Keeping A Promise....


New member
26 Feb 2015
Visit site
G'day All.
I promised the Divemaster - who went many extra miles helping me with Detroit questions - that I would summarise my recent boat buying experience.
Lesson learned 1 - Nobody has all the wisdom. Ask, research, check at least three sources for every 'fact' you are given.
Lesson learned 2 - Try to buy a boat with a verifiable maintenance and use history. If the previous owner is of the fix-it-when-it-breaks persuasion, your due diligence on the boat is going to be much more expensive than you think as there will likely be no verifiable history of any maintenance. It's up to you to establish the boat's condition as if you had stumbled across it on a desert island. The survey will have to be much more thorough and depending on the boat/engine size you will feel more comfortable when you have seen the engine, gearbox and coolant samples. The samples check for contamination and wear and together with an engineer's inspection prior to and during sea trials, you can get a pretty good idea of the state of the engines
Lesson learned 3 - Everything on the boat is wearing out through a combination of use, non-use or corrosion. In your acquisition cost, use the survey and sea trial to establish a realistic budget for 'stuff' that you must deal with - now - six months - one year. That can dramatically change your view of the real cost of the boat.
Lesson learned 4 - Once you own the boat avoid spending money on cosmetics ahead of seaworthiness. My new to me boat is currently a tip. I can't wait to get it looking 'proper'. However, there's a shed load of items that I know must be fixed first and I have to close my eyes and my heart to the mess and focus on refurbishing all the seaworthiness bits first - I just know they will cost more money than I thought
Lesson learned 5 - Avoid the 'while we are here fixing this, let's sort out.....' Again, depending obviously on the size of the boat, this expression is the destroyer of budgets! Most of us buy a boat a bit below market price and then spend money on it. Not a lot of point in spending a whole lot of money beyond beyond what would equate to the market price. Of course, I'm spending some 'because I want to' money, but I'm trying hard to limit that
Lesson learned 6 - There are many people in the boating industry who see us as living evidence that 'a fool and his money are soon parted'. Take time to find the others - souls like the Divemaster, Roland my surveyor, John the broker, Steve who spends my money as carefully as though it were his own. Many others like this are here on the forum. All have given me way beyond what I could have afforded so guys a very public thanks! While it's true nobody has all the wisdom, together we probably know enough to keep each other from seriously screwing up!

Thanks for reading this and for the opportunity to acknowledge the many good people who are getting me back on the water again.


Well-known member
10 Jan 2012
South Coast
Visit site
Shame this is not taken onboard by a few more vendors. I recently presented a vendor a well thought out spreadsheet explaining in precise detail just what his boat was worth. His view was that the ad hadn't been on very long and 'someone else' was talking about an offer close to AP.

For now I have 'retired to the background'.

Thing is 6 weeks on the ad expired and is now re-listed £4k lower. Only another 4 to go and I am near the 10% broad acceptance range, still it's his marina fees for another 3 months (£2 k) and by then it will be September and any offer I might make will be going in one direction only, that is assuming I don't simply buy one of the better, later, more honestly described boats first, and get the extra £10-15k of value directly in the boat already.

Perhaps said vendor might read this !