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Old 11 October 2011, 17:04   #1
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Country: UK - England
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How do I buy secondhand

Being a newbie to this RIB game, and indeed boat ownership (I've always enjoyed playing on other peoples and letting them sweat over the details), I need some advice on the buying process.

Is it a bit like buying a house in that you make an offer (a cheeky few % under the asking price ) and the progess of the deal is subject to the survey; or do I find something I like, get a survey and then make an offer/deposit and negotiate based on the outcome of the survey?

The boat I have seen is being sold through a broker and appears, based on some research of the market, to be a reasonble price.

Also any recommendations for a marine surveryor in the Southampon area (shouldn't be too difficult to find one) would be welcome!

Oh, and if you are likely to take it overseas (across the channel) at all you might want to make sure you have proof of its VAT status.
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Old 11 October 2011, 17:10   #2
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Offer with deposit preceeds survey which is paid for at your expense.

Cancelling the offer, continuing with the deal, or re-negotiating depends on the survey. At least in this country there's no penalty for cancelling the deal after survey regardless of its outcome.
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Old 11 October 2011, 17:13   #3
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I've never managed to sell a boat for what I was asking for it. When I bought my last boat I got a surveyor recommended from my insurance company, YBW would have a decent list too.
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Old 11 October 2011, 17:19   #4
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Firstly Duncan (username Searider one here) would be my first port of call for a rib on the south coast - because unlike most surveyors he knows which bits are meant to be squishy and which should be hard.

A survey is a good idea, but many people don't bother especially for lower value boats. I'd guess there are very few detailed surveys on ribs < 20k never mind 10k in value. Half the value will often be in the engines which are often not included in the surveys - or only get the most basic inspection.

In terms of the process you have it about right. I think you can make an offer subject to survey or survey first and then negotiate. If you have an absolute figure then it might make sense to agree that before paying a surveyor, but if you are not sure what it is worth then the other way round might be better. Don't be scared to ask for a sea trial either. You may be expected to pay for any costs for that, e.g. launch fees, fuel costs etc.

There is some advice here: Buying or Selling a Boat | Information & Advice | RYA but you will need to be an RYA member (40 a year). You may be able to get similar advice on process from the surveyor. At the expensive end of the scale some people would suggest you need a marine lawyer just as you would use a solicitor to deal with a house purchase. To my mind that applies when spending house prices, but if it is car prices then you don't bother when buying a car. Its worth asking questions to convince yourself that the owner does own it and doesn't have outstanding secured finance on it.
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Old 11 October 2011, 17:35   #5
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Thanks Polwart. As we are looking in the 20k area I am keen to reduce my risk and believe that the cost of a survey is probably justified. The broker is keen to arrange a test drive so I plan to get on the water in the next couple of days and also get my head into the 'darker' parts of the hull to get a feel for the state of maintenance. I have contacted a couple of the local survey companies to get quotations - it will be intersting to see the variance!
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Old 11 October 2011, 18:06   #6
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ABYA: buying a boat

This is what the Brokers Professional Body recommends - pretty much what has been said by other posters.
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Old 04 December 2011, 08:25   #7
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How did you get on? I am thinking of starting the process of buying again, and my last one was from a friend and i knew the baot well so just turned up with some cash.
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Old 04 December 2011, 11:59   #8
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I've just changed boats and one thing that was interesting is I had just one response from a heap of ads for my sailing boat and yet as soon as I put it on with a broker people were falling over themselves to buy it, it tuns out that people are very reluctant to buy privately and want the assurance from going through a broker.

I bought my RIB privatey and reckon I did a better job than the brokers I've dealt with in the past..
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Old 05 December 2011, 05:58   #9
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Hi
A boat survey is the safest option and even better if it includes the outboard engines as amazingly we have found this to be an option on some of them!
If no survey is done then please please please check the engine(s) by someone who knows about them first.

There is nothing worse than telling someone that the engine needs more than service.

Dave
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Old 05 December 2011, 13:26   #10
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I think all went quite well, but there a few things worth sharing:

We spent quite a lot of time researching the s/h market to see what was out there. The wide range of small manufacturers with lots of designs made comaprisons difficult, but at least we got an idea of what we wanted in terms of layout and specification. Of course if we had opetd for brand new we would hace been in a position to specify what we wanted, but at a significant premium. We decided to buy s/h, accepting some compromise in design and use this as a 'trial' boat to see what features we really want.

I would thouroughly endorse the need for a survey unless you have sufficient expertise and confidence in outboards and GRP! However you should also be aware of the limitations of a survey; like a house survey it will identify issues but not necessarily root causes. We have some electrical/electronic snags which are more difficult to resolve than the assumed 'replace bulb' and 'change settings' assumptions. This is, however, in no way a criticism of the surveyor who was very thorough.

I terms of process, I combined the survey with a test drive which allowed the surveyor to see the boat working. I had to pay a small fee for the test drive (this is farily standard practice to cover fuel and lifting costs) but this was deducted from the purchase price. As I only tested one boat this did not become a financial burden. I was required to make a verbal offer before the test drive, but did not feel pressured to commit to this if the survey had identified serious flaws.

Overall, not too difficult. The RIB world felt very friendly, probably as a consequence of being made up of a lot of small operations rather than larger corporates.

I hope this helps, good luck and see you on the water!
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