After the Reinke debacle we are being far more cautious in our search for a floating home. Instead of just looking at every yacht that might be an option, we now only look at yachts that are definite possibilities. Time and money are finite commodities and we really don’t feel like wasting them anymore.
The detail in the listing is a really important first consideration – if the broker or seller is too lazy to list the yacht properly, then dealing with them is just plain hard work and they are usually trying to avoid disclosing something significant. We have, the hard way, also learnt to take all the details in the listing with a pinch of salt. Instead of accepting everything at face value we ask some very specific questions to make sure we know as much as possible about the yacht before we go and look at it. The photos in particular are important. We have seen many yachts with pictures that were taken years ago and the current condition of the yacht bears little resemblance to the pictures.
Our interactions with the broker or seller are now also a consideration, if they are vague with their answers, appear evasive or are hard to contact, we simply give the yacht a miss. We are acutely aware that, given our limited budget, we are dealing with the bottom end of the market and all the yachts in this segment of the market have items that need to be attended to. We have come across the saying that owning a yacht is ‘doing maintenance in paradise’ but that isn’t all we want to do. We have seen more than one yacht over the last twelve months that should simply be taken out to deep water and sunk, it would save everyone a lot of trouble. Instead, the owners try and sell them to unsuspecting buyers. The internet is littered with such stories and they are sad to read. We are trying really hard not to be the next sad story.
After taking a two month break in Thailand we have resumed our search for a yacht. While in Thailand we came across a listing for a 1989 South Coast 36 named ‘Koshin’ for sale in Mooloolaba in Queensland, Australia. It was on the market for A$57 500. The yacht was for sale though CP Yacht Sales Sunshine Coast and the listing on the Yachthub website was extensive. Everything looked good, the listing was good and the broker Colin Plant answered all our questions promptly. There was an earlier survey report and Colin confirmed that everything on the yacht worked and there was no outstanding maintenance. We did everything we could to make sure we knew as much as possible before going to look at the yacht.
After a very long drive (just short of 1 000km) to look at the yacht and taking it to survey we have walked away from the yacht. To say it was misrepresented and that the broker and seller were not honest would be an understatement. You can read the full story here (there are a few entries on this page, scroll down to the one titled ‘Dodging another Bullet – South Coast 36 ‘Koshin’) and if you just want to view the video we took before the survey started you can do so here. The main problem is with the deck which is marine plywood between fibreglass. There are large areas of the deck where the plywood is wet and the material is starting to delaminate. To make matters worse, the current owner, Mr. Michael Wotton, has attempted to repair the deck by drilling holes in the top layer of fibreglass and injecting resin into the plywood to stop the plywood rotting further and to strengthen the deck. It hasn’t worked. The repair costs will be significant and will necessitate the mast being removed. None of this was disclosed and had it not been for our surveyor we would have been the next sad story.
Trying to sell a known lemon to someone without disclosing that it is a lemon is a despicable practice and says something about a person’s character. We are seriously considering just giving up on the idea of owning a yacht. Dealing with such a dishonest and unethical industry is disheartening.