Seller at Survey?

Discussion in 'Ask the Broker' started by firecadet613, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    '07 V358
    T- VP 5.7GXi
    Normally I'm on the buying side of things, but am selling a boat big enough to warrant a survey. She's in dry cold storage. Now, when I've had survey's done, the broker or dealership employee is there while the surveyor is doing their thing - to answer questions, etc. I haven't bought a big boat from a private owner before.

    Now that I'm the one selling, should I be at the survey the buyer is having done or steer clear?
  2. JC3

    JC3 Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Fire, Although it was 10 years ago, when i bought my 450DA the seller was at the survey but did not go on the sea trial. I was blessed in that
    the owner at the time was a nice older gentleman and was very good to me and my family. The results of the survey were not discussed in front of the
    seller though. Knowing what I know now I would not want the seller at the survey. I am currently/presently looking for a smaller cruiser. I would not like
    the seller to be "active" at the survey until it is complete. I will be interested to see what others think? Good luck, JC
  3. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA. / Tidewater
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    Typically you are not welcome unless the purchaser expresses a desire for your being there in my experiences. I have seen some proposed ontrscts where the survey is required to be provided to the seller's broker which I always strike and refuse to provide. If the seller wants to buy a copy that is the purchaser's or in my case my option. If then I'd a copy I'm happy to see them a copy for half the cost imho.
  4. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    '07 V358
    T- VP 5.7GXi
    Thanks for both replies. To clarify, there is no broker involved, I'm selling my boat FSBO.
  5. Converse48

    Converse48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chesapeake Bay
    2010 McKinna 57 Pilothouse
    If no broker, I would volunteer to be there to answer any questions and let the buyer decide if you're there or not. Being there could be rough though, just to warn you. A good surveyor is there working in the interest of the buyer to find problems with your boat. Nothing wrong with that, that's his job. But I imagine it could make you want to punch him in the skull at some point.
  6. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    2019 Maritimo M64
    Volvo D13-1000
    Especially if the buyer is there during the survey Consider being available, but not right there with them. They will want some level of privacy to talk about what they see and you may find some of it hard to hear in raw form. Maybe you could hang out in the Marina office for the day.
  7. Converse48

    Converse48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chesapeake Bay
    2010 McKinna 57 Pilothouse
    Hence my "skull punching" comment. Sea Gull is more diplomatic than me.
  8. Brett H

    Brett H Active Member

    Dec 12, 2009
    Lake Lanier, GA
    2004 550 Sundancer w/ MAN's - Unleashed
    Raymarine e127's; KVH HD7; Xantrex 3024 Inverter
    T-800 MAN's (D2848LE403)
    If I'm selling by owner, my boat doesn't leave the dock without me at the helm. I try to stay out of their way, answer questions presented and have no expectations of getting a copy of the survey. But that doesn't mean I'm not paying attention if something comes up.
  9. cwiert

    cwiert Active Member

    May 7, 2008
    Chester, CT
    1998 400 Sedan Bridge
    CAT 3116 - 350HP
    I purchased 2 surveys (on different boats) in the last couple years and the first time the selling broker was there, and the second time, the seller was there for the survey only (he didn't go on the sea trial). I was happy he was there because when the surveyor found issues that needed addressing, he was able to tell the seller directly which I think added legitimacy to our requests to have them fixed.

    If it were my boat that I was selling, I'd want to be there to answer any questions the buyer or surveyor had. Maybe you simply ask the buyer if they would like you to be available for the survey.
  10. CaptRonn

    CaptRonn Active Member

    May 25, 2016
    on a large body of water
    1999 Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge
    Convert fuel into noise
    Exactly. Turning your boat over to 2 unknowns (buyer and surveyor) is asking for potential problems.
  11. Converse48

    Converse48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chesapeake Bay
    2010 McKinna 57 Pilothouse
    Absolutely 100%. For a sea trial for sure you need to be there, and operating the boat. If nothing else for insurance purposes; the only person I'd let drive my boat without me aboard is Captain Rusty and maybe a couple of Snobs that I know. For the survey you (as seller) can hang back on if needed, but the Sea Trial is not optional.
  12. Bop

    Bop Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 3, 2013
    Georgian Bay/Lake Huron
    2001 410 Express, Highfield DL350 w/40hp Yamaha
    Cat 3126
    This 100%. I'm on the boat for a sea trial or there is no sea trial.

    Survey I don't need to be there.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Molson

    Molson Active Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    Midland, ON
    1997 330 DA
    Twin 7.4 carb V-Drives
    Agreed. I was selling a 230 Sea Ray a while back, it was an older one and I was only asking 5000. The potential buyers wanted a survey, so they hired someone from Google. I was there, but hanging back. When he stated the prop shaft was severely bent, I stepped in and questioned it. I said "look at the prop wobble!" I again questioned it, and how he could tell by eye. He insisted, so I called an engineer buddy who wasn't far, he came with a dial gauge, pulled the prop and it showed true. Don't trust anyone!
  14. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 6, 2006
    Cape Canaveral, Florida
    Sea Ray 18CC Laguna
    if it burns, it turns
    I wonder if there is such a position for someone to act on the behalf of the boat? Someone with product knowledge who could be retained by both parties to make real sense of the dissertation usually offered by a survey. A person whom would act in the best interest of buyer AND seller to map out any, and all deficiencies noted with a real time repair plan and list of OEM's and suppliers who could be contacted to bring the vessel back to original operating standards. No need for either buyer or seller to be present to interject with opinions and emotions. The boat is the boat and is what it is....the right person could appreciate the age of the product as well as understand a new owners expectations. That same person could leave with everyone appreciating the value of owning a Sea Ray boat, and even better, some inside information that may benefit them for the length of ownership.

    No need for "skull punching" and, turning raw form into delicious sushi...just say'in.

  15. Converse48

    Converse48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chesapeake Bay
    2010 McKinna 57 Pilothouse
    You're no fun.
  16. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT
    Having just gone through this a few weeks ago. If you are using a trusted broker then I say no need to be at the sea trial, unless agreement is made to be present between the seller and buyer. If you are selling it on your own then you have to run the boat or no deal.

    As far as being present at the survey, in my case the seller was there as they were waiting to launch the boat for the sea trial the following day and de-winterize the systems. It was a bit uncomfortable having the seller there for the soundings, but they did provide some privacy time for me and the surveyor so that was fine. Just have to be ready to hear a lot of banging and beeping of the moisture meter (two cringe worthy sounds).

    I volunteered and offered the seller to be present for the sea trial, they declined and the broker ran the boat. Thus the trusted broker.

    Capt Rusty, what an interesting idea. If there was only someone that was knowledgeable of the construction (sprayed the gelcoat on their boat), had strong customer experience background(worked in the builder's customer service organization, and had an expansive operational knowledge of their new yacht (factory delivery captain....) Hmmm... sounds like a great gig if you can find it!!

    I believe Marine Max tried to do this several years ago when sales were down. I never heard how they made out and what type of demand there was...

    Until then I'll just have to keep on reading the posts on CSR I guess...
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  17. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60

    Posted then came back to edit and add a couple of comments.

    Buying and selling boats has significantly changed in the last few years. Years ago you were looking at print ads or calling brokers to find out what they had on the market. Or you hired a "buying" broker who was plugged into the market.

    Time to think about these situations and how to handle them, this is going to be more prevalent in the future.

    In my opinion any time a boat leaves the dock during the sales cycle, a representative of the owner (or the owner) should be operating the vessel.

    I think the model described by Cap Rusty is right on target. Different way to think about buying and selling boats, but has tremendous value both ways.

    After all, when is the last time you went into a record store to buy music? The world it is changing, new ideas are emerging.

    (sorry I wandered a bit off topic)

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  18. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    As a broker, I encourage my seller to be present at survey. Sometimes things pop up at survey and the seller can answer questions that I might not be able to. I also think the buyers are happy to have the seller around.
  19. skolbe

    skolbe Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    320 Sundancer, Mercury 310 Sport Inflatable Tohatsu 6HP
    350 Mag V-Drive - Kohler 5ecd
    I helped my parents sell their boat. I was there during the survey but at a bit of a distance. A couple questions came up that I was able to address. I drove the boat for the Sea Trial. I stayed out of their way. But was close enough to observe what was going on. But didn't want to be in the way. But also it is not their boat at that time.
  20. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I recently took the small yacht surveyors course at Chapman School of Seamanship. I learned a whole bunch of stuff I never knew. Regarding owner attending, we were instructed to make every effort to have attend the owner or someone authorized by the owner who knows the boat. Surveyors try to limit liability, so they don't take stuff apart or try to figure things out. They observe and record. They count on the owner to point out where things are, to turn some stuff on and off and especially to operate the boat during the sea trial.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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