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Old 04-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #1
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Boat Shopping Etiquette ?

I am just beginning the process of looking for a boat. Realistically I am several years out from being ready to purchase, but want to get started looking at various types and sizes of boats so that I can begin to get a better idea of what I may eventually buy.

I spend a bit of time online (of course) shopping currently. In a few weeks we will be in the Tidewater, VA area and would like to look at a couple of boats. I have emailed a broker who is representing a boat that looks interesting to me. He can show it to me on a Saturday morning when I am in the location.

In our email he has let me know that he lives 1.5 hours from the marina where the boat is located. Clearly I will not be purchasing this boat as it would be the first one I have actually looked at. So in effect I am "kicking fenders" if that is an expression !

I feel bad for the broker to make that drive when I am just getting started. Now sure it will be good to meet this guy and in the future maybe he would get a sale out me.

Is it bad for me to make the appointment with him due to his drive ? How does one get aboard many different boats if not through a broker ?

Thanks !
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:41 AM   #2
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I think the proper thing to do is to be honest with the broker before he drives 1.5 hours. If he feels you are a good prospect for the future he may elect to meet you. You should give him the option.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:44 AM   #3
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If you've let the broker know that you're only looking at this time and he's willing to take his time to show you some boats, then you've probably found a good reputable broker. I've done the same thing in the past. In fact, we just looked at four boats at Great Bridge Va. after telling the broker the were trying to narrow our search down to the right style boat for us. We ending up buying a 41' PT Europa style trawler that was on Craigslist. But if I ever need a broker I'll definitely call the broker at Great Bridge Va., as he was very professional and helpful.
Good luck with the search.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:10 AM   #4
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Welcome gf,
My wife and I have been shopping for a boat for about three years now. We always call and make an appointment with the broker of the boat that we are interested in. In the phone conversation we always inform them of our situation and the type of boat that we are looking for and any requirements that we need.
To us this approach is serious shopping, not "kicking fenders". We are not walking in off the street unannounced and just asking the broker "what do you have to show us".
We have meet a number of very fine brokers, along with some not so accommodating, when we did not fall in love with the boat we came to see when it did not live up to the advertisement.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:18 AM   #5
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We have just purchased a boat. Three years ago my wife and I were in Florida for a friends wedding and had driven there rather than flying. We stopped at a builders shop and spent three hours talking to him about one of the boats he built. We weren't able to see a complete boat at his shop, but he answered all of our questions and didn't rush us. I guess it was a slow day for him. We were able to see one of the boats later at a marina in northern Florida.

Since then we have looked at many boats up and down the east coast, on line, and a few inland lakes. After over two years of looking we found one of the boats that was built by the first builder we visited. He was acting as the broker for the boat. I flew from AZ. to FL. to look at the boat and ended up buying it. For the present time we are leaving the boat at the builders, to have him do some work on the boat, while I return to sea to make a living. When I return, in a couple of months, we will pickup the boat.

The most important thing I learned from all the looking and talking to different brokers is there were some that I would have been happy to work with,if they had the right boat at the right price, others didn't really understand what I was looking for, and others I would never buy a boat from, as I got the feeling that my business wasn't important enough to them to give me the information I needed to make an informed decision or to even meet me at their offices on time.

I have a very good feeling working with the person that is storing and doing the work on our boat. We talk often on the phone and email a couple times a week.

Find a broker that you like working with, as you will doing a lot through them, and remember you are working with a large sum of money. Buying a boat unlike buying a house, the broker may be handling your money, make sure they are someone you trust.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
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Call the broker and let him know of your concerns. That's just good manners.
If the owner is close by he may have you meet the owner at the boat or he may drive there himself if he has some other work in that area (boat photography, other prospects or clients).

Attend several "Trawlerfests" where you can go aboard and meet owners of trawlers without the pressure of selling. There are always brokers and manufacturers in attendance at "Tfests" if you are getting closer. Regular boat shows are fun for toys but not really many trawlers.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:06 AM   #7
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Unless you're a serious buyer, I don't think it's a good idea to meet with a broker who need to travel such a distance to meet with you.. it's common sense..
When you narrow your searching and be ready to pull the trigger, I think it's a better moment to drive that distance to see a boat.
If you love the boat, tried to find a video on youtube or search information online. We're on the searching for the last 2 year and just one time we drive 2 hours to see a boat. Was a very educational experience...
Just my 0.2 cents...
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for the great info and advice. I think I will give him a call and explain the situation and let him decide.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gftrawler View Post
I am just beginning the process of looking for a boat. Realistically I am several years out from being ready to purchase, but want to get started looking at various types and sizes of boats so that I can begin to get a better idea of what I may eventually buy.

I spend a bit of time online (of course) shopping currently. In a few weeks we will be in the Tidewater, VA area and would like to look at a couple of boats. I have emailed a broker who is representing a boat that looks interesting to me. He can show it to me on a Saturday morning when I am in the location.

In our email he has let me know that he lives 1.5 hours from the marina where the boat is located. Clearly I will not be purchasing this boat as it would be the first one I have actually looked at. So in effect I am "kicking fenders" if that is an expression !

I feel bad for the broker to make that drive when I am just getting started. Now sure it will be good to meet this guy and in the future maybe he would get a sale out me.

Is it bad for me to make the appointment with him due to his drive ? How does one get aboard many different boats if not through a broker ?

Thanks !
Sir, I believe you answered your own question, just by asking. Why not just level with the broker, as to the fact that "several years before purchasing ". Then let him make the decision for himself. If I was him, I would pass.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:24 AM   #10
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Of course, you might not really be years away from buying. One never knows when opportunity might knock. Also, a boat you look at today, may seem much more interesting in six months. The price might drop as a buyer gets desperate.

Many of us have circled back around and bought a boat we originally rejected for price or other issues. And, if he is a good broker, he will probably realize the potential.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:37 AM   #11
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An important detail to keep in mind is that in these situations the broker is the agent for the seller which means his duty is to the seller and his objective is to sell the boat for the best price. If you want a broker working on your behalf, then you need to engage a broker as your buyers broker. It doesn't cost you anything as the brokers fee remains the same. The brokers involved in the sale split the fee. The one scenario where your buyers broker will be working on behalf of the seller is when they are the listing broker for a boat you are interested in.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:14 PM   #12
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I'm no boat expert, but I have been in business a long time.
It's one thing if you are shopping and haven't the money, you and your wife aren't on the same page and are generally waffling about the whole thing, and it's another if you have a good idea of what style of boat you are looking for and clearly have the funds to close a sale. If you were the second, I as a broker should want to seriously consider meeting with you, especially if I was the first broker you'd talked to. Who knows, maybe I could sign you up as your buyers broker.
Just my $0.10 CAD
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:00 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=Recb;542194] If you want a broker working on your behalf, then you need to engage a broker as your buyers broker.

Sorry to say but a boat broker ( esp. a boat broker ! ... ) does not work for anyone but himself. I will never forget when I was selling my sail boat about 20 yrs. ago .... I got a good first offer ( that I would have taken ) but the buyers broker says to me ... " sign it back at full price ! the buyer likes the boat and will go for it ! ....... The reverse happened when we were buying another boat via the seller's broker ...... we did o/k in both cases but it makes me question the integrity of a so called boat broker .... FB
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:08 PM   #14
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The best advice (as given above) is/was to be honest with the broker.

Think about it...

Your call to the broker triggers a call to the owner who takes time to go "spruce up" the boat.

The broker spends half a day driving to the boat showing it and driving back.

All in hopes that you'll like the boat and make an offer.

If I were the broker I would tactfully decline to show you the boat under those circumstances. What I would do instead is to offer to show you boats just prior or just after (on the same day) as prospective buyers that are closer to purchasing. I would use that opportunity to build a relationship with you, and to learn your wants, needs and desires so that when you are serious, you'd never think of calling anybody but me.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:38 PM   #15
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Go to boat shows

Use local info to see owners boats for sale .
Craig's list,or local for sale sites.

They have the time to spare.

A broker can not spend 2_3 years giving you a free education.

Some brokerages zare at a marina so grand tours of many boats is less burdensom .

They like to eat.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
I think the proper thing to do is to be honest with the broker before he drives 1.5 hours. If he feels you are a good prospect for the future he may elect to meet you. You should give him the option.
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:01 PM   #17
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The best advice (as given above) is/was to be honest with the broker.

Think about it...

Your call to the broker triggers a call to the owner who takes time to go "spruce up" the boat.

The broker spends half a day driving to the boat showing it and driving back.

All in hopes that you'll like the boat and make an offer.

If I were the broker I would tactfully decline to show you the boat under those circumstances. What I would do instead is to offer to show you boats just prior or just after (on the same day) as prospective buyers that are closer to purchasing. I would use that opportunity to build a relationship with you, and to learn your wants, needs and desires so that when you are serious, you'd never think of calling anybody but me.
Excellent advice, truly professional, and honest!
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:11 PM   #18
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if you contact him out of the blue like this, he does not work for you. if you know you're a few yrs out, definitely recommend attending every Trawlerfest you can get to; smallest peanuts investment for such a great return on getting a feel for boats of this type.
Once you're within a year of buying, might be best to get a Buyers Broker working for you. you can interview several before you select one.
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:49 PM   #19
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"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."


Would you drive 1.5 hours, spend an hour cleaning up the boat, then spend an hour with a tire kicker who is years away from buying, only to have to drive 1.5 hours home.


He just killed 5 hours and got zip, nada, zilch for his time.


Like someone mentioned, go to boat shows and Trawlerfest to look at boats. Then when you have narrowed your search down to one or two models (not one or two brands) you should contact a boat broker.
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Old 04-09-2017, 04:55 PM   #20
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Be honest and up front with the broker and offer to pay him for his time ????
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