Buyer (and seller) beware!


Sustaining Member
Very interesting Youtube video involving the listing of an Ericson for sale. Worth watching especially if you’re new to sailing or naive about boat buying or selling. Most of us “old salts” know the lessons to be learned in this video but it’s still a good idea to be reminded of them once in awhile. If the current owner of the Ericson in question in the video is a member here I’m sorry for bringing this list to the attention of all but it is a good life lesson.


Member III
To me the sticky issue is whether it is okay for a seller to price a boat as though it has not had a grounding that requires major repairs and not disclose the grounding and represent the boat as in excellent condition. Or is it solely buyer beware and there's nothing more to it?


E35-3 - New Jersey
Bah. "Look at the boat before you buy it" sort of sums up all his heroic investigatory powers.
Seems to me that having a boat inspected out of the water would be covered in the very first chapter of Boat Buying 101. Who in the hell would make such a significant purchase based solely on a Pennysaver ad? (Sorry if that reference is lost on the youngins here. :) )

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Years ago, we had to be towed off of a hard (sand) grounding- 6 kts- , and subsequent inspection out-of-water showed zero damage. If I am seeing/understanding the video this boat has physical keel damage part way up the leading edge, and perhaps it collided with something hard like a rock ledge or a structure, at speed.
EY boats are quite tough, and it takes quite a knock to damage one.

That would be an insured repair, and should have been arranged for and paid for already. (?)
No matter what the present (and highly variable) market price might be, that boat would be a 50K (minimum) investment IMHO. And, insured appropriately.
Something Fishy about it, indeed! :(
The broker, now that this video is public, will have a major liability issue unless they are forthright about the condition of it, too. And, the seller.

As for the initial price, the seller can insist on whatever price they want, but it's up to the broker to agree and take the listing, at a price they can live with. (IMHO)

Pete the Cat

Member III
I can't tell you how many boats I have looked at with significant problems--often the result of "improvements" the POs have made to a potentially good boat--a sad thing to see. Seems like there are two issues here; neither the seller nor the broker divulged that there had been significant impact damage (not just an innocuous keel "smile" crack, but a fracture of the TAFG it appears--yikes--what it would take to do that!). There are low life brokers who are combing Craigslist for listings they have never personally seen who are more or less useless in the buying process, but one would think the owner knew of that level of damage. So I guess there is a question of misrepresentation there. But I looked at a number of boats before I bought my most recent Ericson and found serious issues that did not show up in the pictures provided. I did not assume the owner was necessarily fraudulent, in most cases I thought he just did not know or care. I have never felt brokers were reliable resources for advice---though I do recall one who steered me away from a boat he had listed--that was 30 years ago. But I seriously question the advice of most brokers. I think the fellow in this story did the right thing in taking along a knowledgeable friend to inspect the boat. Brokers hate this (and me when I am the friend).

Alan Gomes

Sustaining Partner
I have never felt brokers were reliable resources for advice
No joke. Half the time the information in broker listings is pure fantasy, even for basic aspects of the boat. There are some good brokers out there, but it's the wild west when it comes to this kind of stuff.

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
A broker is a middleman. I give them a list of questions for the owner, not for them. If the owner won't answer my questions via the broker, I take that as information.

The brokers I know join yacht clubs and work to establish and maintain a reputation. Not easy, given the expectations of us boat owners. Actually, my favorite broker did time in prison for errors in running his yacht business, but he is delightfully rehabilitated and continues a success here in MDR. So I say, look for a broker who has already done time. They are fully experienced.


Member III
Interesting that he raised that crack at the bow, since it’s not uncommon with 32-3’s p, and many of us sleep ok living with it.