Topic: Boat Yard practices

aledsav1    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 5:30 AM
  Hi all been absent from here since joining as a newbie to the boating world.

Our nightmare as a first-time buyers:

In our naivety on buying a boat (private seller via a broker) from a boatyard, we allowed ourselves to be talked out of a prepurchase survey!
We trusted that the advice and guidance from the boatyard would be honest (stupid us).

We had discussed that we would want a survey and if all ok purchase the boat and then get the boatyard to carry out the antifouling once we purchased it, the broker then went on to say:

You would be having the boat lifted twice, once for the survey £1000, and then for the antifouling £750, when what we can do is an 'out of water condition report' at the same time as the antifouling (£250) saving the cost of the survey etc' this discussion was not as concise as this as the chat on this went on for 10 minutes

so we expressed our concerns that if we did not get a survey and then something come to light during the condition report that would cost us £5000 we could not afford it, we were then assured (the word guarantee was used) that there would be nothing that would show up that would cost anything like that, he did say that some things might show up but they would not be serious, we had spoken about osmosis and anodes and prop gaskets etc.

Anyway we bought the boat, and then I discovered a week later a small damp patch behind the sofa, I lifted the floor to discover a rotten stringer, on further investigation all the stringers are rotten and large sections none existent from complete deterioration, there had been a very poor DIY job carried out by the previous owner that addressed the support to the floor that the stringers offered, but did not address the more serious issue of the structural aspect of the boat.
So I approached the boatyard who then inspected and said it could not be lifted in this condition.

The boatyard has stated it is not their responsibility as they are just the middlemen, nor the sellers and it is basically down to us.

Now unfortunately the written description of the boat does not include condition, and it is purely the brokers word we took regarding that it will not have anything costly needed

Needless to say, this has caused us a great deal of stress and upset, and we have a boat that needs all of the internal elements ripping out, kitchen/toilet/shower, original walls, in order to remove all of the floor and replace the stringers.

A costly process that we cannot afford.

We are at a loss as what to do, we have a boat not fit for purpose, that we cannot get insured other than 3rd party, paying for it to be moored.

I know this is a common mistake for novices, though we did innocently have faith that a boatyard acting as a broker would certainly not so blatantly mislead us.

We have taken it to another (honourable) boatyard to advise on its condition and what needs doing, who expressed disgust at the selling practices (advice) and that the selling yard has said it has nothing to do with them.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-15-21 @ 6:52 AM

TerryTibbs    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 7:29 AM
  I would take legal advice but I'm afraid you will be told the same "caveat emptor" it is the buyers responsibility to check condition, buyer beware!
I don't know which boatyard you bought through but talking to the owner/M.D. may have an effect but I doubt it.
What boat is it that you have?


if it is to be it is up to me.

JollyRodger    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 7:30 AM
  I feel really sorry for you on this one. I Will say that there is one particular boatyard that I wouldn't touch with a proverbial barge pole but that doesn't help you.

We are going through funny old times and people have been unduly desperate to buy a boat and consequently, some rough old ones have been offloaded and sometimes at grossly inflated prices.

I am a bit surprised at the prices that you have been quoted for slipping, perhaps you were being tactically dissuaded from having a survey.

Mind you, a survey afloat was not impossible, e.g. asking a boatyard to go through her, if nothing else lifting the floorboards. Any creditable, experienced boatyard will know the likely problems associated with various types of boats and will know where to look.

Still, that doesn't help you now. To add to your problems most boatyards will by now have their winter schedules taken up and won't want to take on any extra work.

In your position, I would approach both Richardsons and Martham Boats, the latter dependent on whether your boat will pass under Potter Heigham Bridge. Both are well able to deal with sad boats.

I don't envy you your situation. At forty pounds plus an hour a thorough refurb is going to be expensive.

It's all very well being wise after the event, what to do now? Richardsons, maybe ask to speak to Clive, would be my next port of call.


Jolly Roger

Puddleduck    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 7:34 AM
  Very sorry to hear of your experiences. It would be useful to know which boatyard you bought your boat from and which you are now speaking to. However, it might not be prudent to answer on the open forum, so please PM me.  I have just sold my boat after nearly 40 year of boat ownership, so I may be able to offer some advice on specific points if you care to ask. There are also many on the forum who are far more experienced than me.  Hope you can get sorted.

JollyRodger    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 7:57 AM
  I suspect that a few of us could make an educated guess as to which yard and also as to the type of boat. Perhaps we should keep it to a guess though!

Looking ahead I suspect that it all boils down to budget and whether the boat is worth an expensive yard bill, whether it is worth throwing money at.  I also suspect that next summer's boating will be taken up by rebuilding work. Our forum friend is now in an unpleasant corner, personally I'd try and offload the boat before the bills come rolling in despite a probable loss.

Jolly Roger

Greybeard    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 8:33 AM
  Name and Shame.
then at least others new to the game would know who to avoid.

hitting those new to boat ownership with unrealistic quotes and bills leaves a bad taste in the mouth and gives a bad impression for all of the yards as the new purchasers don't have any previous knowledge of who to avoid.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

Puddleduck    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 8:52 AM
  Clive has been mentioned a couple of times for a contact at Richardsons. I believe he is now running his own show at Horning Pleasurecraft.

ruby    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 9:02 AM
  My two pennies worth is that looking back will do no good. Looking forward depends on whether you bought the boat because you loved it or because you thought you were getting a bargain.

If the former stay with it and treat the repairs as restoration budgeted over a few years .

If the latter get shot of it now even as a project if necessary. It will never bring you joy and you don't know what other gremlins you may find .

Don't think naming helps anybody as there are always two sides and a slanging match invariably follows.

Even for new boat owners the recognised advice couldn't be clearer . Get a survey unless you know the boat well or it comes with a written guarantee .

Boat ownership and saving money do not often appear together in the same sentence

Hope you manage to move forward successfully.


BuffaloBill    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 9:18 AM
  I believe he is now running his own show at Horning Pleasurecraft.

He is and there's been some changes with staff and from
what Iv'e heard, all to the good too.

The older I get...
The better I was....!!

Greybeard    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 10:09 AM
  Ok, If not knowing which yards to trust or avoid.
then the best course of action would be not to trust any of 'em.

the downside to this is the bad practices of the yard in question get to continue selling cr*p to new boaters.
and the decent yards suffer the same distrust.

boatyards with a bad reputation have a choice, change practices  for the better, or lose custom and go under.

it might have been prudent to either,
insist on a survey,
a thorough inspection yourself before parting with the coin,
walk away and find another boat.
but hindsight is always 20/20.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

This message was edited by Greybeard on Oct-15-21 @ 11:13 AM

ruby    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 10:32 AM
  Hi Greybeard

I agree a rating system or a trip advisor star system would be a good idea.

I only meant that an individual experience at a particular time is not always a representative view of a yard .


windy76    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 10:49 AM
  I’m sorry for this predicament but atleast you’re alright, that’s the main.
There’s a few options which others have mentioned in their good posts. Perhaps remind the broker that they had given a verbal guarantee of no significant damage and you can then come to a agreement with the work to carry out. But it seems like he said, I’m just the middleman so no actual legal incumbent on him/them to check the boat over. Surely they would want to lift the floorboards to check wether a private sellers boat was going to sink on their patch or not. Perhaps they don’t and they never saw the perishing stringers so gave the guarantee in good faith.  But he still gave that guarantee nevertheless.
I’m with Graham/Ruby advice on selling the boat on as a project if  you’re not completely smitten with it or perhaps if you would enjoy the process of replacing the stringers and building it back up just how you like it..bespoken, shipwrights style!

aledsav1    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 12:39 PM
  Thank you all for your replies.

The boatyard is not the one that instantly comes to mind for some(only know this after the boatyard I took it to for advice, asked if it was them).

And although I feel that I should name them given what I have experienced, I won't just yet.

I don't think they did this with complete intention (though my partner does) I think they have just been neglectful in their profession, the fact they told us the boat would have nothing seriously expensively wrong with it, and then when discovered it did, they do not have the decency to take any responsibility.

I am thinking of the legal aspect of the verbal advice/guidance and guarantee, though I know as a trader/broker they are not responsible, they are certainly responsible for misleading us about the boat's condition especially as we had been very clear of our financial position.

If we had the funds, we would plough another 10-15 thousand into it, but we don't, and the thought of selling it and taking 10 thousand loss is unthinkable.

So for now, we just have to wait to see what happens next.


aledsav1    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 12:43 PM
  Also, I would add that there may have been an additional invested interest for the yard selling it.

The owner had their new boat at the yard having a complete refit, this was to be ready within weeks and would then be going on the mooring (owners private) that the boat we bought was still moored at.


aledsav1    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 12:55 PM
  puddleduck pm sent


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-15-21 @ 1:55 PM

L'sBelles    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 2:57 PM
  Sorry to hear of your misadventure and inadequate guidance from someone in which you placed your trust.
However, without the intention of being dismissive, unless you had paid for a full structural survey whereby floors were lifted, fixtures and fittings removed etc. etc. which would have no doubt cost you £1000's, it is unlikely these issues would have been discovered.
When I purchased my boat a couple of years ago I had a basic survey done and the boat was given a clean bill of health. A comment was included that the floor was a little "springy" outside the WC "which is not uncommon for boats of this construction".
After a few months, when I removed the beds as part of a refit that we had intended to do from the point of purchase, I found that much of the plywood floor was so rotten you could push a finger through it and upon removing the rotten floor I found as you have the supporting framework was in a very sorry state.
Fortunately, I am quite handy with my power tools and have managed to rectify 40 years of wrongs but it has meant that with the unforseen work required, covid, fuel shortages and the like we have still yet to put the boat to its intended use.
Oh well, Christmas and the New Year afloat beckon and we are looking forward to it!

Dzign    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 3:41 PM
  Ok instead of naming and shaming perhaps we could be more positive, I'll start the ball rolling..
Just bought a boat from the NYA they advised me to have a survey despite the fact it was a stock boat their attitude in my case was that the surveyor may find something we have missed and this like I  say was on a stock boat!!


This message was edited by Dzign on Oct-15-21 @ 4:43 PM

Greybeard    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 5:34 PM
I agree, hence my comment of not trusting any of them,

many individuals will have had good or bad experiences from many different yards over their time in the boating world, It cant be a bad thing for all those events to be  mentioned,
It will soon become known who to avoid, who to keep an eye open for, and those that provide excellent service and customer care.

but I fear the horse has long bolted in this case and the unfortunate purchaser has a few ways to sort it. throwing money at it is one way out,
legal advice would be another.

the other alternative is not for public scrutiny,,,,maybe just  use your imagination.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

OldBerkshireBoy    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 6:06 PM
  I`ll share the experiance of two instances, one paid for a full survey on a boat but the guy missed a hole in the hull that had been badly repaired along with other thingss that should of been picked up on and the other once brought a motorhome which had had the whole rear panel badly replaced but looked ok and leaked like a sieve when it rained (not a mot thing).
So what can one do?

All help gratefully

flonker    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 6:26 PM
  Many service proffesions have insurance. Does the same apply to surveyors, in particular those who survey boats. Has the surveyor got insurance should he be found negligent. If so, how do you know if he has paid for such a provision, and how do you pursue him.

Dwile Flonker

Greybeard    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 8:16 PM
  @flonker, the yard talked the op out of having the survey, and gave assurance there was nothing major wrong with the vessel, I believe the word "guarantee" was used as the first post indicated.

It could of course be "speculated" that the survey was carefully sidestepped on purpose to hide the rot found previously.

"just saying"

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

flonker    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 9:25 PM
  With respect GB that is not what I queried.

In brief, what liability is the marine surveyor accountable. They seem to request, demand, a considerable sum for their services. There must be a degree of responsibility. Do they have insurance to protect themselves and in return their customers in the event of a consideration with regard to a conflict of opinion, an error in recognising a problem.

Dwile Flonker

Greybeard    -- Oct-15-2021 @ 9:58 PM
  I don't know the answer to your question,,
but it makes little difference to the op since  he was dissuaded from actually having a survey,,, with unfortunately, disastrous results.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 4:33 AM
  After the fact, I have done much research, and yes surveyors are insured though I am sure they have strong clauses.

I also am able to turn my hand to most anything, which is fortunate given our situation, also George at LBY who I took the boat to for his opinion (disgusting) has offered to assist with guidance and ordering materials through his BY, so am just waiting on a mooring to come free at LBY (as cannot be carried out at present mooring) in order to commence gutting, replacing stringers and then refit. Now, this is a mammoth undertaking as the boat is 43ft, but it is financially the only option available.

We cannot sell on as I would guess we would lose £10+ thousand, and all of our life savings went into this, with a nominal amount held back for necessary expenses, the biggest one being that the boat needed a freshen up, painting all of its outer.

As has been mentioned finding issues is not uncommon, and maybe a survey would not have identified the rotten stringers.

But my issue is the selling practice of the yard concerned, as we made very clear our financial situation and when the yard said about saving money by not having a survey, we then said our concern, that if something came to light that would cost £5000 we could not afford to get it repaired, we were guaranteed that nothing would be wrong with the boat that would cost that much.

Now this was the yards representative I do not know what position he holds, but when I then approached the owner and mentioned the above his reply was:

'Do not try and put this on me, I do not know what was said to you and am not responsible for this, it is a case of 'Buyer Beware'

Now I understand 'caveat emptor' however as far as I am aware what was said during the selling of the boat forms part of the description in some manner, and if there is anything that influences the purchase then there is a responsibility on the part of those who 'influenced'.

I have written to those concerned, and await a reply if any, I will then look at the next step to take.


L'sBelles    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 8:15 AM
  I totally understand your grievance, Alan.
The survey may not have discovered the problem but a boatyard talking you out of having a survey done was, at best, poor advice or, at worst, deliberately trying to hide serious flaws from you.
At least the second yard appears willing to offer assistance to you and to be fair to the industry most do.
Trying to take a positive from the sorry episode, as I did with mine, at least you can be sure you will end up with a solid deck and your boat can be refitted just how you want it. It will just take time!

Greybeard    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 8:21 AM
  Good luck with your project,
and the boatyard  has said,, in a figure of speaking that he couldn't give a flying fig what dodgy or misleading tactics his salesmen use,, so long as they sell the vessel it's nothing to do with him.
nice way to do business!

looks like you already have one for your "avoid" list.
once we know the yard, maybe we can all avoid it,after this who in their right mind would choose to do business with this shower.?

and lets hope of better luck with George at lby, he sounds much better and I expect has a better moral code.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

Stingers    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 8:26 AM
The Small Claims Court may be worth considering as it is not an expensive route to take (5% of the amount claimed, I believe) and you can represent yourself. I have had to use them twice in the past, not connected with a boat-related issue, and have won my case both times. Take a look at it on the website.
Good luck,

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 9:49 AM
  Greybeard pm sent

Thanks all, I will probably speak to a solicitor next, as the small claims (which I have used before) is close to £500 with no guarantee of success, and if a solicitor advises against pursuing then that £500 will be much needed for the project


JollyRodger    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 9:57 AM
  I'm guessing that the boat in question is a small cabin cruiser and, to be quite blunt, £10,000.00 is going to be a boat with problems. What I do find objectionable is the assurance that £5,000.00 would cover any eventualities, that just isn't realistic, either to expect or to suggest, at least not without doing a basic, visual inspection, e.g. lifting the floorboards. Terry Tibbs has suggested legal advice, I'm inclined to agree. It does appear to me that the yard concerned has been negligent.

Jolly Roger

Dzign    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 10:37 AM
  The op said the boat was 43 foot...


Perfectlady9    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 12:01 PM
  The survey may not have picked the rotten stringers up because unless you remove all the floors before hand anything screwed down is not removed I found this out on my boat as the majority of the hull was not inspected inside .  

In a nutshell
The Moore the merrier.

windy76    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 12:11 PM
  Oh I’m a bit peeved to hear surveyors don’t carry basic power tools or doesn’t form part of the ships thorough inspection.
However, delighted to hear this boat is going to be kept and restored bespoken by the owner as they like and it would be a honour to give it a wave if our wakes should ever meet. Wise decision a good boat will always be a good boat either in a storm or at port.

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 12:12 PM
  Yes as appears from the replies that survey or not I would have found myself in the same situation, so therefore it is just down to the boatyards salesmans pitch and ‘guarantee’ that nothing expensive would be wrong with the boat, which I suppose is our naivety in trusting a professional in this field not to mislead us, especially after being very clear that our financial situation was not one where we could afford to buy something that needed expensive repairs.


JollyRodger    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 3:04 PM
  Are we talking a Wild's 'Bahama' by any chance? 43 feet long if I remember correctly. Famously prone to rotting floors and stringers, as well as the lower ends of the bulkheads which tend to sop up the bilge water. I would have expected that any experienced Broads yard would be well aware of this problem, one which stems from the flat and shallow bilges where there is a tendency for bilge water to accumulate and lay there.

Jolly Roger

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 3:45 PM
  It is a Harvey Eastwood ‘Broadminded’

Have to add to the story, the original bill of sale I received was not signed by the owner nor witnessed, I did chase up a signed etc bill before all this came to light, and have since mentioned it during the last conversation with the yard owner, which was many weeks ago now, as I am not the best at staying composed when strong emotions are at play, so am avoiding contact in order to not escalate matters beyond civil to criminal.

Needless to say I have no bill of sale and therefore a boat that is not registered to us, I don’t know the legalities of that?


aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 5:35 PM
  Insult has now been added to injury as the owner of the boatyard has now lied in a written reply to a letter we sent him.

so I am now naming them, I can accept negligence and mistakes, but now that he has fabricated events that did and did not take place, it is clear that the guy is morally corrupt and therefore leads me to believe that he has no moral compass in his business dealing.

Marine Tansmissions


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-16-21 @ 8:03 PM

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:14 PM
  One good thing is he has lied in a reply letter  'that he has no concerns with the structural integrity of the boat and lifting it'

However I have a recording of a phone call where he says 'he would not be happy to lift the boat until some work had been carried out to make it structurally stronger'

Dealing with a complete lair


JollyRodger    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:18 PM
  Is Marine Transmissions a boatyard as such?
Harvey Eastward boats were normally very well built.

Jolly Roger

JollyRodger    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:39 PM
  Harvey Eastward did, like a lot of us in the industry, buy-in hulls from Wilds etc. Perhaps the boat in question is one of these? My comments re flat and shallow bilges still stand.

Jolly Roger

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:41 PM
  well when I visited them they had 2 boats out of the water (inside) being completely refitted, so I do not know if that classifies as a boatyard (still novice) but they have sold me a boat and are working on boats.


aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:44 PM
  Yes Jolly its pretty similar to that, having removed some flooring, the fiberglass is flat until the center where it drops to create the bilge though i wouldn't say it was shallow, it is about maybe 2 foot deep though not so wide, there are a couple of slight channels on the flatter surfaces but only an inch or two deep and wide


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-16-21 @ 8:45 PM

Greybeard    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 7:57 PM
  A quick google reveals only information concerning marine engines and their repair, nothing about boat sales, or brokerage, moorings etc? haven't even got a website.

head honcho is toby cox,, apparently.

something not quite right about this whole scenario,
and no bill of sale given,, even after request?

very odd way to operate a business.
this also came up,, scroll down the page and our very own paladine has met the fellow in question, perhaps he could assist in some way?

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

This message was edited by Greybeard on Oct-16-21 @ 9:15 PM

aledsav1    -- Oct-16-2021 @ 8:01 PM
  I have a bill of sale, just not signed by owner and witnessed, and nothing after requesting a proper one, but yes after today's reveal of them lying on paper about our interactions ( I was extremely angry) and me digging out the recording of what he actually said at the time(the opposite), they are a shoddy outfit.

But they are a business and have customers, regrettably me being one of them.


Paladine    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 9:11 AM
Greybeard, I don't know why you want to involve me in this. My post, from 2014, to which you refer, was:

"The chap at Stalham Staithe is Brian Greenwood and he has loads of old spare parts in his workshop.

Contact numbers are 01692 582239 or more likely mobile 07947 817767. "

Just an update, as this seems to be a useful resource. I have no connection, but ran into Toby this afternoon and had a chat.

Brian Greenwood has retired. His business and premises are being carried on by Toby Cox as Marine Transmissions @ Stalham Staithe. From what slodge has said, he seems to know his business.

Tele: 01692 582239
Mob:  07788 598789

Since then, I haven't heard anything derogatory about him, but nor have I had any professional dealings with him.

By the same token, I don't know the OP, who hasn't been the forum long enough to establish a reputation, so my only comment on this situation would be caveat emptor

Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 9:37 AM
  This topic started by me was to air my experience as a total novice and to receive any guidance and support from those with knowledge.

I did not start this topic to create any friction between anyone on this forum, and I also did not start this topic naming the yard or person in question.

I have since named, only due to the fact..(regardless of me being relatively new and therefore my reputation is unknown) that I now have a letter from Toby where he has fabricated the reason he did not lift the boat, stating that he has no concerns structurally about lifting this vessel but that it was because I was aggressive, so not only has he lied about the reason, but also was slanderous about myself. when in actual fact the reason he did not lift the boat was due to its structural issues, I have a recorded phone call with him where he says he cannot lift the boat as is due to the issues with the structure, nothing to do with the reason he states in the letter. the guy is a lair and I have the proof of that.

So anyone who knows him, may not know him well enough to know how he actually conducts himself in business, when he thinks he can get away with it.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-17-21 @ 10:42 AM

L'sBelles    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 9:45 AM
  Alan wrote " the fiberglass is flat until the center where it drops to create the bilge though i wouldn't say it was shallow, it is about maybe 2 foot deep though not so wide, there are a couple of slight channels on the flatter surfaces but only an inch or two deep and wide."

That sounds very much like what I discovered under my floor. The central bilge is fine and no problem but those shallow trays, on my boat at least, are all interlinked through small, maybe 1" diameter,drainage channels. Over the years these channels silt up with decaying leaves with general dust and dirt and once they are blocked it doesn't take long for these flat trays to fill with water that cannot escape so it soaks into your floor. Give it a few years and you have a rotten floor.
Since you appear to be having the whole floor up it may be prudent to see if you can improve on the original  interconnecting drainage by enlarging the channels or adding more of them if at all possible.

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 9:58 AM
  Yes it would be prudent to look at altering these channels when it is all exposed, so will do thanks.

This whole discovery came about due to a pump not clearing the bilge where the shower empties into, so I replaced the faulty pump cleared the bilge, and then went on an investigation and noticed a slightly damp section of floor behind the couch, I removed a small section of the floor to discover the rotten stringer, which led me to remove larger sections of floor to discover more and more rot, to the degree that whole sections of stringers are missing due to previous years of rot, however there had been a DIY job carried out using off cuts of what looks like any wood available (decking, 2b4 etc) to give the floor structure, I have since found that through out the whole boat this DIY job has been carried out which did give the floor its solidity though did nothing to address the stringers and therefore the structural support they give the boat, all of the still existing rotten stringers where left in place and just bits of wood where patched onto them for the purpose of supporting the floor, there were also wedges put between the fiberglass hull and the floor to support it.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-17-21 @ 11:06 AM

Greybeard    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 11:14 AM
  @ paladine. I don't want to "involve" you at all?
that's entirely up to you.

I searched to see if there were any other references to the yard in question and came across your old post.

previous posts of yours have been both eloquent, level headed and informative, I therefor wondered if you could add anything that may be helpful.

I hadn't realised there was a time period that entitled posters to help and advice.

I'm sure if it was a broads authority matter you would be all over it. Playful Wink

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

This message was edited by Greybeard on Oct-17-21 @ 12:15 PM

Paladine    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 3:15 PM
Greybeard, I understand what you're saying. If this was something of public concern, then I would do extensive research of my own, before jumping in with both feet. But, in this case, it is a private matter between two individuals. As far as I am aware, Toby isn't a member here, and even if he was, I wouldn't expect him to try to settle any dispute on a discussion forum.

While it is useful to be aware of local companies that give good or bad service, it isn't at all helpful to set out any dispute, blow by blow, in such a public, and one-sided, manner. For all we know, the OP may be totally naive and trusting and has been well and truly 'had over'. Or he might have simply bought badly and is trying to blame someone else. If the defects are only discoverable by taking up the flooring, I doubt whether any surveyor would have found them, although, if it is a known problem of this type of boat, suitable advice about checking may have been given.

I would suggest that taking legal advice should be the next step. NBF isn't able to sort this out and I don't think that using the forum to trash a local business's hitherto good reputation is desirable.

Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 3:57 PM
  I am being brought into question by you, so I could very well be lying about all of this as you have given as one of the options regarding what I am stating, as could anybody who posts anything on here.

The fact that you ran into Toby and spoke to him, possibly suggests you are bringing me into question not purely as an unbiased observer.

My intention was not to trash a local business and reputation on here, as the first post I think makes clear, but when a local business with 'hitherto good reputation' is conducting themselves in the manner in which they are dealing with myself and my partner, (though you bring that into question) then I will publicly say the facts as they are, and if that is not allowed on this forum then so be it, a rule is rule and therefore must be adhered to and apply in all such situations.

Though I brought this topic here as we are suffering this very much alone, and this has been an extremely stressful and upsetting experience, and when I see my partner crying as a result of what has taken place by this company/person, believe me venting on a forum is mild in comparison to what I actually feel like doing about this.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-17-21 @ 4:58 PM

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 4:11 PM
  I am not trying to be confrontational when I say this and I have no ill feelings, but if anyone wishes to question me and the facts in this matter, I will happily bring his letter and the recording proving that he is a lying S......G


expilot    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 4:42 PM
  Where are the moderators?  Whilst I respect, understand and empathise with the OP's emotions re this matter, no public forum is ever the right place to discuss issues between two people involved in a contract.

I should add that I know none of the parties involved nor any of the previous posters to this thread.  

"There are old pilots.  There
are bold pilots............."

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 5:07 PM
  I have not read all the forum rules, but if there is the rule that I cannot comment negatively (though factually) on my experience with a boatyard and in particular the owner and their conduct, then I will happily accept that and not mention any more on the subject.

And the contract is with the boatyard a company and the owner of that company, and not between two private individuals, a company is in the public domain and does not have the same privacy rights as an private individual, otherwise google reviews would be awash with edits.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Oct-17-21 @ 6:11 PM

ruby    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 5:53 PM
  Hi Alan

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I did suggest that naming and shaming inveriably ends up in a slanging match and does not end up with a good outcome for anyone.

Please accept I am only trying to help and prevent you from ruining your first experience of boating so that it becomes your last.

From your first post  about mooring problems it is clear you rushed into the boat purchase with great enthusiasm but not much research.

I strongly suggest you take a step back as you have clearly been sold a dud and no amount of fettling will bring  it to a state you love.

From many years of experience I can tell you that boats are either maintained well or they are bodged. If you have evidence that something on your boat has been bodged and repaired badly it is very likely that will be true of all aspects of the boat. Windows, Hull and deck, engine, water, heating.

The work to sort out all the bodging is disproportionately high and incredibly stressful and is sometimes impossible to resolve.

Your boat is likely to be over 40 years old with a working life expectancy of 20 years. Convert that to a 40 year old car. How likely is that a car from the 1970s will be usable and not have big issues.

Even at this late stage it is not too late to get a proper survey to give you the assurance it is worth proceeding to put right the known and unknown faults.

Neither paladine or I are judging but making the point there is two sides to every story and the forum is not a good place to try and resolve what are evidently personal issues.

My biggest fear is you become obsessed to the point where reason goes out of the window and you pour more and more money (including solicitors fees) and effort into righting a perceived wrong.

In my limited experience your chance of successfully claiming the broker has a responsibility to you as purchaser is very poor.

I sincerely hope you are able to move on successfully


Greybeard    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 6:32 PM
in a small effort to lighten the mood I would add most cars in the '70,s as I recall junk and rustbuckets right off the production line,,[when it was actually running] LOL

what would you [anybody] consider to be the "austin allegro" of the boating world?

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

aledsav1    -- Oct-17-2021 @ 7:06 PM
  I will not be continuing this topic as i did not set out for it to deteriorate into this, and should have stuck with my initial silence on the company and also heeded advice along the same lines.

Thank you for your advice on my continuing to pursue the trader, however I am not willing to accept what has taken place and shall be seeing a lawyer.

With regards to going into this, yes we were hasty in hindsight and did not do enough research, though what we did was speak to a long term boat owner that we know and we spoke to Clive at richardsons who’s family members we know in addition to doing hours of googling, however we missed some essential elements and probably went into to much detail on aspects of buying and owning a boat that were not of immediate importance.

Our intention is to go forward with the boat, we want to and we cannot afford  to sell on as a project and lose what for us would be a considerable amount of money.


JollyRodger    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 7:29 AM
  Alan. I admire your persistence but I do advocate caution. I note that you feel that you can't afford to lose your initial purchase price. In life it is sometimes prudent to cut your losses. Effectively you now have a project boat, one which many of us would regard as an evergrowing hole in a pocket. I note that Martham Boats are advertising shed and hard standing but that will become a standing cost, one that could persist for a year or two. You will need to dry out your hull before new floors and stringers can be successfully bonded to the old hull. £5000.00 is not going to go far.

Jolly Roger

aledsav1    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 11:24 AM
  On further advice today from a much-trusted yard, we can not continue with the boat, however, he has said we will lose so much, that selling it is not an option, as it would be £17000+ which is pretty much 2/3rds of what we paid for it. Our only option is to now put all of our resources and energy into pursuing this legally, given everything we have regarding this (and we have spoken to several boat-related people and professionals in other walks) we feel, and are being advised that we should pursue it. So next step is a specialist consumer law/rights solicitor.


Cambridgecabby2    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 12:02 PM
  Sorry to read about your misfortune , I hope it stands as a warning to others to always have a survey when purchasing a boat .

Legal recourse may seem to you now as the only way forward , and as the amount involved is greater than the £10k limit of the small claims court , any legal action can and will very quickly run up high costs.

As this is now going to end up in litigation IMHO it would be prudent for the thread to be hidden/removed so as to avoid any further speculation and possible repercussions

JollyRodger    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 12:04 PM
  Good luck!

Jolly Roger

ruby    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 12:22 PM
  Oh dear, I hope my pessimism proves to be unfounded.

Maybe you could let us know the final outcome in due course.

All the best


aledsav1    -- Oct-18-2021 @ 1:24 PM
  Yes, I think it prudent I now wait until such time as warrants an update.
I am not concerned as to anything I have written on here, apart from a bit of a vent and voicing my personal opinion on someone (based on my experience of them) everything is event-based and factual.

thank you all and to those who PM'd me, most helpful.


aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:20 AM
  Ok update

after paying a consumer law solicitor to look at and advise on our situation, we cannot pursue this, as we have been given a 50/50 chance of winning and to take it to court would cost us £15,000, to much money for us and even if we had the funds to do that, if we lost it would be in the region of £37,000 costs.

As much as I want those who did this to be held accountable and responsible, it appears justice is there for those with deep pockets.

If the law was kept simple then we would be ok.

'loss occurs....make whole'

Now if anyone can assist with this query I would be most grateful.

We do not have a signed/witnessed bill of sale (we have an unsigned one) despite 2 requests for a signed bill to the yard and I have contacted the original owner for one, none of these parties are coming forth with a I need a signed bill of sale? how can I register the boat?

We have two options sell on or fix up ourselves. we are weighing up the pros and cons of both at present.

Now to sell the boat on as a project and try and recoup some money out of this mess (saying that politely!), will not having a signed bill of sale or any documentation hinder that?


Sheque1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 7:36 AM
  I greatly sympathise with your position.. as far as I can see the only way forward is to do the repairs yourself..

As for registration if you are meaning with the Broads Authority then no proof is needed.. Just fill in the form  you've got XXX pay them them the money and you're registered. Registration with BA is not proof of ownership..

ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 8:20 AM
  Hi Alan

I agree with sheque. As she already has a BA registration all they will want is the money next April along with a valid BSS and insurance declaration .

Assuming of course the previous owner paid this year's Toll ???

If you are worried about proof of ownership for yourself to stop anyone claiming th boat after you have restored it then you should be ok with your current bill of sale plus a visible audit trail of the finances ie. bank transfer or cheque not cash or swap for car or paid to a third party friend of the owner.

I once gave a Broads registered project boat away with no documentation and she has been successfully used on the Broads subsequently by two different owners .

By the way did you finally get the mooring you were searching for .?

All the best


aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 10:43 AM

Ok so I have an unsigned bill of sale and banktransfer of the purchase.

The toll is paid until end of march

However I do not have a BSS although the boat was sold stating it had one?

and looking at registering the boat all I can find is registering and paying the toll? and that I need to provide the BSS?

I don't know what to do, do I get a new BSS carried out and then register the boat and repay the toll, as the site seems to suggest I have to do that?

sorry so ignorant to all of this.


JollyRodger    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 11:04 AM
  Alan, you have my sympathies, not that that is worth a jot!

If you contact the Broads Authority tolls department then you can explain that you are the new owner, they won't ask you to prove that. However, if the boat has Broads registration numbers then they can tell you if the boat is tolled and whether it has a BSS certificate. Now, if you are NOT using the boat but that she is laid up, either afloat or ashore, and that you are working on her, or if a yard is working on her, then I believe that the BA can agree that the boat is toll exempt whilst the work is done. The same applies if the boat is on brokerage. The Tolls Office is staffed by good people, give them a call. If I'm wrong then I'm sure that someone will tell me! In the meantime have a word with Martham Boats with regard to storing her ashore so that you can work on her. You can trust Martham and they will advise. I won't advise where not to go but I'm confident that Martham will treat you right. Martham is used and trusted by many of us locals which should tell you something.

Jolly Roger

This message was edited by JollyRodger on Nov-23-21 @ 12:14 PM

ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 11:08 AM
  If it is tolled it must have had a BSS certificate valid at that time. I believe they are a public record and you should be able to check when it expired with the BSS people.

If it is still ok you just need to tell theBA you now own the boat , it is insured and they will send future toll reminders to you.

You will not have to pay again for this year .

Without wishing to cause more strife if you have the existence of a BSs in writing and it turns out to by untrue that opens the possibility of a claim against the advertiser so you might get some accountability after all .

Finally if you need a BSS be prepared for a nasty shock as it might fail . A well maintained  boat will pass with no trouble at  every renewal but  a bodged boat can be costly to bring back to the necessary standard. Sensible to allow for £1000 just in case .

Good luck



JollyRodger    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 11:19 AM
  Re the BSS, it might be worth having a test, if only to find out what needs doing! The integrity of the hull is, perhaps surprisingly not a part of the BSS.

Jolly Roger

ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 11:29 AM
  Sorry Alan

I think my memory of the BSS being a public record is wrong. Their web site says new owners should get details from previous owners ( not much use to you)

The BA will have access to the BSS database and can confirm existence of a certificate but only to the registered owner .

I suggest a phone call to the tolls office is the way forward. They are incredibly helpful and will do their best to help but they cannot break data protection rules .

I think you need to see what they say before deciding your next step.

I strongly suggest you keep the question simple without confusing them with the back story .

Good luck


annville    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 12:52 PM
  Hi Alan tha BA will tell you next year when you tax the boat if it needs a BSC if not 2 to 3 hundred pounds for four years providing it passes, if it had one there shouldn't be much to do fire extinguisher or fire blanket out of date is most common. John

aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 12:58 PM
  It is definitely tolled as I checked online and it says toll paid.

So given that it is paid am I right to assume it has a current valid BSS even though I don't have access to it?

I have it insured for 3rd party only as I could not get anything else on it as it cannot even be lifted for a survey, should I want to have one (after the fact).

So I suppose my only issue (outside of all of the other issues) is the registration of the boat.

should I go ahead with the repairs (self) it needs to be in the water as not safe to lift until they are carried out, unless it can be boarded out with say scaffold boards inside to give it some structural strength for lifting.

But I am near to George at Ludham so ideally I would stay close by to there.

Also my mooring renewal is due end of december so have to also decide what I am doing for that reason also


TerryTibbs    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 1:13 PM
  The survey may not have picked the rotten stringers up because unless you remove all the floors before hand anything screwed down is not removed I found this out on my boat as the majority of the hull was not inspected inside"
Ive had Andorra surveyed twice and both times they were very thorough, All floor boards lifted under seats in cupboard, first time was by Steve Truss who in my opinion was the best surveyor on the Broads but moved abroad, second was Guy Simmonds (if I remember tight, the boatyard arranged it for me, equally thorough. Both carry a pretty full set of tools, hammer and screwdriver Wink   .  

if it is to be it is up to me.

ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 1:22 PM
  The BSS is on a rolling basis so Al Hough it had one at 1 April 2021 it may have expired in 30 August 2021 if that is the fourth  anniversary of the test  .

You really need to find out if you can


aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 4:18 PM
  The owner did say in a message at the beginning of this when I enquired that there was a safety cert with about 3 years remaining on it.. is there anyway I can find out other than seeing the cert?, as the owner is not replying to me at all, and the boatyard certainly is not worth asking, I wouldn't waste my time for start and also I need to distance myself for my own sanity and liberty.


ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 4:35 PM
  The tester could tell you but you wouldneed to know who that was and that looks to be difficult .

The BA definately could once you have convinced them you are the new owner .They have on line access to the BSS system

I really think a polite phonecall to the BA tolls office is the way forward  

Good luck


L'sBelles    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 4:43 PM
  Have you asked the Boat Safety Scheme operator if they can help?
They can supply copy certificates but to registered owners.
However, the certificate tells you nothing really and all you need to know is the certificate number, the examiner and the expiry date.
The BA already know all of that and since you are trying to register the boat, and of course pay a toll in a few months time, they may fill that in themselves and register the boat in your name. If you speak to them nicely they may even tell you the relevant information for insurance and mooring purposes.
Once you are the registered owner you can get a copy certificate if you feel the need for the piece of paper.
It is worth looking at the BSS website as you can download a checklist of what is actually inspected and in reality most of it revolves around safety equipment like CO alarms, fire extiguishers, gas pipes, fuel leaks and the like; they are not really interested in structural integrity.

JollyRodger    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 4:44 PM
  Alan, I don't often get overly concerned over other folk's problems but that you consider your boat can not be slipped is worrying me. Who actually told you that it can not be slipped? It may be that a particular yard lifts a boat using strops and a hoist and perhaps feels that your boat is too tender to risk lifting. On the other hand, a yard that uses a cradle that will support the keel in its entirety might feel that the boat can be lifted. Martham have an ingenious cradle that can handle tender boats. Another way of looking at it is that if your boat needs DIY rebuilding then there is a high risk to a yard that the job will never be completed and the yard will be lumbered, it has happened! If no one will risk lifting your boat then my gut feeling is that you will be best to walk away from the project. That will inevitably mean disposing of an end of life boat, that will cost. You may have told us, is your boat GRP or timber? GRP really needs to be dry if you intend to bond anything to the hull.

Jolly Roger

Greybeard    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:22 PM
  Judging by the respectable and honourable people who have looked at this boat and virtually condemned it.
I for one refuse to accept the seller was unaware of its many failings.
furthermore the very fact that the unfortunate and trusting buyer was persuaded to bypass any survey and conned into thinking this boat was fit for purpose suggests conformation of this.
a "guarantee" was  given or implied, that once secured a sale was quickly forgotten or denied.

having worked very hard to get where I am today I know how it must feel for the buyer to be in this position.
this so called boatyard salesman has had this poor fellow over.

I sympathise and I am glad It's not me in this position,,,,,
and so should that crooked seller.

I have been told by more than a few lately this is not an isolated occurrence in the norfolk boating world,and have recently seen another example of a £20k boat that was suffering from long term neglect and passed off as much better than it actually is.

these people have no moral code,, trust them at your financial peril.  

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:25 PM
  thanks all

Boat is GRP, and I was told it could not be lifted due to the stringers (or whatever supports the floor but more importantly gives the boat its structural strength width wise) being rotten in the main or missing due to years of rot.

It was explained that if it was lifted it could just collapse in on its self like an eggshell.

The boat is 40+ years old but is dry as I have lifted about a 3rd of the floor and the areas the rotting stringers are are now free from the water that was sitting there, I am under the impression from looking that the water has made its way in from the fittings (fuel/water) on the deck as there are several areas that are spongy and on a couple of the fittings there is a small gap between the deck and the fitting, I assume that the spongy (balsa) wood has allowed the deck to drop away from the fittings.

The boat from my novice opinion is salvageable, and have been told that by a boat builder also, it is just the amount of work needed that I would be doing as finances do not allow any other option,  everything needs removing to expose all of the stringers for replacement, and then I would need to do a refit once the stringers are in, floor, walls, ceiling then kitchen toilet shower etc etc. Vast job.

Fortunately I am more than capable but it is logistics, time and money that create the real issues we face.

And that is why we are considering selling it on as a project at a massive loss.


aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:34 PM
  Greybeard...I totally agree, given everything, I think we were knowingly 'seen coming' and our naivety and trusting nature left us wide open to this sort of practice, and it is just such a pity we are not in the position to pursue them, as the 27000 we paid was everything we had, apart from the money we had allocated to moorings, insurance and some cosmetic work that we knew was needed, we have since spent another 500+ on solicitors advice, more money wasted, and now we have to do something asap as at the mooring we are at the next years payment starts end of December.

I have set up a 'GOFUNDME' fundraiser campaign to try and bring some money in to help us out, as half of myself and my partner wants to carry on with the boat and bring it back to good condition, but the other half of us has been so battered by this whole experience that we just want put it behind us.  


ruby    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:39 PM
  After all the grief you have had you will never love that boat and you will continuously be reminded of others failings and the injustice of it all .

Far better to bite the bullet and shift it on , for your sanity if nothing else .

Fingers crossed you make a decision you are happy with.
(Only in my opinion of course )


aledsav1    -- Nov-23-2021 @ 5:42 PM
  Both myself and my partner (Gemma) are pretty easy going and do not suffer greatly from lifes curve balls, but this has had me with sleepless nights just churning it over and tears on both our parts, and although the money side of things has had an impact as we have we have taken a big hit, we can sort of live with that, but what I am finding really difficult to accept is that we cannot hold them accountable for this and although I am not one who wants to dish out revenge, and much prefer to forgive, I have had some silly thoughts and would love to let go of the frustration I feel.


TerryTibbs    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 11:57 AM
  " finding really difficult to accept is that we cannot hold them accountable for this and although I am not one who wants to dish out revenge, and much prefer to forgive, I have had some silly thoughts and would love to let go of the frustration I feel."
I would go down the small claims Court route, It will cost you approx £400-450 and you will have to get quotes for the work that needs to be carried out, From what you say it sounds as though you have a reasonable case, but you can never tell. The difficulty is in proving they dissuaded you from having a survey carried out and linking that to them knowing a survey would in all probability kill the claim.
Your first step is to get quotes, download the form and make them aware of what you are intending to do and give them chance to pay or make a counter offer.
If you do file a claim, make it in a court convenient for you but as far away from the other party as you can.
Worth a read

if it is to be it is up to me.

Paladine    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 1:32 PM
TT, your link doesn't work. This one should

Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

JollyRodger    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 1:41 PM
  For the life of me, I don't see why the hull of a grp boat should collapse in on itself if it is lifted on a proper boat cradle, one with adequate bilge supports. I can see the problem if she's to be lifted with strops, even with adequate spreaders. Martham boats really would be my next port of call.

Dodgy yards, dodgy salespeople, yes, they do exist. One, in particular, I often see being praised on forums. Based on that praise, and following a phone enquiry, I went along to buy what turned out to be an aged, second-hand outboard. Cheeky sod wanted to charge me £200.00 more than would a well known, big Wroxham chandlers, one who subsequently sold me a brand new engine of the same make! I don't think that I have 'mug' tattooed on my forehead!

Jolly Roger

This message was edited by JollyRodger on Nov-24-21 @ 2:46 PM

ruby    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 2:26 PM
  Hi jolly

Not sure how martham can help as we have already established the boat can't get under the bridge. Perhaps they have a mobile facility but for a 42 foot boat that seems a bit unlikely.


ruby    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 2:34 PM

The small claims court is indeed an option and it may indeed work just by the initial claim however he has already been told by a qualified expert he only has a 50 /50 chance of winning if it gets to court  .

I do not share your confidence of the chance of success particularly as it is a very grey area and only one person's word against another of what was said .

However the initial claim providing it is for less than £10 K might just work before it gets to court  


aledsav1    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 2:42 PM
  Yes cannot get to Martham, so all I am going on is that given the stringers have rotted (they provide support width wise) that it is not advisable to lift the boat, am not versed in different lifting options that can work around this.

small claims was an original route however we then went to a solicitor, and I really do not want to throw another 400+ into pursuing something that might not lead anywhere, given that a consumer law solicitor who is a litigator has advised we would only have a 50/50 chance of winning, I very much doubt small claims with out legal representation would fall in our favour, and again we would then have to cover their legal costs so another chunk of money we so badly need to repair the boat.


Stingers    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 3:44 PM
  Alan, you do not need legal representation in the small claims court and they do not normally award legal costs either. My family have used their services 3 times and have won all three cases, even when up against the resident barrister of a well-known national coach company.


Greybeard    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 4:14 PM
  some might say honesty and value for money, would be a rarity in both boat salesmen and the legal profession.
"just saying"

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

aledsav1    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 4:36 PM
  Thanks Andy, might try that route then as it might just be worth a punt at this late stage after exhausting everything else.

Greybeard, my only experience with both those professions really is this situation. So in general I don't know, but the boatyard (ludham) I have since been to for advice on the boat apart from being extremely helpful without me actually being a customer, also explained their selling practices and it is the opposite end of the spectrum to what happened to us.


Steve51    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 5:13 PM
  Alan, you say you've been advised that your chances of success are 50/50. It may be that the defendant will take the same view and when presented with the court documents, decide not to contest it. It may also help your case if you had your friendly boatyard provide you with a condition report. Sadly, it's all a gamble, but one you may feel is worth it.

Steve. CM1 and NR12

aledsav1    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 6:00 PM
  I have just had a good read up on small claims and given the case I would be presenting it would more than likely be that we would have to attend the court (as I thought small claims were just done remotely with the evidence presented in written form).

Now given it would be an actual physical hearing that factors in more costs, and it appears that solicitors can also be an option, so should the other side choose to have legal representation I would be on the back foot unless I also hired a solicitor, again we are talking money we cannot afford to lose should it not go our way, and then leave us with even less chance of fixing up the boat.


Greybeard    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 6:40 PM
  Sorry Alan,I should have been more specific.
I meant the dodgy seller,   and I realise there are some good guys out there too.

see the post by Steve 51, he has a good point,and his suggestions are sound.

the  condition of the boat was misrepresented to you.the photos and the findings of a respected boatyard will help your case.

but at the end of the day its of course your decision.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

spiderman    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 9:15 PM
  My 2 penneth on this would be don't even contemplate doing a major rebuild unless you are totally committed to it.
I've got the t-shirt on this one.
It was a lifelong ambition of mine to bring an old boat back to life and its a hard slog, especially if you have a life to live alongside. Important was somewhere to actually do the work, most importantly was the time,money and enthusiasm to complete it.
I found I was usually short of one of the 3. I completed it in the end but it took an awful lot more money, effort and time than I ever expected.
I wish you all the best if you take it on, but be under no illusion as to how much work is involved.
Don't want to put you on a further downer but it's never straightforward.
The plus side you end up with a boat you know inside and out and is just how you want it, and there is a wealth of advice to be found in these forum pages.
Good luck!

Paladine    -- Nov-24-2021 @ 9:35 PM
aledsav1, I think you need to read up some more about the Small Claims Court. The system is designed to be a low-cost solution for disputes - there is plenty of free information available on-line e.g. and

For a claim under £10,000, legal costs are not usually recoverable, win or lose. I cannot comment on the strength of your claim, as I have not seen the evidence, but if you have written evidence of being misled and the boat being in an unfit, possibly dangerous, condition, the 50/50 might swing in your favour.

I have taken three international companies through the Small Claims Court procedure. Only one case even reached court and when it did, the company's solicitor capitulated in front of the judge.

If you read, understand and follow the procedures, prepare your case as fully as possible, present your evidence logically and are willing to go all the way, you may find the process is not as daunting as you seem to think. It's geared up to be accessible to the layman.

Edited to add: Sutton Staithe Boatyard have an adjustable lifting trailer, which supports the hull on its keel and side supports, which might well be the solution to getting your boat out to work on. But winter is when many boats come out for storage, so you might have to wait until the Spring for shore space.

Been hit by another boat? Report the incident to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s dedicated accident reporting line on 023 8023 2527 which is monitored 24 hours a day.  Help to make the Broads safer.

This message was edited by Paladine on Nov-24-21 @ 10:42 PM

aledsav1    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 6:33 AM
  My partner does not want to throw anymore money at pursuing the legal aspect of this, shes had enough of it all and really just wants to get on with it from here on.
If it was just me then I would be continuing through SC court.

On taking on the complete refit as that is what it would essentially more or less be, removing all internal aspects, replacing the stringers and then complete refit, I am not to phased at the amount of work,(I have done complete house renovations before, back to just the basic structure, internal walls removed to change layout etc and complete refit of everything including the electrics and plumbing) the main factors are a place to carry this out and money, as I would be taking it back to its GRP shell internally, but the other option is BOATSHED, see what they price it at as a project just to recoup something might be the lesser of 2 evils rather than ploughing much more time and money into it.


TerryTibbs    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 9:02 AM
  "I have just had a good read up on small claims and given the case I would be presenting it would more than likely be that we would have to attend the court (as I thought small claims were just done remotely with the evidence presented in written form).

Now given it would be an actual physical hearing that factors in more costs, and it appears that solicitors can also be an option, so should the other side choose to have legal representation I would be on the back foot unless I also hired a solicitor, again we are talking money we cannot afford to lose should it not go our way, and then leave us with even less chance of fixing up the boat.


As has been said earlier, the small claims court rarely award costs, I have never known them to. I have recovered money a few times this way and have never resorted to Solicitors, The one time we came up against legal representation was with my Brother, a guy had run into his car, admitted liability then reneged, he wouldn't report it to his insurance and long and short my brother took him to the "County Court" as it was then, as we were waiting for the hearing we were informed that he had now reported it to his insurance company and they had sent their legal people to represent the case. We were asked if they could talk to us before the hearing which we agreed, They said that their client was claiming that it was my Brothers wife who had caused the accident and that he had never admitted liability. We gave our side of the story including all correspondence etc and they went away to talk to their client. 15 minutes later we were told that the insurance company had withdrawn from the proceedings and the other guy would be representing himself. We were then called into court which was actually an office rather than an official court room (sometimes it is an actual court) and  the other guy didn't turn up. The judge found in our favour and advised my brother to pay the extra and go down the hand served route. He eventually got his money but not before bringing in the bailiffs.
I have always found the CC SMC court system very user friendly and not at all intimidating. Remember you can pull out at any time up to the court case without incurring additional costs.
It's no guaranteed but receiving a summons through the post may well give them a wake up call and make them realise that you are serious. As I said though get a quote for the work that a surveyor would have picked up, any decent yard will advise you of that and send a "bill" to them for the amount less the surveyors cost you would have incurred.
As for lifting the boat, I don't think you would have a problem but ask the experts. If you want it on land to work on yourself, try Wayford Bridge marina, they have a lot of hard standing some of which they do allow long term projects on.

if it is to be it is up to me.

Stingers    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 9:35 AM
  I fully agree with what TT has stated, its much less formal than you would expect and is usually in an office environment. When you've taken this course once you will not be afraid to do so again. If the boat seller or his solicitor says something out of line he will soon be put in his place and the fact that you are representing yourself will also be taken into account. Also, as TT says, the seller may decide to pull out once he has seen your claim. So don't be deterred.


MandA    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 10:26 AM
  I would totally agree with spiderman be very cautious about going down a major refit unless you have loads of spare time  and plenty of money,also keep in mind what the boat would be worth in the end,
On the other hand you might well enjoy the experience and be very proud of your achievements in the end,
Good luck.


L'sBelles    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 2:59 PM
  Another vote for 'carefully consider' what you are getting into regarding refitting.
We have had our boat for 18 months and apart from an hour down the river and back again every blue moon we have not used her yet!
What with the ever increasing number of jobs to do because in attempting to remedy one fault you find two others, lockdowns, lack of fuel to be able to travel, the wife having surgery, my favourite dog having to be put to sleep, and the "to do" list is still as long as it was in the first week of ownership it is a challenge that we were not expecting.
Having said that, there is satisfaction in making a good repair and we know that by the time we reach the end of that list we shall have a boat we are proud of that will last many years to come.
I don't wish to disuade you from taking on the project and since you appear to be competent in providing your own labour it shall only be materials that cost you money and you can buy those as and when you need them spreading the cost.

Strowager    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 4:06 PM
  Hi Alan.

I've just read carefully through your thread and IMHO your most urgent task is to try and reduce the stress level and anguish it has caused you and Gemma.

Easier said than done, I know, but life is too short to dwell on mistakes if that prolongs the pain.

I haven't posted anything on this forum for over ten years, but your distress has prompted me to make this response.

There's been a lot of well informed advice here on legal claim procedure and technical thoughts on remedial action for your boat, outlining the two potential paths forward.

I have to admit, if it were me, I would choose the DIY rebuild option, partly because I've done that sort of work on my own boats, and partly because I would be too wary of losing more money on what could easily be a completely lost cause legally. Also, seeing your own skill and handiwork gradually overcoming the faults would help you and Gemma emotionally.

So in an attempt to try to focus on the positives of you purchase, your hull is fibreglass, rather than wood, so the remedial work is all internal, so requiring much simpler DIY skills than planking and conventional hull ribs.  As you'e surmised, the project is indeed extensive, potentially requiring a complete strip out of the interior fittings and floor, including most of the plumbing and electrics, though at least the engine, geabox, propshaft and steering gear should be able to remain in-situ.

You've mentioned that you have experience of house rebuilds, including services and even moving walls, so a 43ft glassfibre hull should be well within your range.

Fifteen years ago, I restored a 40 year old Hampton Safari over a period of 2 months in one of Martham Boat Dev's dry sheds.  That had some rotten stringers and "weetabix" rot to the bottom of some of the wooden bulkheads, but everything was easily fixed with exterior grade plywood that I also pre coated in epoxy resin before bonding it back to the hull to prevent any future re-occurence.

Compared to the neighbouring boat "projects" in that shed, the amount of work and the cost of the materials was much less than the wooden planked boats, which required extensive woodworking skills, just to maintain their watertight integrity, let alone any cosmetic niceties.  Refitting a 40 year old fibreglass "tub" of half inch thick inert fibreglass gave a much more substantial foundation to work on compared to all those complex three dimensional wooden works of art that are made out of (very) bio-degradeable material !

As someone has already mentioned, boatyards with DIY lift out space are pretty full up over the Winter lay up period, but if you can find a yard that has rentable space and suitable "tender" boat lifting equipment rather than simple slings, and preferable inside, your project is eminently practical for someone with the extensive DIY practical experience you have had.  It will take several months, but I doubt if the cost of materials would be prohibitive, since it would be exterior ply and internal "home" products from places like B&Q, rather than Chandlers.

Also, as someone else has already mentioned as well, don't be too disappointed at finding such poor quality construction under the floor, those "Carribean" style craft from the 70's even often had chipboard and other such cheapo materials in out of sight areas. Once you replace all the cr*p with good quality exterior ply and epoxy resin, you will ensure any future resale value, especially if you take plenty of photos during the rebuild.

This message was edited by Strowager on Nov-25-21 @ 5:24 PM

JollyRodger    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 4:21 PM
  Re refitting, just a small point, a boat is not a house. Good Broads boats have been ruined by carpenters and house builders who have moved or even removed 'wall's in order to create space. In general 'walls' are where they are as an integral part of the structure. On top of that unsuitable materials have been used. MDF, for example does not perform well in a damp, marine environment. There is a large, Brooke built, motorised houseboat on the Broads, she was taken on by a housebuilder who did hundreds of hours of work refitting her, all to no avail. Housebuilders don't tend to make good boat builders! There was a large boat that had been 'open planned' and had a quality, internal refit whilst she was still afloat, the owner was well pleased. Problem was that he'd taken out structurally critical bits and when she was lifted out of the water she sagged and the engine and doors all went out of alignment. The moral of the story is simple, ask for and listen to good advice.

Jolly Roger

aledsav1    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:12 PM
  Strowager, thank you very much for you input, given the time you have not posted for. I like the positive attitude for doing the work, I am/was wobbling a little due to focusing on all the negatives of taking this on.

I spoke to a yards boat builder last week who on hearing the situ just said, 'oh so with your existing skills shouldn't be a problem and the initial materials just to deal with the stringers wouldn't be to expensive'.

I find these conducive to my usual attitude of 'can do' but as this is not my area and it is not a house on dry land, the doubts easily creep in and take over.

JR, yes I would be as I go along seeking guidance.  There is already a bulkhead missing that was probably taken out many many years ago, and although I do not want to put that back as it would alter the layout to something we don't want, I would be addressing the missing bulkhead, even though it has survived without it.


This message was edited by aledsav1 on Nov-25-21 @ 6:16 PM

Dilligaf    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:19 PM
  Been there with rotten bits, this was the state of the engine bearers under the grp of my old RLM31.

Ended up like this.

Formerly 'LeoMagill'

This message was edited by Dilligaf on Nov-25-21 @ 6:25 PM

aledsav1    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:24 PM
  can't see that image inputting that link into google?


ignore can now!

This message was edited by aledsav1 on Nov-25-21 @ 6:24 PM

Dilligaf    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:27 PM
  Previous post edited, been trying to insert pics rather than linking but messed up.

Formerly 'LeoMagill'

Japonica    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:36 PM
  Hi all,
Sorry to hear of your experiences Alan, I really do sympathise with you.
Too late now but anyone thinking of buying an old ex hire cruiser I’d seriously suggest you get a survey done.
We do lots of work on these and the build quality of some is appalling!
They may look nice with plush cushions, curtains and shiny cookers but the way many were throw together is quite worrying.
Removed the floor out of one and the best tool for the job was a shovel! Cheap faced chipboard plastered in polyester. The owners wanted to upgrade they galley and blew most of the budget having new floor bearers and floor done.

aledsav1    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:37 PM
  Good transformation

I shall at some point post some pics of what I have


aledsav1    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:46 PM

Ours was not plush etc though had everything needed in it, but it was tired both inside and out and we knew we had a lot to do cosmetically on it, and bought it with a budget to carry out the work to do this.
And when we were viewing this we put great emphasis with the yard on our situation, yes we could take on a boat that needed cosmetic work but we could not take on a boat that turned out to be in need of expensive repair work...anyway the rest is history  


Greybeard    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 5:53 PM
  Lets try and simplify things..

There are 3 separate issues here to be considered.

1, seeking restitution from the clearly dishonest and morally barren seller.

2,getting the remedial work completed.

you have two choices with #1,  pursue in an appropriate manner.
or  forget it and move on. having learnt an important lesson.

#2 repair the boat to an acceptable standard.

#3 sell the boat for as much as you can get.

it has little bearing what others may or may not do,in this unfortunate situation. [myself included]

we all know you been had over. as many have said, nearly all second hand boats require remedial work of varying levels,  the only way to avoid this is to order a new one.

only you can make the next move.
good luck with whatever you decide.

my appearance is down to me, my attitude is down to you.

JollyRodger    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 7:02 PM
  Strowager, ten years, doesn't seem possible! You have been missed, I think!! Wink

Re jerry-built hire cruisers, back in time, many were built to last only so long and with no thought whatsoever of eventual sales to the private sector, or still being afloat some forty years later.

Jolly Roger

Richard    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 7:37 PM
  Any advice from Strowager is worth litstening to. Lovely to hear from you and reminding me of how time is flying.

MandA    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 8:26 PM
  Many moon,s ago I worked at Jenners of Thorpe the yard which was next to the Town House Hotel not the yard at bungalow lane.
We were fitting out Elesyian 35s centre cockpit 3 of us plus an engineer (when he wasn’t on call outs) would fit out 1 every 5 weeks I think we did 6 they were literally thrown together ,but they did the job.,we did everything except for a bought in settee which converted to a double bed .


Karen&Mike    -- Nov-25-2021 @ 8:30 PM

Welcome back. I think it's been 8 years since your last post. Where has that time gone?!   Gasp  


"Wind up the elastic band Karen - we're setting off!!"

TerryTibbs    -- Nov-26-2021 @ 8:29 AM
  Merry Xmas Strowie, nice to see you take the time and effort to post and offer very good advice to the OP.


if it is to be it is up to me.

Perfectlady9    -- Nov-26-2021 @ 12:57 PM
  If you do go down the route of a full rebuild be wary of the storage costs, out of the water in side a shed is likely to cost around £400 per month for a 40+ fit boat.  

In a nutshell
The Moore the merrier.

Steve51    -- Nov-26-2021 @ 2:03 PM
  According to their website, storage on the hard at Wayford Marine would cost £602 for 6 months for your 43 foot boat.

Steve. CM1 and NR12

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