Expectations of Broker's claims

I need a little advice.
First off let me state clearly I am casting no aspersions on any owner or his/her boat. My issue and request for information is about how accurate should one expect a yacht broker’s printed add and how much good faith and integrity should one expect.

I live in Alaska and responded to an add for a SLM FC-22 in a major and well known website that specializes in advertising boats. It was from a Brokerage that claimed to know and have sold many SLM BCC and FC-22. I emailed and called the broker and asked “Is the boat accurately represented in your add, is the boat in as good as shape as you claim.” The response I received was “Absolutely”. After viewing the web-page and completing a lot of research, I have been studying and researching FC for about 3 years now, I made a full price offer stating to the broker…“Out of respect for the boat, the owner and based on your reputation that the boat is as you claim, I will offer full price save the cost related to survey if the deal goes through” I signed the contract, sent it back with 10% escrow funds. And secured loan approval, insurance approval and quote, in essence did everything asked of me.

The add, marked "Last visited 10/20/09) stated, and coninues to do so,“In the past year, (Boat name deleted) has received the royal spa treatment and all of the exterior (and interior) woodwork have been completely refinished”

The add continues: “She spent the winter at an excellent yard that does restoration. Everything from the woodwork interior and exterior to all the mechanical systems, running gear, canvas, new cushions, new furlers, new sails, new epoxy bottom, new propane Force 10 stove, new GPS chart plotter. The list goes on. Her owner has spent $30,000 on a major refit making (Boat Name Deleted) absolutely perfect!” Again in another section, “…she is completely restored. Everything is perfect. Everything is ready to go. She is a bargain at the asking price. She is a gem!”

Perfect, right what a deal a SLM FC Factory finished with a year old complete and perfect restoration, a damn good deal at full price considering the yacht boroker said the owner just spent $30,000. Man I was so happy I had found “THE BOAT” probably the best built, best conditioned most beautiful 22 foot in the US…Then I got the survey…I will spare you the details save one or two…This is just in the forward cabin…teak in forward cabin (and there is a lot of it) was left unfinished, portions of trim were not installed, trim was missing in other parts as well. Lockers…in need of refinishing, there was no headliner installed… Not to mention (add says it is a Yanmar 2GM)even though I knew it to be 1GM by the picture in the add. After the sea trial, I call the broker, the broker stated " Motor was perfect was perfect ran perfect, you are lucky I am selling the boat to you…" Survey stated that the transmission fluid was checked prior to seatial, had to be changed due to water, was check after and still had water…steady leak from hose in engine compartment…I could go on and on.

I just need some advice: Am I wrong to expect when a broker says (documented on a webpage and when printed) that a boat has been completely and perfectly restored, exterior woodwork inside and out last winter was completely perfectly finished, etc., that I should expect that to be a true and accurate statement? Seems to me I could/should accept maybe the quality of the job was questionable, but the fact that the forward cabin was unfinished with trim missing and not installed and no head liner, just seems wrong. Especially when the broker made claims of sailing her from the home port to the broker’s yard. How can you sail a boat for several days and not know the forward cabin is “unfinished”?
When and how much should one expect integrity from a Yacht Broker?


You raise a good flag when it comes to brokers. I know that many brokers are honesty people who enjoy their work and try to help people get what they want. However, I also know a fair share who care more for making the deal no matter what, as long as it pays. It’s hard to know where someone stands without good history, and even then, I like to look at ads and claims with a bucket of sea salt.

One thing to remember is that everyone’s denotations of the words you used is subject to difference. Perhaps “full refit” didn’t necessarily include finishing the trim work - just replacing that teak (who the owner may have wanted left bare). Perhaps they didn’t know about that leak in the engine bay, or the guy selling that boat had never heard of a 1GM, so assumed it meant “2GM”. Everything is up for interpretation, whether we like to admit it or not, and with no agency patrolling ads, it’s important to remember that agendas are often different than we hope.

In the end, brokers are trying to sell a boat, and that is their end goal. So what if some little things are smudged a bit if the boat sells. After all, that broker was nearly successful - you had a deposit down, loan lined up, etc. If only you had hired the surveyor he wanted you to hire, you’d be down the channel with a boat. This is why I always request contact info for owners - they are usually a bit more in-tune with reality from a buyer’s perspective.

Also, consider that none of the things you listed are “big” problems, but could definitely be used to your advantage when it comes to sale price!

Best of luck!

Thank you so very much for your reply. I agree with all you said that none of these problems are “big” problems, but that too is open for discussions. I think I have read some where that a buyer can expect to put 10% at a minimum into a boat.However in this case, when a broker verbally and in writing states the boat is perfect… and just had a $30,000K complete/perfect restoration…

I did not even get into 4 out of 7 seacocks could not be operated, nor had handles, rudder is delaminating, add claimed electrical inspected and upgraded, yet majority of lights; cabin and running did not function, boat was not bonded, unconnected electrical wires… waterlines with no clamps, etc, etc, There are 3 pages of ESSENTIAL and REQUIRED repairs and correction. Again none, except possibly replacing the transmission is more than $1K-$2K, some just a few bucks. However the surveyor’s report on the “desirable” repairs(which are need to even bring the boat close to the broker’s claims) state "Non-Safety related repairs and corrections to the vessel and /or gear involving what is believed to be a SUBSTANTIAL Expense.

Remember the broker claimed to have sailed the boat about 200 miles from hailing port to brokerage. How can a seaman of any any ability character or integrity take any sailboat, especially a seller’s boat, on a 200 mile voyage off shore without checking seacocks (first rule of seamanship after all is “keep the water out”. How can you spend a week or so on a boat and not check the engine fluids and operation and not know that the forward cabin is not finished, headliner not installed, contrary to your claims…

“Caveat emptor” I know however I did all the right research, asked all the right questions, and got clear, definitive answers that were not accurate if even related to the truth…

OK I will stop. I think your reply more than answered my questions. I hope the next posting I make is how magnanimous the broker and seller where and that all things were corrected and we will find each other at a calm mooring and enjoy a game of cribbage or Tonk with a toddy or two.



Now you have me pissed off at the broker! That list is ridiculous and it sounds to me like he is one of those brokers we read about people have terrible experiences with. Perhaps you should share the broker’s name with us so we can steer clear?

All of that said, maybe you have a divine chance to purchase the boat way under the asking price…surely if the broker pays to have someone fix all of those little problem, they’ll just put themselves in a hole. Plus, they’d probably be half-assed repairs. If you bought the boat as-is, it would let you do things right.

Aaron N.

It’s not too difficult to find:


I am hesitant to name names as I truly do want allow time for everyone involved to make things right. I am truly a believer that when presented with a choice most people want to do the right thing. Also I did not want to cast any of my concerns or questions of integrity toward any owner or the boat. If I had a way to be less descriptive to make my point, I would have. I am not making accusations, just seeking input from greater minds as to what I should expect from a broker should this deal not go through.
After all the FC-22 family is a small one and I do not want to be the cause of any family squabbles or bad feelings. I had hope this wold be a happy experience for all and it still may be.

Thanks to all of you and I hope we will one day meet (me in my "completely restored FC-22) on a calm sea.

Peace and fair weather,

it seems to me that you covered your bases, you made a full price offer subject to survey. you were expecting one thing, the surveyor found another and you are not held to the contract. you can negoiate a new price based on your finding or not. as for expectations of broker’s claims, i suppose it is best to always take those things with a “grain of salt”-it was after all no harm no foul. there are as many different types of folks selling boats as there are sailing them.

good luck in finding the boat you are looking for!

First let me say that I loved my Falmouth Cutter. She was a great boat! You will not be disappointed with her.

I went to Rogue Wave and took at look at her specs/photos. Here are some of my initial impressions.

  1. I don’t believe she was built by Sam L. Morse. The first ones built were by North Sea Yachts. They used a fiberglass liner in the interior as the base for the interior construction, which I see in the photos. This is not a bad thing as they did a good job also. Maybe Sam built the first few boats using that liner, I don’t remember, but I don’t think so. Maybe an additional negotiating point. Look in the chain pipes up forward and see how thick the deck section is there. My SLM was about 2 inches thick to make a solid base for the bits.

  2. I also don’t think that is a yanmar 2GM engine. looks like a 1GM. which is not a bad thing. A 2GM would be to much engine for the Falmouth. I could push my Falmouth at 5kts with a 5HP outboard. It lists a Max prop which is a very good thing.

  3. The listing includes some very expensive upgrades if it is correct. Fairly new sails, bronze chain plates, Profurl furlers, GPS chart plotter, etc. So over the last three years including all the bright work refinished I can easily imagine 30K being spent, depending on when some of this equipment was purchased.

  4. Broker listings and surveys are just starting points. A lot depends on what you consider important. When I purchased Shanti the survey listed things that didn’t end up being necessary, and it also missed some things. Even if you purchased a “perfectly” maintained boat, there will always be things you want to change or improve.

  5. Just saw your post on the Falmouth forum. Sounds to me like the owner was not real knowledgeable re: maintenance. Things like rudder delaminating could be an easy repair or mean a rudder replacement. My rudder on Angelsea delaminated a bit. But I just drilled a hole in the bottom, let the water drain out. Rebedded all the hardware, Striped off the delimated section, and re-fiberglassed it. It was a bit of a job, but not huge. It all depends on how bad the “delamination” is. The trans is another matter. But what is required to fix it…just a seal, or Does the engine need to be pulled?

So, what do I think? Take in to consideration what it would cost to buy a less expensive Falmouth (if you could find one), outfit it with all the gear that is listed in the ad. Fix all the problems the cheaper Falmouth would also have. Then make your decision as to how good of a deal it is. Remember we are talking boats that are 20-30 years old, and they will have maintenance issues, no matter how good a boat wife the owner is.

But I would wave the survey in there face and squeeze out the best deal (it is a BUYERS market right now), as it was not a very accurate description of the boat.

I worked for a yacht owner once who considered new varnish and cushions a “refit”.

So take a look at her, bitch alot and make a deal. Even with the issues you mention it sounds like a reasonable price. But do use the survey to make the best deal you can. I would want a price reduction based on repairs to make her “seaworthy”.

(copied from reply to comment left on Shanti’s blog)

Good luck!

All good points Gary, I head down Monday to look at her. Will look at her on Wednesday morning and see what comes up. I will look at the points you made in regard to the SLM -vs- NorthSea issue. I also very much agree about the sea worthiness point you made. As an owner of a lot of boats (all-be-it stinkpots and Boldger tack and tape boats I built) , I cannot imagine selling one of them that was not “sea-worthy” but the older I get I realize the world does not run they way it would if I was in charge:-)

Thanks again Gary for taking your time away from Shanti… by the way the furler for the heads’l project, on Shanti is way cool. Serious, excellent job, not bad photography either…(you could make a living doing that :slight_smile: If you folks here on FC forum have not seen the heads’l furler he rigged on his BCC check out “Shanti’s blog”.

Gary I have a feeling if this deal goes through, you may be getting a lot of emails from me that begin with "HELP…:slight_smile:

I will let all know if the deal goes through and I become a part of the SLM family.

Peace and fair seas,


I just got an email from broker with a new contract. Owner has proffered a reasonable compromise (lending to the credo SLM owners do rock:-) and the broker has delivered an appropriate new contract. All is good…so far in the SLM family. Stay tuned.


Joel, We need an update. Or are you busy sailing ? :smiley:

I have been sailing (on the hard). Damn good skipper too so far:-)

I did buy the boat, but could not get paperwork down from Alaska in time to get her wet. A friend will take her from Annapolis and put her to bed for the winter on Tilghman Island. Though Homer, Ak is the hailing port, I will most likely stick to Chesapeake this June/July. Then hopefully will sail her to Florida for Christmas break next year, then bounce back and forth from FL to MD till I retire.

Bottom Line:
All is well! Brokers made good, went over and above to make things “right”. I must assume part of the “blame” in that I am/was a novice in terms of buying a “real” sailboat. There are issues with the boat but Russ did do a very good job and did spend a lot getting her to the beautiful condition she is in. Hat off to the former owner!!!.

There are some issues, but as Gary said it is a 30 year old boat.
The day I bought it (and the next three) I spent on the boat, even though I couldn’t put her in. We had 25-30 knot wind and rain for about 2 days solid and I could not find a dry place on the boat. All minor leaks but…I will need to re-bed all the porthole glass. They did a great job on restoring all the ports (re-bed, new gaskets, interior shined and polished) Except they did not re-bed the glass so all but one port leaked from the glass through the old bedding (plastic bags inserted and dogged down did the trick:-). Forward cleats too need re-bedding; a lot of clamps here and hoses there. Replaced the temperature gauge sending unit and anti-siphon valve and new hoses for both. reconfigure wiring that was hanging every which-a-way. Not bad for someone who did not have a clue what he was doing.

She had all new running rigging professionally installed this past summer but all the wrong size high-tech yacht lines…Broker is splitting the cost of new rigging with me, is throwing in an additional 25 # hook, a couple of teak blocks he has in his garage. We wound up making nice, having a couple of beers, swapping lies and parting very amiable.

According to records, surveyor and paperwork, Jolly Dolphin is a SLM-FC-22 #3, hull ID number confirmes SLM as builder (USCG records and surveyors research/paperwork too) She does have the fiberglass lining, will investigate to see how many SLM made with the liner…Any one know off hand?

So if any of you folks are on the Chesapeake this this June/July and see an absolutely beautiful SLM FC with shining bright work and someone at the tiller that looks scared-witless…that will be the Jolly Dolphin and me.

Peace and fair winds,


We have two hull No 03;

Morning Glory (SLM) Owned by Dewar
Wavewalker (Norsea) Owned by Johnson

Can you tell me which one it is?


Welcome aboard Joel!!

Sounds like we have a mystery. Wonder if SLM started re-numbering at 1 when they picked up the molds/rights to build the FC.

I would have died not being able to splash her right away.

You have started a love affair of a life time, enjoy!!


Sumio is staying at my home at the moment, so we discussed the liner issue.

SLM FC’s 001 to 031 were all built with fiber glass liners.

Hi All,
Early models of SLM did have inside liners. The 4th owners of Jolly Dolphin, the Multers, had her for sale in Autumn 2000 FC News. The Dewars presented themselves as the new owners of FC3 Morning Glory in Winter 2001 FC News. The assumption was that it was the same boat BUT the only definitive answer would be to look at the HIN of the FC#3 in question.

Wave Walker was build by Heritage Marine as a kit boat.

John V.

Angelsea aka Elise, hull #19 didn’t have a liner. I also remember when Sam first brought the FC into the fold, he was telling me he didn’t like the liner and was going to use plywood instead. This was at the very beginning of the SLM FC era. This is why I am puzzled. I saw many FC’s go out of the shop with plywood and no FG liner.


Hi all,

The Falmouth Cutter was first built as the Nor’Sea 22 by Heritage Marine, builders of the Nor’Sea 27. As best I can tell, they built 8 boats. Two owners of Nor’Sea boats claim their boats are Hull Number 7, so there is another mystery.

Sam Morse got the molds and the building rights when Heritage marine got into financial trouble. They gave some of their employees hulls and decks in lieu of pay, as I understand the history. One such former employee was still building his '22 the last time I heard from him.

The Nor’Sea 22s and many of the original FC 22s had the fiberglass liner instead of a custom interior. At hull number 18, Hokje, Sam Morse stopped using the fiberglass liner and began building the interiors of plywood,just like for the BCC.

Roger Olson, when he owned Sam Morse Co., did build one FC on spec using the liner. He was trying to keep Sam Morse Co. afloat and wanted to build a boat as inexpensively as possible. From what Roger told me, it took as much work to fit the liner as it did to build the interior of plywood, so he abandoned that approach for FCs built after that particular one (hull #35 I think). Roger was able to quickly sell that “spec” FC and keep Sam Morse Co. going.

Some of this information can be gleaned from reading back issues of the Falmouth Cutter newsletters. Some of it comes from conversation I have had with Roger Olson and many owners of FCs.

ron walton
editor: FC News

PS All of the issues of the Falmouth Cutter Newsletters are reproduced in PDF format for free download from my Falmouth Cutter website at: http://homepage.mac.com/rwsailor/fc/fc.html

In the early issues both Lyle Hess and Sam Morse contributed to the Newsletters.

Jolly Dolphin’s HIN # is SFJFC0030580

According to Surveyor “SFJ” is manufacturer’s code for SLM “FC” is the model “003” is the hull number and “0508” is date of manufacture (May, 1980). Any one have a different first three letters on their SLM FC?

Thanks to all, glad to see I am not the only one who is confused:-)

Peace and fair winds,

Russ Andrews reacquired Jolly Dolphin, (see "Falmouth Cutter Website’s Gallery, FC #3) two or three years ago and had her restored at deRouville’s Boat Shop on Toms River last winter, as described in the RogueWave listing. DeRouville’s does excellent work and they maintain the Barnegat Bay fleet of wooden A-Cats, as well as the old sandbaggers Bear and Bull which put in appearances throughout the northeast.

I was working on my FC on a rainy Saturday morning last May when Russ and his daughter Kate left Toms River heading for Weehawken where Kate intended to liveaboard and commute into her job in NYC. Reading between the lines, it sounds as though life on the Hudson didn’t measure up to expectations and Kate has put Jolly Dolphin up for sale. One correction to an earlier post in this thread, Russ didn’t have synthetic running rigging installed, he had synthetic lifelines installed, just as I had inherited synthetic lifelines from Manny DeL., Baltimore.

For a boat which had a Morse production run of less than 40, so many of the stories interweave.