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Jeffyjeff

Buying my first boat alarm bells! Can you help me?

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Hello,

 

So I'm thinking of buying my first canal boat, and I'm a self confessed newbie and would really appreciate any advice. My reason for buying is I grew up on sailing boats and I love being on and around the water - this boat is currently docked in a marina in the city centre and why spend hundreds on a water front studio when I can stay on a lovely boat. I'd also love to meet the community and generally enjoy the lifestyle.

 

The boat I'm looking at is valued last year at 35k for insurance purposes. It's 60ft from 1996. She was also shot blasted, 2-pack epoxy coated including base plate and had 12 new anodes fitted in 2018. So the boat was lifted out last year and they didn't get any work/plating done - the seller assures me that he wasn't told of any work that needed doing.

 

We agreed on a price (aprrox 30k), with the agreement that I get a survey, and if there's any work that needs doing after the survey up to £2k, I'll split the cost here. If it's north of 2k, I'll get my 10% deposit back (which I haven't paid yet) and pull out of the sale because I would struggle to pay much more.

 

The seller seems like a good character, and in the interest of a quick sale (he almost sold it in July and the buyer backed out last minute), he's knocked a further 2k off the price agreed if I do not get a survey and move in this month. Me, being in my 20s, I can't afford to buy this outright so I'll be getting a loan, so this is quite attractive. The present anodes will need to be replaced within 6-12 months, which will cost about 500 quid and need a lift out, so from that perspective it makes sense to get it lifted out for a survey now. On the other hand it would save me money on rent moving in quick, and over the summer I might put it on airbnb over the weekends whilst I'm off in my van rock climbing, which could allow me to live rent free for some of the year.

 

Do you have any advice? Do you think the discount is a good one? Or do you think this is a massive alarm bell for issues underneath? Do you have any advice for ensuring I get my deposit back in the event of a no sale for the given terms? We've drafted a contract, but not through any official board so I don't know how to guarantee it's enforcement. 

 

From where I'm sat both ways have their own risks, so I'd be very grateful for any experienced folk to let me know what they'd do.

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6 minutes ago, Jeffyjeff said:

over the summer I might put it on airbnb over the weekends

Note that this is not only against the rules but will invalidate your insurance. 

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Unless you buy a ‘special’ licence that includes car parking facilities etc, then you would be in breach of your licence terms and conditions.  CRT is starting to look for those renting out their boat.

Do you intend keeping it in the marina?  If so do you have first shout on the mooring because if it is a mooring run by crt they do not allow a mooring transfer to the new owner, you would have to bid on the mooring in an open auction.

 

There are more things to be aware off, but if you have done basic research i’m sure you know most of them.

 

just read your post again, are you sure a 60ft boat has 12 anodes!!!  Mine is 56ft and has 4.  My anodes are also 9 years old and still more than 50% remaining, so why do they need changing after less than 2 years???

 

 

Edited by Chewbacka

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Narrowboat anodes that need to be replaced after two years !!!!! Alarm bells.

2k off the price for no survey together with the anode question plus the epoxy coating at an unspecified time - more alarm bells.

 

Has it been on a shoreline with no Isolation transformer or galvanic isolator? That might explain all the above, by a badly corroded hull.

 

Be very wary. Remember con-men work by appearing very trustworthy.

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Relying on 'assurances' from the vendor, it seems to me.  Suggest you remove your rose-coloured glasses and take a step back, then read what you have posted and try to make an objective decision.  

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22 minutes ago, Jeffyjeff said:

My reason for buying is I grew up on sailing boats and I love being on and around the water - this boat is currently docked in a marina in the city centre and why spend hundreds on a water front studio when I can stay on a lovely boat. 

 

Waterfront studio apartments available for hundreds of pounds? Where? That sounds like a much better option than the boat you're looking at! ?

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Glad to see you are taking a deep breath.

 

firstly anyone who says you dont need a survey and reduces the price on that basis might be avoiding a survey.

second if it is on crt waters renting is difficult, if in a marina subletting is very unlikely.

slow down and dont be pressured plenty more boats

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You need to ask yourself why the previous buyer walked away at the last minute, and now the vendor is offering 2k off if you don't have a survey, alarm bells should be ringing.

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Yet another example of someone trying to buy a boat thinking boats are a cheap way of living and solving the expenses of more conventional housing.

 

why don't we have a pinned response pointing out the realities of boating life and boat purchase,  to avoid the need to repeatedly respond to unrealistic posts.

 

Howard

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59 minutes ago, howardang said:

Yet another example of someone trying to buy a boat thinking boats are a cheap way of living and solving the expenses of more conventional housing.

 

why don't we have a pinned response pointing out the realities of boating life and boat purchase,  to avoid the need to repeatedly respond to unrealistic posts.

 

Howard

 

Yeah ? 

 

Everyone has to learn Howard. Nobody knew all this stuff before they started. Not even you.

Edited by NB Lola
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Forget it.

 

Never, ever, be rushed into the purchase of a boat and definitely not under these circumstances.  

 

Valuations for insurance purposes, BTW, are meaningless but often used by unscrupulous vendors to con the inexperienced into thinking they are getting a bargain.

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Do you know where it was lifted out/work done ?

 

They might remember the boat, they may have recommended work to be done but the owner ignored the advice. (Just had 12 anodes fitted instead !)

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4 hours ago, Chewbacka said:

Unless you buy a ‘special’ licence that includes car parking facilities etc, then you would be in breach of your licence terms and conditions.  CRT is starting to look for those renting out their boat.

Do you intend keeping it in the marina?  If so do you have first shout on the mooring because if it is a mooring run by crt they do not allow a mooring transfer to the new owner, you would have to bid on the mooring in an open auction.

 

There are more things to be aware off, but if you have done basic research i’m sure you know most of them.

 

just read your post again, are you sure a 60ft boat has 12 anodes!!!  Mine is 56ft and has 4.  My anodes are also 9 years old and still more than 50% remaining, so why do they need changing after less than 2 years???

 

 

Hey,

 

Thanks for the advice! 

 

The marina I'm looking at is not managed by the crt - apparently it isn't actually allowed to live on the boats but the marina turn a blind eye to it - this is from a number of sources not just the seller. It's also not particularly busy in this marina so I can't see any trouble, but it's worth a conversation with those in charge in any case, thanks for the idea.

 

So apparently the last time the anodes were fitted they fitted the wrong size - too small - so there's meant to be 6 of the correct size. Hence the fast corrosion, although scouring the forums I can't see any resource on this - have you come across this before?

 

Cheers 

4 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

Narrowboat anodes that need to be replaced after two years !!!!! Alarm bells.

2k off the price for no survey together with the anode question plus the epoxy coating at an unspecified time - more alarm bells.

 

Has it been on a shoreline with no Isolation transformer or galvanic isolator? That might explain all the above, by a badly corroded hull.

 

Be very wary. Remember con-men work by appearing very trustworthy.

Apparently the anodes were too small hence the corrosion - does this sound feasible?

It has a galvanic isolator - although the marina it's been in for 2 years is famous for stray current corrosion. I think I'm definitely taking the survey option - thanks for the advice!

4 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

On renting a boat out. Read this. It can be done, but there are conditions to meet and consequences to getting caught taking short cuts.

Jen

Thank you!

4 hours ago, blackrose said:

I've never bothered to buy alarm bells for my boat. Can't see the point.

Haha 

3 hours ago, Murflynn said:

Relying on 'assurances' from the vendor, it seems to me.  Suggest you remove your rose-coloured glasses and take a step back, then read what you have posted and try to make an objective decision.  

Good advice, thank you, survey it is

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3 hours ago, roland elsdon said:

Glad to see you are taking a deep breath.

 

firstly anyone who says you dont need a survey and reduces the price on that basis might be avoiding a survey.

second if it is on crt waters renting is difficult, if in a marina subletting is very unlikely.

slow down and dont be pressured plenty more boats

Thank you, good advice - it's not crt managed in this case - I'm considering proceeding with the survery but won't be rushing into it

1 hour ago, NewCanalBoy said:

Do you know where it was lifted out/work done ?

 

They might remember the boat, they may have recommended work to be done but the owner ignored the advice. (Just had 12 anodes fitted instead !)

I spoke to the original surveyor who may be conducting the new survey - thanks for the advice!

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Re anodes

My boat had forcsome reason, only one fitted when I got it. I had three more fitted. After about ten years, they were slightly corroded. New ones were fitted about three years ago when I had some resteeling done as the hull was getting a bit thin. The anodes, however, were fine. That's it. I've had the boat thirty years. If yours really needs new ones after two years, there's something wrong, and you should make sure you get a good surveyor - don't rely on one recommended by either your seller or the marina. 

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Is the city centre marina freshwater, saltwater or brackish?

 

If the anodes are the wrong type for the water they will fizz away like a fizzy thing.  Liverpool Marina is notorious for this, but others might have the same problem. 

 

If that's the case then you definitely would need a survey, as they may only have lasted months and the hull has been copping it for the rest of the two years.

Edited by TheBiscuits
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38 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Re anodes

My boat had forcsome reason, only one fitted when I got it. I had three more fitted. After about ten years, they were slightly corroded. New ones were fitted about three years ago when I had some resteeling done as the hull was getting a bit thin. The anodes, however, were fine. That's it. I've had the boat thirty years. If yours really needs new ones after two years, there's something wrong, and you should make sure you get a good surveyor - don't rely on one recommended by either your seller or the marina. 

Good shout on the surveyor, I didn't think of that. Thanks

24 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

Is the city centre marina freshwater, saltwater or brackish?

 

If the anodes are the wrong type for the water they will fizz away like a fizzy thing.  Liverpool Marina is notorious for this, but others might have the same problem. 

 

If that's the case then you definitely would need a survey, as they may only have lasted months and the hull has been copping it for the rest of the two years.

It's in Liverpool Marina yeah - he id say he fitted the wrong kind and the new ones ordered in are the correct kind - do you know what I should be looking for?

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8 hours ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Good shout on the surveyor, I didn't think of that. Thanks

It's in Liverpool Marina yeah - he id say he fitted the wrong kind and the new ones ordered in are the correct kind - do you know what I should be looking for?

That information is vital. I can well see magnesium anodes only lasting a year or so there but if another type of metal ones are fitted they may not work on the rest of the canal system.  It may also explain why it has been epoxied all over. That is very salt water. Pleased you intend to have an independent survey.

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9 hours ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Hey,

 

Thanks for the advice! 

 

The marina I'm looking at is not managed by the crt - apparently it isn't actually allowed to live on the boats but the marina turn a blind eye to it - this is from a number of sources not just the seller. It's also not particularly busy in this marina so I can't see any trouble, but it's worth a conversation with those in charge in any case, thanks for the idea.

 

So apparently the last time the anodes were fitted they fitted the wrong size - too small - so there's meant to be 6 of the correct size. Hence the fast corrosion, although scouring the forums I can't see any resource on this - have you come across this before?

 

Cheers 

Apparently the anodes were too small hence the corrosion - does this sound feasible?

It has a galvanic isolator - although the marina it's been in for 2 years is famous for stray current corrosion. I think I'm definitely taking the survey option - thanks for the advice!

Thank you!

Haha 

Good advice, thank you, survey it is

Jeffy, it is refreshing to see a newbie responding to the assistance offered on a thread like this.   So often a question like this is posed, and after a dozen helpful replies the OP never replies and is never heard of again.  Good luck with your boat search.

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9 hours ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Good shout on the surveyor, I didn't think of that. Thanks

It's in Liverpool Marina yeah - he id say he fitted the wrong kind and the new ones ordered in are the correct kind - do you know what I should be looking for?

Anodes work by creating a small voltage compared with the steel hull.  This voltage causes the anodes to be ‘corroded’ rather than the steel.  The more conductive the water (more salty) the greater the anode effect.  The ‘strength’ of the anode is in this sequence-  Zinc, Aluminium and Magnesium being the strongest.  Anodes are selected based on the conductivity of the water, sea water being the most conductive.  Use an anode that is too ‘strong’ and it will rapidly dissolve, but it can also cause the paint to lift off the steel, so as you have found, using the wrong anodes is a bad idea.  

 

If the boat boat will spend a lot of time in salty water then it will not be magnesium.  Sea water I understand normally uses Zinc, with Aluminium in estuary type places (salty, but not as salty as the sea), I am not an expert in anodes, so I would talk to other boats and see what they are using.

Edited by Chewbacka

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You are proposing to spend a lot of money. You have considered your licence, insurance, mooring and BSC costs haven't you?

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1 hour ago, Murflynn said:

Jeffy, it is refreshing to see a newbie responding to the assistance offered on a thread like this.   So often a question like this is posed, and after a dozen helpful replies the OP never replies and is never heard of again.  Good luck with your boat search.

Thank you! 

44 minutes ago, Chewbacka said:

Anodes work by creating a small voltage compared with the steel hull.  This voltage causes the anodes to be ‘corroded’ rather than the steel.  The more conductive the water (more salty) the greater the anode effect.  The ‘strength’ of the anode is in this sequence-  Zinc, Aluminium and Magnesium being the strongest.  Anodes are selected based on the conductivity of the water, sea water being the most conductive.  Use an anode that is too ‘strong’ and it will rapidly dissolve, but it can also cause the paint to lift off the steel, so as you have found, using the wrong anodes is a bad idea.  

 

If the boat boat will spend a lot of time in salty water then it will not be magnesium.  Sea water I understand normally uses Zinc, with Aluminium in estuary type places (salty, but not as salty as the sea), I am not an expert in anodes, so I would talk to other boats and see what they are using.

Really helpful, thanks a lot, I'll check with the boat yard and see which ones have been ordered in

44 minutes ago, OldGoldy said:

You are proposing to spend a lot of money. You have considered your licence, insurance, mooring and BSC costs haven't you?

Thank you, the only one I haven't researched is BSC because it just recently passed - I'll look into it more 

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46 minutes ago, Jeffyjeff said:

Thank you! 

Really helpful, thanks a lot, I'll check with the boat yard and see which ones have been ordered in

Thank you, the only one I haven't researched is BSC because it just recently passed - I'll look into it more 

When you get the survey you may need to walk away if the epoxi was to seal a badly pitted hull due to the wrong anodes being fitted in the past and lots fitted last time to try to arrest the problem 

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