As you know, I help many clients find and purchase their yachts. I took Mary with me last week so she could go through first hand how I go about inspecting vessels. I previewed a Cheoy Lee trawler for an out of state client. I actually conduct a mini-survey looking for anything that might be a red flag for a prospective buyer. He had rather find out sooner than later about a boat.
The first thing I did was to give her a good look over on her hull and decks. I used a moisture meter to detect any moisture below the gel coat. I performed a thorough inspection of all the decks searching for anything suspicious. I did not find any soft spots or anything other than she could use a little fresh paint at the rubrails.
I then began inside the boat, inside the salon to start. I went throughout the salon looking especially for any evidence of window leaks. Again I used my moisture meter to peer beneath the surface. I only found one small place that was not active, just a little staining from a past water leak around a window. I checked the bulkheads, the flooring and the ceiling. All searched fine. I lifted the wall to wall carpet to find beautiful teak & holly flooring with a nice high-gloss finish.
I then moved to the galley which was adjacent to the salon and did the same inspection. I also checked out the appliances to make sure they were in satisfactory condition. The Buyers wife wants a dishwasher inside her yacht but this one did not have one but we did measure to see if one could be installed.
On to the pilothouse where I once again used my moisture meter to check whether there were water leak issues. I also did a cursory inspection of the area to determine the overall shape of the woodwork, electronics etc. I did not turn on the electronics but just gave them a once over for any visible signs of corrosion etc.. I did find a problem with an exterior door where moisture was present within the wood and fiberglass door. I continued to the flybridge where I inspected the decking, propane locker, tender and mounts and searched again at the electronics. You have to look closely at all masts deck-stepped as water can penetrate here.
Back down below in the master stateroom we looked for signs of water damage by the portholes and on the walls. I checked the rudder posts and water tanks under the bunk to see what shape they were in; good shape actually. A quick inspection of the shower & head were also done. Each of the other 3 staterooms and heads were inspected as well, looking for obvious red flags.
Last but not least we found ourselves in the engine room. I searched to see if the engine room itself was clean and whether the bilges were clean. I also checked to see what shape the fuel tanks were in and what how the engines and generators looked. All of them seemed to be in good shape. I also looked at the air conditioning systems for the yacht and found one raw water pump that was leaking but should be a simple fix.
No equipment or systems were run during the inspection, this happens during the survey. I also checked the shaft stuffing boxes, strainer condition, electrical panels, stabilizer mechanicals, the bonding system and the batteries.
All in all, we searched at a yacht in average to above average shape for her age. She probably requires a few things to get her ship shape but not much. I can now advise my buyer to go forward with her or go find another yacht.
When we returned home, I prepared a write up for my buyer in which I conveyed all determinations and concerns. We will look to see whether the buyer desires to personally see this trawler or pass on her.
Mike Dickens, the author, is a live aboard boat owner and owner/Broker of Paradise Yachts in Florida USA.
Paradise Yachts offers used quality yachts to customers worldwide. 904/556-9431
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