There is no doubt that searching for the right boat and purchasing is a very difficult endevour, especially when you have no boat and you are landlocked for the summer months.  Though not unlike trying to find a home, we find this way more difficult than buying a home. This has been a learning experience, and we would like to share some of  the events that happened to us so maybe someone else can learn from our mistakes or provide a laugh or a facepalm moment for someone at our expense. :)

Here are reasons we don't have a boat right now.

  1. When we were contacted about a price drop on a boat we were very interested in, we came in a half day too late with an official offer. Another buyer had an offer in beforehand.
  2. We stuck too long with the buying process on a boat we had an agreement on, hoping all the red flags were because of a strange private seller and not the boat itself. This one mistake probably cost us our entire summer boating and may ultimately cost us our trip to the Bahamas in the Fall.
  3. We again stuck with the inspection of a boat that was obviously in poor condition in some major mechanical areas, in hopes that it might be not as bad as it looked and fixable. This mistake played a roll in us loosing the next boat.
  4. We toyed around with offers trying to determine the sellers bottom dollar, on a boat that was worth the asking price, and would have fit us and our plans perfectly, even though she had a few shortcomings. While doing this we were taking our dead time in the inspection process of the previous boat. We should have quickly dropped that previous boat and put in a good offer on this one. She would have been ours and we would have been boating right now.

In the attempted purchase of those 4 boats here are some red flags that arose and things we have learned. These are all actual things that have happened in the last 2 months

  • When a seller easily comes down to a much lower price than asking, that is a red flag that there may be something wrong with the boat.
  • When the seller tells you they cannot contact the marina where the boat is stored to get the shrink-wrap taken off to facilitate a survey, nor can they get a date for the removal or subsequent splash of the boat, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller tells you that you cannot contact the marina the boat is stored at, that is a red flag.
  • When a seller splashes the boat after winter layup even though you have a hull survey scheduled in a couple of days, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller asks why you need a hull survey, and how would moisture get into the core anyway, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller then tells you that you don’t need a survey just come test drive and buy, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller tells you that they have been boating for many many years and have never once surveyed a boat they bought, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller tells you to do your own survey and sends you a web page telling you how to survey your own boat, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller thinks that a casual look at the hull by the buyer is enough to tell the condition of the hull (delamination, blisters, & moisture), that is a red flag
  • When the seller tells you that the clouds of black/blue smoke coming out of the exhaust is just vapour, that is a red flag. 
  • When the seller tells you they have booked off adequate time for the sea-trial and mechanical survey, then when you get there they cut it all very short and rush everything, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller then asks you to "sign off” on the rushed and cut short sea-trial/mechanical survey, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller unrealistically compresses the time to close the deal before you have the survey results and oil analysis results, that is a red flag.
  • When the seller tries to guilt you into closing the deal, saying they have spent so much time answering questions and they have kept the boat off the market missing selling opportunities during this process, that is a red flag.
  • When as boat is in storage and a sea-strainer is opened up and the filter lifted out showing it is full of debris and the filter is completely clogged, that is a red flag. 
  • When engine rooms and engines are covered in engine fluids, that is a red flag.
  • When little to no information is coming forward from your questions, that is a red flag. If the answers to your questions were positive then sellers and brokers will freely give it, if negative they will hold back or be vague.
  • Boats usually look worse in person than they do in pictures online. A boat better look good in the pictures if you stand a chance of liking the boat in person.

Those are some mistakes we have made. I wonder if we have learned from them? I guess we shall find out since we are planning on taking the first two weeks of July to look at boats down the East Coast as a last ditch effort to save Summer and our 2015 trip to the Bahamas. 

Know of any boats we should be looking at? Contact us or leave a comment below.