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Bow1340

Help me understand the process please

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So I have been away from boating for the last 15 years except for the occasional bowrider rental.  After doing a lot of research I am sold on  Chaparral and have a pretty good idea of what I want....a 2012-2018 227ssx or 226ssi.  Since these boats are so popular they tend to sell rather quickly.  I understand the importance of getting a survey and consider it money well spent.  But I also know many purchasers forgo this step and that is where my confusion sets in.  Say I go see a boat and really like it, then what are the sequence of next steps in terms of scheduling a ride and getting a survey done?  It would seem to make sense to ultimately make an offer contingent upon the survey?  If I do that how do I avoid losing out to buyers willing to skip the survey?  Any help here is much appreciated.  Bow

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I will never buy a boat without a survey. I know a lot about boats, but I don’t look at boats day in and day out. 

The buying process I follow goes like this:

1. Look at boat in person. 

2. Fill out the BoatUS Purchase Agreement and both buyer and seller sign. Leave a $1,000 deposit with seller. Sale contingent on satisfactory survey, sea trial, and financing  

3. Schedule survey. 

4. Pending satisfactory survey, schedule sea trial. 

5. Pending satisfactory sea trial, finalize financing. I aim to be pre-approved prior to setting up a visit. 

6. Pending successful financing, arrange title transfer at the DMV/Secretary of State. 

7. After title transfer, arrange to pick up the boat and take it home. 

As for losing out to someone willing to skip a survey, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I look at it as it wasn’t meant to be. 

Boat shopping can be a long process. It took a me 2 months, browsing many online listings, looking at 3 boats, and failing 2 surveys before we found our current 2006 Chap Sig 330 that passed the survey. 

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10 hours ago, rjbergen said:

I will never buy a boat without a survey. I know a lot about boats, but I don’t look at boats day in and day out. 

The buying process I follow goes like this:

1. Look at boat in person. 

2. Fill out the BoatUS Purchase Agreement and both buyer and seller sign. Leave a $1,000 deposit with seller. Sale contingent on satisfactory survey, sea trial, and financing  

3. Schedule survey. 

4. Pending satisfactory survey, schedule sea trial. 

5. Pending satisfactory sea trial, finalize financing. I aim to be pre-approved prior to setting up a visit. 

6. Pending successful financing, arrange title transfer at the DMV/Secretary of State. 

7. After title transfer, arrange to pick up the boat and take it home. 

As for losing out to someone willing to skip a survey, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I look at it as it wasn’t meant to be. 

Boat shopping can be a long process. It took a me 2 months, browsing many online listings, looking at 3 boats, and failing 2 surveys before we found our current 2006 Chap Sig 330 that passed the survey. 

Very good advice.

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11 hours ago, rjbergen said:

I will never buy a boat without a survey. I know a lot about boats, but I don’t look at boats day in and day out. 

The buying process I follow goes like this:

1. Look at boat in person. 

2. Fill out the BoatUS Purchase Agreement and both buyer and seller sign. Leave a $1,000 deposit with seller. Sale contingent on satisfactory survey, sea trial, and financing  

3. Schedule survey. 

4. Pending satisfactory survey, schedule sea trial. 

5. Pending satisfactory sea trial, finalize financing. I aim to be pre-approved prior to setting up a visit. 

6. Pending successful financing, arrange title transfer at the DMV/Secretary of State. 

7. After title transfer, arrange to pick up the boat and take it home. 

As for losing out to someone willing to skip a survey, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I look at it as it wasn’t meant to be. 

Boat shopping can be a long process. It took a me 2 months, browsing many online listings, looking at 3 boats, and failing 2 surveys before we found our current 2006 Chap Sig 330 that passed the survey. 

Thanks so much for the awesome response with the steps you take!   Is the 1000 deposit usually refundable if survey or sea trial results are unacceptable?  I guess that is a point ot discussion/negotiation with the seller.

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On a cruiser I would definitely get a survey to many things to go wrong, but on a twenty footer, Never.  Finding a manufacturer, model and age range is the first part which you have done. Most boat owners are "Very Anal" so they take care off them.  Your looking at premium brand boat builder, they build the hull, another does the motor, and others do the rest. The builder just puts it all together. 

If you look at a boat and just look into every nook and cranny you'll know if its been well cared for. If it's dirty not waxed or cleaned you know it could or could not be worth it. On a boat with more than 200 hours on it I'd have a mechanic look at the motor and outdrive.

My first used one was at a dealer he took a deposit (1000). The second used one was from a private seller he didn't take a deposit, I water tested both. The second boat we agreed on a price over a phone call. Gave him a certified check, when I picked it up the next day.

My last two Used boats had less tan 70 hours on them when I bought them, Never had a major problem.

 

 

m

 

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Agreed with toddler. I'd just look at a 20 footer and sea trial it. You can tell a good owner by the appearance and the records kept.  On a side note if I'm the seller the first to bring me the money gets it.

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I agree with Toddler too. I bought a 2014 226 SSI with 36 hours on it over the summer.  It came from a dealer but the previous owner had it serviced every year.  The boat needed a good clean and buffing but was in great shape otherwise.  The only "major" thing I found wrong was the battery switch was broken which was a known issue with that particular Blue Seas switch. 

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The surveyor missed so much on our sailboat purchase and cost $800...that said, we needed it to negotiate price down.

 

I typically recommend looking at a boat, making an offer contingent on sea trial/survey/inspection, signing contract and giving 10% deposit, then going ahead with inspection and adjusting price accordingly to findings.

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On 2/15/2020 at 8:20 AM, Bow1340 said:

Thanks so much for the awesome response with the steps you take!   Is the 1000 deposit usually refundable if survey or sea trial results are unacceptable?  I guess that is a point ot discussion/negotiation with the seller.

Yes, I always make the deposit refundable. You could negotiate down to funding is only refundable for failing survey or sea trial. I wouldn’t start there, but if the seller pushes you could. I say that because you should be pre-approved for financing prior to making the offer. The contingency on financing should be a sure thing since you’re pre-approved. 

Now as others have mentioned, surveyors miss things all the time. I had a bad surveyor on my first boat. It was a 17 year old 24’ bowrider and the survey was about $300. He missed a good deal. The surveyor is used in 2018 did pretty well. He found major issues on the first two boats, and my current one passed. I ended up spending like $1,400 overall between the 3 surveys. I think it was $700 for the final one and that was full price. The first two that failed, I was there and ended the surveys early after he brought major issues to my attention. 

Speaking of that, always try to be there in person for the survey. Let’s you see exactly what they’re pointing out and ask questions about things you see. Really helps you learn the boat. 

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Regarding the deposit, standard practice is 10% refundable with signed contract and BEFORE survey.

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I think alot of it depends on where you live. Here in the Midwest, it is very unusual to get a survey on a runabout. A houseboat or a cruiser, yes. You usually just run it either on muffs or take it to the nearest lake for a test run. We just dont have as many surveyers as a costal area or large fresh water lake area.

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Rjbergen’s list is an excellent outline.  It also depends on your mechanical skills. My previous 4 boats were older under 21’ bow riders. Pretty easy to inspect myself. On our 280SSi for peace of mind we had a trusted dealership to handle the transaction. They did the paperwork, held the deposit contingent on survey, test ride and finance. I paid for the survey, previous owner paid for the minor things noted and dealership fee. When you look at the cost and complexity of engines, water systems, electronics, etc. unless I was 100% sure I’d walk away without the survey. 

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I contenplated a survey durring my search for my 265. That was until one dealer emailed one he had on file for the boat he had for sale. I read every line of it and there was nothing in there I couldn't have seen or tested my self in a few hours.  There was no way I was going to pay 500- 800 for someone to tell me a breaker wasn't working or there were scratches and fading on the vynal.

To me it's like a home inspection. Completely useless if you have any experience with handy work. 

That said I do like the idea of a compression test or oil analysis. 

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1 hour ago, 2004lebanshee said:

I read every line of it and there was nothing in there I couldn't have seen or tested my self in a few hours.

Have you looked at and tested everything before you paid for the boat, or was it a too lengthy and too boring process to complete in a disciplined and comprehensive manner? Besides, one would only find what one knew to look for but one would miss what one had no idea about.

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48 minutes ago, Rambo said:

Have you looked at and tested everything before you paid for the boat, or was it a too lengthy and too boring process to complete in a disciplined and comprehensive manner? Besides, one would only find what one knew to look for but one would miss what one had no idea about.

I did test everything I could. I'm sure I could have missed somethings.

Would any issues offset the cost of the inspection? No clue because I didnt find any yet.

For me it helped that the bilge was spotless. The owner seemed very genuine and I have a 4 inch thick file of every receipt of maintenance or up keep that has ever happend to the boat. Everything was professionally done. All of that eased my mind. Not to mention I purchased it for 10K less then they bought it for 3 years earlier and it was still worth that amount. IMO. All of that came into my decision.

Could this come back to get me with some potential issue the inspector may have found or missed only time will tell.

That said to have had my 210 inspected would be a waste. There is very little to that boat that a test ride and and experienced boater wouldnt find. Save the money there.

Edited by 2004lebanshee

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4 hours ago, Rambo said:

Have you looked at and tested everything before you paid for the boat, or was it a too lengthy and too boring process to complete in a disciplined and comprehensive manner? Besides, one would only find what one knew to look for but one would miss what one had no idea about.

That’s one of the reasons I pay someone. I’ve read up on surveying before. I’ve studied it and understand it. However, there are things that a surveyor will be better at, such as looking for rot in the hull and stringers. They can use soundings with a mallet which takes a fine touch to learn what you’re hearing and they have many, many boats worth of experience. They can also use a moisture meter to inspect, and they have much more experience interpreting the meter reading. 

I have a PDF that’s like 17 pages of each item to inspect during a survey. It covers a lot, but I’m not sure I could spend 3-4 hours checking everything.

In my case, paying about $800 to have a 35 ft, $85,000 boat surveyed made a lot of sense. 

Also, you need to check with your lender on whether or not they require a survey. My first lender required surveys on all boats over $10,000. My current lender I’m not aware of their requirements other than they required it for my $85,000 boat. This goes back to you should have spoken with your lender and been pre-approved prior to setting up viewings of boats you’re interested in. 

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