bissona

Buying a new boat - what to do and what not to?

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I'm close to agreeing a price for a new boat but, having only bought secondhand previously, don't really have any experience of commissioning, contract, payment schedules, etc, etc, 

For those that have bought new, from a main dealer / distributor, what are you really glad you did and what would you do next time differently? 

Any and all advice appreciated!

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I was inclined to simply write: 'not to', but I think you have made up your mind.

 

It all depends a bit. Location, country, new serial, established serial or one-off boat and the amount of investment.

If that is a substantial amount (i.e. more than a Porsche), maybe hire a surveyor. 

Rule of thumb question in this case: how would you go about this if it was a house?

In any case: get very specific about the items, down to the fabric of the cushions.

Make the yard prove that they have delivered, it is not up to you to find out.

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I’ve never done it personally, but the one thing I’ve learned from friends that have is to get some local quotes on some of the “upgrades.”  Things like “racing packages” for running rigging from the dealer can be marked up pretty high compared to buying the base package, then hiring a local rigger. Same goes for many add ons. It’s entirely dealer/brand dependent though, so just do a little homework. 

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8 hours ago, Matagi said:

I was inclined to simply write: 'not to', but I think you have made up your mind.

 

It all depends a bit. Location, country, new serial, established serial or one-off boat and the amount of investment.

If that is a substantial amount (i.e. more than a Porsche), maybe hire a surveyor. 

Rule of thumb question in this case: how would you go about this if it was a house?

In any case: get very specific about the items, down to the fabric of the cushions.

Make the yard prove that they have delivered, it is not up to you to find out.

Thanks, but if no one bought new the sport might suffer a little... That said, I'm also looking at a secondhand version for c.70% of the price. 

EU purchase, c.€200k, established production boat from a volume manufacturer. Not that many options, most of which are either obviously required or overpriced. 

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2 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I’ve never done it personally, but the one thing I’ve learned from friends that have is to get some local quotes on some of the “upgrades.”  Things like “racing packages” for running rigging from the dealer can be marked up pretty high compared to buying the base package, then hiring a local rigger. Same goes for many add ons. It’s entirely dealer/brand dependent though, so just do a little homework. 

Thanks, have already discovered this to an extent on the 'electronics pack', about 25% more than local supply & fit. Will take a look at rigging too as some of the options also seem to carry a factory-fit weighting.

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2 minutes ago, bissona said:

Thanks, have already discovered this to an extent on the 'electronics pack', about 25% more than local supply & fit. Will take a look at rigging too as some of the options also seem to carry a factory-fit weighting.

Sounds like you’re already on the right track. Options that don’t require replacing extra holes in a new boat are the ones to explore.  Running rigging, canvas, sails, electronics, etc.  Plus you have to consider the simple things.  If it’s going to be a race boat, will you want separate delivery/cruising sails?  If so you may want to get quotes from your sailmaker of choice for both the racing sails as well as some Dacron beaters.  It could easily go either way as to which sail package to buy from the dealer.  

 

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1 hour ago, Monkey said:

Sounds like you’re already on the right track. Options that don’t require replacing extra holes in a new boat are the ones to explore.  Running rigging, canvas, sails, electronics, etc.  Plus you have to consider the simple things.  If it’s going to be a race boat, will you want separate delivery/cruising sails?  If so you may want to get quotes from your sailmaker of choice for both the racing sails as well as some Dacron beaters.  It could easily go either way as to which sail package to buy from the dealer.  

 

Good call. Will look at doing the large majority of running rigging here as the factory options are pretty pricey. Getting competing sail quotes from North and Technique Voiles but would also be good to get a third (Incidence?).

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Go through what is actually included in the price if it’s not mentioned don’t assume that it’s included.

Confirm in writing and log every communication it will help later if something goes wrong or things turn to custard.

Most new boats are basic and any upgrades are money in the pocket for the producer/seller.

The standard sails on a production boat are usually very basic -broad seam what’s that?

Speader patches and UV guard on RF headsails?

Its worth having a surveyor look it over and potentially avoid some costly before it becomes costly which is normally just after the warranty expires:rolleyes:

Talk with whoever is commissioning often they are a treasure trove of valuable information on what the potential problems will be because they have likely been called back in to fix a warranty issue on a previous model.

What are you going to use it for?

Racing

Cruising

Combo
 

Location, wind range mooring or slip all playing into the equation.

Most new production boats that I’ve looked at don’t even bother to seal the edges of the ply internally which is asking for a problem later.

Keel Grids and method of attachment is important as is Rudder and propulsion.
Looks good doesn’t cut it, understand the how’s and why’s of the system employed, some are just bullshit short cuts because properly adds to the cost.

Then there is stupid “well it won’t be my problem later “ sort of shit like stainless screws or bolts installed unisolated on an alloy rig. Insist on properly galvanically isolated fittings.

This also applies anywhere two different metals are in close contact with each other.

Look at the access of things for serviceability, if I had a buck for every time I cursed the MF that installed that there when access is almost impossible I’d be a very wealthy man.

Is the impeller easily accessible, how easy will that oil change actually be and what about the fuel filter?

If you don’t plan on doing those things yourself pay some extra money to make it easy for the guy doing the job he won’t charge you as much if it’s simple.

The standard bilge pump is usually basic and in need of an upgrade from the get go.

I could go on but think you get the idea

Caveat Emptor.

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Get a delivery date in the contract. I found out the hard way that even though my "contract" had a hull number specified that the dealer traded it away and my delvery date was unknown. Lawyers got involved and basically said that as long as they provided the "same" hull/boat the number didn't matter. Dates are harder to trade away.

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Don't forget to put a coin under the mast.... Oh wait, that's probably a CA thing.

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Understand what is REALLY in the "sailaway" price the dealers advertise.

In my experience the equipment list is short enough that you wouldn't want to do a 5 mile day sail.

If you are planning any offshore work at all what gear will you need.

For example - I bought my Sunfast 3600 that is sold as an offshore race boat that would not meet Cat 1 requirements as had no bilge pump below and dyneema lifelines - had to fight with Jeanneau to get them both included in the price.

If you are on a mooring - does the boat even have suitable cleats and fairleads or will you have to retrofit - 

Sail handling - I double hand so need a main with Antal slides, not a bolt rope - is that an issue for you and if so does the boat you are looking at buying have a mast track that will take slides - the Axxon mast that Jeanneau uses as standard not NOT so I had to have an external track fitted to take the slides - 

Navigation equipment - if you elect to fit your own how easy is it to get to wire runs etc once the boat is together - the factory options package may look expensive but at $150/hour labor will add up fast when it takes 3 times as long to chase cable runs into inaccessible places!

Lastly - just be prepared for the deprecation shock when you sell your newly commissioned pride and joy a few years from now!

Otherwise enjoy the build process - it can be fun, just so long as you have realistic expectations.

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11 hours ago, adrianl said:

Understand what is REALLY in the "sailaway" price the dealers advertise.

In my experience the equipment list is short enough that you wouldn't want to do a 5 mile day sail.

If you are planning any offshore work at all what gear will you need.

For example - I bought my Sunfast 3600 that is sold as an offshore race boat that would not meet Cat 1 requirements as had no bilge pump below and dyneema lifelines - had to fight with Jeanneau to get them both included in the price.

If you are on a mooring - does the boat even have suitable cleats and fairleads or will you have to retrofit - 

Sail handling - I double hand so need a main with Antal slides, not a bolt rope - is that an issue for you and if so does the boat you are looking at buying have a mast track that will take slides - the Axxon mast that Jeanneau uses as standard not NOT so I had to have an external track fitted to take the slides - 

Navigation equipment - if you elect to fit your own how easy is it to get to wire runs etc once the boat is together - the factory options package may look expensive but at $150/hour labor will add up fast when it takes 3 times as long to chase cable runs into inaccessible places!

Lastly - just be prepared for the deprecation shock when you sell your newly commissioned pride and joy a few years from now!

Otherwise enjoy the build process - it can be fun, just so long as you have realistic expectations.

All solid advice as we are creeping towards a similar new purchase.  SO after all you learned  would you do it again?

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I have just bought a 40 year old Swan 47 - talk about one extreme to another - because I have wanted one for the last 25 years - and will now spend whatever it takes to restore and make look even more beautiful so at the end of the day nothing about owing boats makes any financial sense at all!!

Would I do it again? Given the opportunity to commission a new Swan - well now that's a hard one......

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On 9/9/2020 at 5:23 PM, adrianl said:

Understand what is REALLY in the "sailaway" price the dealers advertise.

In my experience the equipment list is short enough that you wouldn't want to do a 5 mile day sail.

If you are planning any offshore work at all what gear will you need.

For example - I bought my Sunfast 3600 that is sold as an offshore race boat that would not meet Cat 1 requirements as had no bilge pump below and dyneema lifelines - had to fight with Jeanneau to get them both included in the price.

If you are on a mooring - does the boat even have suitable cleats and fairleads or will you have to retrofit - 

Sail handling - I double hand so need a main with Antal slides, not a bolt rope - is that an issue for you and if so does the boat you are looking at buying have a mast track that will take slides - the Axxon mast that Jeanneau uses as standard not NOT so I had to have an external track fitted to take the slides - 

Navigation equipment - if you elect to fit your own how easy is it to get to wire runs etc once the boat is together - the factory options package may look expensive but at $150/hour labor will add up fast when it takes 3 times as long to chase cable runs into inaccessible places!

Lastly - just be prepared for the deprecation shock when you sell your newly commissioned pride and joy a few years from now!

Otherwise enjoy the build process - it can be fun, just so long as you have realistic expectations.

Many thanks, hit the nail on the head. Am looking at a 3600 but alloy mast rather than carbon. Electrics still work out about 25% cheaper with fixed price fitting locally, and some additional choice over units and locations.

Any changes you would make if you were fitting one out again?

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Most important change would be wheels rather than tiller - I thought that the tillers would be more fun and responsive, which they are, but they are also situated at for me a really awkward angle - I had the handles cut down  - if you look at the early boats they have smaller handles on the tillers than the newer ones as couldn't move around them easily and also added tiller extensions to try and get outboard  without having to lean in to drive and it was never comfortable - so second most important is a good autopilot as I didn't really want to drive the boat after an hour or so!.

Tacking and moving side to side, especially with the life raft in place is also a pain.

If you are going alloy rig then are you doing wire rigging as well - helps the IRC rating a bit if that is what you are planning to race under.

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also, if the dealer outfits the electronics etc...  get the receipts from the dealer for the equipment, if you have issues,  you have proof of purchase to follow up on warranty issues..     my brother on his new boat, lucky bastard,  had an inverter go out after a nearby lightening storm..   now he has to go back to the dealer to see what he can do...  with the receipt you can go back to the manu..

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doing the right thing with an alloy mast. we did alloy when it was new 9  years ago and the anodizing is still on the mast. the boat next to me with the carbon rig of the same age is on his third redo of the clear coat on the mast. We bought the boat stock and did any upgrades after the commissioning  was done. The dealer prices were 3 time what it coast me even with additional haul outs.

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As one who is hired to fix new boats, I would get a highly recommended rigger, boat electrician, engine mechanic and surveyor to each make a complete and thorough survey of a similar (same brand) boat at the dealer. Use that as a list of what’s wrong and subtract the needed remedies from your final negotiated price if the manufacturer won’t address the issues. Otherwise, accept them as things you’ll have to address. I would also pay attention to equipment installed that is crud: One popular boat manufacturer has electrical panels with about ten circuit breakers and electrical distribution that’s horrifying.

Almost all manufacturers sell boats with anchoring gear a cruiser would call undersized but racers would complain as an unnecessarily heavy waste. Similarly, the same electronics can be amazingly wonderful or pathetic to different sailors. You have a choice in many of these equipment decisions, even if it is to order your boat without electrical service and have just what you want installed just the way you like it. Armed with professional reports and discussion on that type of boat, you will be prepared for what you are probably buying. Probably, as each boat has her foibles.

Beware of expensive gimmicks. I’m specifically thinking of the increasing use of touch screen controls for everyday electrical devices onboard. They have a high rate of failure and often leave a boat dead in the water when they fail, with no way to operate even a bilge pump and also no way for any but a specialist in that manufacturer’s implementation of that system to diagnose and repair it. There are plenty of other examples of this type of thing but they all smell of snake oil. Do you really need an expensive system to flip a light switch? Keep your boat’s systems simple and straightforward and steer away from flimsy ones.

As a captain, I have sailed new boats that literally fell apart while I sailed them, so pay attention to other owners’ tales of their similar experiences. There can also be a large quality difference, model to model as well as year to year, if management wants to build them with different business goals in mind, though those changes usually take place over several years or decades: That three year old boat you fell in love with at the boat show is not the one being built today.

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^^^^^ Wot he said and apply the KISS principle to systems onboard you should not need a Doctorate in Marine Electrical to troubleshoot , sophisticated on a boat is often asking for trouble.

A famous US manufacturer would often package electronics installed only prob was it was the model that looked fine but had been superseded by several iterations of improvement to the model And good luck with  service it was almost at the end of its service life.

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3 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

once the boat is ready is it ok to ask the dealer to go out on a sail and verify all systems work?

I would require it for the sale to take place.

 

I'm about ready to give my boat away. small boats are not selling.

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had a friend buy a brand new 44 footer, what a nightmare , things he needed to add, problems the broker refused to fix, pretty much it is what it is, 

They had T-shirts made up about the boat ( well know brand) that the boat was a lemon and handed out cards at last years Annapolis boat show saying not to buy this boat from this broker on Long Island ,which the broker was going to sue them for! Finally a another broker of the same yachts, said bring the yacht to his yard and under the warranty would fix all the problems, 

Buying a used boat many add on come with the boat, a lot of stuff you don't think about, and the price of these new add on is out of this world , including cost of New, and labor cost of installing them,

Like any thing else BUYER BEWARE , all sales people ( car, real estate, boats...........)  want is you $$$$$$$$$$$$.00 and could give a shit about you !

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I've never bought a boat new but several of my friends have, and the one thing that seems common is that even a new boat is going to take at least a season, possibly two, to work out all of the teething issues.

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On 9/11/2020 at 2:08 PM, Not for nothing said:

had a friend buy a brand new 44 footer, what a nightmare , things he needed to add, problems the broker refused to fix, pretty much it is what it is, 

They had T-shirts made up about the boat ( well know brand) that the boat was a lemon and handed out cards at last years Annapolis boat show saying not to buy this boat from this broker on Long Island ,which the broker was going to sue them for! Finally a another broker of the same yachts, said bring the yacht to his yard and under the warranty would fix all the problems, 

Buying a used boat many add on come with the boat, a lot of stuff you don't think about, and the price of these new add on is out of this world , including cost of New, and labor cost of installing them,

Like any thing else BUYER BEWARE , all sales people ( car, real estate, boats...........)  want is you $$$$$$$$$$$$.00 and could give a shit about you !

MM?

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I think they actually care a lot about their client base. You can count on repeat customers if you provide a quality experience for both the seller and buyer. Smooth transactions are often difficult to accomplish and the heavy lifting falls on the broker. 

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Thanks all, there's some fantastic advice on here. 

One final question relates to payment profile. While I have faith in the dealer involved, I would normally expect to retain 10%-20% to resolve any issues on arrival. The boat will be delivered without cloth, however, so no chance to test sail within the first few weeks. What % would you expect to retain until you could step aboard and at least check electronics, etc were working?

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For the Pogo 36, it is 30% to start, 30% a month in, 30% when they join the hull and deck about 45 days later then 10% at delivery. 

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Here there would be no retained money - have to register ownership with the state and / or Coastguard and I can't imagine any dealer will turn over the title without payment in full!!

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On 9/14/2020 at 9:27 PM, Sail4beer said:

I think they actually care a lot about their client base. You can count on repeat customers if you provide a quality experience for both the seller and buyer. Smooth transactions are often difficult to accomplish and the heavy lifting falls on the broker. 

Some really do, some don't.  Unlike car dealers they are less regulated and so there is more variability.  I bought one boat from a dealer at AYS and he was wonderful-I would go back to him any day.  I recently bought a new boat from a different broker in RI who was so irresponsible and a BS artist, I wouldn't go within a hundred miles of him.  But new customers don't know unless they talk to someone who has used that broker before.

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