Over the last year and a half, we in Constellation have seen a substantial rise in the purchase of pre-owned boats having a change hands. The purpose of this advisory is mainly for those first or second time yacht buyers who may be getting advisory from their favorite brokers, or their skippers, or other friends, and this advisory note is expected with a compliment to those good advisories. In case of verifications or doubts, we can always be reached for an hour-long free consultancy to clarify whatever maybe the doubts of those buyers who maybe wanting to know more about their purchase decision on pre-owned boats.
Call us on +971 44518060 or e-mail us at [email protected]
To start with the most common way to find a suitable yacht is to establish a budget and know how big your pockets are and the next- is to go with the budget to the market. The first search is on Internet of course to see what that wallet size can purchase. This is what most buyers do follow as a pattern that we have seen since 2007 from our experience that we have completed 23,000 nominations and we can draw this string out as common behavior and trend. So a budget to start with and then going out and seeking what is possible to buy with the budget in hand, viewing potential listings on sale & purchase sites.
Depending on the emotional quotient of the buyer and how much he loves what he sees on the screen or on the photographs that broker sent him/her, he/she then make-up his/her mind to go and see the boat himself/herself. May be Sometimes to ask for more information about the maker, user, seller, etc. This is the first step of them falling in love with the dream boat. The moment they see themselves spending time and desire over the particular boat is the corner stone of them starting to make-up their minds on what they believe they want.
With this first look and the fact that the boat fits more or less the budget comes a very critical decision that every buyer of a pre-loved boat has to make and that is too “whether to believe what he sees with his eyes or what his broker tells him about the boat” or get an independent view on it which is getting a surveyor like us out to give an independent assessment. Either ways, the purchase would more or less be successful.
There are a good percentage of those who have not been satisfied by just having their own eyes and the brokers would have talked about the condition of the boat and its upkeep. May be there is a very small percentage of buyers of used boats who get disappointed by somebody’s wrong portrayal or a misinformation on the boat and her upkeep. I must repeat, a small percentage, which may not be relevant to the context of this advisory. But there is a percentage of unhappy customers with their boats who are sometimes disappointed with their purchase needing a lot to do with a detailed pre purchase inspection and basically the fact that they know what they are buying. There are lots of factors for that to be considered. A broker would not necessarily have moisture meter and pull the boat out of water to see whether the under hull is without any reservations, bumps, crapes, or the propellers not chipped, fouled, or vibrating. Broker would not have known that something that needs a professional eye, somebody who understands osmosis and runs moisture meter on the under hull of the boat. This is something what is critical for all boat purchases because what is not known is about something under the 8water, the submerged hull, and that sometimes a very critical consequential part of the decision that is made for the purchase.
The second critical part is whether to go for a sea trial. A sea trial is not about starting the engine and taking the boat around the harbor and coming back. A sea trial done by professionals like Constellation Marine and our engineers and surveyors do a comprehensive examination of the boat by turning circle, crash stops, black out drill, drop anchors to see how effectively she maneuvers whether her navigation equipment chart and all the communication equipment onboard is updated and operational. These are not the only things that are checked with so much details by somebody who takes the cursory glance on the vessel. This is the reason why the disappointment creeps in because when you purchase a used boat invariably some of the nav charts, one or two equipment are always having a little bit of a limp, so to say. I’m not saying non-operational, but maybe outdated, needing upgrades, need of a face lift etc. Which is something you see very often on our pre-purchase reports. Particularly those involving out of water inspection or sea trials.
Lastly comes the superficial inspection–there we see superficial exterior esthetics, interior structure, etc. That is more or less most focused on by broker or somebody who takes cursory glance. (Oh the microwave is not working, or the music system isn’t good) but there is more to it than a superficial inspection, like you do in a living room or somebody’s house. That is the least of the cost and the most ofcourse conspicuous because you spend most of your family time if you buy a boat but not when you make a purchase decision. Cost implication of an engine and the water bridge would be quite substantial less than compared to cost to take up lift.
When we carry out prepurchase inspection, the engine performance does drop with age and we have a benchmark of how much that drop and if it is reasonably acceptable, but there are things like noise, vibration, leaks, temperature rise, gauges, when you push the engine to maximum or above crusing speed. Then we may or may not recommend manufacture’s engineers to come down to see more about it as what we see is initial indication of poor engine performance.
I conclude this advisory with emphasizing that most of the pre-purchase decisions in this region goes smooth by with or without an appraisal. However, a large number who are disappointed are those who take face value and do not have a professional eye to go down to engine room and under the hull to have a look of it and to see how she performs which is not obvious and evident in the day-to-day operation or when she is lying afloat in the water with her submerged hull. In this advisory we are letting those who are discussing of buying a new boat know that the cost of a small rectification process of something that may have been overlooked sometimes is going to be many times more than what we see as a cost of a pre-purchase inspection. Hence, in your purchase decision of your dream boat, I’m sure will be, the most important feature in what we do as an inspection of it and assess fair market valuation for you.