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Old 31-03-2011, 15:29   #1
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Buying a Boat - Lack of Response

I'm looking to buy a 40 - 48 foot mono-hull sailboat under $200,000 in the next year or so. I live in a fairly remote inland part of the country so it is important to me to get full disclosure before I pay the big bucks to travel to look at a boat. Ideally I'd like to line up a few to look at in one area before I go.

In the last month I've emailed at least 4 different advertisers on Sailboat Listings requesting equipment lists and photos of their boats. I haven't had one response. I don't get it. Are there a lot of people out there who just put an ad up but have no intention of selling their boat or am I doing something wrong?

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Old 31-03-2011, 15:30   #2
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Re: Am I Doing Something Wrong?

I gave up on sailboat listings a while back for the same reason. I mostly use yachtworld for looking. I've never had any problem with responses on there.

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Old 31-03-2011, 15:51   #3
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Re: Am I Doing Something Wrong?

I'll bet brokers will return your emails.

I don't think the sellers are ignoring you, but perhaps your emails are getting lost in spam filters. I see most of the listing have a phone number; why don't you try and call them?
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:52   #4
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Re: Am I Doing Something Wrong?

Yachtworld is where I would start. Also, you can contact a broker in yacht-heavy areas (Kemah Texas, Deale Maryland, Oriental NC, Ft. Lauderdale, etc.) and have him help you search. You won't have to pay your broker, as he will be compensated by splitting the commission with the selling broker when you buy a yacht.
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:57   #5
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Re: Am I Doing Something Wrong?

I've had at least 3 (out of maybe 10) good responses from owners on sailboatlistings. Its not the website, its the owners/brokers. The same problems occur on yachtworld. I've had many yachtworld brokers email me back a stock response and never respond again. When I called, they would say "yeah come see it" and practically hang up on me... Extremely poor salesmanship all around.

Some private owners are no better. After dealing with these strangely reluctant owners two or three times, I made it a rule to never go see a boat if the owner/broker is not 100% willing to provide everything I ask for, including detailed photos. This rule worked out pretty well, but it was a shame that so many boats I really liked were ill-responsive.

Some of these owners, and even brokers, will respond but then won't send pictures, or when you talk to them on the phone and ask detailed questions, they give you totally irrelevant or ambiguous answers. It's not worth your time to deal with them. Trust me.

Of course I was dealing in a much different boat market, but the same rules apply, they (the sellers) should be doing everything in their power to sell you their boat. So many of them act like its just too big a hassle to "deal with" potential buyers. its a shame so many good boats go to waste this way...

People have actually said to me over the phone, they wouldn't deal with me unless I was there in person, because they were tired of dealing with "dreamers and tire kickers". Obviously these people forget what it's like to buy a boat????

Its not you, its not the website, its THEM....Just walk away and wait for the kind, responsive, and helpful owners & brokers to deal with, they are out there.
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Old 31-03-2011, 17:41   #6
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

Call them. Some people do not respond to emails well.

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Old 31-03-2011, 17:51   #7
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

I buy/sell cars for a living when purchasing from private sellers the response tells the story. If they respond well the car will probably match the description/photos. They will be willing to negotiate and have a better idea what their car is really worth. If the response is bad I just cross them off the list imediately. Yes there are a lot of tyre kickers but if your a seller that is part of the gig and you have to take the bad with the good.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:13   #8
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

If there is a phone number listed follow up the email with a phone call. Many people are slow to respond to email, if they respond, even businesses that I deal with all the time. Some people are just that way--fine on the phone, but hopeless via email. I think part of the problem is that there are a lot of tire kickers out there, and on the other side of the coin a lot of non-serious sellers. They have put a high price on the boat, listed it everywhere, and possibly with more than one broker, and they are expecting someone to just send them a check one day for their asking price. Chances are it will take a little time before those buyers become responsive, but they will eventually after their boat hasn't sold for awhile. I have seen some people that just perpetually list their house and boat for sale at a high price and they look at it like the lottery--maybe they'll score some day. Some people--in fact a lot of people--are just lousy sales people!
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:51   #9
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

Sorry, you will rarely get full disclosure and when you do it will likely be from an enthusiastic seller and proud owner. So hang in there and expect to kiss a lot of froggy boats. If you walk around the marina and see all those tired worn out boats, those are the guys who are not answering your emails. The pictures make the boat look really good, then you might find out they were taken 20 years ago when boat was new. Persevere and you will get a good boat, get lucky and maybe it will be the first one you look at.
"When the world was flat as a pancake, Mona Lisa was happy as a clam" J. Prine
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Old 31-03-2011, 20:51   #10
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

Can anyone recommend a local broker for him?
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:01   #11
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

I have some ideas on how to best find the right boat in the US market.
Shoot me a PM or give me a call and we can discuss further.

Have a good day


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Old 01-04-2011, 07:55   #12
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Kevin.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:02   #13
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

Thanks I appreciate it!
The first step is to pin down the style/make/ and models most you're most interested in.
I always like to have a TOP 3 list. From there, go through the entire US market pinning down the best options. That's where I come in.

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Old 10-04-2011, 13:10   #14
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

I live in Denver and have had the same experience. No broker wants to waste his time on someone who lives far away and may or may not ever come to look at a boat. What I have found is that you need to decide what you want ( choose among several makes and lengths), search YachtWorld in a specific geographic area, Make a list of 5 or 10 (or more) boats that fit your guidelines. Then you have to go to that area. Once you get there it is easy to find a broker who will show you as many boats as you wish to see. Plan on spending at least several weeks in the area as many boats take a while to arrange showings for.

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Old 13-04-2011, 18:18   #15
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Re: Buying a Boat: Lack of Response

I think there are three problems. Many boat owners that are advertising don't really want to sell at all. I actually had one boat seller tell me that he didn't want to sell at all and that he just listed the boat to get his wife off of his back. Also, I think that many brokers aren't making a living selling boats and it's a part time gig for them. The're probably working somewhere else too. The third problem is the buyers. Plenty of people make boat shopping their hobby. Some won't ever buy a boat. I knew one couple that looked at every single boat for sale in my area between 30-50 feet for 11 years and they never bought a boat. They even planned their vacations around boat shopping for all those years and they still never bought. I think that brokers and private sellers get really tired of calls from people that never show up. The guy who sold me my boat said that he had about 300 calls, around 100 said that they would like to come see the boat, about 15 actually showed up and he got 3 offers, one was 20% of his asking price and 2 were something close to real.

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