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Old 29-05-2013, 19:10   #1
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Question Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Im starting to look at as many boats as possible since the cruising kitty is now nearly full enough and It'll soon be time to buy! I understand that boats listed through the marina brokerage should be shown by one of the marina brokers. But what about boats with FOR SALE signs that aren't listed through the marina? Is it ok to step aboard and check it out before contacting the owner for a more thorough showing if I'm still interested? I dont want to waste someone's time if I can rule out a boat with soft decks or other obvious problems, but I also dont want to piss people off if its considered bad etiquette to step onto a boat and check out the topsides without the owner present.
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Old 29-05-2013, 19:15   #2
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

The best practice, IMO, is to have your own broker and have him/her make the necessary arrangements to board a vessel for a look around. And yes, just boarding a vessel, even it's one that's for sale, is considered very poor form.

Homer Simpson ruined it for everybody, I'm afraid:

Marge! Look at all this great stuff I found at the Marina. It was just sitting in some guy's boat!

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Old 29-05-2013, 19:19   #3
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

If there is a for sale sign with a phone number, I would call it first. I'm sure they would tell you it's ok. I wouldn't climb on someone's boat without permission.
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Old 29-05-2013, 19:32   #4
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

I think Tao's advice would be applicable for a large expensive boat purchase.

Most folks who have a for sale sign on their boat are ok with you boarding without them after you get their permission but not before you get their permission. They may have folks watching out close by as well.

Good luck in finding your new boat.

kind regards,
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Old 30-05-2013, 06:33   #5
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haw1961 View Post
I wouldn't climb on someone's boat without permission.
Ditto! Get permission first.
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Old 30-05-2013, 06:42   #6
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pirate Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Lets put it this way... someone see's a for sale sign on your lawn and starts mooching round the property peering in windows, checking out the garage...
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Old 30-05-2013, 06:48   #7
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Even with a for sale sign, you get the owner's permission.

If you see a for sale sign on a house , it doesn't give you permission to walk on the guy's roof.
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:11   #8
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

We visited a marina the other day that had a for sale sign on the bow and on the companion way door was a single page with the description of the boat and a number to call. The only way to read it was to climb aboard.

In a case like that, what would be the correct protocol since the telephone call went unanswered?
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:53   #9
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

I would never board a boat without permission. This would be considered the same as trespassing. The old saying "Permission to come aboard" applies here as well!
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Old 30-05-2013, 09:20   #10
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

I would not board a boat without permission.

I also would not contract with a "buyers broker" unless you want to add extra expense... ESPECIALLY not for a boat YOU located...
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Old 30-05-2013, 09:29   #11
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Otter2013 said;
I would never board a boat without permission. This would be considered the same as trespassing. The old saying "Permission to come aboard" applies here as well!
+1
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Old 30-05-2013, 10:00   #12
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Look from the dock as much as you want. Talk to the boat neighbors’ is good also to get more detail.

Always get permission to step aboard from the boat owners
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Old 30-05-2013, 10:41   #13
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I think Tao's advice would be applicable for a large expensive boat purchase.

Most folks who have a for sale sign on their boat are ok with you boarding without them after you get their permission but not before you get their permission.
After decades afloat, I know of NO ONE who would ever grant blanket approval or a dock walker to step aboard their boat. Ever. A *very good friend* might be allowed to check the bilges and such, but no -- never step aboard a boat without an invitation.

Redpointist, prior to touching said boat (and as you seem to be in the shopping/learning what you want phase) I would suggest noting the brand and length (there is usually something that will say Bayliner43.5 or Cal34) and then visit Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com and take a look at the same model.

While dock cruising though talk with everyone you meet. Folks around boats staying at marinas generally tend to be a chatty bunch.

Enjoy the process, but yes, your initial query/inclination is correct: stay off the boats unless granted permission to board. And good luck.
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Old 30-05-2013, 12:27   #14
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Mac View Post
We visited a marina the other day that had a for sale sign on the bow and on the companion way door was a single page with the description of the boat and a number to call. The only way to read it was to climb aboard.

In a case like that, what would be the correct protocol since the telephone call went unanswered?
I know it seems as though the seller is inviting those interested to step aboard . . . why else would he put the spec sheet where he did?

He may even want people to board and look around, but I would never assume that, myself. In the scenario you describe, it would seem that you did, in fact, board the vessel without permission or you wouldn't have been able to read the number so you could call it in the first place.

That's trespassing, IMO.

In the situation you describe, there has to be someone nearby holding some measure of authority - a dockmaster or equivalent - who can be asked about the vessel. The seller may have left instructions with him that it's OK for those interested to board and look around.

Or not . . . but at least if that person tells you to go ahead and climb aboard, you've got some cover. If the owner shows up while you're on his vessel and is upset to find you there, you can at least tell him the dockmaster granted permission to board so you could read the number to call.

If all you can say is you had to board to read the spec sheet, so you assumed he didn't mind, you're left to your own devices to try to calm things down. Awkward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
I would not board a boat without permission.

I also would not contract with a "buyers broker" unless you want to add extra expense... ESPECIALLY not for a boat YOU located...
This latter point is probably best covered in another thread (and has been, often), but if the seller has a broker, it's foolish not to have your own, IMO. And no, having a "buyer's broker" does not increase your final cost one cent.

How can that be? Because the typical 10% commission a listing/selling broker will charge comes out of the sale proceeds anyway. If the buyer has a broker, his commission comes out of that 10% cut due the listing/selling broker at the close. If the buyer has no broker looking out for his best interests, it simply means the seller's broker keeps the entire 10%.

The buyer saves nothing by not using a buyer's broker.

Is it likely that the seller has placed his asking price at a point that factors in the commission that will be deducted from the sale proceeds? Of course, but so what? There will be (or should be) a lot of negotiation between discovering the boat and the closing of the sale . . . unless a person is confident of his or her ability to effectively carry his/her end of that log, then having a competent broker to do so is imperative.

If the seller doesn't have a broker, then handling the entire process just between the seller and buyer is fine - as long as said buyer is confident about his ability to negotiate and understands contracts and recognizes that the seller knows a lot more about the vessel than he does and is only going to reveal as little as possible about its flaws and insists on obtaining a thorough, acceptable written survey and financing (if it isn't a cash deal) at an acceptable rate before a sale can close . . . then there's no good reason to obtain a broker's services.

TaoJones
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Old 30-05-2013, 21:43   #15
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Re: Boats for sale by owner at marina?

Definitely agree with everyone else that have said get permission to go aboard first. As a boat owner that has sold boats before I would never expect dock visitors to feel free to board my boat.
From the other perspective, as a boat buyer, I've found that it ends up being way more time effective to find boats on listing sites such as eBoatListings. or YachtWorld, and contact the listing agent (whether it be the boat owner or a broker) and set up appointments. I could see 10 or more boats in a day (and that way you get to see the inside too!)
Good luck!
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