I have currently been going through the purchase
trail and I may have some advice
for anyone trying to buy a boat. Unless you are able to travel the same day do not waste too much time on boats for sale
not in your area. I have spent thousands of dollars to go look at boats that the owner has agreed to hold until I got there (within days). Some even with a deposit accepted. I have always gotten my deposit back but it seems that boat owners who are sellers have very little ethical consideration for buyers. The philosophy seems to follow the bird in hand theory, instead of the honour your commitment theory. To be fair many buyers just take advantage of sellers by wanting to go on a "test ride" when all they are really wishing to do is go for a run on a boat. This results in sellers having no regard for buyers so don't expect any and you will not be disappointed.
As for brokers; the first question to ask is "Have you actually seen the boat?", if the answer is "no", flee as far and as fast as you can. Remember that the broker
is the sellers agent not yours, no matter how friendly they are. Many brokers have a vested interest in maintaining a higher than "going" price and will agree to list a boat for an unsustainable price just to get the listing. While I have not been
fortunate enough to actually buy my chosen piece of classic
plastic, I have seen that the actual selling price seems to go at between 30 & 40% of the asking price even for a well found vessel.
In closing I still feel that if you are buying
at a distance be prepared to spend time running around to look at many boats. There is no doubt that you are safer working with a broker
, but have a survey
done and ensure that you will get your deposit back if it is unsatisfactory, otherwise find another broker. The cost of the surveyor
is cheaper than the cost of travel. The prices can be good anywhere but while there are many more boats in Florida
there are many that have had no maintenance
while the estate was assured that Dad's boat is worth $X even though Dad hasn't done any maintenance
for 8 years before his passing.
I have met several great sellers in Florida
but unfortunately I got there a day late each time. I am currently reassessing my buying
procedures as I have not been successful anywhere on the eastern seaboard or down south. Boats generally are more expensive North of Norfolk Va. and most expensive across the border into Canada
. I have seen great deals in the Caribbean but am now gun-shy about spending the time and money
to go and look. If you live in Florida or the Caribbean I'm sure you have time to look and grab the deal. I looked at 15 in Florida over ten days and missed out on 3 and the rest where essentially derelicts. I am still searching and haven't given up but I am learning
where to spend my time and money
Buy the best boat you can afford that will do what you need it to do, but buy wisely.