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Old 14-07-2008, 15:50   #1
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Buying from broker vs owner

Hi, I am new to this board but have been learning so much already from all the posts. Thank you to all of you sharing your experience, this is a great source of invaluable information.

We live in So. California and are looking for a liveaboard 40'-42' (don't want bigger = higher cost, but most marinas here won't allow liveaboards under -40' and we can use the space anyway) to eventually sail to Hawaii and later on move back to the east coast, where we are originally from to enjoy cruising Bahamas, Caribbean, etc. The process of getting information to make the best decision is a little overwhelming so I have many questions. (I will try to keep them on the right areas of the forum.)

My question is: What are the chances of getting a better deal on a boat buying directly from the owner versus a broker?

Brokers guarantee a liveaboard slip with the sale (which are very hard to get in the area we need to be in for now because of work) but wouldn't we end up paying more as they normally add on the broker's fee in the price and if we finance it, we will then be financing the broker's fee as well. Not to mention the insurance which, if I understand correctly, will be based on the sale price, not to mention the taxes, which will also be calculated on the sale price.)

Is there a smart way to go about this if we need to buy through a broker? (Not too many boats with shoal/wing keels for east coast here in the West coast, which limits our options making it likely to have to buy through a broker.)

Thanks in advance for your time and opinions.
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Old 14-07-2008, 16:10   #2
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The broker makes their fee off of the seller. The broker also should be to make sure you are doing the right thing when you register the boat. Will it be U.S.Documented? etc. etc. In some ways the broker can make your transition much easier. I have used, and not used a broker. What will the tax responsibilities be? Many questions can be answered by a broker, or your research will be a lot more......BEST WISHES in finding the right boat for you........
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Old 14-07-2008, 16:33   #3
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imagine2frolic: Thanks for your insight. I can see how the broker could make the process easier but was wondering how much you really end up paying for it. I understand that the broker's fee comes from the seller, but like on a house the price of the boat includes that fee. The seller gets less than what the boat was sold for - or does this not work the same way as a home? When you buy a home for 500,000.00 from a realtor, the seller is paying the realtor's fee but you as a buyer still have to come up with the 500,000.00 for the home. The difference I guess is that you do not pay sales tax on a house. Is it possible for the broker to not include his fee on the final bill of sale, is this legal? Not sure how all the legalities really would work. Thanks again for all your time and help.
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Old 14-07-2008, 16:36   #4
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Good Luck Mermaid and welcome aboard:

There is quite a bit to learan when buying a boat. The price is dependent on your and your broker's negaotaiting skills. If the broker can gurantee a liveaboard berth that is worth a certain amount of $$$ right there. There are good brokers (a few) and bad brokers (the majority). I alway recommend this site to peole who are new to boating and want to buy a boat Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction If you are new to boating you might want to hire them as a consultant to find which boat to buy. I believe Bob Perry also prvides such a service.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 14-07-2008, 17:41   #5
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Charlie: Thanks, great article. My sailing experience is: owning a 16' Prindle Catamaran (and sailing it), owning a Boston Whaler (good exp driving small motor boats, dingys etc.), taking 5 sailing classes (some long time ago), sailing in larger sailboats with friends, staying in boats for weeks/months at a time many times (most of the time in power boats though), growing up in the Caribbean and being around boats all my life as my family always had motor yachts. So I guess you can say I am far from being a good sailor but very comfortable around boats and familiar with maintenance requirements, etc. We are trying to take all financial aspects (as much as possible) into consideration before buying the boat as well as educating ourselves. We haven't narrowed it down yet but when we do we will definitely want to go for at least a week's cruise on the same model boat to see how it handles offshore and how it would feel as a liveaboard.
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Old 14-07-2008, 17:48   #6
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Buying a boat

Any way you go get a survey. It will let you know if you even want a particular boat or give you negociate a better price.
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