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Tony2018

Purchasing Pre Owned Equipment

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I have a PR to purchase a "pre owned" salt water boat.  I can't find anything prohibiting it, but have no experience doing so.  I'm worried about risk to both the taxpayer as well as the employees utilizing the boat.  The magnitude of this purchase is over $100k.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

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1 hour ago, Tony2018 said:

I'm worried about risk to both the taxpayer as well as the employees utilizing the boat.

What risks are you worried about? Be specific.

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Warranty, condition, sail ability plus the unknown value without an official appraisal. I'm sure I can come up with minimum salient characteristic requirements, but are there procedures specific to purchasing used items?

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Will this be a sole source procurement?

No one, including a Government agency, should ever buy a used boat without appropriate surveys, such as condition and value survey, in-water survey, haul-out/bottom survey, engine survey, and the sea trial (test drive).  So, you will need a purchase order for the surveyor, followed by a purchase order for the boat.

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Tony, have you looked at FAR 52.211-5 and Subpart 11.3?

A funny story in this regard.  I once worked for an agency that convinced DoJ to give it a seized drug boat that would be used in fulfillment of the agencies mission.  We had no problems getting crew members to work the boat.  The joke was they were looking for quick hits.

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16 hours ago, here_2_help said:

What risks are you worried about? Be specific.

 

1 hour ago, Retreadfed said:

Tony, have you looked at FAR 52.211-5 and Subpart 11.3?

A funny story in this regard.  I once worked for an agency that convinced DoJ to give it a seized drug boat that would be used in fulfillment of the agencies mission.  We had no problems getting crew members to work the boat.  The joke was they were looking for quick hits.

Thanks, I think you've pointed me in the right direction

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15 hours ago, ji20874 said:

Will this be a sole source procurement?

No one, including a Government agency, should ever buy a used boat without appropriate surveys, such as condition and value survey, in-water survey, haul-out/bottom survey, engine survey, and the sea trial (test drive).  So, you will need a purchase order for the surveyor, followed by a purchase order for the boat.

No, it'll be competitive.  Those are all good requirements to consider.  Thank you

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If it is competitive, maybe you should require the offerors to provide the surveys (by certified marine surveyors) at their expense as part of the proposal submission process.

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As someone who bought lots of vessels for the government as well as an avid boater myself, I can’t imagine how a competitive procurement for a used boat could turn out well.  What will the boat be used for at your agency - law enforcement, research, search and rescue, etc? 

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5 minutes ago, formerfed said:

As someone who bought lots of vessels for the government as well as an avid boater myself, I can’t imagine how a competitive procurement for a used boat could turn out well.  What will the boat be used for at your agency - law enforcement, research, search and rescue, etc? 

It will be used for wildlife research

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Several agencies use marine vessels that might fit your purpose.  Customs and Border Protection,  NOAA, Coast Guard, and DOI Fish and Wildlife Service all use small to medium size boats.   I would get in touch with those - the Marine Branch within air and Marine Operation should be a big help.  CBP for one have true marine experts and are glad to give assistance to other agencies.  I think you’ll find new boats under a competitive procurement get a big discount that gets close to used prices.  Plus you’ll get a warranty.  

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15 hours ago, formerfed said:

As someone who bought lots of vessels for the government as well as an avid boater myself, I can’t imagine how a competitive procurement for a used boat could turn out well.  

I agree with this.  I've bought salt water boats for myself and my agency, and I agree that a procurement for a used boat will be very difficult and problematic.  But if you insist, please include requirements for all the different surveys in your solicitation, and keep your selection criteria and decision as subjective as possible. Even with all the offeror-provided surveys and sea trial (by appropriately-credentialed marine surveyors), I would still reserve the right to do my own surveys and/or sea trial for the apparently successful offeror before final selection.  But really, I would want to buy a new boat.

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This is a great example of how WIFCON can work, with great advice (based on experience) being offered. I hope Tony takes the advice.

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Having bought and sold sailboats, having friends who did same and having friends who are brokers and surveyors, I can attest to the efficacy of used boat surveys by qualified surveyors.

Of course, In my experience, the interested potential buyer normally hires the surveyor prior to closing the deal on a boat which they intend to purchase. That might not be very practical in a competitive situation, if the buyer would have to survey numerous boats.

It may also be difficult to find numerous potential sellers to pay for their own surveys prior to a tentative selection. The buyer needs to hire the surveyor to act in the buyers best interest. 

And surveys are not cheap. I paid $600 For the survey of the boat we bought 12 years ago.

Less complex surveys might not be too expensive. A sailboat has many systems,  Equipment, rigging and other structures to inspect.

Its like a home inspection survey. After receiving the results, the parties either negotiate repairs, who does what, all of which may affect the final price -  or the buyer might decide not to purchase the boat. 

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17 hours ago, Tony2018 said:

It will be used for wildlife research

Will it be used by government employees or provided to contractors as GFP in the conduct of such research?

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3 hours ago, ji20874 said:

I agree with this.  I've bought salt water boats for myself and my agency, and I agree that a procurement for a used boat will be very difficult and problematic.  But if you insist, please include requirements for all the different surveys in your solicitation, and keep your selection criteria and decision as subjective as possible. Even with all the offeror-provided surveys and sea trial (by appropriately-credentialed marine surveyors), I would still reserve the right to do my own surveys and/or sea trial for the apparently successful offeror before final selection.  But really, I would want to buy a new boat.

I was going to post how the government often bought used mainframe computers - very similar to what ji20874 described.  The government IT process required each used computer offeror to identify serial numbers (occasionally multiple offerors would be proposing the same mainframe and distinguishing with finance proposals) and include a certificate from the manufacturer.  The certification stated the computer was inspected and repaired if necessary to meet the manufacturers standards for entering into a manintence contract.  That last part couldn’t be done with a marine vessel but your solicitation could include standards for the survey to include.

Before going further if you don’t contact other government agencies and their marine experts is call boat manufacturers.  That especially includes the company that made the one used boat you’re considered.  Ask them the price of a comparable new one and how much they would discount on a government procurement.  I think you’ll be surprised.

I don’t know where you’re located but there is a wide variance in surveyors expertise, knowledge, and experience on the East Coast.  I would be very skeptical of some surveyors findings.  That’s why jo20874s idea of doing your own survey is good

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I agree that the buyer should get the survey done  - after making a tentative selection and after someone makes a tour and informal inspection . Then leave room for negotiating a final price agreement based upon the results of the survey.

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 6:22 AM, here_2_help said:

This is a great example of how WIFCON can work, with great advice (based on experience) being offered. I hope Tony takes the advice.

I'm definitely taking all the advice that's been shared so far.  I use this site often to get information in plain language and use it to help make decisions when policy can be vague.

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 11:18 AM, joel hoffman said:

I agree that the buyer should get the survey done  - after making a tentative selection and after someone makes a tour and informal inspection . Then leave room for negotiating a final price agreement based upon the results of the survey.

I like this idea.  Thank you!

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On ‎3‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 7:21 AM, Retreadfed said:

Will it be used by government employees or provided to contractors as GFP in the conduct of such research?

This will be used by government employees.

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