Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

I have apparently been working too long, and too hard (head down kind of stuff) so understand i am a bit out of the flow of things. However, i had attempted to start to buy a wharram cat. Is it wrong to proceed first to a survey? that i was going to pay for? Or is it now expected to make an offer first, before such things as a survey are or can be done? thanks. Just checking to see how far up my aft is my perspective. clif

Views: 107

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's to find a marine surveyor than to find someone knowledgeable about Wharram catamarans. Many of the experienced owners here would do a better job at evaluating an available Wharram than a surveyor. If a seller hesitates when a survey is suggested, then a red flag should go up, a survey would be necessary. Any boat with concealed spaces, deviations from the original plans, obvious disuse, smell of fungus down below, or signs of lack of maintenance should be sounded by a surveyor. I guess now would be a good time for others to chime in about danger signs. Rot in beam troughs, rot in sheer stringers, beams, stem and sternposts, even the keels can deteriorate if rainwater is in the bilges.
I understand (being a boat builder including a 26 foot umiak skin on frame) about surveyors. That is why i sought recommendations for one who had actually worked in the ply/epoxy boat biz...so he knew. And i had no real expectation to rely on his eval for the dollar worth of the boat, merely its soundness in all respects, and an inventory of equipment and such as would be required to obtain both transit insurance, and insurance once reassembled. So my thought was to request permission for the survey, then even if no deal could be reached, rather especially if no deal could be made, to give the owner the survey for their own use. Again, at my expense. The issue is not trivial to me since a decent survey report runs the major part of a thousand dollars, and is never recovered when you buy. But i take your point about how owners would know better. This surveyor does know the ply/epoxy trade. Having done a fair bit myself i can tell bs when i hear it, You may be correct. Maybe there is some situation that causes the barriers.

On another tack is it common to get molds? Big issue up here in PNW where i want to relocate a Pahi or Tiki or.....? thanks.
In my experience the normal procedure is that you make an offer on a boat you want. This offer is normally accompanied with a deposit. The offer is usually contingent upon a satisfactory survey and sea trial. The survey is the responsibility of the buyer, the haul out can go either way. Once the survey is done the buyer and seller will sometimes, not always, renegotiate depending upon what the survey turns up. Just my experience having been on both sides of this situation many times. Good luck, David
I would agree with that if i could see the boat personally, or had an agent on site who's judgment was known and trusted. In the case of a remote purchase, doing it offer first makes it way awkward. What if rot is discovered after an offer is made? deal over? deposit gone? Under those circumstances who bears the cost of the survey? Usually the buyer, i grant you, but if the rot were obvious enough for the owner to be aware, then the buyer would feel as though an attempt had been made to cheat.

And what about the situation where the boat is priced at X and the survey is way below that value with lots of issues cropping up due to age and conditions? A bit awkward to say, well, i had offered X but now i want to change it by a quarter or some amount... or to retract the bid.

In my experience, the buyer lets seller know they are interested in making a serious offer. Then the buyer pays for the survey after arranging for permission for surveyor to see vessel. Then the survey is used by the interested buyer to know what kind of a decision to make about the purchase. Continue, or not? and if continue, how much to offer based on condition of vessel. In this method, the survey is also shared with the seller to do with as they wish, even if a deal is not made. And the cost of the survey is an indicator that no BS is involved.

Now in this instance, i had told the surveyor i would waive the haul out for bottom inspection, due to difficulties it placed on vessel, and resident (i thought someone was living on board as a care taker). And would take hull inspection as a condition of a completed deal should i proceed. Turns out the boat is moored out. Turns out batteries are dead. Turns out surveyor needs power to fully survey (of course) and to check out systems for condition of gear (of course). Turns out surveyor don't want to crawl around boat with flashlight at moorage as they are SAMS certified and liable for screw up. So fine, now owner says that is what he requires as his moorage and financial issues wont allow him to move vessel. So caught between reluctant owner, and surveyor who's liability insurance wont let him do the on site under these conditions. Plus i would not want a survey done with a flashlight and a guess.

So that leaves me where? Surveyor cannot do his work out without electricity and is understandably a bit puzzled, figuring that owner who wanted to sell a boat would not have a problem with a survey, especially one not involving a haul out as part of the procedure.

Oh, and i was paying over 700 dollars for a survey to be done to the gnat's ass level (absent the bottom inspection) so that i could use the survey for insurance for transit, and once boat was relocated. So i had intended to complete the purchase. I had apparently wrongly assumed that my paying for the survey would be seen as a good faith effort and not trivial expenditure toward a good faith offer.

So this is a bit of a puzzle, but economy is in the holding tank about to be emptied. Times are tough. I do not have any of my life savings to waste. The risk for the survey was quite a large one for me to take. It also reduces by that amount, of course, the size of the offer i can make.

So , theoretically this offer first approach would have me lay out deposit, then survey money, and then the deal may not occur because of what survey provides. Seems a bit risky approach to my limited boat dollars. And even if the survey was good, but not what the seller thought, nor what i expected, then we are instantly in contention. Not a good way to make a satisfactory deal for either party from my point of view.

Anyway, maybe i have it all wrong. But if that is the case then how does one make the offer? just based on the sellers asking price?

thanks. Totally confused now.
If the seller is interested in selling the boat, he needs to make a reasonable arrangement with the surveyor you select (and pay for), so that a proper survey can take place. Below the waterline survey is essential on a wooden boat or any boat for that matter. A proper survey would best take place in daylight, on land, or with the boat "dried out" with the tides on a safe beach. That way the bottom can be inspected carefully. The owner should expect all lockers to be emptied for inspection, the equipment to be aboard ready to be inspected, and everything ready for the surveyor. That is what we have always done when selling a boat and what we have found when buying also.

Now, the problem of getting a knowledgable surveyor is another topic. Somebody familiar with Wharrams is best or at least somebody familiar with the ply/epoxy/fberglass method of boat building. In many areas there are surveyors with little or no proper training so you need to ask around and be sure you get someone who is not associated with the seller because you want an independent report. You should have a copy of the building plans or at least the study plans for the type of Wharram you are considering and be familiar with that plan so you can see if there are modifications to the plan. The surveyor can then advise you as to the suitability of the particular boat for your needs and if any modifications are safe or not.

If there is a haul out needed, then usually the buyer pays for that. So drying out on a beach is often a good plan and luckily Wharrams do that easily with thier twin hulls. You need to make a personal inspection too so it is best to be there when the survey is done. We inspect for several hours before even considering a surveyor.

Best of luck to you, and I hope that you and the buyer of whatever boat you decide on can reach a happy agreement.

Ann and Nev
Thanks guys, duh...never even occurred to me that beach examine would work. But that is mono thinking. I had a good approach to avoiding the haul out since i thought there was a live-aboard. But point well taken. Been there with hull chine rot on a sharpie.

My issue was no accommodation for the sale...so i moved on. Still looking, still have cash and willingness to work with a seller. So going to leave it up to universe now. Thanks again for the response. Once i get a W cat i will undoubtedly have mass questions and be a real pain in the butt. clif
I agree with Ann. I personally would not buy a boat unseen. $700 for a survey of a boat this size is not a large investment but I would think that a person would have already have personally spent several hours looking at the boat and getting a feel for the quality of construction and maintenance or lack there of. Then if it feels right you would proceed with a survey. It is not uncommon for there to be a list of items that are considered deficiencies that will require negotiation between buyer and seller after the survey.
Trucking companies usually have insurance for their cargo that would cover the boat in transit. For a boat of this vintage you will undoubtedly need a survey to get a yacht insurance policy.
The asking price of a vessel is only that. You are free to make any offer you care to, it is up to the seller to accept or decline or to counter. Almost all yacht sales are begun with offers contingent upon a survey and sea trial. Yachts that are sod as-is where-is with no surveys are usually projects from the get-go. The seller wants to sell the boat and frequently is willing to make things right or work on the price to complete the sale. Also the survey is the buyers to do with as he pleases, he is under no obligation to share it with the seller. David
Get on a plane and go see the boat. Then decide if you even want to make an offer and proceed with a survey.
Here is a link to a good yacht broker in your neck of the woods who might be of some assistance to you. He is very familiar with Wharrams as well as more mainstream and other boats. David

If i could leave for this process, i would. For one, i cannot fly due to patriot act and my last name being in their system. Not that this is a real issue. I cannot fly due to health of family members. So that will not be happening. Too much care providing at this time to allow for that. Thus the issues of the surveyor. And even if i did see it myself, a purchase would still require a formal survey. And if you think a surveyor is complete, you should see what i would be like on site.

Fundamentally it is the whole mixed messages thing. The fellow says it is for sale, and that he is basically just going to keep discounting his price until someone will buy it under his conditions. Well, best of luck on that..and how real a dollar amount will he get...certainly not its real worth.
There have been several postings on this site by Wharramites local to an available boat who volunteer to take a look and give a preliminary report. Perhaps someone is near this boat and can take a look at it. Most financing requires survey, but I've only had to have a survey done once. The survey then recommends corrective action to justify the price/loan. In my case the seller split the cost of repairs on several survey issues.
I agree that you need to see the boat yourself before you buy. If you are prevented from traveling to some areas, go look elsewhere. There are always boats needing new owners and one of life's pleasures is to go look at them. Take your time and enjoy the process.
ann and Nev

Reply to Discussion


© 2022   Created by Budget Boater.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service