Closing Time….?  –  If you find yourself or a significant other whispering are we there yet?, you might well be in the throes of buying your first or, okay—very well last boat.  You are decisive, have your funds in order and have just finished the full survey.  You’ve spent some time sailing on someone else’s boat and it’s time to make it yours.

But there is a pause before you leap, as your broker will advise.  You will need to talk to both the surveyor and the buyer’s broker to get all of your ducks in a row before the trigger is squeezed.  If, during your survey of the boat, you found significant defects, you may be rethinking the costs involved.  It would be wrong to simply take a low-ball approach; the seller is probably not hiding the boat’s flaws and is not necessarily going to hand the boat over at a reduced price.  Talk to your broker about what is a realistic, fair and final offer and if you are aiming low, be reasonable, as you may not have much room to negotiate.  If the seller will still not agree, you may want to rethink your strategy and simply move on or concede to the seller, as he or she may not be prepared to deal with your hard-line approach.


In this twofold process you should also consult your surveyor.  Spotting the significant issues early is important, as you need to enter into this purchase with both eyes open.  You will be advised which issues to deal with sooner rather than later and your surveyor or broker can give you a rough idea of the costs involved.  The insurance companies will be happy to cover you on the basis that you are attending to the issues.  If your new boat does need to make a claim, the insurance assessor, working on behalf of the insurance company, will be looking carefully at all survey issues that are still not addressed to see if any can be connected with the accident. If a valid connection can be made, then your claim could be in serious jeopardy.  Insurance companies, bless them, are not in the business of paying out thousands of dollars if the surveyor has pointed out that the boat is not really up to speed, a gallop or even a limping trot.

So, once you have taken into consideration your surveyor’s recommendations and your broker’s advice, it’s time.  Decision time for your seller is based on your final offer and will be in the form of a conditional or unconditional acceptance.  Be careful, as always, for if you back out after formally accepting the boat, you will lose your escrow deposit immediately (50% to the seller and 50% to the brokers).  The acceptance involves far more than the actual closing time, which will conclude our series, next issue.