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Old 14-01-2009, 22:18   #16
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Yeah paul except
Some surveyors aren't real good and some are committed not unlike brokers. The real good surveyors know their boats they know the brokers and although not typical I have found they can suggest from experience other places to look. Maybe an exception but my last surveyor almost acted as my agent. I'm not unhappy with what I found but It would have been fun to have worked with him more and it was obvious that he had some inroads where I didn't. A very good surveyor. If yoi are looking in the Annapolis area I would be happy to recomend. You are going to get a survey most likely so why not start where it really matters instead of looking for a boat look for the surveyor first
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Old 14-01-2009, 23:00   #17
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Maybe there should be consumer reports for both surveyors and brokers.
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Old 15-01-2009, 01:00   #18
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Originally Posted by Mark424 View Post
Anyone know how to find the owner of a boat given boat name and type?
Boats not state-registered are documented with the USCG. You can look them up by name or official number here:

Documented Vessel Database
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Old 15-01-2009, 22:53   #19
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Boats not state-registered are documented with the USCG. You can look them up by name or official number here:

Documented Vessel Database
Excellent thanks. Next stop is to find access to state databases.

Another thought - ask the broker for a list of boats he's sold. Then look up the new owners and talk to them (i.e. not the list of names he gives you, since they are sure to be buddies). During a purchase about 6 years ago the broker was all smiles, had all kind of ideas and referalls to help me out, but as soon as the contract was signed (even before closing), he just became annoyed and wouldn't give me the time of day. Like I was wasting his time to want a separate engine inspection....Usually they wait till after the close to blow you off.
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Old 16-01-2009, 00:06   #20
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I spent 2 years searching the west coast for a 40+ cruiser/liveaboard and dealt with many bad brokers and salesman a few good ones in the mix. Finally settled on a 44' high end fixer upper in Seattle. As I live in California I needed time to ready the boat for delivery. The brokerage gave me a beautiful liveaboard slip rent free for 6 months, the salesman would move the boat to the yard and bring her back and even pick me up at the airport, all well above and beyond thier commission. I've never forgotten how well I was treated. All the way back to California! A couple years ago I found my construction business a bit slow and answered an ad for a salesman position, I was hired. I always thought that being in the business would be fun, I would be able to utilize my knowledge and passion for boats, my care for people and maybe even supplement my income. For the first year I worked very hard and pulled in over 30 listings and sold a few boats. Found out quickly that the brokerage business is both difficult and cutthroat. With a few exceptions definately not very rewarding so far. Countless times I have been stood up on showing appointments, even found myself driving for four hours round trip a couple times for nothing. Just blown off! I've been asked to take additional photos and get them back promptly also to never hear back or even a simple thank you. Tons of e-mails, phone calls and for the most part alot of time wasted. Yes-there are many proverbial "used car" salesman in yacht brokering but alot of us got into it for something other than a buck and have been de-sensitized.
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Old 16-01-2009, 00:38   #21
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I also dealt with a broker in the Seattle area when I bought my Ingrid. I believe it was Tradewind Yacht Sales. They also picked me up at the airport and were very kind. After I bought the boat, they checked on her regularly and helped me in any way they could. I had tried to find an Ingrid in the San Francisco area and there were 2. Both brokers blew me off.
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Old 16-01-2009, 01:26   #22
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We bought a boat recently and were very happy with the broker. Just a 2 man operation but they were on time, answered calls, had good pics of the boat on their website and others plus enough info to help us decide that yes, we wanted to have a look. They organised haulout and all the normal stuff, all without hassle and when they said they would. They had lots of 250K+ boats listed whereas ours wasn't even 10% of that, but there was no looking down noses at us. So overall, when it's time to move up to a bigger boat, we'll happy list ours with them. Maybe that's the secret to a good brokerage - repeat business?

On the other hand, during our search, we met some real duds out there. I mean, in this day of digital cameras, how much does it cost to TAKE A PICTURE, dammit! And would it hurt to move the sailbags, boat hook and general CRAP out of the way before they take that picture of a v-berth?
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Old 16-01-2009, 11:05   #23
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What we overlook is the fact that a Broker doesn't get paid until the seller and the buyer agree on a price, get through all the legal pot holes, and finish closing. To get to that one point in time, a Broker has to deal with [I'm told] thirteen responses to an add before he sees a buyer face to face, and ten buyers before he sees one offer. He may present 4 offers before a buyer accepts one, and more if the buyer wasn't reasonable about a price. Two out of three accepted offers fail because surveys discovered expenses the owner won't cover or because the financing falls through. It takes a minimum level of callousness to keep at it, and its an overcrowded field. Like me a number of people try to be yacht brokers because they love yachts and like people in general. But cut throat tactics drive out the more principled people, leaving a selection of sales pros who aren't choir boys to try to separate a diminishing number of buyers from enough money to separate a more desparate collection of sellers from their prizes, who all think they have an above average boat. Its the one job where failing is a good sign.

The top one hundred dealerships were just announced by a trade magazine, and the winners talked about ways to entice customers to their location, and keep them there til a sale happened. It was like a school of bait fish listening to a predator training session!

Unfortunately, private sales have their problems too, and States prefer to deal with professionals and fill-in-the-blank contracts.
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Old 16-01-2009, 12:20   #24
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I once sold a boat through a listing broker after I had moved out of state. That broker essentially conspired with the buyer to make false claims about the condition of the boat in order to get the price significantly lower. Unfortunately, I was in a bad way and needed the money. I got screwed--by my own listing broker.

Purchased another boat and our buyer's broker went out of his way to measure the rig for me, at quite a bit of a time cost to him as the boat was not in his town. I was more than happy to see him get a commission as he deserved it.

On this same transaction, I presented an offer to the listing listing broker without the help of our buyers broker. At the time of the offer, the seller, who lived out of state just happened to be not only in town but on the boat, was about to leave and drive for two days to get home. I demanded that the offer be presented right then. The listing broker got pissed when I said I would present the offer if he refused. He presented the offer, but not after he kicked us out of his office, throwing keys around, cursing, and slamming the door on us.

Fifteen minutes later we have a deal and the listing broker was still fumming.

I still see him from time to time and he slinks on by, still embarrassed by his adolescent behavior. What an idiot. Blows his top while closing a deal.

Later at survey, turns out the zincs were all but gone. This boat had been in the care of the broker for two years. I told the seller, and the seller had a cow.
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Old 16-01-2009, 13:15   #25
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My story revolved around the boat I almost bought instead of the boat I did buy. I offered a fair price on a slightly overpriced boat, despite some lack of details about the mechanical systems like the engine (would have had surveyed of course). The broker, who ended up being helpful, presented the offer to the owner and tried to get him to take it. Turns out this owner was so arrogant he rejected the offer outright without even countering. Then I happened to find a sistership, priced less, with a new Yanmar diesel. Offered and settled quickly for much less than my offer for the other boat. In the meantime the broker finally got the owner to consider my offer again and actually accept it (at which point it was too late!)
Followed the other boat on Yachtworld for 18 months, during which time the asking price was lowered below my original offer. Don't know if or at what price it sold.

Moral of the story is, some really good brokers (like this one) get screwed because they can't convince an owner to sell. They spend a lot of time for what can be (in this case) a low commission on a low-priced boat.
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Old 16-01-2009, 14:23   #26
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Why don't Brokers...

When I was looking I wondered why brokers didn't have a used boat show. One where the owners could bring their boats and anchor in a convenient bay.

Then, as a buyer, I could have looked at a number of boats without having to travel for four hours for each.

And the brokers could vet numbers of potential buyers without it taking two hours.
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Old 16-01-2009, 15:04   #27
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Pardon my violin: Will all due respect brokers shouldn't get screwed because they can't convince the owner to sell lower. The broker has the option list the boat after understanding the buyer's demands (and they are supposed to have enough psychology to read between lines). They should not list if they don't like the terms.
Likewise, the fact that a broker has to play a few numbers games (tire kicking prospects) doesn't break my heart. That's the business. If the 1st prospect always bought, we'd all be brokers. In my business, sales will talk to 100 or more contacts before they get a potential buyer in the pipeline.
I respond on the eve of no response from a broker 3 days ago on some boat features listed on Yachtworld. $350k list so there's ample commission. Last year I asked a broker twice to provide all the MFG options on the boat (since the listing wasn't complete). He sends me a copy of the web listing..Great. It doens't take much to seperate onself from the pack in this world. If someone is getting $30k commissions, i expect some skin in the game....Jeez.
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Old 16-01-2009, 15:37   #28
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My story revolved around the boat I almost bought instead of the boat I did buy. I offered a fair price on a slightly overpriced boat, despite some lack of details about the mechanical systems like the engine (would have had surveyed of course). The broker, who ended up being helpful, presented the offer to the owner and tried to get him to take it. Turns out this owner was so arrogant he rejected the offer outright without even countering. Then I happened to find a sistership, priced less, with a new Yanmar diesel. Offered and settled quickly for much less than my offer for the other boat. In the meantime the broker finally got the owner to consider my offer again and actually accept it (at which point it was too late!)
Followed the other boat on Yachtworld for 18 months, during which time the asking price was lowered below my original offer. Don't know if or at what price it sold.

Moral of the story is, some really good brokers (like this one) get screwed because they can't convince an owner to sell. They spend a lot of time for what can be (in this case) a low commission on a low-priced boat.
Many times, a seller (of anything: boats, cars, real estate,etc.) will have a FIRM price, but it often isn't because of what a fair market price for the item might, realistically, be. Rather, it's because the seller either paid too much when be bought in the first place, or because he put way too much into it over his period of ownership.

In addition to his investment of capital, he may well have a huge investment of ego. To save face, he must find a "greater fool" to bail him out. In my opinion, if a seller reacts to an offer, even a ridiculous low-ball offer, emotionally, it's a dead giveaway that he has a big ego investment.

I've received counters in such situations, but they're often either at full price or at only token reductions. By that point, if I don't actually care if we make a sale, I counter back with an even lower offer than my original. You'd be surprised at how entertaining the reaction to that can be.

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Old 16-01-2009, 16:13   #29
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The top one hundred dealerships were just announced by a trade magazine, and the winners talked about ways to entice customers to their location, and keep them there til a sale happened. It was like a school of bait fish listening to a predator training session!
This really is easy to explain. All dealers that have a good sales volume really think that all boats are the same and that the sales tactics are the whole reason any boats gets sold and all the really stupid things they did were the "real' reason they sold so many boats. Manufacturers need to support the dealers so the reps cook up these stupid rankings to "motivate" the brokers to sell more. They tell them all these silly stories that any 3rd grader could do to make a million dollars. It's really that easy! The bottom line is that in any year good or bad there is always the top ten dealerships. It would be impossible to end any other way. The manufacturers really don't care who it is. It helps if it shakes up a little though.

All these sales rankings are to shill up the dealers. They want to tell all the second and third tier dealers it's just so easy to sell more if you just do like these guys. They can't tell them the truth because they don't really know.

On the other side of the story. Any sales person that isn't selling well knows all the "real" reasons the deck is stacked against them plus the reasons the dealership / broker / manufacturers are all plotting against them personally. They also are fully versed in why customers don't know how to buy a boat and why they are also out to get them personally and waste their very valuable time.

So in the end they eat their own dog food. There is justice. The deck is indeed stacked. 80% of all brokers don't do that well. Is it because they are that bad or are the others that much better? Are there too many brokers and too few boats?

Being lucky still counts.
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Old 16-01-2009, 17:53   #30
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20% of all brokers sell 80% of all boats. Guess which part are the good ones.
And that list would be available from where?
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