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Basically.....

I'm considering trading up my Warrior 165 for something bigger...a Merry Fisher 645. Been offered a good part exchange price from a dealer but wondering how the buying process works?

I have no previous experience of the Merry Fishers so a sea trial would be a must...but at what stage do you request it? I'm looking to view the boat later this week for first impressions....if it looks suitable where do we go from there?

any help appreciated

Matt
 

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It works like this...

1. Agree a price

2. take your potential crew out for their considered opinion

3. take them for a slap up meal to say thanks
 

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Dealer or broker?

Unfortunately things get a bit sticky as you go up the scale and with brokers.

Normally the procedure is you agree on a price subject to survey.

You pay a refundable deposit to secure the boat pending a good survey report, or at least a survey report that reflects the condition of the boat and it's sale price. This is a contract. Not a look see, but a promise to buy. If all pans out you are expected to buy the boat.

Surveying the boat does not always give you access to a sea trial, but should in most cases as part of the survey process. You are expected to know how the boat handles and whether or not it's a fit for you, just because you dont like it, but the sea trial shows no unusual faults, doesn't mean you can back out. At the very least you will loose your deposit, you could also be liable to be sued to either buy the boat or make good the time the boat was off the market. Unlikely in this instance, but not uncommon when you go top of market so be aware of it.

If the survey shows faults not in expectation to age and wear n tear these can be used to renogotiate price. So negotiate well before starting out, you dont have room afterwards.


In short, make up your mind you want a MF before even embarking down this line. Do not start the process thinking you can sea trial to see if its a fit for you, that way lies potential misery if you end up with a snotty broker because things can get sticky. Most are good, but ..........
 
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On the subject of survey's be aware that a survey of hull and fittings will cost about £6-800, a lift will be around £200. Unless you are very lucky you will need a seperate survey for the engines. This will cost the same again and more with a sea trial and may be another lift out. Buying a boat can be bloody expensive and if it fails survey you dont get that money back so it's a good idea to go out on one you are not buying first to make sure you like it, and then take someone who knows what they are about to inspect it before making an offer to buy (survey / sea trial etc)
 
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Surely if the seller wants to sell he must be flexible to some extent, why would he expect you to know how it handles and therefor make an informed decision without a sea trial? I cant see how he can expect to do your homework on someone else's boat? its hardly practical to go and gain experience of a certain model of boat somewhere else then go and look at one for sale. If you look at it and like what you see then the next natural thing to do is try it out, granted this my cost you to lift it in but that will demonstrate your serious, if you like it go to the next stage of a professional survey if you don't walk away and find a more reasonable seller.
 

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You'd think. But no. Boats aren't cars and its not like a car where you can get in and drive it immediately. Normally the boats are on the hard. A lift in may be a month away. A surveyor a month and a half. A engineer two etc etc. So to protect the buyer from making a hasty commitment without evidence the boat is taken off market for him. The seller also needs to be protected against dreamers and tyre kickers. He takes the boat off market on a promise because otherwise the buyer operating a buffet of several candidates strings him along and then doesnt survey etc. Boats as you climb the scale do not sell quickly and even with a interested buyer can take months to complete. Bit like the property market with chains etc. If the boat is already in the water the interested party may find a sea trial easier to get before a survey but think along the lines of property market again. If you were selling your house would you be comfortable letting every prospective viewer spend a week in it in a try before you buy? Would you heck. Now bear in mind we are not talking fast fisher here. The market was designed around all boats. The mean average of these boats well excedes the mean average of a house in TCO. So you can see why the model fits more that of property than vehicle.
 

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When I was looking to buy a new boat boat I had a budget of £15,000 of which I reserved £3,000 for expenses associated with the purchase and £12,000 for the boat. I also anticipated spending £3,000 per year in maintenance, running costs and storage. In the event I found a boat I liked with a friendly broker who was perhaps more friendly than usual as I indicated that having bought the boat he was selling, I might be inclined to use him to sell my current boat. I was in the fortunate position to be able to buy one boat before selling the other so was not therefore tempted to sell the current boat at a knock-down price to buy the new one. After deciding to have a serious look at the new boat I had to pay £250 for it to be made ready for sea (it was ashore) and launched. Then the broker took me for a short sea trial, after which I indicated that I would make an offer at the asking price "subject to survey". The boat was then lifted out so that the surveyors could see it to check for osmosis and look at the stern gear and hull coatings.

Having retained the services of a surveyor (whose firm were RINA members with a good reputation and with a Perkins engines specialism), I paid for them to attend and carry out the survey which included covering their flights, car hire and accommodation. The two surveyors conducted their own sea trials without me being present (at their request) and did a thorough inspection of the boat and engines. They then went away and after a week sent me a twenty-five page report and a separate confidential note for the insurers as to the value of the boat (which they opined was £17500 provided some faults were fixed).

The owner chose not to rectify the problems identified in the survey, instead reducing the price from £15000 to £12,500 which I agreed to pay. The surveyors charged me a total of £1500 and I paid a further £100 to the yard for the boat to be lifted in for the surveyors' sea trial and back out again (this was in 1994).

So I paid £350 for the boat to be un-winterised and lifted twice and £1500 for the survey, plus £12500 for the actual boat. Thus I spent a total of £14350 from my budget of £15000 and subsequently spent around £2000 over the next year for the survey faults to be corrected (which did not prevent me from using the boat). The reduction in price more than covered the launching and surveyors' fees which made me happy. If the boat had been in the water when I was negotiating to buy her instead of out, I would have saved a bit on lifting fees but not much.

Having bought the boat I was highly motivated to sell the current boat with the broker I bought through and spent a few weeks cleaning and polishing her to the point where she sold quickly at the price I wanted. The prospective purchaser's surveyor did not like the look of some fibreglass in the bilges which had detached from a bulkhead; I rectifed that myself in a morning.

I still have the boat, I have spent pretty close to an average £3000 per year since 1994 in marina fees, repairs and storage, and she is still valued at £17500. I call this money well spent as I really like my boat and enjoy hours of pleasure both using and maintaining her each year. The years have provided many happy memories of time spent on her with friends and family. A boat is however not an investment...
 

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It can be a big advantage buying direct from a private seller rather than a broker if you have a good seller. I bought a boat of a similar size to the one Matt's considering almost 4 years ago. Made contact with the seller on the Thursday - arrange a trial for the Saturday - it was in the water anyway - found what was wrong with it (as well as what was right with it in terms of handling and sea keeping) with a proper trial working down a check list - with the engine still under warranty and after a discussion with a surveyor, decided against a survey. Boat was lifted out and hull cleaned (at the seller's expense) on the Sunday. We went for lunch and negotiated price and what would be fixed - seller arranged the 300 mile transport - deal done - 4 days from contact to conclusion of sale. Never any mention of meeting any expense for the trial.

Same with me when I sold my boat - the way I looked at the sea trial was I had a nice trip out on my boat which I would have probably done anyway, so why charge the buyer for it (especially as he was paying full asking price!).
 

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You had a nice run Clinker and is probably the way it should be done on sub 30k boats. i.e. like a vehicle purchase. But I'd personally never buy direct from a seller at anything above 20k. I like the property model. It's the fairest to all and safest. Also, without a survey, once you reach this threshold, you may not get insurance. Even once owning the boat you will be required to have it surveyed every several years to keep the insurance. So why skip it initially?
 

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It is a good job that the same way is not used in the purchase of cars above 20k

I agree that you should have a sea trial and be able to inspect the boat, what i would say though is that any figure you have to pay to have the above done is taken off the advertised price ( lifting out for examination and sea trial) on boats above say 20k
 

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Why? You are having it surveyed to verify his word. He already gave it. You have it surveyed so the insurance can verify yours. I suppose you'd also like insurance to pay for your survey? And when it comes to selling. Would you feel the same way?
 

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Why? You are having it surveyed to verify his word. He already gave it. You have it surveyed so the insurance can verify yours. I suppose you'd also like insurance to pay for your survey? And when it comes to selling. Would you feel the same way?
I never said pay for the survey!
I said trial and lifting.
You could not take his word as fact!
 

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Sea trial it for me, get some weight on the boat, if not enough people drums of sea water you want the boat, Heavy as you would use it, clean bottom.
Do your homework first, get on the members forums and ask your local owners of any common faults, leak points etc.
Get your info on the engine, no load and load rpms, idle speed, fuel consumption data (this should be in the manufacturers fuel/torque curves data sheet)
If it's inboard engine, Look around the engine for any oil leaks and water rust marks, condition/cleanliness of engine room, cold engine start, get the engine warm and get get max NO LOAD revs, write it down.
look at the exhaust smoke colour and sheen on the water, take it out and MAKE SURE the engine reaches max revs UNDER LOAD at WOT.
Look as you bring it up on the plane for black smoke (you are overloading the engine, prop size problem) Temps, oil pressures, boost and egt if they are fitted, write them down. Look in the engine room while running at sea.
If all is well lift out or before she goes in, get hold of the rudder see if there is any play in the stock/cutlass, do the same for the prop, look at the prop condition.
Visual on the hull, look for any crazing in the gel coat, any blemishes (swellings in the shell, size of you finger nail), cracks. Look at the anti fouling.
Take as many photos of everything as you can, inside and out.
That's basic engine and hull surveyed, any problems then think about bringing surveyors in.

Best of luck
Paul
 

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I wouldn't take anybody word as 'fact' in the marine sales environment, private or otherwise ! :rolleyes:
Or car or property sales for me either when it comes to it.
Reading this thread makes me wonder exactly what a broker does for their money? A car dealer will allow you a test drive, will arrange to put it on a ramp or over a pit for inspection. Once sale is agreed will put a fresh MOT on the car for you if its 3 years old or more. An estate agent will make a property available for surveyors and viewings etc. The prospective buyer doesn't pay for this. Many boat brokers have lift facilities in their yard so expecting a prospective buyer to pay for it is a bit off.If I was spending around £20k for a used boat I would not be paying the broker to sell the boat to me. A refundable deposit maybe.
 

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Depends on the boat for me, most fishing boats are simple things I tend to do a lot of research before hand, if I like the boat i'll spend a few hours prodding and poking, I look everywhere! But as yet i've not paid for a survey on vessels under £13k, and thinking about it, i've not had a sea trial either. Then again i' have tended to go with tried and tested pretty basic factory built boats.

On my bigger more expensive boats (all narrowboats), I tend to view, if i'm keen and the owner is willing (very common) then extensive 'Wet Trials' up to a day, then an offer is made subject to survey, these bigger boats have been custom built specials with very little 'standard' about them apart from probably the shell, the steel build means ultrasonic testing of the hull is often required and systems tend to be complicated and have to conform to BSC standards to get a licence, so a survey is mostly considered essential.

Nothing is written in stone though, i have bought & sold boats with just a handshake and a receipt on a *** packet (not recommended BTW)
 

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Reading this thread makes me wonder exactly what a broker does for their money? A car dealer will allow you a test drive, will arrange to put it on a ramp or over a pit for inspection. Once sale is agreed will put a fresh MOT on the car for you if its 3 years old or more. An estate agent will make a property available for surveyors and viewings etc. The prospective buyer doesn't pay for this. Many boat brokers have lift facilities in their yard so expecting a prospective buyer to pay for it is a bit off.If I was spending around £20k for a used boat I would not be paying the broker to sell the boat to me. A refundable deposit maybe.
Same thought myself - when I bought the boat I referred to above - two boats were in the frame - one at a broker 15 miles away, the other with a private seller 300 miles away.

Despite the distance, I very much got the impression that it was going to be a lot easier to buy the private sale boat - the big difficulty with a private sale comes with the transfer of funds - ultimately any transfer of money requires a bit of trust from both parties - another reason why it's so important to see and try a boat (or any other expensive purchase) in person - and check everything adds up in terms of documentation, service invoices etc.
 
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