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Houseboat Marine Survey - Condition & Repairs - Buy "As Is"

by Chez

Understanding houseboat marine survey results?

Understanding houseboat marine survey results?

We just got a pre-purchase houseboat survey done, and there's repairs to do, and in poor condition. Should we buy the houseboat "as is"?

We are newbies and soon to be houseboat owners. We just received a less than favorable "dry-dock" survey that we did before we put it in the water, all of this prior to purchase.

Who should we share this information with? Not something I want our insurance company to see.

How much of the repairs should the sellers complete before we purchase?

Considering the marine survey outcome, do you buy a houseboat "as is"?

What do you suggest? Thanks, Chez.

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Reply - Answer
Well Chez, sorry to hear about your houseboat survey problems. Yet, congratulations are in order for getting a pre-purchase survey done before buying a houseboat.

So, if you would like the "cold hard facts", than let's begin.

Unfortunately, you don't give any details about whether it's a newer or older houseboat? Houseboats are generally like cars, there's always something that needs to be done, or changed. Some, just more than others.

When it comes to houseboat surveys, some will pass with a small number of recommendations or needed, "minor" repairs, modifications, or additions to be done. Easily taken care of, and not too costly. One area that you can save money on is by doing a Pre-Inspection before calling in a professional surveyor.

Other houseboats will get a complete professional marine survey done, and it will be the complete opposite, a numerous amount of recommendations or needed, "major" repairs, modifications, or additions to be done. Much more difficult to be taken care of, and possibly much more costly $$$.

If you're financing part of the houseboat, than the lender will most likely want to see a recent marine survey report.

You will also need to get houseboat insurance, and the insurance company will also want to see a copy of the houseboat survey.

Now let's look at big picture, if the offer to purchase was conditional on the outcome of the survey, than this is where you will have to get estimates on the cost of the repairs. Don't be shocked by the repairs prices, welcome to the boat business.

Once you get some estimates, start the negotiations with the seller to modify the purchase price so that you can come to a satisfactory selling price. All of this considering you still want the houseboat?

As to whether someone should buy a houseboat "as is", I would definitely recommend getting a complete survey (electrical, mechanical, structural etc...) done by a knowledgeable and qualified marine surveyor (you pick the surveyor) to be double sure that you understand the current condition, repairs needed, and it's market value.

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Now, for our new visitors and readers who are just starting out, and considering buying a houseboat, I strongly recommend having a look at the Houseboat Buying Guide. The ebook will save you thousands of dollars in your purchase, plenty of headaches & problems, and will allow you to become a much more knowledgeable purchaser.

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Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat survey and purchase experiences.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Houseboat Marine Survey - Condition & Repairs - Buy "As Is"

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Regarding Surveys...
by: Anonymous

It all depends on your surveyor. To an insurance/finance company, if they don't find anything wrong, it appears they aren't doing their job.

The inspection on a pre-buy will always be tougher than the one you get to continue your insurance for another five years. Some surveyors are just goofy.

That's from always being the inspector, but never an in the trenches mechanic in the real world. Some surveyors are probably fine, some aren't coming equipped with an over-inflated ego and the sense that they are simply there to kill a deal, just like an attorney.

Take what they say with a grain of salt. Don't ignore the big things on their list, but they can get pretty ridiculous and talk you out of a good deal.

Houseboat Surveys - bought a boat AS IS...
by: Roger Mt. Dora, FL

My '69 Marinette was bought "as is", and what a mistake! I made a bad misjudgment by not getting a survey. The boat was non-powered and far away from any place to lift the boat out to inspect the hull.

It was only AFTER I bought the boat "as is" when I found out the hull was in bad shape. AFTER I had the boat lifted out, transported and lifted via crane to my location and AFTER I scrapped the barnacles off the hull and exposed the hull with some sandblasting that I saw the nightmare that was my newly bought Marinette.

The Marinette is all aluminum and had apparently suffered many years w/o anode protection and was badly corroded. Since then I have spent about 3 years in a total rebuild from the hull up. It's only about 1/2 completed if that.

I have had other boats that I was to buy inspected by a surveyor and one had termites in the stringers! This response written Feb, 7, 2011.

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