This model vessel is well-known for its bluewater sailing pedigree. However, this particular vessel is in need of a major refit prior to venturing beyond protected inland waters, including significant renewal of the electrical systems, rigging, safety equipment, etc.The report didn't get much more positive in the pages that followed. It was broken down into seventeen sections, each with three columns: a title, like "Propulsion Engine"; a detailed description of the particular item or feature; and a statement about its condition. Unfortunately, the "SEE RECOMMENDATIONS" condition outnumbered the "Appeared Serviceable" and "Operational" conditions by a total of forty-four to thirty-seven. The recommendations were listed in a separate section near the end of the report. Under that section's title, it said: "Recommendations in BOLD are considered essential for the safety and proper function of the vessel." Almost all of the recommendations were in bold.
When I finished reading the report, I felt sick to my stomach. There was so much wrong with the boat. Would it be worth the time, effort and money to try to correct all of its problems? I walked down the dock to where Quetzal was slipped to talk with John Kretschmer. He could tell by the look on my face that the news wasn't good. He asked if I wanted him to read the report, and I told him I would appreciate it. We walked back to the marina office, I called it up on the computer, and then I left him alone.
When I caught up to him later, John was smiling. He said it sounded like the boat was in pretty good shape. This was coming from a man who has written hundreds of sailboat reviews for Sailing magazine and is the author of Used Boat Notebook. He knows boats, and he was saying that there was hope for Little Walk. "Really?" I said. "What about all those recommendations?" He said that most of them weren't all that critical and that he hadn't read anything that he considered to be a deal-breaker, like hull damage or deck delamination. And the best part, he said, was that the surveyor included a fair market value that was more than ten thousand dollars below my offer price. The broker and owner would need to adjust that price down accordingly, and I could probably negotiate an even lower price. If I was willing to spend the difference on improvements, I would come out of the deal with the boat in great condition for what I had expected to pay in the first place.
Photos and captions from the marine survey of Little Walk:
Photograph of Little Walk as seen from the starboard bow, taken at the time of survey on 4/26/2010.
Photograph of Little Walk as seen from the starboard quarter, taken at the time of survey haul-out on 4/26/2010.
Photograph of Little Walk as seen from the port bow, taken at the time of survey haul-out on 4/26/2010.
Photograph of a blister on the port aft hull bottom, taken at the time of survey on 4/26/2010. Blisters up to 3” diameter were found randomly throughout the hull finishes.
Photograph of a port cap shroud chainplate attachment to its plywood knee. The knee has deterioration along its bottom and there is likely crevice corrosion of the chainplate. All of the shroud chainplates need removal and inspection.
Photograph of engine exhaust as seen from the starboard side, taken at the time of survey on 4/26/2010. The insulated piping is deteriorated, and there is minimal vertical separation between the point of seawater injection and the waterlift muffler.