Mr. Broker and I flew to San Diego
for the survey and haul out. We got onboard before everyone else showed up and the first thing I noticed was the canvas had all been changed from burgundy to navy blue. Mr. Broker unfurls the genoa, which was brand new, and we’re starting off on a good note. I was walking the deck taking pictures while Mr. Broker ran down below and checked the mast step. Whoa! What a mess.
Actually, it wasn’t a mess, there was nothing there. There should have been a metal I-beam. What we saw was a rusty pile of shit. Our surveyor, John, the broker, and the owner arrived and got to work. Actually, our surveyor got to work, the broker and owner stood around with their thumbs up their butts.
The owner didn’t know anything about the boat. Every time I asked him a question, he gave me a blank stare. He argued with me about which tanks were water and which were diesel. The surveyor was topside and called me up to join him near the mast. He tapped the deck and we could hear the thunk when he hit the soft spot. The rotten deck area was about 4 square feet and was assumed to be caused by a leaky mast boot which seemed to coincide perfectly with the rusted out mast step.
We fired up the Yanmar and headed out to the bay.
The engine ran great and made about 6.5 knots at 3000 rpms. We raised the sails and got moving. This little pony had some gitty-up. We’re having fun now. We sailed to the yard and had it hauled for the bottom inspection and an oil sample. The bottom looked good, but rudder had 4 grapefruit-sized blisters that would eventually have to be repaired, but not an immediate issue.
The surveyor was seriously concerned about two big issues: the rusted mast step and the large rotten deck area. He even told the broker and owner that they shouldn’t sail the boat again until repairs were made. He told me no insurance company would insure the boat in this condition. I called Jeni and told her the issues and she checked online to see if anyone had a ballpark estimate for the fixes. She found several boats that had fixed each problem for about $5,000 each. The San Diego boat yard quoted me $12,000 each! So now I’m thinking we need to drastically reduce our offer or ask that the owner make the repairs. We hatch a plan to offer $30,000 and we’ll unstep the mast and put it on a truck bound for the Napa Valley Marina and do the repairs ourselves.
Mr. Broker and I flew home frustrated. Though he wouldn’t come right out and say it, he was upset with the selling broker’s technique and evasive answers when questioned about the boat. Mr. Broker did some research when he got back to his office and found out the owner bought the boat for $36,000 and put about $7,000 into cosmetic upgrades (new canvas, new genoa, bottom paint job, etc.) Jeni and I feel like we’re getting taken for a ride and we don’t like it.