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Old 09-10-2008, 13:51   #1
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How do I find a broker?

I've read lots of posts on how to select a broker, but how do I find a broker? These are two different things. Should I just open the Yellow Pages and start calling brokers to find that one guy that's going to help me? That seems unproductive. I'll be attending the Strictly Sail show in St. Pete in December for sure and probably the Strictly Sail show in Miami in February. (Just for fun. It's not like I can afford to buy a new boat.) Are boat shows good places to find a broker? There are legions of them at the show selling boats, but are they there just to sell new or would they take the comparable pittance of a commission I might bring them?

Also, it seems like for every recommended broker, there is at least one person warning against that broker. (The old saying "Ask any two sailors a question and you'll get at least three opinions" comes to mind.) Regardless, can anyone recommend a broker, preferably in Florida, to help find a cruising/liveaboard catamaran?

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Kevin
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:14   #2
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2Hulls, Inc
New and Used Trimaran, Power and Catamaran Multihulls
Catamaran, used or new, power or sail, and trimaran multihulls, for sale or charter by broker dealer - 2Hulls


4005 North Federal Highway, Suite 200, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33330
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E-mail: Catamarans for Sale, Sailing Vacations and Catamaran services
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:40   #3
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Is there someone specific at 2Hulls that you have dealt with in the past? I assume you used 2Hulls personally.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:49   #4
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No - to both question & assumption.

2-Hulls has more multi-hull listings, and viewable boats (locally), than any other brokerage; and a generally good reputation.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:24   #5
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I've been dealing recently with Ed Whiteaker (Whiteaker Yacht Sales in Bradenton, FL). He doesn't specialize in catamarans, but any broker can show you other brokers' listings. The key to me is find someone you can trust, and someone who will spend the time needed to help you find what you want. I think Ed will do just fine in both categories. He has a great reputation--never heard a negative about him.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:42   #6
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Kevin, Although I can't recommend a specific broker I would like to offer some advice as a former broker. First, look at advertising and listings of brokerage firms and find one or two that already has some boats of the size and type you are looking for. Then go to their office and sit down and interview the broker. Ask questions like how he will locate a boat for you, what if any, he has sold recently, etc. You will get a feel for the individual and if he will indeed put a concerted effort into your search. It is time consuming but the only real way you will get the answer to your question. You might get recommendations on the forum but it does not take the place of good old fashion research. Once you have found him, use him exclusively. Don't call other brokers, call him and tell him of listings you have found. Let him call the other listing brokers and get info on the boat and arrange for you to see it. If he looses interest or it appears your are doing most of the work, find another the same way. It will be a lot of work on your part but well worth it in the end. Ask boaters in marinas that have for sale signs if they are happy with there brokers even if the boats have not sold yet. Todays economy is such that because a boat is not sold does not mean the broker is not doing his job. Good luck and remember that right now it is a buyers market.
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Old 13-10-2008, 08:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
2-Hulls has more multi-hull listings, and viewable boats (locally), than any other brokerage; and a generally good reputation.
Fair enough. I'll give them a call. If the call goes well, I'll follow up with a face-to-face as Chuck suggests.

Thanks!
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Old 13-10-2008, 11:35   #8
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Do your own research first -- don't explicitly trust a broker!

I have seen some very sleazy actions by some brokers that have been recommended on this site. I was going to post this on a seprate thread a couple of days ago, but since this thread has come up, I'll post here.

We have been looking at a particular catamaran brand for a while. One boat in particular that I've kept my eye on for well over a year. We only recently are in a position to seriously think of buying. I know a little history about this particular boat. I looked at her when I was in South Florida in early July. The fact that the listing broker (from another well known South florida Catamaran brokerage company) didn't show up at the appointed time didn't affect that I liked the boat.

In early September, my partner and I were both travelling to South Florida and he wanted to see the boat. I emailed the broker. I got a response that the boat had sold but they just hadn't gotten around to removing the Yachtworld listing. Okay -- not impressed with that particular catamaran broker, but there are other boats out there.

About a week ago, I see that the same boat is listed again! This time with the "Other well-known south Florida catamaran broker company" The boat is now in western South Florida (near Marco island) and is listed at only $137K. I emailed the listing broker to find out what happened. Did the new owners change their minds? Was this just a ploy to make the boat look like a new listing???? I never got an answer from the broker.

A few days later, I see that the boat has a "sale pending" on the yachtworld listing. I'm not surprised. I WAS however surprised about three days later when I looked at the listing again, and while it still had a "sale pending" notation on it, the catamaran listing company had increased the supposed asking price to $165K !!!! Who are they kidding? They want to make it look like the sale pending offer was on the higher price. This company also has another similar boat listed at a higher price.

I won't go into some other shady dealings this company has made. Anyone interested and PM me.

So, I repeat -- do some background research first!! Don't necessarily trust any broker.

Other than that --- have fun!

cheers
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Old 13-10-2008, 11:48   #9
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Kevingy,

If you don't mind travelling to S.F. Bay Area, or St. Maarten give Bay Island Yachts a shout. They worked hard, and made it possible for me to get the boat I wanted.

Jerry & Heather in St. M.
Neal in Alameda Ca.......................i2f
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Old 15-10-2008, 16:59   #10
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I am a broker in Nova Scotia, Canada. Although the market in Florida is very different than what we have here, a broker in any state should take the time and effort to find you the right boat. Our business is base on customer satisfaction and loyalty. It's the old saying "Don't sell a person one boat today, sell them five boats over ten years". You, as a (presumably) qualified buyer, deserve high quality service no matter what your budget. If you are not getting it, find another broker. Like any industry, there are less than honest players out there. However, most brokers genuinely have your interests at heart. This attitude is shared among many brokers and I am sure you will find a good one in your area.

Most of my business comes from referrals from previous clients. Word of mouth is everything in our business. Find a friend who has had a positive experience with a broker, get the number, and call them. Knowing that you have been referred by a happy customer, not only makes our day, but might light a fire under the broker's ass to work as hard as possible for you.

A few tips for you from a brokers' point of view. Your relationship with a broker is a partnership. A good broker is genuinely interested in putting you in the best possible boat, at the best possible price, but you are calling the shots. The broker is driving the boat, but you are the captain. These tips will benefit you as well as let your broker know that you are a serious buyer:

1. Have an idea of what you want. EG: A sailboat between 38 and 40 feet, aged between 1990 and 2000, Racer/cruiser/hybrid etc. Keep in mind that these should be presented as guidelines to your broker so that you don't miss out on that incredible deal on a 1989 40'er.

2. Be realistic. No broker will take you too seriously if you tell them that you want to buy a 2004 Swan 45 for $70,000. Those boats don't exist. Like everything else, you get what you pay for. Incredible deals do happen, and it is your broker's job to find you the best deal possible, but we aren't miracle workers.

3. As mentioned above, if you have a broker working for you, do all of your shopping through them. If you are not satisfied with the results or performance of your broker, let them know and find another.

4. PLEASE be ready to purchase before you use the services of a broker. There is nothing wrong with shopping around, and you should get on as many boats as possible. However, when your broker finds you the right boat at the right price, be ready to pounce. This will ensure you get the best deal by taking advantage of market situations. It is very frustrating for a broker to show a buyer 5 boats, taking a whole day, only to find out that you are planning on purchasing in a year or so. This is what boat shows are for. Talk to brokers there about different models you "might be interested in". And hey, you can interview the brokers at the same time.

I hope this helps. Any comments welcome!

P.S. If you would like to speak with me I would be happy to do so. Please provide an email address where I can send you my phone number.
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Old 20-10-2008, 05:17   #11
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Greetings, and WELCOME aboard Stormin Novi.
Thanks for the free consultation. It’s nice to see a professional sharing his experience in a non-commercial manner.
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Old 20-10-2008, 07:02   #12
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Remember that the asking price is set by the seller, not the broker. If the price has been bouncing around, look for an erratic seller first, poor communications second, and a shady or inept broker third.

A broker doesn't get paid anything until buyer and seller agree on a price and conditions, so he's far better off trying to get that agreement than waiting a year to make another thousand dollars. And its not unusual for a boat to stay on the market for a year or more.

Suppose the seller lists the boat non-exclusively with three different brokers. You talk to all three for one reason or another. Now the seller thinks he has three potential buyers, and isn't even going to consider a low bid.

Go with a broker who will show you on soldboat.com what five other similar boats sold for recently, and quit trying to buy a cadillac for the price of a Yugo.
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Old 21-10-2008, 06:15   #13
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When we bought our boat we shopped around by calling different brokers on specific boats. On about half the calls we arranged a viewing. Typically the showing broker would try to 'adopt' us as clients. We resisted - usually telling them we're just looking causes them disappear real fast. We shopped around for about 18 months.

Once we were sure of the type of boat we wanted and were ready to actually buy we picked a broker we liked and let him take over the process for us.
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Old 21-10-2008, 06:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amfivena View Post
When we bought our boat we shopped around by calling different brokers on specific boats. On about half the calls we arranged a viewing. Typically the showing broker would try to 'adopt' us as clients. We resisted - usually telling them we're just looking causes them disappear real fast. We shopped around for about 18 months.

Once we were sure of the type of boat we wanted and were ready to actually buy we picked a broker we liked and let him take over the process for us.
That is very unfortunate and not very fair to those broker that took their time and expenses for gasoline, etc to run around for you when they could have been working for someone that might have generated some income for them. They don't get paid a dime unless they sell something and for those that are just out kicking tires it is a complete waste of time and money. How about if someone took you off your job and had you just drive around all day and sit while they shopped and you did not get paid for that day?
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Old 21-10-2008, 07:47   #15
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Hi Kevingy

I just bought my cruising cat using Mike Carlson at Catamarans Company. There were some tricky items to the sale, most notably a drydock owner that the seller had a bill with, and some confusion with how the monies were to be distributed. To make a long story short, my boat was arrested and a lien put on it by the drydock owner, after the sale had gone through.

Catamarans.com paid the drydock owner, and will go after the seller for unpaid bills, leaving me to go cruising. That's what you want from a broker. So go with a reputable company that will stand in when things go awry - no matter whose fault it was in the first place.

What this has shown me is that even when a vessel is guaranteed free and clear of liens, a lien can be registered for the seller's debts even after the sale had gone through. When this happens, you'll be glad if you had a broker on your side with a reputation to protect. You can reach Mike at 954-309-1255.

Fair winds
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