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Old 27-02-2015, 03:55   #16
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Piney View Post
Seems like a good, honest, hard working broker that knows how to use modern technology like computers and email, and has a least some resemblance of courtesy could make a fortune in this environment while putting the lazy, old school, bottom feeders out of business.
If it's that simple, why don't you do it?
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Old 27-02-2015, 04:32   #17
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

We are in the process of buying a boat in Turkey. Survey and sea trial is next week.

We made an offer on the boat based on the description and photos and then went to visit it. We saw the boat twice, which meant that the owner had to arrange to have the boat brought into the quay each time.

Though we found some additional issues with the boat, the owner and the broker were very open, and the owner even took us out for a sale, which I hadn't expected.

At no time did they try to rush us, were happy to answer any questions, and so we stuck with the boat and agreed a final price and paid the deposit.

If the broker or owner had not been so willing to allow us to have a good look, then I think we would have passed on the boat as soon as we found the first problem, despite the costs we incurred for airfares, hotel, hire car etc.
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Old 27-02-2015, 04:59   #18
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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Originally Posted by Catnut View Post
We are in the process of buying a boat in Turkey. Survey and sea trial is next week.

We made an offer on the boat based on the description and photos and then went to visit it. We saw the boat twice, which meant that the owner had to arrange to have the boat brought into the quay each time.

Though we found some additional issues with the boat, the owner and the broker were very open, and the owner even took us out for a sale, which I hadn't expected.

At no time did they try to rush us, were happy to answer any questions, and so we stuck with the boat and agreed a final price and paid the deposit.

If the broker or owner had not been so willing to allow us to have a good look, then I think we would have passed on the boat as soon as we found the first problem, despite the costs we incurred for airfares, hotel, hire car etc.
In my opinion, being very open and communicative (always the right thing to do if you're trying to make a deal) is not inconsistent with asking for money for a sea trial.

In this case, there would be little chance of alleged buyers just joyriding the boat, because of the expense of travel. That's an excellent guaranty of seriousness of intentions.

Where a boat is being sold locally, it's a different story.

In any case, every seller will decide for himself how to balance being as attractive as possible to potential buyers versus risking having a lot of time wasted by people who are not serious.

I agree that many boat brokers, like brokers in other fields, don't do themselves many favors in the way they conduct their business. I spent a lot of time with the in-house brokers at Oyster. They were helpful -- up to a point. But were not willing to spend as much time as I wanted them to -- stopped answering technical questions after a while. They gave me the impression that they were not much used to being asked detailed technical questions.

The situation at Moody (I ended up buying at the old Moody boatyard) was not much better. The head broker was much like the Oyster guy. The subordinate brokers at Moody, however, were fantastic -- incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and totally open, which gave me a lot of confidence. It played a significant role in the successful closing of the deal.

Although in hindsight, maybe the head broker at Moody was not as bad as I thought. I got frustrated with him because he refused to negotiate the price, and we went round the houses. I later found out that he got two more full price offers on my boat the same week I signed the contract (I found this out from one of the other buyers, whom I met accidentally), so it turns out that he was correct in being confident in his price, after all. The boat had been on the market less than a month. This was 2009, so I was acting under the impression that it was a buyer's market.
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Old 27-02-2015, 05:05   #19
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I have bought and sold a few boats all through brokers and never even heard of a fee for a sail.However at all times the sail or better put sea trial has been after an offer has been accepted and a deposit paid.
Very recently we sold our boat privately as in no broker involved .Three of the people who viewed the boat wanted to take it for a sail but did not want to commit a deposit or a firm offer and Infact I felt they were simply tyre kickers who really had no clue what they wanted to buy and simply wanted test drives.
If I ever get in the situation again of privately selling I will infact suggest a refundable deposit for a test sail but only if I feel the looker is a serious buyer.
Frankly I was surprised at the amount of dreamers and time wasters out there.
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Old 27-02-2015, 05:19   #20
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Some brokers are not allowed to run the boat due to insurance or other reasons. If the seller is not available to operate the boat they may need to hire a captain. My guess is that is where the fee comes from. I would ask why the fee and try to work with them some, like others have said perhaps ask if it is refundable if you buy the boat.
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Old 27-02-2015, 05:29   #21
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I would run, not walk, away from any boat where the broker or seller made it unreasonably difficult for me to examine it in detail before making an offer. This does not include a sea-trial, but it does include full access to the boat in its current state.

The process I've used to buy, and to sell, is:

Pre-offer: Potential buyer is given reasonable access to completely examine the boat in its current location. To me this means at least an hour, maybe two, so I can examine the whole boat in some detail. This certainly includes looking into bilges and behind cabinetry. I would not expect to do any destructive testing in my pre-offer examinations, nor would I expect a sea trial at this point.

If I as the potential buyer wanted to sail the boat at this time I would fully expect to pay for the privilege.

Post-offer: Once my offer has been made and accepted I want complete access to the boat more or less on my schedule (within reason of course). I want to be able to do a complete survey, including the potential for minor destructive testing if needed. I want complete access to all past documentation, and (in the case of a broker sale) I want to be able to talk directly with the owner. In my experience most brokers of older boats (the only one I have experience with) know very little about the actual boat they are selling.

Sea trial: As a final condition of the sale, and with no additional costs outside of direct expenses, I want (or expect, as the seller) a complete sea trial that includes both sailing and engine time. NOTE: A sea trial is not intended as an opportunity for the buyer to see if they like how the boat sails. The purpose here is to affirm that the primary systems are functioning as expected.
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Old 27-02-2015, 05:43   #22
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

OReilly, given your "methods", I'm surprised you're able to buy boats.
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Old 27-02-2015, 05:49   #23
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Separates the tire kickers from the buyers! If you are willing to walk away from a $40k boat you were seriously considering over $125 that you could have asked to be credited with the boat purchase meaning it cost you nothing, you were just a tire kicker.
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:11   #24
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pirate Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

LOL....
I remember flying to Antigua from SMX in 2000 to look for a boat.. after depression in Jolly Harbour I jumped on a bus and headed of to see a Tri that was being 'Minded' by another boater based there.
When I arrived I was informed it'd cost me $100 for the dinghy ride out to the mooring.. and back.. 1/2 an hour allowance to view her...

Met a couple of really nice local ladies on the ride back to my St Johns hotel.. so it wasn't a wasted trip..
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:15   #25
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

One item to clarify: Did the offer include a deposit?

If yes, any presumption of being a tire kicker goes out the window. I could see being asked to cover launch/haul out fees.
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:32   #26
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Pre-offer: Potential buyer is given reasonable access to completely examine the boat in its current location. To me this means at least an hour, maybe two, so I can examine the whole boat in some detail. This certainly includes looking into bilges and behind cabinetry. I would not expect to do any destructive testing in my pre-offer examinations, nor would I expect a sea trial at this point.

If I as the potential buyer wanted to sail the boat at this time I would fully expect to pay for the privilege.

Post-offer: Once my offer has been made and accepted I want complete access to the boat more or less on my schedule (within reason of course). I want to be able to do a complete survey, including the potential for minor destructive testing if needed. I want complete access to all past documentation, and (in the case of a broker sale) I want to be able to talk directly with the owner. In my experience most brokers of older boats (the only one I have experience with) know very little about the actual boat they are selling.

Sea trial: As a final condition of the sale, and with no additional costs outside of direct expenses, I want (or expect, as the seller) a complete sea trial that includes both sailing and engine time. NOTE: A sea trial is not intended as an opportunity for the buyer to see if they like how the boat sails. The purpose here is to affirm that the primary systems are functioning as expected.
This is exactly how the "normal" boat buying process goes here in Florida. The one comment I would add is that the offer is a signed-and-sealed, legal contract, and includes a down payment (usually 10%).

As others have said, the fact that the buyer is paying for a survey and putting up a down payment clearly indicates that he is not just a tire-kicker. Now, if the boat was already in the water, and no survey was being done (meaning that the buyer hasn't put up anything that he can't completely get back at this point), then I might consider it reasonable to charge a modest fee for a sea trial. Only on the condition, however, that the fee would be fully applied to toward the purchase when the sale went through.

What is not clear in the original post here--and what I think is crucial information--is, was there a signed contract to buy the boat, and a down payment made? If so, a non-refundable fee for doing a sea trial is not reasonable. If not, charging for a sea trial seems quite perfectly reasonable to me.
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:37   #27
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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I find the whole 'process' for buying a boat through a broker as really %$&*^$ up.

When I was looking I made three two hour trips to another city (Hobart) to look at a boat. I was told right up front that the process is, make and offer then you can go on a sea trial. No cost to it. But, I wasn't prepared to be locked into making 'an offer' until I was convinced I wanted that boat, and I wasn't going to be convinced I wanted that boat until I did a sea trial.

As I argued about that, I then had trouble even looking at the boat. The first time I asked to see it, they told me they could only spare 10 minutes. So I had a quick look over and made arrangements to come back in a fortnight when I was then had a discussion about making an offer. At 15 minutes he's pushing me that he has to go, so I said, 'well I'm really interested in this boat but I want to have a good look over it first. He told me I should have warned them about that. I said I assumed you would have known when I made the appointment two week earlier. So I made a time to come and see in the following week with me emphasising I was some decent time to really go over the boat.

When I turned up the following week, he was fine, until I pulled out some Allen Keys to pull up a couple of the floor panels and whoa, hold the horses, what are you doing. I explained I just want to check the state of the bilges which I couldn't see. He said, 'you don't do that sort of thing until after you made an offer'. I said I don't know if I want to make an offer until I've had a good look at the boat, I've travelled three times, two hours each trip to see this boat, clearly I'm interested in the boat. But he picked up a fuss and said he's not got time for me to go over every inch, make and offer and then I can rebook. So, no looking in the bilges.

Before I left I was reaching up under the kitchenette, I could feel a heap of fat rust, I have it a yank and a stringer came away in my hand. I said, well, I don't think I'm interested any more. He didn't even say anything.
Well that is quite surprising. I looked at a number of boats before settling on one and 3 were with different brokers in Hobart. All had no problem with me spending time checking things out, one even just gave me the keys and said go have a good look over it and if you need me just let me know. The final I did make an offer subject to survey and sea trial so I always had a way out if I wanted to back away. Eventually bought the boat and very happy with it.
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:41   #28
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No one's chasing 'The American Dream' in Hobart..??
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:42   #29
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

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OReilly, given your "methods", I'm surprised you're able to buy boats.
Those (O'Reilly's method) were the same conditions under which we purchased both of our boats. Pretty standard in the brokerage industry with their contracts. Except for the part about speaking directly with the seller. But in both of our cases, many many questions were asked via the broker.
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Old 27-02-2015, 06:53   #30
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Re: Broker charging for a sea trial??

I know this. I would not be owning the boat I own now, if the owner had told me that I was going to have to pay him for a sea trial, after I had signed a contract for the purchase.

The last boat I sold, I took people on sea trials, before they even signed a contract to purchase it. My theory being,
1. I like to sail anyway.
2. There is no salesmanship like actually taking someone for a sail on a nice day.

The second couple I took out on a sea trial, bought my boat, at the asking price. And, I got a great day's sail out of it, too.
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