I wanted to circle back to you now that we are in escrow with a boat laying in the Caribbean
. Maybe someone will be looking to do the same thing that we have done. So it's all in one place here.
We looked (in person) all over the Pacific North West and online at boats all over the world- not really wanting to travel right now. My wife and I have a pretty good idea of what we wanted out of a boat and what wanted to do with it and after viewing a number of world cruising options in the PNW, we settled on a Hallberg-Rassy. Super quality boats that will go anywhere. This well equipped fairly priced boat had our attention.
Our broker was mostly interested in boats that were available in the PNW (obvious Covid reasons), but seemed to be amenable to us offering on a yacht out of the country.
This is our first yacht purchase after a decent amount of bareboat
cruising around the world.
The question of Brokers
: I believe they are essential for a purchase of over, maybe $150K? Good for a good contract
if nothing else, as it's much like buying
a house it turns out. We didn't find ours to be good at negotiation per se, so we did what we wanted with the numbers. Good brokers will go with you to the boat for the survey and test sail, which would be great for us considering it's our first purchase. Unfortunately, our broker after the contract
and early communications
with the selling broker, decided to 'opt' out of the trip for our Survey etc. A surprise and huge bummer. We will now only have the surveyor
and selling broker for the remainder of the deal. Not cool. In a perfect world, this is not how it would go down. After buying a couple of properties with real estate agents that were working both sides, we vowed to never do that again, and here we are...
My question of how close to asking we should expect to end up at
: Yes, this can vary widely. After looking at Sold
Boat Data, it seems that 10% off is relatively standard. We ended up about 7-8% off the asking price. Not sure how this changes with more or less expensive boats. We believe our purchase was aided because of where the boat was located (again, Covid times...).
To the question of a test sail
: Yes, we were completely ignorant about the progress of a purchase when posting
our list of questions
It goes like this; find boat, write offer, counter until and deal is reached, wire deposit, travel to boat, be involved in survey, ask a million questions during test sail (I guess it's normal for this to happen post survey [same day] WITH the surveyor and brokers and sellers all on board), go through all systems, accept boat as is or with credits (or corrections), close escrow 5 days later. Much like a house.
The question of finding a surveyor, etc
: When our broker peaced-out (still getting commission) we just jumped on all of it ourselves out of necessity. We found and booked the surveyor, learned about how to and where to flag the vessel, insurance and all small or large steps along the way. It is a lot to undertake when its all new. We found out later that the broker was supposed to refer if not outright set up all of this for their client. Nope.
To the question of how long can you 'hold' a boat in escrow
: This question was principally to (possibly) get into escrow with two boats concurrently while understanding which would be better for us. It seems that in non-Covid times, this would be timing difficult to arrange two escrows simultaneously as the total escrow period is not too long, maybe 20 days total. We did not as we did not locate a second boat of real interest. Some feel this 'rude'. I do not, it's the business of buying a boat
and effectively no different than declining a boat after a survey.
The question of Grade A insurance agencies (and hurricane season location
: This is (now) 2021, and new boat
owners insurance to cruise
internationally has and will serve as the most difficult part of the entire purchase process. No 'regular' homeowners insurance would touch this boat laying in the Caribbean
. Not knowing how it all worked exactly, we began speaking with three brokers. We did not have success looking for direct insurers as opposed to brokers, not knowing if they would even write us a policy directly. We found quickly that the brokers (two in US, 1 in the UK) all seem to look to the same insurers to write us a policy. As of writing, it seems that only one insurer IN THE WORLD will think about writing a policy. They are all either wrung out from recent hurricane payouts or totally out of the business. The fact that we have not before owned a similarly sized boat is why almost no one will talk to us. Even still, once they receive the survey, etc, they could still decide not to write us a policy. We would have to kill the entire deal.
Hope this helps. I'm finding that information today is very different than only a year ago in regard to most all of these questions that we had as new boat
Thanks again for all that read and commented in an effort to help us out.