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
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.
, 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.