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Old 15-10-2017, 21:07   #1
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What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

Hi All,

Am I the only one that keeps getting coupled with lazy, uninformed, don't give a crap yacht brokers?

I've purchased many boats in my life and I literally have an 80% ratio of the brokers being just useless.. I know more about the boat then they do. Getting information out of them seems like a root canal. They constantly give incomplete information and I have to keep begging them to give me more..

Am I the only one that keeps experiencing this?

Love to hear other people's stories..
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Old 15-10-2017, 21:21   #2
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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Hi All,

Am I the only one that keeps getting coupled with lazy, uninformed, don't give a crap yacht brokers?

I've purchased many boats in my life and I literally have an 80% ratio of the brokers being just useless.. I know more about the boat then they do. Getting information out of them seems like a root canal. They constantly give incomplete information and I have to keep begging them to give me more..

Am I the only one that keeps experiencing this?

Love to hear other people's stories..

Last boat I looked at:

I went to make an offer on a boat, but wanted to have a couple of questions answered by the broker before I did. He said he would ask the owner. Havenít heard back from him. Boats still for sale.

Called a different broker Friday morning, saying I was interested in one of his boats. No call back.

Previously I was just looking on Craigslist because when I bought my current boat I was in a different financial situation. All of the brokers for the price range of boat I was looking at simply neglected to tell me about the soft decks etc until I got there.

I really donít like most of the boat brokers Iíve had the misfortune of meeting. A couple of excellent ones along the way. Had to do a bunch of work for them when I was working on boats. They never came out to check out what we were doing or anything.

Idk. If I list my boat via a broker, I will definitely go and ask them about a boat theyíve got for sale before listing it with them. Even if I have no interest in buying another boat. That way I can get a feel for them.
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Old 15-10-2017, 22:22   #3
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

Okay, so I'm not the only one.. It just amazes me that I'm only asking them to do their jobs, and minimal at that!! It's not like I'm asking him to go above and beyond like help me change replace my engine to bottom paint?!?! Just information that they would've received when taking on the listing. And these are, I thought, common sense questions like, "how many hours on the engine," "Last hauled out," "battery bank hours," etc.. These are facts that everyone decent boat owner should know..

I hate when they actually earn good money for doing nothing but cause extra stress and hassles needlessly..

Keep the stories coming.. Glad to hear that they are everywhere.. LOL
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Old 15-10-2017, 22:26   #4
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

While I agree with your sentiment, I must ask ..... Battery bank hours ????
I wonder how many boat owners have a clue about what you are talking about .... I certainly don't.
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Old 15-10-2017, 23:07   #5
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

There are good and bad brokerages and the bad ones have bad salesmen. Usually the ones selling big boats along with commercial boats have salesmen that are people that worked on the water and know boats and engines.
It's the guys selling speed boats and entry level sailboats that are the former car salesmen.
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Old 16-10-2017, 00:41   #6
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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While I agree with your sentiment, I must ask ..... Battery bank hours ????
I wonder how many boat owners have a clue about what you are talking about .... I certainly don't.
Boats with any kinds of electric devices draw power. Say a fridge draws 3 amps per hour... lights another 2 amps per hour. Say you calculate that on average you use 10 amps per hour just living on the boat. If you have a 200 amp hour battery bank (a series of batteries of a certain size, which you can really only use half of to keep the batteries in good condition so 100 amp hours usable), you can use your devices for 10 hours before you will either need shore power, run the generator or engine (with an alternator), or have regen like solar or wind adding juice to the bank.

I don't know your life so you may very well enjoy sailing without electronics on board, but if a broker is selling a boat, they need to know these things. It's like a real estate agent not knowing square footage on a house.
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Old 16-10-2017, 01:14   #7
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
There are good and bad brokerages and the bad ones have bad salesmen. Usually the ones selling big boats along with commercial boats have salesmen that are people that worked on the water and know boats and engines.
It's the guys selling speed boats and entry level sailboats that are the former car salesmen.
Any other good methods for sorting out which boat brokers are worth spending time or listing boats with? My price range is still only like 70k tops. Not looking to spend commercial boat kinds of money, nor even close.

At this point itís still easier for me to do bussiness through a broker if all other things are equal between that and a private sale.
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Old 16-10-2017, 01:14   #8
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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Boats with any kinds of electric devices draw power. Say a fridge draws 3 amps per hour... lights another 2 amps per hour. Say you calculate that on average you use 10 amps per hour just living on the boat. If you have a 200 amp hour battery bank (a series of batteries of a certain size, which you can really only use half of to keep the batteries in good condition so 100 amp hours usable), you can use your devices for 10 hours before you will either need shore power, run the generator or engine (with an alternator), or have regen like solar or wind adding juice to the bank.

I don't know your life so you may very well enjoy sailing without electronics on board, but if a broker is selling a boat, they need to know these things. It's like a real estate agent not knowing square footage on a house.
Oh, you are talking about battery capacity in amp hours .... not how I read your original post but that makes sense now. You might want to change your questions for brokers to use proper terminology so that they can actually understand what you are asking and reply in a way that makes sense .... just saying, not trying to be hostile here.
BTW, I am not surprised brokers don't know that figure for their listed boats. I would guess that only a small portions of clients know or care about Ah capacity and if somebody cares they would make up their own minds since the actual battery capacity depends among other things on previous use and age of the bank together with the rated battery capacity. Just because your 5 year old batteries were 320 Ah (2 4D batteries) doesn't mean that is their capacity now. If I was a broker I would only list that the boat has 2 4D batteries that are 5 years old because if they said '320 Ah' they would most certainly leave themselves open to clients coming back to them and requesting a replacement on the brokers dime after they found out that they might have only half that capacity due to age and use.
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Old 16-10-2017, 02:23   #9
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

Yacht brokers in general are not regulated or "supervised" to the degree that real estate brokers are, and depending on the locale and the people involved, you could be in the Wild West and not know it. You can't trust broker listings to accurately portray the vessel and its equipment or condition. Caveat emptor.
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Old 16-10-2017, 03:08   #10
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

I'm an on again off again resident of Annapolis MD, which probably has the highest concentration of boat brokers in the world, and I know a good number of them. Some of them have been at it a long time, are veteran sailors and super knowledgeable about the industry, a huge range of boats going back decades, and boat systems. Some of them are salesmen who have retired from working in a different industry and are trying their hand at boat brokerage and are often unsuccessful. Some of them are young and while having been in the marine industry for a few years don't have an adequate range of knowledge and experience yet.

As with any profession, the top 10-20% of practitioners are dramatically better than the rest. They distinguish themselves in terms of knowledge, experience, ethics, and general intelligence and insightfulness. Your best strategy is to find one of these and retain them as a buyer's broker. It does not cost you anything and they are pretty adept at dealing with the shortcomings of the selling brokers that they need to interact with.

I've had quite a few good brokers tell me that "You gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince", meaning that a huge amount of their time is taken up dealing with tire-kickers and the generally uninformed prospective buyer. If they get inquiries from someone that they judge to be a waste of their time, for whatever reason, I expect that their tactic of choice is general unresponsiveness. That's just a hypothesis.

It should go without saying that low value boats, either because they were inexpensive to begin with or have significant problems, are going to be represented by the bottom end of boat brokers. Time is money. If you're brokering a $25k boat, you're looking at a $2500 commission, at best. Every hour you spend on that boat trying to sell it is a borderline waste of time.
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Old 16-10-2017, 03:10   #11
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

I wonder why you are getting ďcoupledĒ with yacht brokers at all? Do you mean a buyers broker? Iíd never even consider using one because I already know what boats I like and itís not difficult to locate boats for sale. So the only broker I deal with is the listing broker and I understand that he works for the seller so I double check anything he tells me. Iíve only bought 3 cruising boats but actually had very good luck with all 3 listing brokers, but always kept in mind to whom they owed their first obligation
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Old 16-10-2017, 05:52   #12
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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It should go without saying that low value boats, either because they were inexpensive to begin with or have significant problems, are going to be represented by the bottom end of boat brokers. Time is money. If you're brokering a $25k boat, you're looking at a $2500 commission, at best. Every hour you spend on that boat trying to sell it is a borderline waste of time.
This is the issue with lower-end boats; the fact is, most brokers get paid based a set commission, usually around 10%. Ten percent of a cheap boat is a pretty poor payout. Selling a boat can take many, many hours of work. Low end boats bring out a lot of tire-kickers. I found this out while selling my own boat. So I can see why brokers become jaded and rather cautious in their responses. It also explains why these brokers likely invest less time learning much about these boats they list.

I understand this, and I get it. Iím a small business person as well. I know how much my time is worth, and how much time I can spend on each project. If I didnít follow this, Iíd be out of business pretty quick. So I understand.

All of this is why I much prefer NOT to deal with brokers if I can when buying. I too ran into the ďlazy brokerĒ syndrome when buying my last boat. Calls/emails not returned, or returned with limited information. All too often brokers would not be able to answer detailed questions about the boats I was interested in. And in a few cases I was given completely wrong information that cost me time and money.

In my price range I MUCH prefer to deal directly with the owner. They are motivated to sell, and they have the answers I need. Most (not all) brokers just get in the way.

Although Iíve not operated at the higher price ranges, I suspect the exact opposite is true as the number of zeros go up. Here a broker makes more and more sense. But not at the lower end of the market.
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Old 16-10-2017, 06:14   #13
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

I recently started a similar thread:

Job of the Seller's Broker?
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Old 16-10-2017, 06:34   #14
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

I guess we had one of those top 10-20% of brokers, because he was extremely responsive, helpful and knowledgeable. Didn't realize how lucky we were I suppose!
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Old 16-10-2017, 07:40   #15
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Re: What's the deal with Boat Brokers?

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In my price range I MUCH prefer to deal directly with the owner. They are motivated to sell, and they have the answers I need. Most (not all) brokers just get in the way.



Although Iíve not operated at the higher price ranges, I suspect the exact opposite is true as the number of zeros go up. Here a broker makes more and more sense. But not at the lower end of the market.

There is no doubt that brokers "sanitize" the information no matter their competence or responsiveness. You're isolated from the seller.

There is a saying in some "pre owned" markets; buy the seller not the product. And nothing could be more true when it comes to boats. I have been interested in certain boats...until I met the seller and decided they were not someone I would buy from given how I heard they maintained the boat or just a general assessment of their honesty.
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