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Feeling Deceived ... Thoughts

Old 04-06-2021, 05:42 AM
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Default Feeling Deceived ... Thoughts

Was out of boating for a few years and haven't posted here in a while, but I thought I'd get some opinions.

I had a boat under contract. The boat was and is still listed as one owner and well maintained. Over the phone I asked the broker the condition and if he knew there was anything wrong. He said it was in good condition and didn't know of anything wrong with the boat. The boat is not anywhere near where I live, but I had looked at the same model boat near my home port (which did not show well) and made an offer subject to my personal inspection and a survey. With a contract, I then traveled to look at the boat and noticed a few things concerned me, but figured that the surveyor was way better than me so I waited for the survey.

Basically the boat is a disaster, there are numerous major components that don't work, tabs, drive, ac, water heater, bilge pumps, etc. But the main point is this boat in the not too distant past started taking on water to the point that stringers were submerged, motors were getting wet, mid cabin and other floor cabin storage compartments were flooded. Bottom line is the hull and stringers are wet, along with a couple other areas. This boat has a hull that is totally cored, I knew that going in. Had I known that the boat had taken on water, I would have never made an offer.

So, I can't imagine any scenario in which the owner did not know they had a problem. The boat would have been sitting low in the water, the owners items in the storage bin are destroyed (they were still there during the survey) and the water didn't leave the bilge by itself if the bilge pumps weren't working. I am truly grateful I had the boat surveyed, the repair bills would have been almost equal to the contract price. But I also feel that through omission, either the owner or broker deceived me by not disclosing the past history of this boat. I'm out four figures for travel, haul out, and survey, and I am contemplating legal action. Not a large sum of money, but it's more the principle to me.

Your thoughts ....

And as I said, the boat is still listed as one owner, well maintained, good condition even though both the broker (who was present for the survey) and the owner (broker said he would call him after I called off the purchase) know it is not.

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04-06-2021, 06:44 AM
trivialpursuits
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People, in general, are idiots. People selling things are even bigger idiots. Assume this when buying anything. And, never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:47 AM
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That is a crappy situation.

I've seen people asking for a local to go put eyes on a boat before traveling to it, as a partial measure to avoid this type of thing.

Sorry.
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:49 AM
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I think you got lucky.

It’s a bummer to loose so much money, you would’ve lost way more with out this “insurance”.

How did you NOT notice all the water everywhere when just you went to see the boat and at that point could’ve canceled the survey and save yourself some money?
Old 04-06-2021, 05:52 AM
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Yes, you were deceived. Is it actionable? Probably, but it is going to cost you more to find out than you can recover. Nodima's suggestion is a good one going forward. If you have limitless time and money, then I suppose you could make their life miserable. But most of us don't. While it sucks and it is not fair, if I were you, I would never deal with that broker again and move on. Not the answer you were looking for, but it is the most practical.IMHO. Sorry.
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:53 AM
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If you have pics- small claims court!
They wasted your time, waste theirs and maybe get some money back.
I have sued in small claims and won a $2000. judgement, it was a PIA but finally got my money.
(Also did a DIY Divorce but that's another issue!)
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MIfirst View Post
Was out of boating for a few years and haven't posted here in a while, but I thought I'd get some opinions.

I had a boat under contract. The boat was and is still listed as one owner and well maintained. Over the phone I asked the broker the condition and if he knew there was anything wrong. He said it was in good condition and didn't know of anything wrong with the boat. The boat is not anywhere near where I live, but I had looked at the same model boat near my home port (which did not show well) and made an offer subject to my personal inspection and a survey. With a contract, I then traveled to look at the boat and noticed a few things concerned me, but figured that the surveyor was way better than me so I waited for the survey.

Basically the boat is a disaster, there are numerous major components that don't work, tabs, drive, ac, water heater, bilge pumps, etc. But the main point is this boat in the not too distant past started taking on water to the point that stringers were submerged, motors were getting wet, mid cabin and other floor cabin storage compartments were flooded. Bottom line is the hull and stringers are wet, along with a couple other areas. This boat has a hull that is totally cored, I knew that going in. Had I known that the boat had taken on water, I would have never made an offer.

So, I can't imagine any scenario in which the owner did not know they had a problem. The boat would have been sitting low in the water, the owners items in the storage bin are destroyed (they were still there during the survey) and the water didn't leave the bilge by itself if the bilge pumps weren't working. I am truly grateful I had the boat surveyed, the repair bills would have been almost equal to the contract price. But I also feel that through omission, either the owner or broker deceived me by not disclosing the past history of this boat. I'm out four figures for travel, haul out, and survey, and I am contemplating legal action. Not a large sum of money, but it's more the principle to me.

Your thoughts ....

And as I said, the boat is still listed as one owner, well maintained, good condition even though both the broker (who was present for the survey) and the owner (broker said he would call him after I called off the purchase) know it is not.
I would reach out to the owner/broker about making it right before I sue. If you already have a lawyer you may have him send a letter asking for compensation.
that being said, a judge may have a hard time determining ‘good’ condition on a used boat and could say ‘that’s why you pay for a survey’.

in either case I doubt you will get a return. Things get really complicated because it’s out of state.
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Old 04-06-2021, 05:55 AM
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Maybe next time, get some pictures of a potential boat prior to traveling down there?

While I too would be ticked, I don't think there's much you can do. Yes they deceived you, but it's not like they sold it to you with a known problem that they tried to hide, and when that problem resurfaced, it cost a lot to repair.
"Good condition" is pretty subjective. The [unethical] broker can say "It's a boat, little things break" and who is to say that the things which you observed weren't considered "little things". After all, why did you hire a surveyor? To see things that the average Joe would miss. Well then you cannot expect teh broker or owner to have been an expert on what needed fixing. Shitty? Yes. Do I think you'll get money out of them for misrepresenting something you didn't buy? No.

You went down to look at a boat and get it surveyed. It was nothing like advertised, but they don't owe you anything. Sorry for the crappy experience. I'd be angry.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MIfirst View Post
Was out of boating for a few years and haven't posted here in a while, but I thought I'd get some opinions.

I had a boat under contract. The boat was and is still listed as one owner and well maintained. Over the phone I asked the broker the condition and if he knew there was anything wrong. He said it was in good condition and didn't know of anything wrong with the boat. The boat is not anywhere near where I live, but I had looked at the same model boat near my home port (which did not show well) and made an offer subject to my personal inspection and a survey. With a contract, I then traveled to look at the boat and noticed a few things concerned me, but figured that the surveyor was way better than me so I waited for the survey.

Basically the boat is a disaster, there are numerous major components that don't work, tabs, drive, ac, water heater, bilge pumps, etc. But the main point is this boat in the not too distant past started taking on water to the point that stringers were submerged, motors were getting wet, mid cabin and other floor cabin storage compartments were flooded. Bottom line is the hull and stringers are wet, along with a couple other areas. This boat has a hull that is totally cored, I knew that going in. Had I known that the boat had taken on water, I would have never made an offer.

So, I can't imagine any scenario in which the owner did not know they had a problem. The boat would have been sitting low in the water, the owners items in the storage bin are destroyed (they were still there during the survey) and the water didn't leave the bilge by itself if the bilge pumps weren't working. I am truly grateful I had the boat surveyed, the repair bills would have been almost equal to the contract price. But I also feel that through omission, either the owner or broker deceived me by not disclosing the past history of this boat. I'm out four figures for travel, haul out, and survey, and I am contemplating legal action. Not a large sum of money, but it's more the principle to me.

Your thoughts ....

And as I said, the boat is still listed as one owner, well maintained, good condition even though both the broker (who was present for the survey) and the owner (broker said he would call him after I called off the purchase) know it is not.
You might have a case for your travel, but without an admission of deception provable in court, I doubt that would go anywhere. I would be curious enough to have a friend call the broker and ask about damage to see what kind of person you are dealing with.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:57 AM
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Buyer beware.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:58 AM
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I've been in the same situation. Surveyed a 26 Regulator about 10 years ago that had some quirky things here and there that didn't add up too much until we finally came to the conclusion it had partially sunk at some point. The listing broker swore up and down that wasn't the case and everything was fine, but I walked. I'm in PA and looking at a boat in FL, I wont see it until survey but I did have a person I know down there that was willing to go take a look at it for me to make sure there were no huge red flags before I hop on a plane and pay a surveyor.
Old 04-06-2021, 05:58 AM
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Look at it from the other side. I go and list my boat for sale. Someone flies in from Florida to look at it, gets pissed that something is wrong, walks away from the sale, and then sues me for his plane ticket?

Caveat Emptor.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:02 AM
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good thing you hired a surveyor!
Old 04-06-2021, 06:02 AM
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Define "four figures". $1000? $9999?

Haul out and survey probably shouldn't total $1000 unless its a really big boat. My last boat was about $600 for survey and haul out. Travel is on you.

Brokers are generally oblivious to the actual condition of a boat. Owners always think their boat is in great shape.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:03 AM
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Parents spent a weekend travelling out of state to see a Searay 480, pictures were all before it was hurricane damaged...waste of time. Would have taken a year of refitting if you can even get parts to fix stuff.
Old 04-06-2021, 06:08 AM
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I look at it as money saved, not money spent. Had a similar experience with an Aquasport I was in contract on. Looked good to me but mechanical pre purchase inspection and survey revealed issues that caused me to back out. It didn't cost me over $1000.00, it saved me $35,000.00.

In your case, the owner most likely knew what was going on and you were deceived by him. As for the broker, if he didn't know before, he should know now and shame on him if he continues to list this boat as good condition with no issues. I'm guessing the broker wanted nothing to do with seeing a copy of the survey (plausible deniability)
Old 04-06-2021, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jobowker View Post
Look at it from the other side. I go and list my boat for sale. Someone flies in from Florida to look at it, gets pissed that something is wrong, walks away from the sale, and then sues me for his plane ticket?

Caveat Emptor.
This happened to you? If there's a story, do tell, do tell....
Old 04-06-2021, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Stim View Post
If you have pics- small claims court!
They wasted your time, waste theirs and maybe get some money back.
I have sued in small claims and won a $2000. judgement, it was a PIA but finally got my money.
(Also did a DIY Divorce but that's another issue!)
What would his claim/cause of action be? The contract explicitly states it was contingent on buyers approval and survey, so buyer went in knowing that the boat might not meet his requirements. It didn't, so he walked. No breach of contract (unless perhaps the contract falsely represented the condition of the boat). False advertising against an individual? Not likely. "Deception" is not by itself actionable. Most small claims courts have a narrow window of the types of claims that they would hear, and this is likely outside of that window anyway. There is no case worth pursuing here. "Puffery" is a pretty strong defense for this stuff. Eat it and move on.....
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:18 AM
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Blast out the broker and seller as dishonest here on THT so no one makes the same mistake. That's THT way!
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:21 AM
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Peoples Court.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:28 AM
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THT Court.

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