fact it was ablative since it was "chalky".  Some of the thruhulls looked good and some looked like they should be cleaned with a bottle brush.  An interesting side note is that some of the barnacles were painted over.  SAM & I would never have done this.

Back in the water, the sails were quickly raised and the jib looked ok but the main was blown out and would require replacement before heading out. We had not heard too much from the surveyor but he was busy below most of the time.  The sail ended too quickly but the helm felt like a dream and I like this part very much.

Back at the owners dock the surveyor spent two more hours looking at things.  This is where the expectations started to flood my mind.  Here is a brief summary of what he documented.

Suveyor: solid base with no deal killers except as detailed below.

Us:  Expected a sail-a-way for immediate coastal cruising.

            Mast – needs repair to severe corrosion & restepped with new step
            Water heater – did not function with electricity
            A/P 6002 – No Display but did hold a course
            Bilge pump – not able to engage Auto
            Deck Lights – inop & uncertain about others
            Water Faucets – marginal & need replacement
            Running rigging appears original and 25 years old
            Halyards frayed
            Anchor chain needs replaced
            Exhaust hose cracked and leaking underway
            Major propane leakage @ 7# in 3 minutes

       Issues we found
            High moisture in 3 areas around stanchions, track and anchor
            Leaks near hand rails, possible aft quarter berth
            Lights burnt out
            Many hoses are automotive hoses and inappropriate hoses
            Defective hoses at exhaust need replaced
            Punky bulkhead at table area previous leak
            Everywhere we look there are areas needing attention
            Bimini & sail covers good for a short few years

So there you go - our expectations must not have been conveyed to broker who over represented boat.  Perhaps we will have a bit more in tomorrow's issue.

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