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Old 10-10-2019, 17:17   #1
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Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Is it me or is the current system of buying boats both antiquated and awkward?

I've have spent 3-4 years researching the right boat, during that time:
We've been on training courses to learn to sail the boat of our dreams.
We've downsized our house so that we have (albeit smaller) something to come back to.
We've both sold off all or part of our businesses so that we can live a life onboard with an income but not with so much work that its going to drag us back to shore too often, and
We've researched, boy have we researched. Multiple shows. Some too fast, too slow, too big, too small and the main one.. too expensive. So we ended up at choosing a used Knysna 500.

Now ironically, whilst this may be the perfect cat for us, partly because where we live (the UK) and partly the fact that so few seem to make it to shows, we haven't actually stepped on one. Seen pictures, watched videos, chatted to owners and past owners and such like but no.. never actually touched one.

Now all the above was finished at the end of August and we're motivated to buy. In September we set up our website www.sawasdeekat.com so that friends and family can see what we're up to (and to give us a bit of fun stuff to do) and came to Thailand for a much needed holiday and some healthcare.

Whilst here, during a conversation, it occurred to us that its "only" a 10 hour flight to see an example of this boat (it's actually our favoured boat on the market today). But we only have a week left.

So I email the broker and explain the situation.
I have a week whilst on holiday and have to organise a flight, hotel and travel Visa before I can set off.
This is our favoured boat (not model but actual boat.. I had already seen photo's from March when it went on the market).
We have the funds in the bank (so I'm not just "kickin hulls")
I'd like to see the boat and if possible (not a deal breaker) would the owner show me how it sailed.

This impromptu trip would cost me about £1000 and disrupt my holiday but if all was well, I would return to the wife who is recovering from an operation and we could discuss our offer price based on my viewing.

But no. Kelvin, the broker insists that even though I am ON HOLIDAY and without access to legal advice, I sign a contract and put down a refundable (less costs of course... i sincerely doubt I'd get all my money back if i pulled out) deposit.

Now (sorry for the long winded explanation) isn't this attitude / system a bit ridiculous? Who are they trying to protect? What do they think I am going to do whilst walking round the boat? Why do they think I am so beneath them? (I say this because I feel like I need to prove I have the money, Why? I never have to do that to look round a house!!)
The obtuse nature of this whole thing completely ignores the fact that the viewing would already cost me around £1000 and time out of my holiday.

I know I'm waffling now, probably because I'm annoyed, but if I were buying a house off-plan I'd make allowances that things might not be quite right and the price i was willing to pay would reflect that.
I have never in my life bought something unseen and afterwards said "OMG its better than I thought I should have paid more!" For big items I have always looked at something, fallen in love with it, become REALLY MOTIVATED to buy it, bought it and felt good about it (and because I was motivated I probably spent more than the lowest price the seller was willing to go down to) Why doesn't the boat market see this?

Quite frankly Multihull Solutions in Australia have been very unhelpful and not seen my unique circumstances (Thanks for nothing Kelvin) thankfully there are others on the market and I know The Little Ship Company are a lot nicer to deal with.
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Old 10-10-2019, 17:22   #2
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

They are fools. 1000 £ flight says your serious.

When I purchased my boat the broker cost the seller 10k aud because he screwed me around.
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Old 10-10-2019, 17:40   #3
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

At least the broker got back to you.

While in Thailand (strange coincidence) for the winter of 2018-19 I tried buying my perfect catamaran in Malaysia. I sent an email the day the boat listed explaining up front that this was the type of boat I was looking for, that I was in the neighborhood, and that I had no reason that I couldn't buy a boat in Asia.

Over the next 6 weeks I sent an additional dozen emails from multiple accounts and called multiple times just trying to get a response. A month and half later the broker emails me to say that someone else made and offer and there was now a contract (within the past 48 hours).

Ugh... Brokers!

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Old 10-10-2019, 17:47   #4
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Someone has got their wires crossed.

I've dealt with Kelvin (actually bought my current boat through him), he showed us several cats and was very helpful, including driving us from Coomera to Raby Bay to view one.

The only time a deposit came into the picture was once we had found the right boat and we put in an offer subject to survey and sea trial.

Are you by any chance asking him to take it off the market until you have seen it?
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Old 10-10-2019, 18:15   #5
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

I'd tell them to take a hike. They're trying to pressure you is all. I'd tell them you're not moving forward until you've actually seen what you're buying.

That's not at all unreasonable and anyone trying to say otherwise is not a trustworthy person in my opinion.

Also, if you have any interesting businesses left to sell, I'm looking.
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Old 10-10-2019, 20:31   #6
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Here is my take on it. Not everyone might agree though..
You know what boat model you want, even worst you know what boat you want - Get ready to pay premium, including the trip expenses with zero outcome and years to search.
- Telling the broker and arranging the trip solely to see his/her particular boat is blowing away any leverage you might have. If the boat sitting on market for 6 month and not sold yet good chance it will not in the next couple weeks. And there is no way any broker in right minds will halt the selling just because you planning your trip - forget it.

"...but if all was well, I would return to the wife who is recovering from an operation and we could discuss our offer price based on my viewing." - If you share it with broker this brings you right down to the "tire kickers" category.
Here is what normally I tell broker
1. I plan to visit his great country to see a few potential boats I am interested in buying
2. I am interested in couple his boats (not the boat I am really interested)
3. During e-mail exchange I ask about boat I am interested without emphasizing my interest.
4. Offer process - need of security deposit for the offer.
5. If they allow local surveyor to visit the boats to make preliminary survey - My list is 10 boats and I want to limit it to 3 or 4 - I value my time.
And most important... What you see or hear from the broker has some degrees of true - in third-world countries it is very close to zero. It means get ready to return from your trip without the purchase.
P.S... If you limited with "vocation" timing you might not in position to buy a boat overseas yet.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:35   #7
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Someone has got their wires crossed.

I've dealt with Kelvin (actually bought my current boat through him), he showed us several cats and was very helpful, including driving us from Coomera to Raby Bay to view one.

The only time a deposit came into the picture was once we had found the right boat and we put in an offer subject to survey and sea trial.

Are you by any chance asking him to take it off the market until you have seen it?
Hi StuM

No not at all.. here is the verbatim email i sent:

Hi Kelvin, I am from the UK but am currently in Thailand and am interested in the Knysna "My Happiness".


I have done a lot of research and we feel the Knysna, indeed this example, is a perfect boat for us. That said i have never seen one in the flesh. I would like to know whether the seller is willing to show me around the boat and show me how it sails.*


I am not looking to spend anything other than an hour or two on it whilst sailing (nothing like a formal test sail) its to make 100% sure we'd like to proceed. I am only this side of the world until the 17th so hope this can be organised.*

If it is possible I can organise a flight and visa.

Regards

I sent 6 emails clarifying my intention.. but got no where so my last email was:

Hi Kelvin

With respect, I do not have the benefit of time and it is pointless going through a negotiation period on a vessel I'm hoping i will like (from the photos) but having never set foot on.*

I was hoping a viewing will confirm to me what we already suspect that a Knysna 500 is our favoured cat. We have looked for over 3 years and found ourselves focussing on one make and model only. My Happiness is the nicest one I have seen since the BVI one whose sale timing just didn't fit in with our house refurbishment.*

I understand that the seller doesn't want to let people look over his boat if they're just "kickin hulls". That said I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend £1000 to look over a boat if they were not serious about it (they have boat shows for that and they're a lot cheaper) that said I do not work in the industry... maybe there are.*

Cutting to the chase, We are serious about this boat and I can assure you and the seller that we can afford it.* If it would allay his fears I can provide a screen shot of our account if that helps. But as I said I'm not prepared to put in a rushed offer whilst away on holiday with little more than a mobile phone and memories of photos to go from.

I was hoping to return to my wife, talk over my thoughts with her and the boat on offer and (hopefully for both parties) put in a serious considered offer so that we can begin our life aboard.


Regards

Where am i going wrong?? #frustrating
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:48   #8
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Hi Ruso

I would fully agree with you about kickin tyres if it were not going to cost £1000 for the trip and cost me the rest of my well-earned holiday (its 24hrs from the UK so 10 didn't seem to bad)... i don't know many tyre kickers willing to do that just to fanny around.

Your other points however might be useful thanks.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:18   #9
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Many scumbags out there! I'll tell him to bugger of! He is only trying to put pressure on you.

2 or 3 nice Knysna 500's in South Africa for sale..(I'm not a dealer, but saw the ads)
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:49   #10
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

I have dealt with Multihull solutions and never had any such issue (not Kelvin though) - Even got into advanced negotiations on price to see if it was actually worth me flying to the Med to view - Never got close enough on price for me to do it so we did not proceed, but they were super helpful and certainly one of the better brokers that I have dealt with whilst searching.


You can pretty much forget a test sail, unless you do slap some $$$ down though unless you are very lucky, but there is no reason why you cant view the boat without $$$.


I'd call their head office up and talk to someone there to clear it up.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:36   #11
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath68 View Post
Hi StuM

No not at all.. here is the verbatim email i sent:

Hi Kelvin, I am from the UK but am currently in Thailand and am interested in the Knysna "My Happiness".


I have done a lot of research and we feel the Knysna, indeed this example, is a perfect boat for us. That said i have never seen one in the flesh. I would like to know whether the seller is willing to show me around the boat and show me how it sails.*


I am not looking to spend anything other than an hour or two on it whilst sailing (nothing like a formal test sail) its to make 100% sure we'd like to proceed. I am only this side of the world until the 17th so hope this can be organised.*

If it is possible I can organise a flight and visa.

Regards

I sent 6 emails clarifying my intention.. but got no where so my last email was:

Hi Kelvin

With respect, I do not have the benefit of time and it is pointless going through a negotiation period on a vessel I'm hoping i will like (from the photos) but having never set foot on.*

I was hoping a viewing will confirm to me what we already suspect that a Knysna 500 is our favoured cat. We have looked for over 3 years and found ourselves focussing on one make and model only. My Happiness is the nicest one I have seen since the BVI one whose sale timing just didn't fit in with our house refurbishment.*

I understand that the seller doesn't want to let people look over his boat if they're just "kickin hulls". That said I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend £1000 to look over a boat if they were not serious about it (they have boat shows for that and they're a lot cheaper) that said I do not work in the industry... maybe there are.*

Cutting to the chase, We are serious about this boat and I can assure you and the seller that we can afford it.* If it would allay his fears I can provide a screen shot of our account if that helps. But as I said I'm not prepared to put in a rushed offer whilst away on holiday with little more than a mobile phone and memories of photos to go from.

I was hoping to return to my wife, talk over my thoughts with her and the boat on offer and (hopefully for both parties) put in a serious considered offer so that we can begin our life aboard.


Regards

Where am i going wrong?? #frustrating

I'll give my perspective as someone who isn't a broker but was in a public facing advisory/sales type environment.


Personally I think most of your difficulty is self inflicted, please don't take that too harshly, I hope what follows may help. Of course it may also be that the guy concerned is less than helpful, but you already have a reply to suggest that is not that case.


I see brokers come in for a heap of criticism, often justifiably, but this nothing really to do with boat brokers, it's about people.


Ruso has some points about negotiating positions that are worth noting, but your issue comes earlier in the process.


Here's my take:


You are very interested in buying a £500k+ object and you send an email....why? Though there are buying signals throughout your contact method I would strongly suspect that the guy involved has seen hundreds of these before and they mostly amount to nothing. In fact my first read through of your contact made me feel like uh oh, this guy could be trouble-this despite your email was perfectly reasonable. The simple fact is that emailers are usually both a waste of time and/or trouble. I've seen this so many times it just gets to the point where the overall position is that even if 1 of 100 (and lets say you are the 1) is a positive outcome, it's barely worth the hassle.


There is a minimal time difference iirc, pick up the phone! talk to the guy!


This is especially important where you want something from him that is non standard; a test sail without commitment to buy. I fully understand your position but it's not how used boat buying is normally done. You may argue to norm is "wrong" however that does not change you currently want something outside of the current norm, and you couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone....I sincerely don't mean that make you feel bad, I'm just giving you some food for thought as to how a person on the other side of the equation might feel.


To further weaken your presentation you sent a total of 7 or 8 emails, this has the potential to mark you as annoying and perhaps trouble.


Email, this forum, text messages, so much of social media.....how often do you see misunderstandings due to contextual issues, misunderstandings are rife even between perfectly reasonable people simply because these mediums whilst very useful are horribly impersonal for the most part.


You should have picked up the phone imo, and the part I find most baffling is why you wouldn't do so when seriously wanting to part with half a million.


To finish off I'll give you a somewhat silly analagy, using a house since you mentioned properties.


Imagine you're an estate agent and you get an email from someone asking "Hi I'm really interested in the house you have for sale on x street, I'm in the area and wondering if I can spend that night there to see if I like it" What might your reaction to that be? Ofc I don't expect a reply to this sillyness. I also fully expect some criticism that this is bad analagy


To finish off and tie back to Ruso's comments, take a pause from your desire and excitement (and frustration) of boat shopping and try to see it from the other persons view point. You are dealing with people, with all their faults and naunces. Make it as easy as possible for the other party by considering what they might want for a smooth and easy transaction, doing so can then bring other rewards. A friendly customer is more likely to achieve a happier outcome for all concerned (perhaps even including a better price or acceptance of non standard requests like a no obligation test sail from an owner) I've no reason to doubt you are a friendly customer, but how would the broker know, all they got was a bunch of anonymous emails asking for unusual stuff within the confines of the time you have and said broker may have had 367 other emails the same week all of which were a bit crappy too.


This rambling nonsense isn't meant to belittle you or defend a broker, it's simply my take on managing your expectations and something to think about when building a short term relationship.



Mini rant over
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:52   #12
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

to my opinion - and I dont want to insult the people who are very good at their job and make a real difference to the buyer and the seller - it is a fault of the system.


Most brokers I have met - house and boat - try to make a lazy living. getting paid for .. what? 7% of the sale for showing to boat to someone and putting an ad on the web?
And that kind of "work" does not attract the most capable of human brains Id recon - nor the most service oriented and solution oriented characters.


That is just another reason, why I would NEVER NEVER EVER buy from a broker. I just cant stand 95% of them and their behavior and attitude.


Sorry... i think higher of a waitress in a coffee bar than of brokers selling yachts servicewise...


And I doubt that the broker received 367 mails on a boat that week... not even all boats he is selling...even if.. for the sums we are talking, some hard work would be expected and appriciated.






By the way - tomorrow we travel 1200km to visit a boat on the hard toghether with the owner and his wife. we have 2 days to do that (they travel 600km).
If the inspection is satisfaying we put the boat in the water an go sailing one day.
Cost we spread 50/50.


Thats how I like buying boats. And thats how it is done. or it it not done at all.
But brokers wont change behavior as long as they find anough foolish customers.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:56   #13
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WTRacer View Post
I'll give my perspective as someone who isn't a broker but was in a public facing advisory/sales type environment.


Personally I think most of your difficulty is self inflicted, please don't take that too harshly, I hope what follows may help. Of course it may also be that the guy concerned is less than helpful, but you already have a reply to suggest that is not that case.


I see brokers come in for a heap of criticism, often justifiably, but this nothing really to do with boat brokers, it's about people.


Ruso has some points about negotiating positions that are worth noting, but your issue comes earlier in the process.


Here's my take:


You are very interested in buying a £500k+ object and you send an email....why? Though there are buying signals throughout your contact method I would strongly suspect that the guy involved has seen hundreds of these before and they mostly amount to nothing. In fact my first read through of your contact made me feel like uh oh, this guy could be trouble-this despite your email was perfectly reasonable. The simple fact is that emailers are usually both a waste of time and/or trouble. I've seen this so many times it just gets to the point where the overall position is that even if 1 of 100 (and lets say you are the 1) is a positive outcome, it's barely worth the hassle.


There is a minimal time difference iirc, pick up the phone! talk to the guy!


This is especially important where you want something from him that is non standard; a test sail without commitment to buy. I fully understand your position but it's not how used boat buying is normally done. You may argue to norm is "wrong" however that does not change you currently want something outside of the current norm, and you couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone....I sincerely don't mean that make you feel bad, I'm just giving you some food for thought as to how a person on the other side of the equation might feel.


To further weaken your presentation you sent a total of 7 or 8 emails, this has the potential to mark you as annoying and perhaps trouble.


Email, this forum, text messages, so much of social media.....how often do you see misunderstandings due to contextual issues, misunderstandings are rife even between perfectly reasonable people simply because these mediums whilst very useful are horribly impersonal for the most part.


You should have picked up the phone imo, and the part I find most baffling is why you wouldn't do so when seriously wanting to part with half a million.


To finish off I'll give you a somewhat silly analagy, using a house since you mentioned properties.


Imagine you're an estate agent and you get an email from someone asking "Hi I'm really interested in the house you have for sale on x street, I'm in the area and wondering if I can spend that night there to see if I like it" What might your reaction to that be? Ofc I don't expect a reply to this sillyness. I also fully expect some criticism that this is bad analagy


To finish off and tie back to Ruso's comments, take a pause from your desire and excitement (and frustration) of boat shopping and try to see it from the other persons view point. You are dealing with people, with all their faults and naunces. Make it as easy as possible for the other party by considering what they might want for a smooth and easy transaction, doing so can then bring other rewards. A friendly customer is more likely to achieve a happier outcome for all concerned (perhaps even including a better price or acceptance of non standard requests like a no obligation test sail from an owner) I've no reason to doubt you are a friendly customer, but how would the broker know, all they got was a bunch of anonymous emails asking for unusual stuff within the confines of the time you have and said broker may have had 367 other emails the same week all of which were a bit crappy too.


This rambling nonsense isn't meant to belittle you or defend a broker, it's simply my take on managing your expectations and something to think about when building a short term relationship.



Mini rant over
No

The sales rep should have pick the phone up and phone the potential client! Not the other way around..
Tell this guy to bugger of!
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:33   #14
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

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No

The sales rep should have pick the phone up and phone the potential client! Not the other way around..
Tell this guy to bugger of!

Of course he should have done so, but didn't.


What I'm talking about is differentiation, often used in selling something but in this case from a buyer perspective. Differentiate yourself and you often see spectacular results.


Of course you could just complain about rubbish service with no positive outcome, or do something about it and get the result desired.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:49   #15
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Re: Spend before you See...Time for a change?

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Originally Posted by Heath68 View Post
I am not looking to spend anything other than an hour or two on it whilst sailing (nothing like a formal test sail) its to make 100% sure we'd like to proceed.

Where am i going wrong?? #frustrating
Let's boil this down. The potential buyer doesn't want to put down an earnest money deposit along with a sales agreement, and wants the owner to take him sailing. Somehow that is evidence of broken system and a crooked broker? No disrespect intended to the buyer - he sounds like a nice guy with good intentions who has planned well, but his original post took offense at him being asked to make an offer sight-unseen, which isn't the truth - he was being asked to make an offer prior to a sea-trial, which is perfectly reasonable. A story-line in lieu of a refundable earnest money deposit may be a reasonable request, but not a reasonable demand.

I hope the OP sets this aside and travels to look at the boat - if the boat is right, it will all work out (I have zero connection to anyone in this thread, but the fact that a few posts have indicated good experience with both the broker and the brokerage is a very good sign). Would be a shame to let a few hundred bucks derail a dream.
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