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Old 14-03-2012, 12:15   #1
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My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Well, we have finally done it! We purchased the cruising boat! Lots of fun and exciting work to be done. We purchased an Island Packet 380 after about 2 years of shopping, looking through at least a dozen or more boats and 3 offers later (first 2 didn't happen). We, so far, have been extremely pleased with the process - great broker, great surveyor; the boat and where we landed.

As we all know purchasing any boat is a series of compromises. In a previous post I outlined what our purchase criteria was for us, so I thought you might find it an interesting analysis to see how our boat purchase compared to our original list of criteria. The information in black text is the original criteria and the red text is the boat that was purchased.

Price Range 100 - 200K Ended up slight north of our price range
Length 35 – 45 Ended up within our range for length, check
Age I am comfortable with any age boat, condition and construction are
more important than specific age or era Boat was newer than others that were considered
Condition Excellent to Bristol, not a project boat, ok if it requires some
deferred maintenance Boat is in excellent condition with some required maintenance items and changes based on personal preference
Underbody Modified full keel, cut-away full keel or modified fin keel with a
skeg-hung rudder or protected rudder. Not interested in boats with
a fin keel and a spade rudder. Draft shallow enough to explore
Bahamas Modified full keel with a skeg-hung rudder
Material Fiberglass fiberglass, check
Cockpit Prefer aft cockpit, but would not rule out a center cockpit if it were
the right boat. Must have combings of adequate height for
comfortable seating and benches of adequate length for lying down
in cockpit. Stern rail seats would be great Aft cockpit, nice long benches in cockpit and stern rail seats
Rig/Sail plan Cutter rig, prefer without a ketch or yawl, but would not rule out a
ketch or yawl if placement of mizzen mast makes sense. I would
not consider a ketch or yawl on the lower end of the length
specified. I am indifferent about a furling main vs a standard main
with lazy jack or stackpack, either is fine. Roller furler on the head
sail a must. Roller furler on the staysail and self tacking staysail
would be great. All lines lead aft to manage sail plan from the
cockpit cutter rig with self tacking stay sail, roller furler on jib, stay sail and main
Construction/Design Prefer a boat with traditional lines and nice overhangs, love
wine glass transoms, however may have to compromise on
this to achieve 2 cabins Not interested in a boat with teak
decks This was one area of compromise, an Island Packet does not necessarily have sexy traditional lines, however we prioritized liveability over traditional lines and look
Performance I am looking for a cruising boat, not a racing boat. It is important
that the boat have good sea motion and stable (i.e. no pounding)
with good both up wind and down wind performance Although I
realize that the type of underbody I am looking for will mean this
will not be an extremely fast boat, however it should not be a tub
either. Most would not consider Island Packets to be performance sailers. This too was an area of compromise, we opted for stability, motion and safety over performance
Engine Accessibility to the engine for maintenance and repairs is
important. Ratio of HP to displacement should be close to 2 HP for
every 1,000 lbs of displacement. I don't want a boat that is
underpowered. Engine hours should not be excessive, low engine
hours would be great. Prefer an engine that has parts and
maintenance/repairs available in the state crusing area - Yanmar
best? Yanmar 56 hp with low engine hours, check
Interior Minimum 2 cabins with at least one berth queen size or larger
One head - prefer separate shower stall or at minimum the ability to
pull a curtain around to not get entire head wet. Good sea berth in
salon. Galley small enough to brace yourself in a seaway but with
enough counter space to work without having to move to open the
frig. Generally, not too dark or broken up down below. Bright & airy
with adequate ventilation - one large hatch for each area and
dorades. Well laid out nav station is important, a place to sit down,
table large enough to handle charts, back or side area that can
handle the addition of electronics 2 cabins with sizeable berths in both. Boat sleeps 7. I have my required counter space in the galley without too large of a galley, still able to brace in a seaway. It is bright and airy below with adequate ventilation. Nav station is a bit smaller than we thought originally.
Electronics Prefer minimum electronics on board and will plan to add these
closer to our cruising departure Has more than we anticipated

Lessons Learned (at least from our perspective)

  • Deal with the listing broker – On the 2 offers that fell through we were not dealing with the listing broker but rather a broker from the same office. In both cases, we felt like we were playing telephone – hang on, let me check with the other broker and get back with you. Zero value to having a middle man
  • Hire a good surveyor – I took the time to talk with/interview 4 surveyors and reviewed sample surveys they provided after having researched recommended surveyors. Research included CF, calling local yards and asking maintenance/repair folks who they recommend, considering broker recommendation but not relying on this recommendation. In the end we were extremely satisfied with the survey.
  • Make an offer based on what you think the boat is worth to you and what you are willing to pay - take into account all available information. There is no magic number to guide you. At the end of the sale the only one that needs to be satisfied with what you paid is you.
  • Broker commission is negotiable – I won’t provide details, however the broker was willing to negotiate his commission, so we structured this (in writing) such that as the price of the boat decreased his commission increased. We provided the right incentive for him to support the best possible price and represent our viewpoint even though he was the seller’s broker
  • All broker’s play the broker game – If you expect and anticipate this to be true up front, you will find it less aggravating when it occurs. By this I mean that at one point in the process, the broker called us to tell us he had another party interested in looking at the boat – yeah right.
  • The previous owner can be your friend – it pays to get on friendly terms with the previous owner. At the end of this month, we are meeting again with the previous owner to go sailing and he has agreed to walk us through all the boat systems and educate us on the boat and it’s idiosyncrasies.

This post is long enough, so I will stop here. Look forward to your thoughts.
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Old 14-03-2012, 12:28   #2
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Congratulations! Island Packets are fine boats.
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Old 14-03-2012, 14:04   #3
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post

Broker commission is negotiable – I won’t provide details, however the broker was willing to negotiate his commission, so we structured this (in writing) such that as the price of the boat decreased his commission increased. We provided the right incentive for him to support the best possible price and represent our viewpoint even though he was the seller’s broker
Congrats! But the above seems wrong and unprofessional! If I ever found out as a seller than my broker entered into such a deal with a buyer I would go ape sh*t!
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Old 14-03-2012, 14:35   #4
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Great job!
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Old 14-03-2012, 14:40   #5
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Really educational write-up, thanks sweetsailing and congrats on your purchase.

I think in the interests of full disclosure both parties should know/ agree to such a commission arrangement when agreeing to a dual-agency broker.
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Old 14-03-2012, 15:05   #6
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

G'day, mate. Well done. Thinking you must have an engineering background with the analysis. One suggestion, since you only have one head. I would strongly suggest upgrading it to a more stout model or, at a minimum, have a complete rebuild kit, including the pump mechanism and be comfortable repairing it yourself. All the best in retirement. It's a great lifestyle. Cheers.
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Old 14-03-2012, 15:16   #7
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Thanks for the info,
Just to dive in a little deeper. What happened on the 2 failed offers? Anything learned?

Are you saying that you negotiated a kick-back on the buyer's broker side of the exchange? I assume the dual-agency agreement left the your broker with 5%.
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Old 14-03-2012, 15:20   #8
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Congratulation on an excellent boat. But....

The commision on the sale is spelled out in a separate listing agreement between the seller and the broker. You are not privy to it. Negotiating a reduced commision with the listing broker is just like getting a kick back. If it isn't illegal (and I suspect it is, because it defrauds the seller) then it is highly unethical. How can a broker represent the sellers interests if he is giving you a kickback, particularly one that improves his income as the price drops.

I will find out who the broker was. It is easy with Soldboats, which I will ask my current broker to run for me. And I will never, ever do business with him or his firm.

Sheesh!!!

David
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Old 14-03-2012, 15:27   #9
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Hi all - to clarify on the broker issue. This topic was brought up to us by the broker, not initiated by us, as he was going to loose the listing at the end of the month and therefore receive no commission. Although we did not know this at the time the topic was raised to us, we later learned there was a commission deal with the seller as well. On this deal, the broker was lucky if he even covered his expenses. I understand the points that you raise and when thinking about it from the seller's perspective, I don't disagree with you. However, it appears on this particular deal only the broker lost.
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Old 14-03-2012, 16:30   #10
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

Congratulations on the new to you Island Packet. Great boat.
kind regards,
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Old 14-03-2012, 19:32   #11
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post
However, it appears on this particular deal only the broker lost.
Not true. Since your deal influenced the broker to talk the seller into a lower price, the seller lost.

And if he told you that his commision (on a $200K boat) was barely going to cover his expenses, I say BS. Boat sales commisions are typically 10% of the sales price. That isn't to say that they don't get discounted to close the deal, but that is always between the broker and the seller. Never the buyer. Anything else is a kickback which is fraud.

David
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Old 14-03-2012, 20:02   #12
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Many congratulations on the purchase. Fair winds and following seas.

I look forward to your reports on sailing her.

Leave all that legal mumbo jumbo on shore. That's why you bought the boat, right!
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Old 14-03-2012, 21:51   #13
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

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Leave all that legal mumbo jumbo on shore. That's why you bought the boat, right!
Yes, exactly! One more lesson learned.

Thanks for the congratulations! Matauwhi - now the fun begins, we have lots of new boat systems to learn which will, I am sure, include learning to rebuild the head - not sure I am looking forward to that one
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Old 09-02-2013, 15:34   #14
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This original post is hilarious. I looked for a sailboat for 3 days. Had only been sailing twice before, saw a catalina 27 that was dry with hood furling, Yamaha 9.9 hp, fridge, new fuse panel and through hulls on craigslist. Bought it on site in 2012. I hadn't even heard of catalina before. Happy with purchase still. 1974 boat under 4k$ that I sail all over the Chesapeake.
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Old 09-02-2013, 15:42   #15
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Re: My Boat Compromises and Lessons Learned

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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Not true. Since your deal influenced the broker to talk the seller into a lower price, the seller lost.

And if he told you that his commision (on a $200K boat) was barely going to cover his expenses, I say BS. Boat sales commisions are typically 10% of the sales price. That isn't to say that they don't get discounted to close the deal, but that is always between the broker and the seller. Never the buyer. Anything else is a kickback which is fraud.

David
I dont know... the seller either accepts the $ as satisfactory to him or not.... all else is peripheral. an inverse commission vs selling price may not be too ethical though.... Is the OP talking about a Buyer's commission??
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