New owner of a scary boat!

I would like to get some advice from the professionals. First of all I'll thank you in advance for reading my tragic post / story and hope you have some ideas.
A few weeks ago I "won" a flying scot on ebay. From the discription it sounded like a usable boat that had some repair work done to it that was not perfect. Some of you may have seen the listing. My first mistake was having my brother pick up the boat without me being there. I guess I just trusted what the seller was telling me - big mistake. So my brother paid the balance ($3000.00 dollar total purchase price - a good deal?) and picked up the boat as he has a weekend farm near the boats location - Portage MI. Because he would be bring it home at the end of the weekend (western suburbs of Chicago) and the bearings had not been gone through he repacked the bearings (which were ok amazingly), added new bearing buddys, replaced all three tires (which were dryrotted), and replaced the trailer lights (which were crap). So it made the trip home ok.
Monday evening I started looking closly at the boat and found the surprises. The "repairs" that were done to the hull looked like they had been done by the local butcher! On both the starboard and port sides were the deck meets the hull "repairs" had been done. I would guess maybe the boat was crushed? The starboard side was worse and goes along most of the cockpit. The port side is not as bad - mostly at the front of the cockpit. It seems to be fairly structurally sound (no soft spots or anything) but the deck sort of waves at you and just to give you an idea - he fiberglassed a pair of vice grips into the hull at the starboard side - nice. As I say I think you could actually sail it ok but it's not very impressive. The entire deck and starboard side of hull was painted with epoxy paint when the "repairs" were "completed" which is shinny but does have some dust in it and is not perfect. In addition the main sail has several holes in it (not usable) and the jib has a small issue (fixable I'm sure). He said the sails were in great shape on the lising. He did say one of the shrouds were damaged and needed to be replaced - which it is. The mast has some scratches in the aluminum I think were the forstay attaches which he said nothing about but is probably not a big deal. Most importantly the rudder is completely the wrong unit! I have no idea what it is off of but I won't tilt and looks completely inadequate.
I called the seller the next day to share my disappointment and stated I would like to return the vessel to him and get my money back. He told me he knew about the vice grips he used "to hold it together while I glassed it". I thought that might have been something he would have liked to share in the lising. He asked if I could take pictures of the mainsail and email them to him as he thought the sail was in good shape and he would then call me back. A few days latter after not returning my many emails and phone calls, he emailed me back saying he would paypail me $300.00 for the mail sail but the boat was advertised as having "prior repairs" to the hull and the rudder was shown in the pictures - as it was I will say. I guess it was better than nothing, but not much. I feel like I was taken but part of it is my fault as I should have been more educated about the boat before I made a bid - buyer beware! I think it could have been much more acurately listed - possibly as a "parts boat / fixer upper" and I told him that several times. I also think this person has very low ethics, but that is another story.
So this is my trajic story. By the way the trailer is the original unit that came with the boat - galvinized Load Rite - and is in good shape now. What I'm wondering is should I try to get the things necessary to sail it - basically sails, a new shroud, and a rudder tiller assembly - or should I try to sell it as is for a "parts boat / fixer upper"? Would anyone out there be interested in it or would anyone have a used rudder assembly? All the rigging - mast winches, main sheet, boom vang, centerboard, etc... appears to be there and I think works.
I would appreciate any input / thoughts from the knowlegeable people on this forum and look forward to hearing from someone soon.
Thanks again, Russ Fouts.

I forgot the important fact that the boat is a 1997 model.
Sorry, Russ Fouts.

Russ, When that boat was listed on ebay a friend of mine called to see if I had seen it. We looked at the listing and wondered if maybe it was one of the boats that was damaged at the Marblehead NAC. I recall the starboard side looked to have been badly damaged and the repair was so wavy near the rail that whoever did it was an amateur, at least cosmetically. Also the rudder shown in the pictures reminded us of a Snipe rudder.
If you bought the boat to use recreationally (not class racing) the rudder may work ok. If it appears that the glass work is structurally sound it may serve that purpose. I would check to be sure the chainplates are secure before sailing it. If you are unsure about the structural issues it may be a good idea to have a knowledgable person take a look.
If my memory is correct the hull number is an early 5000 series. The bright side could be that you have only $3000 invested whereas an undamaged boat of that vintage is probably worth $10,000 or so depending on gear and condition.
Also you might check in with Harry at Flying Scot to see what his advice might be and if he knows some of the history.

Remember the boat, Dave Thinel and I had a chucke over it.
It also had a agricultural type pulley on the safety line on the transom ? traveler?
If you just plan to daysail she could be OK.
How's the bottom?
Did the seller relate the nature of the damage?
To the trained eye the pictures told a story of a boat that sustained alot of damage.
Take a picture of the vice grips, that I'd like to see.

Sorry to hear...

Andy Hayward
FS #38

Dear Russ,
The above are true; unfortunately, you found this out after you bought the boat.
Contact e-bay first and perhaps have an attorney fire off a letter to let this person (and copy it to e-bay's legal department) know you mean business.
E-bay will have a copy of all 'ask seller a question' correspondence and in there will be specific questions the seller was asked (by me) regarding the rudder, stemhead, damage to hull and rigging. The seller never replied to me, other than to say he was not a sailor and did not understand such complex terminology.
This seller was very deceptive in his description of the boat, had prior knowledge that the boat was not up to standard and was not forthcoming in answers when asked about specific items on the boat.
Follow Andy's recommendation and get pictures, lots of pictures, especially the vise-grips. With that picture, a letter from an attorney and perhaps a marine surveyor, you have a strong arguement for a defective (unsafe) vessel.
My opinion is that there is a strong chance you can force this seller's hand to take the boat back.
If not, follow Dave's advice and speak to Harry, cut your losses and move on to another boat.
For what it is worth, Andy's #38 for $3500 is worth every penny, jump in and sail with no surprises.
Rolling your money out of what you currently have into another boat would be my primary consideration.
The Scot and it's Class are wonderful, sorry you got off on the wrong foot; ask any questions here on the forum and you will get good information.

Good luck.

Sorry to hear about your Scary Boat!

When I was looking for my Scot, I was strongly advised
to survey the boat before the purchase. Much to my surprise, I looked at a lot of Scots that were not as advertised. However, saying that - I did purchase my Scot sight unseen from the FSSA classified ads. Lots of pictures and multi conversations with the owner convinced me it could be a good buy. I have seen several major renovations done by the Flying Scot factory and this assured me that the risk was worth it. I was fortunate, FS 4957 was in better shape than I anticipated. [:D]

My advise - talk to Harry at Flying Scot.

Let us know what course you take.

FS 4957

One last item.
Check with Dee (or Harry) at Flying Scot and find out in what state that Scot was originally sold to her buyer and the Association (Courtney) will know if she moved around to another buyer before her demise.
Then contact that state's DMV or Insurance Commission and inquire if the vessel was a total loss.
If the vessel was a total loss (which it would appear she was), then your seller has some explaining to do.
There will also be a stamped number, 5??? on the centerboard cap, boom and mast that should agree.

Also the DMV will know the boat by it's hull serial number, which is the long combo of numbers and letters on the right of the transom. Flying Scot and FSSA will be able to use the 5XXX boat number that we all use for discussion purposes.

Flying Scots are very sturdy boats, so yours must have gone through a lot to get the damage it has. It is hard to believe that the owner wouldn't know what happened. I agree with posts above that the boat was probably an insurance loss and was bought as salvage.

I would wager one of three things:

1 Destroyed in Katrina
2 Destroyed at 2006 Marblehead NAC
3 They lost it off the trailer onto a highway somewhere

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

Just an update. The boat is #5147. I did contact the factory and talked to Harry today. It didn't sound like they had any records on this boat. Ebay will not do anything for me because the boat is over ten years old so it looks like I'm out of luck with them. I do have an email into the Michigan DMV to see if I could find anything out about the previous owner or if it was a "total loss" as it does have Michigan registration numbers on it. I will also try to get some pictures posted of the said vice grips glassed into the hull:( Any one out there looking for parts? Do you think it would be worth listing on your for sale forum as is for best offer?

As previously mentioned the good thing is you have $3000 invested in a boat that would otherwise command $8k to 10k. This means that you have 5k to 7k to undo the damages. I can't help but think that you can do significant fiberglass repair, obtain a nice used set of sails, and even buy a new rudder assembly for that amount of money. Even if you decide not to keep the boat I think it worthwhile to at least research the possibility of restoring it and maybe make a dollar or two.

Hey Russ,

What is the latest on # 5147? What options do you have?

I'm curious! [:D]

FS 4957

I have sent the title in to get transfered to my name as the seller (ie putts) wrote my name on the title when my brother picked up the boat. As soon as I get the title back I figure I will most likely list it for sale on the fssa "for sale" site for 3k or best offer and take what I can get. The other option would be to get sails and a rudder but it would take about $1500.00 investment and I'm just not sure I want to get that deep into it. Unless someone has a used rudder for sale. But I don't think that is real likely. I'll keep you posted!!

Hey Russ,

Check out the FS items for sale in this forum. Someone is parting out FS # 389 which includes sails and a rudder. Maybe this will work for you.


The same seller is selling another one.

based on his feedback, he sold one other boat a little over a year ago that the buyer was extremely unhappy with as well.