For the past couple of weeks, we have worked with a customer who bought a 28-foot Randell online without seeing the boat. It was love at first sight, and the sale went through without a pre-purchase inspection.

The owner loves to get to know his boat inside out and chose to do a lot of the work himself. While the owner engaged us in various parts of the project, he did not get a general inspection done until just before the boat went to water. This inspection revealed numerous faults and problems; the gearbox was full of water, the starter motor was not working, the boat was leaking diesel, was generally run down, and had no service history.

When all the previous faults and problems were fixed, it was time to enjoy days out on the water. Unfortunately, it did not take long for us to see this boat again, and this time it was the engine. Due to unlucky DIY jobs, the engine had blown and needed to be replaced. The owner chose to source his own second-hand engine and opted to install it himself as well. Engines, and boats in general, are expensive, and it is worthwhile to let the professionals look after them. This time the DIY wiring and installation caused the engine to catch fire and leak diesel. A combination spelling disaster!

Currently, the boat is moored at a location with very restricted. As the boat is not running, lifting it on a truck is the only way to get it to a location where the work can be done. But to get the boat on a truck, the boat needs to be lifted over a building!

Where there is a will, there is a way. And we are always up for a challenge! Saying this, things could have been a lot easier and cheaper for the boat owner. A pre-purchase inspection would have cost around $1,100 for this boat, and the work recommended based on the inspection about $25,000. Currently, the owner has spent over $80,000 with another $100,000 worth of work still ahead. And he has a boat that does not run.

It is always worthwhile talking to the professionals and getting their opinion and assessment. It could save you thousands and allow you to enjoy carefree days on the water!