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Old 20-04-2019, 06:57   #1
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Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

I don't know if it is just me going to the wrong websites, or if there just isn't a good online way to find boats.

I use mostly these 2 sites:
  • sailboatlistings.com
  • yachtworld.com

And frankly they are both severely lacking in capabilities. For example neither one supports a login, so they don't keep track of anything for you. I'll go do a search for boats, and I'm interested in some, not others. There is no way to create a list of ones I'm interested in.

Neither site does a great job of getting rid of old listings or verifying boats are still for sale.

When I click on "contact seller" in either system it lets me do that with a little pop-up. But I don't get a copy of the email, and have no way to keep track of who I've reached out to or what listing it is for.

Search features are limited. Yachtworld is better than sailboatlistings for search, but still can be improved.

In short either I'm doing it wrong, or the community is in dire need of a better system/website.

Some features I'd like:
* Support login
* Enable tracking of boats I'm interested in "the short list"
* keep listings up to date by removing old listings if owner doesn't indicate it is still for sale.
* Let boat inspectors or owners post inspection results so we don't have to have boat re-inspected 100 times
* Really good search and sort capabilities.
* Keep a list of different searches I've done.
* Have a seller and buyer communication channel with memory (keeps list of all messages between buyer and seller so we can see where things stand).
* Arrange for viewing/inspection/test sail via online scheduling, notifications, etc.
* Standard contracts for boat buying
*Let people rate different boat styles, makes, models on a range of categories (cruising, racing, comfort, etc).
And so on.

Let me know your thoughts.
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Old 20-04-2019, 07:24   #2
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

Hey, Paulg222,
I'm in search mode myself. I am using a spreadsheet to track listings I have reviewed. That gives quite a bit of flexibility for ranking, sorting by various characteristics, etc. One column is the link to the online listing, whatever site is hosting the listing.

I also saved the links for my search criteria for each site, so I can just click that to see if there are any new listing within my criteria.
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Old 20-04-2019, 07:27   #3
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

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Originally Posted by JoeRobertJr View Post
Hey, Paulg222,
...I am using a spreadsheet to track listings I have reviewed.
...
I also saved the links for my search criteria for each site, so I can just click that to see if there are any new listing within my criteria.
That sounds like a good system, but I'd love for a site that handles this already. Or I could build this kind of website, if there is enough demand for it.
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Old 20-04-2019, 07:42   #4
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

I don’t understand about not being able to create a list of boats that you are interested in: is your pencil broken, ballpoint pen out of ink?
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Old 20-04-2019, 07:52   #5
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

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Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
I don’t understand about not being able to create a list of boats that you are interested in: is your pencil broken, ballpoint pen out of ink?


5 minutes on Craigslist East Coast USA comes up this Tartan 41

https://easternshore.craigslist.org/...847363154.html

It's also on the Mahina Listing of good Offshore Boats

Mahina Expeditions - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:00   #6
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

I've often wished I had a site where I could keep a running list of the boat models I'm interested in, and could modify the search for within a certain distance from me (or geographic area), by date listed, and could add and subtract boats I've already looked at.

When I look at a boat listing, I'd like to be able to assign my own ratings, 1) condition and 2) how well equipped the boat is, and 3) value.

But you're right, the search criteria on Yachtworld and Sailboatlistings leave a bit to be desired. Maybe it's "data entry error", but often the same model boat will be listed under 5 different categories. It's almost as if brokers don't really want buyers to be able to easily look on their own...
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:05   #7
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post


5 minutes on Craigslist East Coast USA comes up this Tartan 41

https://easternshore.craigslist.org/...847363154.html

It's also on the Mahina Listing of good Offshore Boats

Mahina Expeditions - Selecting A Boat for Offshore Cruising

The photos are great, but the specifications are lacking. How old is all the equipment?
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:28   #8
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

I do not see the value in criticizing the functionality of those websites. They are a business, so up to them what features they want to invest in. To me it's the quality of the **content** is what really matters.

Complain to **them** if you want to see things change, but don't hold your breath.

Obviously it is up to each prospect to create their own system for bookmarking pages and keeping track of different candidates' details.
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:42   #9
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

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I do not see the value in criticizing the functionality of those websites. They are a business, so up to them what features they want to invest in. To me it's the quality of the **content** is what really matters.

Complain to **them** if you want to see things change, but don't hold your breath.

Obviously it is up to each prospect to create their own system for bookmarking pages and keeping track of different candidates' details.
I suppose the main complaint is that they seem to cater to the brokers, not the buyers, by "de-tuning" their search functions. It's not so hard today to have a robust, easy-to-use search feature.

Sellers, buyers, and brokers are all well-served when a boat is sold.

At the end of the day, though, finding a boat from a distance has never been as easy as it is today.
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:48   #10
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

Alternatively, you're looking online way too much and do not have specific boats in mind.


How many different boats can you possibly be looking for? If you're serious, wouldn't most folks decide I want either a certain size boat or a certain builder, and go from there? Perhaps a range of sizes and a few builders. And how many can look on BOTH east and west coasts?


I used to, arrggh, actually READ the ads in Latitude 38 before they put them in size ranges!



Unless you're one of those, like the posters here who ask: "Help me find a 26 to 42 foot boat - URGENT - but I don't know how to sail..."


I'm always fascinated by folks who's own approach is "The other guy isn't making it easy for me."


Pen, pencil, spreadsheet all good ideas. Oh, wait, I forgot, this is the paperless century...


Good luck, in any event.
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:55   #11
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

Hello!

We bought our boat used 7 years ago. We had narrowed it down to a few makes. What we did is search for the owners group for that particular make (in our case, Cape Dory and a few other makes). These owners groups often post member boats for sale often at good prices, before they post with a broker. If you're comfortable dealing without a broker, this can be a good way to find boats before they hit the market. We found that, the more we looked at boats, the more we felt comfortable not using a broker.

Note that on most members groups you can read the postings without joining, but to use the email, private messaging and other features you may have to join for a year. A small expense, if you really like a particular make of boat.

Also, other members may chime in with comments about the particular boat that may be helpful. We still use the members group to locate hard-to-find spare parts and for maintenance advice, as well as friendship, group sails and other events.

Good luck with the search

Jenn and Terry
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Old 20-04-2019, 08:58   #12
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I suppose the main complaint is that they seem to cater to the brokers, not the buyers, by "de-tuning" their search functions. It's not so hard today to have a robust, easy-to-use search feature.
Yes in examining any company's business model, ask yourself, who is the **real** customer?

As in, the one paying the invoices. . .
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Old 20-04-2019, 09:02   #13
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

The two sites you list are the best for brokered boats (Yachtworld) and for sale by owner boats (Sailboatlistings). You are going to have to deal with their features.
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Old 20-04-2019, 09:07   #14
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

Isn't this part of what a good broker does to earn his/her fee?
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Old 20-04-2019, 09:41   #15
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Re: Why is finding/buying a boat so hard? What to do about it?

I usually send the boat listing back to my own e mail, then put it a folder. the harder part is finding the right boat. Cheers, Eric
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