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Old 16-12-2014, 12:25   #1
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Viewing Appointments

Sooo my wife and I have our house up for sale. The agent expects to have us sold in about 3 months. We are looking to buy a livaboard sailboat in fl. I've done a lot of research. Signed up for sailing classes ASA 101 102 104. I've spent a lot of time browsing boats online and see A large pool of potential candidates. I want to do due diligence in viewing as many vessels as possible before narrowing down the size and types we would pursue.
Y question is what is the best way to get opportunities to look at boats? I see everyone advise looking at as many as possible but how should we go about doing that?

Any advice or experience appreciated.
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Old 16-12-2014, 12:58   #2
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Re: Viewing Appointments

Where do you live and where do you expect to look for boats? What kind of cruising do you expect to be doing and where?

I snowbird in the Tampa area, and chose that because of the large sailing infrastructure and number of boats available. I ended up buying in Miami. Travel will have to be part of your plans
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Old 16-12-2014, 13:24   #3
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Re: Viewing Appointments

The best way is to go to some of the sail boat shows for a couple of days. If you are close to one of the big sailing centers like Annapolis, Newport, Miami etc you can line up a whole weekend of broker visits, but it takes a bit more coordinating and a lot more time than a boat show where they are all lined up at the dock.
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Old 16-12-2014, 14:42   #4
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Re: Viewing Appointments

Will you be looking for new or used? If used - how old?

If used: With hindsight after about 2-3 years of fruitless search in the early 2000s, and having found my 1st boat on c-list, I would recommend starting making rounds at you local boat yards, assuming you live in an area with active boat yards. 2nd step would be searching though, they have an extensive selection FSBO. 3rd wold be active brand/make specific forums. Only as a last resort I would look at brokers' listings or megasites such as yachtworld as they don't do a great job with older, less expensive boats and concentrate all their efforts on more recent boats, i.e. more profitable for them.

If new, the boat shows are probably the best place to start and even buy as I know a few buyers who picked up quite deals on close out models or someone else's cancellations. A friend of a friend a few years ago got a brand new decent brand 36 footer for $140K all equipped and ready to sail. It had a list price of around $200K but was at the boat show for $169K boat show price. Then someone gave a non-ref deposit on it and couldn't/wouldn't follow through with the purchase. So the manufacturer and the dealer wanting it to move quickly, let it go for the remainder of the price. Of course the fact that this was shortly after 2008 also helped.
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Old 16-12-2014, 15:28   #5
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Re: Viewing Appointments

It's great to be able to see a lot of boats but brokers and even owners aren't fond of wasting their time showing boats to people who aren't serious "right now with cash in hand" buyers. This is understandable.

Boat shows are an opportunity to see lots of boats. If you walk the docks of marinas, owners are often willing to talk about and show you their boats even if they are not for sale. Magazine reviews may help as well.
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Old 16-12-2014, 15:48   #6
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Re: Viewing Appointments

Dock walking is a good start. One you start to zero in on a size and general type. Just call a broker and ask for him to show the boat. Brokers know that showing is part of the deal. Also, you may find brokers docks with boats for sale, but generally, for some reason, those boats never seem to be the ones I'm looking for! It takes a while, just take your time....
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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