The broker did seem rather motivated to close the sale and have Wanda off his books, and set a pretty tight closing date of about 4 days. That meant I had 4 days to find a surveyor, have the survey done, review the survey and discuss any concerns before committing to the sale or withdrawing (citing findings of the survey). I was starting to wonder why the rush..?
I found a couple of options for marine surveyors, and asked one to do the survey for me. His initial advice was not to waste my time, if indeed Wanda was the boat he had in mind then it would not be worth his while. He offered to do a walk by inspection for free; if Wanda proved to be a write-off he would let me know. He told me that Wanda might be the boat that was damaged during Hurricane Gonzalo, that this yacht wasn’t adequately prepared and was dashed against the pontoon and damaged in the process. Maybe even it had been holed or sunk at some stage.. I had a bad feeling about this.
A walk by revealed that Wanda was in fact this boat he had heard of, though there may have been some exaggeration amongst locals regarding the damage sustained. The boat was not holed nor sank. There was damage however; the cap rail was busted and splintered, the gelcoat had rubbed down to bare glass in places, the stanchions has been ripped out, and there were some stress cracks. Some of this damage was evident in the photos, so this feedback was not totally unexpected. Whatever price the broker had on Wanda, it was way too much was the advice provided.
Finally the survey started and news started to arrive of the progress. The good news was the engine was near new; a Yanmar 3JH5E, about 7 years old and 50 hours on the clock. That sounded promising. A new VHF radio was found, still in the box and yet to be installed. Also very encouraging. That was probably the high point of the survey.
Then the bad news came in thick and fast; there was a lot of oil/diesel in the bilge; both the headsail and mainsail were torn, shredded and worthless (the broker reported one as ‘near new’, which it may well have been before being shredded in the hurricane). All batteries needed replacement, there was evidence of rats, and possibly some of the wiring may have been chewed through, much of flooring was waterlogged and needed replacement. Oh, and the wind generator had been left dangling in the water and was encrusted with barnacles.
All this and we had not yet moved on to the rigging or engine test..