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Aprilia

Test Drives of your prospective NB

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So, notwithstanding the current situation where people seem to be buying boats without even viewing them, what did you do before you bought your current boat?

You go and view the vessel, but did you have a 'test drive' like you would with a 2nd hand car ?

Did you test all the on-board equipment like central heating, calorifier, alternators for charging battery bank, shower, Fridge, washing machine, flush on the pump out loo ??

 

Mrs Aprilia is most concerned (having never done this before) that it would seem the norm is to look at the outside of the chocolate box and buy with your eyes wide shut!

We have been to view a boat today with a well known brokerage, but didn't think about this line of questioning until we had come home.

 

If buying through a brokerage, is there any comeback on something not working when you pick the boat up after purchase ?

If I buy a 2nd hand car from a dealer tomorrow & spend 40K, if 1 week later there is a problem with the alternator, usually you have 1 / 3 / 12 months warranty, I am suspecting with brokerages there is no cover ?

 

PS sorry if this has been covered in the past by previous forum members.  

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Caveat emptor. Get a survey, but it would be rare (or even foolhardy?) to buy before you've had a second inspection, and that's when you get into the details and ask all the questions.

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Yes, surveyor is a given, I am up with that and already have that + blacking added to the £ budget, but will the surveyor test the heating system? will they check the alternator operation ? do they check the fridge is working correctly?

If yes, thats great, but on a house survey I don't think they do so was wondering about the same situation with the boat

Should be noted we hav'nt moved for 30 years, so could be a bit out of date.

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It takes me an hour to check out a good boat but a whole day to check a bad one.  I've bought a really good boat in 10 minutes but that's being brave or foolish.

  • Greenie 2

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On your head be it. How old is the boat? I dont test drive them but I think I took the first one for a spin just before I paid the guy for it iirc. The broker is the middle man and takes bugger all risks if he doesnt own the boat, nice work if you can get it.

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When you buy a 2nd hand car from a dealer, you're buying it from the dealer who has bought that vehicle into his stock. When you buy a 2nd hand boat through a broker, you're buying it from the owner on who's behalf it is being sold. Your rights are very different.

 

Allegedly, there is at least one broker who frequently sells boats they have bought in, but it's hard to tell they're not a broker and they may be seeking to benefit from the difference in rights. 

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2 minutes ago, Aprilia said:

Yes, surveyor is a given, I am up with that and already have that + blacking added to the £ budget, but will the surveyor test the heating system? will they check the alternator operation ? do they check the fridge is working correctly?

If yes, thats great, but on a house survey I don't think they do so was wondering about the same situation with the boat

Should be noted we hav'nt moved for 30 years, so could be a bit out of date.

They may check that stuff operates, however that bit of the survey isnt worth the paper its written on there is a cop out.

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17 minutes ago, Aprilia said:

If buying through a brokerage, is there any comeback on something not working when you pick the boat up after purchase ?

Nope, Nada, Zero Nil, Nothing.

 

Legally the broker has no responsibility to tell you about anything that is wrong with the boat, and certainly has no responsibilty to sort out anything that you (or your surveyor) didn't find before you paid for it.

 

Buying an inland waterways boat is very, very different to buying a car, a house, a 'lumpy water boat, or a bag of salad from Aldi.

 

It can be more compared to buying a set of cutlery from a suitcase on a street corner (ala Del-Boy)

 

 

21 of Del Boy's greatest one-liners in Only Fools and Horses - MyLondon

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Would you buy a car without a test drive?

If so then you could buy a boat without one.

However you can learn a lot even if inexperienced by taking it out. 
All boats have different characteristics, and if you are going to use it, a very heavy tiller or an obnoxious droning or vibration from the drivetrain might be enough to alert you to problems.

I once tried out a well known make of

‘ prestige’ boat, and rejected in minutes.

Handled like a pig.

Replica my ....

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I rate my experience with Calcutt Boats (16 years ago now!) very highly.  Not only had they lit the stove before I came to view, but they had no qualms about letting me go off in the boat by myself up a couple of locks for an hour or so after fitting a centre rope at my request.    When I came back and made an offer, they immediately got on the phone to the seller and negotiations took 5 minutes.  As for a survey, I paid half price for the survey that a previous prospective buyer had had done  previously (but couldn't come up with the money for the boat).    I may have been lucky as a total newbie to boat buying, but I think everyone was satisfied, including the seller, whom I subsequently met.

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Buying ex hire from a reputable family firm. Start and run the engine engine in all gears and a variety of speed while inspecting the installation..  As cleaner was on board getting ready for next hire fairly sure everything worked. Looked behind power socket to see wiring and insulation. Took boat for a short  test drive at the insistence of the company, not me because the engien and drive chain were fine from the tied up test. Agreed the price and paid a deposit subject to survey to take place after last hire.

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I suppose it depends what you are buying but the surveyors report is about as compromised as your average house report. They aren't going to take anything apart or go for a test drive. If something is there to be seen they should write about it. I would expect to find out if the central heating boiler wasn't working but wouldn't expect them to report on the condition of the alternator other than it wasn't providing a charge. 

 

Surveyors are there to prevent you buying a total lemon but I think you have to accept that there will still be items that need replacing if you are buying a boat that is more than six or seven years old unless it has been well looked after. 

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1 hour ago, Aprilia said:

So, notwithstanding the current situation where people seem to be buying boats without even viewing them, what did you do before you bought your current boat?

You go and view the vessel, but did you have a 'test drive' like you would with a 2nd hand car ?

Did you test all the on-board equipment like central heating, calorifier, alternators for charging battery bank, shower, Fridge, washing machine, flush on the pump out loo ??

 

Mrs Aprilia is most concerned (having never done this before) that it would seem the norm is to look at the outside of the chocolate box and buy with your eyes wide shut!

We have been to view a boat today with a well known brokerage, but didn't think about this line of questioning until we had come home.

 

If buying through a brokerage, is there any comeback on something not working when you pick the boat up after purchase ?

If I buy a 2nd hand car from a dealer tomorrow & spend 40K, if 1 week later there is a problem with the alternator, usually you have 1 / 3 / 12 months warranty, I am suspecting with brokerages there is no cover ?

 

PS sorry if this has been covered in the past by previous forum members.  

 

No comeback unless.... the broker owns the boat. You have to test things and ask very specific questions as they must answer truthfully - get this in writing etc. If the broker is the owner you have a little more protection.....

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When you have the survey done ask to be present, the surveyor can and will answer a lot of your questions, remember it is your survey as you are paying him. What he puts on paper will be completed with the standard cover my A** phrases making him liable for nothing, but his verbal comments and answers will tell you a lot. On the option to test drive, you will have to ask the broker to get the owners permission, as you need insurance cover, if you have never helmed a narrow boat before not many people would let you, 'borrow',  but they may allow a small accompanied trip  It is amazing what damage 15 tons of steel can cause even at 2 mph.  The blacking is optional, a decent surveyor today does not need to get to bare steel for thickness tests, the ultrasound machines can 'ignore' blacking and only read the steel. Blacking even in summer takes 4 or 5 days to do a proper job so the dock hire gets expensive, and blacking put on at this time of year is money wasted, it will not harden properly in low temperatures.

Edited by Detling
spelling
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18 minutes ago, robtheplod said:

 

No comeback unless.... the broker owns the boat. You have to test things and ask very specific questions as they must answer truthfully - get this in writing etc. If the broker is the owner you have a little more protection.....

If it can be proven that the broker owns the boat, then he is 'selling it in the course of a business' and the full force of the law comes into play :

eg

It must be as described

It must be guaranteed for a period (the law normally takes 6 months as being resonable for second hand goods)

It can be returned for money back, repair or replacement by another boat no reason needed for up to 30 days from purchase.

 

You can see why brokers try and hide the fact they own the boat !!

 

From the Consumer Protection Act

 

 

If you discover the fault within the first six months of having the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time you took ownership of it - unless the retailer can prove otherwise.

During this time, it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there when you bought it - it's not up to you to prove that it was. 

If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund, or price reduction if you wish to keep the product.

The retailer can't make any deductions from your refund in the first six months following an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement.

The only exception to this rule is motor vehicles, where the retailer may make a reasonable reduction for the use you've already had of the vehicle after the first 30 days.

If you'd prefer to keep the goods in question, you can request an appropriate price reduction.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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2 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

If it can be proven that the broker owns the boat, then he is 'selling it in the course of a business' and the full force of the law comes into play :

eg

It must be as described

It must be guaranteed for a period (the law normally takes 6 months as being resonable for second hand goods)

It can be returned for money back, repair or replacement by another boat.

But how do you prove they were the owner

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2 minutes ago, Tonka said:

But how do you prove they were the owner

That is the hard part :

 

A broker near Northhampton told me they did not own a boat, but further enquiries amongst the staff confirmed they did - but no evidence. Although unlikely on an Inland waterways boat you could always hope that there is a trail of 'Bill of sale documents'.

 

I bought one boat that was sold as a 'private sale', on finding loads of problems with it I started investigating its history, & it turned out that the broker had taken it in part exchange so it was the Brokers boat, however digging deeper its ownership had been transferred to the Company's Finance Director the day before I paid for it. so it was now a private boat !!

I think the ink was still wet on the backdated documents when I asked for evidence.

 

Brokers - I don't trust any of them. Shyters !

 

Even Del Boy would be embarassed by the stunts they pull.

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As I haven’t brought a NB for over 30 years I can’t comment on how brokers and surveyors operate here. We had 5 boats in the uk and never had a survey but in the case of 2 of them the faults were visible so we knew where we were starting from.

Our last boat an old Dutch barge we brought in Belgium and after a good look round and then comparing it to similar others we made an offer to the broker. This was accepted and a contract drawn up and deposit paid. The brokers are registered and regulated. The contract said that the buyer would pay for docking and a surveyor and could walk away if there was something wrong but the seller had the option to put things right at his cost. This mainly relates to Hull thickness below 4mm and in our case play on the propshaft and some leaking rivets. The surveyors are properly qualified and in the case of the one we used Lloyd’s certified. 
Over the years we had to have a hull survey every 7 years for insurance and we used the same man. He did hundreds of readings to the hull sides and bottom and always cleaned the spots with an angle grinder. Definitely be there for the survey and talk to him about any concerns, you’re paying not the broker or the owner.

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32 minutes ago, Detling said:

When you have the survey done ask to be present, the surveyor can and will answer a lot of your questions, remember it is your survey as you are paying him. What he puts on paper will be completed with the standard cover my A** phrases making him liable for nothing, but his verbal comments and answers will tell you a lot. On the option to test drive, you will have to ask the broker to get the owners permission, as you need insurance cover, if you have never helmed a narrow boat before not many people would let you, 'borrow',  but they may allow a small accompanied trip  It is amazing what damage 15 tons of steel can cause even at 2 mph.  The blacking is optional, a decent surveyor today does not need to get to bare steel for thickness tests, the ultrasound machines can 'ignore' blacking and only read the steel. Blacking even in summer takes 4 or 5 days to do a proper job so the dock hire gets expensive, and blacking put on at this time of year is money wasted, it will not harden properly in low temperatures.

 

This ^^^^.

 

I attended the survey and asked the broker to arrange for me to have a test drive with the owners present. Only got to drive the boat from the dry dock to the pontoon where it was moored though, a trip of about 5 minutes.

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5 hours ago, Aprilia said:

So, notwithstanding the current situation where people seem to be buying boats without even viewing them, what did you do before you bought your current boat?

You go and view the vessel, but did you have a 'test drive' like you would with a 2nd hand car ?

Did you test all the on-board equipment like central heating, calorifier, alternators for charging battery bank, shower, Fridge, washing machine, flush on the pump out loo ??

 

 

No. I wouldn't buy a boat with a pump out loo.

  • Greenie 1

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We were extremely lucky in that we got to accompany our boat on a 7 hour cruise from its home marina to the lift-out marina where we were having its out-of-water survey (and we appreciate this was unusually lucky). This gave plenty of time to test drive and try everything out. Uncovered several issues that the surveyor had initially missed during the in-water survey. Even if you only have a 10 minute test drive you should still try out everything you can (hob, oven, loo, water pump, shower, fridge, sockets, heating etc). About the only thing we didn't do was light the logburner! Do not rely on your surveyor to find everything and try and be there while the survey is taking place.

  • Greenie 2

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On 27/10/2020 at 17:41, Aprilia said:

You go and view the vessel, but did you have a 'test drive' like you would with a 2nd hand car ?

 

It's quite common for the "river trials" to be conducted after the deposit is paid if the buyer has the sense to specify "subject to survey and river trial" as a condition of their offer.  I completely understand why brokers don't really want to give free days out to every fender kicker who wants a jolly ... 

 

I suppose the other way to look at this is the property market.  Do you often get to have a day's "test drive" on a house before buying it?

 

 

On 27/10/2020 at 19:26, Alan de Enfield said:

Brokers - I don't trust any of them. Shyters !

 

That's a wonderful typo of Shysters.  Leave it in please! :D

 

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27 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

That's a wonderful typo of Shysters.  Leave it in please! :D

 

It wasn't a typo, its my 'combination word' for them.

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On 27/10/2020 at 19:08, Detling said:

When you have the survey done ask to be present, the surveyor can and will answer a lot of your questions, remember it is your survey as you are paying him. What he puts on paper will be completed with the standard cover my A** phrases making him liable for nothing, but his verbal comments and answers will tell you a lot. On the option to test drive, you will have to ask the broker to get the owners permission, as you need insurance cover, if you have never helmed a narrow boat before not many people would let you, 'borrow',  but they may allow a small accompanied trip  It is amazing what damage 15 tons of steel can cause even at 2 mph.  The blacking is optional, a decent surveyor today does not need to get to bare steel for thickness tests, the ultrasound machines can 'ignore' blacking and only read the steel. Blacking even in summer takes 4 or 5 days to do a proper job so the dock hire gets expensive, and blacking put on at this time of year is money wasted, it will not harden properly in low temperatures.

Good advice. We were at the survey and the surveyor answered lots of questions and explained his findings. He also commented candidly on the condition of the boat and we discussed what jobs he'd expect the seller to carry out prior to sale. He more than paid for himself.

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The only time I have bought from a broker I checked that it all worked - I couldn't take a "test drive" (blocked in) but the engine was started and gear engaged, I also turned everything on - lights, cooker etc. This was my second viewing so the broker had some idea I was serious. 

 

I also had a survey, and as a result of that certain works were done before I accepted the boat. All of this was arranged by the broker. 

 

The boat was Ripple (a boat I still miss) and I will now surprise everybody and say the broker was Whilton Marina - it was 14 years ago, so things may have changed generally in the way brokerage is transacted and specifically at that Marina, but if I was to buy from a broker again that's the level of service I'd be looking for.  

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