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Boat purchase

I am looking to purchase a narrowboat and am going to look at one which is almost complete. Dialogue with the builder, Evolution Boats, indicates that we would have the option to make some alterations and bespoke finishes however I am unsure about, if we decided to go ahead with a purchase, what would be reasonable in terms of deposit as a show of good faith and final payments whilst safeguarding my finances.
I have purchased a narrowboat before through a broker, but this was only after a couple 'experiences' with perhaps questionable private vendors. I am aware of (but have no experience in) purchasing a bespoke boat and the basics of a British Marine Federation contract but this does not seem to apply in this situation. Can you please advise how to make a safe purchase.
Many thanks

Asked by: Andy Hunter  | 9.25pm, Tuesday 7 September

WW says:

I suppose the best way to protect yourself financially is to sit
tight and wait till the boat is complete and then, if you still like
it, buy it. The problem is that you miss out on the opportunity to
customise it to your taste. You also risk someone else stepping in
and beating you to it.
Alternatively, you could enter into a contract with the builder to
buy the boat in the same way that you would if the boat had not been started. This could be the BMF form suitably modified or one that your solicitor could draw up. Either way, you would be wise to seek legal advice.
The builder might, with some justification, ask for payment up to the
stage the boat is complete and, provided the contract is watertight,
you should be protected. Should he fail to complete the boat for any
reason, you would own it as it stands and could ask another builder
to finish it off.
If you decide to go ahead without a contract, don't pay any more as a deposit than you are prepared to lose.

Graham Booth  | 7.36PM, Thursday 9 September

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