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Old 20-03-2004, 14:22   #1
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Not that I'm Complaining, but . . .

Previous periods of looking for a boat involved visits and telephone calls to marinas/boat yards in the region and eyeballing boats, and it seems now, in retrospect, that it was simpler. Now that I am using the internet I find an embarrassment of riches. Just so many boats that seem worth an inspection but located far away in many cases and how much of your boat buying budget do you want to spend on travel to see a boat?

Anyway, it is good to have many choices, so its not a complaint, but it raises a question. When the price, specs and photos look promising, and I have narrowed the choice (not that I am getting close to that) to a few specific types of boats, is a broker of value? I'm not sure how the broker gets paid when contacted by the buyer to look for a boat, and I'm not sure what they can bring to the table when a good deal of initial research has already been done. Any thoughts on this?

Also, just noticed an interesting boat I have not looked into before and have no experience with or knowledge of. Anybody have any opinions on Dufour 3800 Frers boats from the early 80's as suitable for 2 person, liveaboard coastal cruising capable of one possible cruise to the Bahamas and Caribbean?
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Old 20-03-2004, 21:19   #2
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Went through the same process while we were looking for a boat:

We lived in Dallas and flew over to Ft' Lauderdale 4 or 5 times to meet with brokers and check out boats....Nothing really hit the spot untill one day in November 99......

The broker gets 10% from the sellers pocket.

Some boats are being sold "by owner" and the price may be a bit less, but the broker process is just fine in my book...As a buyer ya get some protection as far as escrow and offers pending survey and such..

From a sellers point of view, the broker does all the marketing and the showing of the boat, etc.

Big bucks for a mega-yacht broker of course..Old sailboats however needs a lot of showing and cleaning and driving people around from boat to boat and no offers for a year or more if the owner has set the price way up.

Been there done that....Work on boats in the Ft. Lauderdale area right now....Maintenance, deliveries and absent boat owner care-taking.
The more neglected boats I see sitting there rotting away, the more I love my own little cutter.............1/5 the price of the the old Shannon's, Island Packet's and Pacific Seacrafts sitting there frying in the sun, with a price tag of 200K to 350K, but not selling because of lack of maintenance...Deck and port-hole leaks, sail covers, biminis fading and running rigging turning brittle, etc, etc.

Don't use a boat for a year or two or more is the same as a death sentence for a lot of the equipment and systems....At least in the tropics....Up North it may be different...They have old wooden boats in Norway that are 80 years old or more and keep on ticking....Cool cloudy weather seems to be the key, as opposed to sun beating down tearing and wearing on every part except metals, the salt however takes a toll on those.

So, uh the conclusion is:
It is a buyers market and good deals can be had.

Call the brokers, have them e-mail pics and descriptions of every detail of the boat, then if it still looks good and ya are still interested, fly over and take a persoanl look at the vessel.

South Florida, espcecially Ft. Lauderdale have about 18,000 boats sitting around....Quite a few of them are for sale...Truly a buyers market.

If I was a seller however I would market my boat in the San Fransisco or Seattle are, meh think prices are higher over there.
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Old 20-03-2004, 21:47   #3
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I bought a boat in Annapolis after spending about 2 months in California where I live: researching on the internet (yachtworld, primarily), visiting similar boats in my locale, speaking with brokers of boats that sounded promising (make sure you have as good an idea of what you want before you call the brokers or they will try to convince you that the boat they are selling is just perfect for you), and reading everything I could (Practical Sailor's boat buying guide is good - just don't get stuck on the limited number of specific boats they review rather use the general comments to learn how to better evaluate all boats). However, at that point I then hired a surveyor in Annapolis to spend 1 hour looking at the boat that I thought I wanted to make an offer on. This was cheap compared with me flying out to look for myself. It turned out that he found the boat to be well maintained and definitely worthy of an offer. Only then did I fly to be there during the survey. This worked out well for me. Good luck searching through the many, many boats for sail. Don't settle for something that "appears" good. Check everything thoroughly with a surveyor and realize that it is definitely a buyers market. Chris
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Old 22-03-2004, 06:45   #4
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thanks for the good advice guys.
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Old 22-03-2004, 09:13   #5
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I like the idea of hiring a surveyor for a quick look at the boat. Certainly relying on many brokers for an accurate description is not reliable. And it should be cheaper than traveling to look at one boat. On the other hand, if there is more than one boat you can see it might be better to take the trip.

Look at as many local boats as you can before traveling. You really get an idea of how a description does or does not match reality. When I first started looking at boats it was very easy to read a description and picture the boat as being my ideal match at a great price. By the time you actually see it, your desire for it to be "the one" can cause you to overlook and justify it's flaws. It's not unlike dating. Be careful you don't just marry the first one that winks at you.

By starting to look with the idea that you are not going to buy for a few months and are just getting educated, you can gain experience without being to emotioinally involved.
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Old 15-10-2010, 01:40   #6
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The saying "the right boat will find you" is about as corny as it sounds.....but it turns out to be true in more cases than not, but then again the saying "there is no such thing as a free boat" is just as true.
With the economy the way it is there are some really good deals....but unless you know the boat you should take a close look. For those that have more time than money there are some really good deals out there.
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Old 15-10-2010, 06:56   #7
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We knew the type of boat we wanted and therefore it narrowed the search down significantly. We lived in Ohio at the time and did a lot of searching on the internet. We drove to Annapolis to look at a couple of boats in that area.

We then got lucky and found a boat that was repossessed. It was held through a bank that wanted to get rid of it, so we got an awesome deal on it. We drove to Connecticut to see it twice, and then got a surveyor to check it out of the water and hired a captain for a water trial. I don't think we would have ever found this boat if we had gone through a broker.
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Old 15-10-2010, 18:54   #8
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When it comes to something as important as a boat I like to take my time, find out as much as I can about the individual boat as well as do research on what I want in a boat.
While killing time I was looking at the bulletin board at the marina on Friday, took the bus to the next marina on Saturday (I don't drive), called the owner from the dock and he showed the boat on Sunday, we went sailing on Wednesday and paid for it on Thursday.
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Old 15-10-2010, 19:29   #9
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Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
We then got lucky and found a boat that was repossessed. It was held through a bank that wanted to get rid of it, so we got an awesome deal on it.
I'd love a bit more detail on how you actually unearthed this one.
Were you looking for a repo, or did it just fall from the sky with a '..please take me home and feed me' card around it's neck?
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Old 15-10-2010, 21:30   #10
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Most boatyards have boats that are impounded because of lack of payment and sold off at auction...the marina just wants to get the back yard fees out of it. I have seen some nice boats go for really low prices. Ask at the marina offices, technically they are "sheriff's auctions" so you could try asking at the marina offices, they might be able to put you intouch with someone that just has a large back bill and might be willing to sell it at a low price to avoid the resulting credit black mark.
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Old 15-10-2010, 23:27   #11
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ca boatmovers in san diego has a formosa 41 ketch for 5600 dollars and a mariner 40 for 1900 dollars. what better deals are there-- go to a boat movers with a dry storage yard and find overdue renters. i believe ca boatmovers is online. a formosa 41 for 5600 dollars is an excellent deal. it is already on the hard. i believe the rudder on this one is detached, telling me there was a need to rebuild the rudder and inspect the rudder shaft log. these boats usually sell for upwards of 40,000 in decent to fair shape---so this is actually quite a DEAL.

brokers will not know about the deals s they are too worried about their commissions. deal boats donot make commission, which is 3000 or 10 percent, whichever is more.
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