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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently bought a boat from Broom Boats in Norfolk, a boat

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I recently bought a boat from Broom Boats in Norfolk, a boat builders and brokerage. The boat is a 'Broom 1070' - a 35', twin diesel engined motor cruiser that was built by Broom 25 years ago.
Broom Boats advertised the boat on their web site and I travelled to Norfolk to see it. I offered and commissioned a valuation survey that was good. It highlighted a few issues - that were subsequently dealt with by the previous owner - and suggested a sea trial as soon as I was able. On the basis of the good survey I subsequently purchased the boat for £64,500 (advertised at £69K).
Four weeks later, a Broom engineer travelled with me when I sailed the boat from Norfolk to St Katherine's Dock London, a journey of some 88 nautical miles (my first journey and to the boat's new permanent berth). The engineer noticed an oil leak on the starboard engine which lost about 2 litres of oil into the bilge during the course of the voyage.
Two weeks later a Broom engineer visited the boat in London and replaced two parts.
Two weeks ago - the first time I had put the engines under load since the replacement parts had been fitted - I sailed the boat back up to Norfolk, again with the same Broom engineer on board, but this time the oil leak was much worse.
Broom then took the boat into their shed and a week ago I was informed by Broom that they would need to remove the starboard engine in order to fully diagnose the problem and that the cost of removal, repair, replace and test would be anywhere between £3,500 and £9,500 + VAT.
When I queried the quote and suggested Broom had some liability I was told that they did not as I had had a survey carried out and purchased the boat as a consequence when no such oil leak problem had been highlighted (the survey did highlight two 'slight' leaks apparently neither relevant according to Broom - a slight oil leak to the fuel injectors and a slight diesel lead on the starboard engine).
Surely Broom must be liable for a duty of care...?
Surely Broom can't simply wash their hands of the problem...?
After all, survey or no survey, the boat was built by Broom, the sale was brokered by Broom (for which they took a commission from the vendor) and then only 4 weeks following the purchase a problem occurred which resulted in an engine removal and repair at an astronomical cost i.e. Broom sold a boat that was built by them but that was 'not fit for purpose'.
Do I have a case to at least suggest a very heavily discounted bill from Broom if not the work being carried out at zero cost to me..?? i.e. is it worth an argument?? Surely it must be...??!?
Apologies for this lengthy email and I look forward to your reply.
Best wishes
Neil Zeiger
Hello Neil my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What is the cost of the work please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have paid as advised £56
Sorry I meant to put the boat right. Would they do the work or external?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Broom will do the work in their workshop in Norfolk. The cost of removing the engine, diagnosing, replacing, making good and testing is £3,500 + VAT. Potential parts cost for the repair is anything up to £6,000 + VAT
Thank you. Goods sold must be fit for purpose, as described and of suitable quality as per the Sale of Goods Act. If they are not then you are entitled to a free repair.
What does not help you in this case is that you had a survey done, which did not pick up the fault. But I think you have some argument to get it done for free or discount. So you should ask.
If they refuse then once you pay and pick up the boat you can sue for breach of contract.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No that is clear. Many thanks!
Good luck!
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