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Old 10-30-2018, 04:28 PM   #1
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Broker experiences?

Hi folks, is there a forum for discussion of experiences as buyer or seller with yacht brokerages or individual brokers? I've heard horror stories of experiences as well as very positive interactions, and it might be helpful to learn who are the good guys and who to avoid.
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:13 PM   #2
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I worked for a short while for what I consider the most ethical brokerage firm in Annapolis, Crusader Yacht Sales run by Nancy Cann who is no longer there. I interfaced with good and bad outside brokers and it always seemed that if one broker was shady in a firm, they all were, more or less.

My point is that the brokerage owner generally sets the tone and hires/keeps brokers who will subscribe to that tone. So and this is a wild generality of course, if one broker is shady, all others in the same brokerage firm are at least suspect. The reverse is generally true as well.

So with that little piece said there are two brokers I know who are straight and good: Rod Rowan at Crusader in Annapolis and Mike Farman at Brewers in Cowesett, RI.

CPYB certification and to a lesser degree YBAA membership are also positives when considering brokers.

Oh and I don't think state licensing has anything to do with goodness. Florida licenses their brokers and I found some of the worst to be there, Yachtbrokerguy excepted.

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Old 10-30-2018, 05:19 PM   #3
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I've had a less-than-pleasant experience with one of the brokers at Port Gardner Yacht Brokerage in Everett WA. An arrogant prick who thinks his boats are solid gold (they're not) and who reacts defensively if a prospective buyer points out imperfections that most people would acknowledge as true.
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:40 PM   #4
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My experience with brokers has been both good and bad. One was particularly straight and honest and a couple others have been complete B.S. artists, worse than used car salesmen. You can't generalize brokers with one label, good or bad, although the slimeballs are certainly out there waiting for you. Buyer beware.
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:43 PM   #5
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Bill Harris at kadey Krogan yacht sales in Stuart FL. He was the seller's broker on my trawler. I thought so much of him, that I didn't get a buyer's broker to represent me. If he's still a broker whenever I sell my boat, I will move it to Stuart, FL and have him list it for me.

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Old 10-30-2018, 05:51 PM   #6
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Having bought and sold a few times using a broker and again privately, I have no respect, trust or anything good to say about a boat broker, agent or sales person. Like used car sales, appears that the marine industry attracts the " lowest of the low " in character or integrity by brokers and even ..... many of suppliers. The buck is the bottom line and the warranty is as good / long as far as you can see the headlights .... just sayn' from experience.
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:07 PM   #7
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Hoo boy! Pandora's Box is opened!
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:20 PM   #8
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I think if you know anything about boats and the process of buying and selling them, then you should be able to see the good ones from the bad ones. If one is not that knowledgable, then it would be wise to seek help from a friend. I could pick out a slimeball easily....just like I could if I was buying a car.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:12 PM   #9
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A good broker will say "Good question. Let me find out for you". A crappy broker will just BS you with whatever he/she thinks will sell the boat.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:22 PM   #10
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Sales

I find it interesting when I read some of these threads about how slanted some people become. However, boats, cars and homes and other large purchases people want to be able to tour, ask questions, evaluate, take for spin in person. The owners have other priorities such as work or don't have the space, time, or resources to sell and hire someone to help move those possessions.

Here's a good way to think about it, your looking for a new car. Maybe you have done your research maybe you haven't, maybe you know you want a truck but your not sure about the ride quality. It's been ten years since you have owned a 3/4 ton so you decide you want to go test drive a Chevy, Ford and Ram. You have done your research know the trim level, engine, gear ratio you'd like, you only want to test drive so you know you've made the right decision. So you head into the local dealer and take the drive. Maybe you have been luck and landed in a dealer that sells two or all three brands. Your drive only takes a nice little 15 minute route. But that's three drives, plus the time to pull each vehicle around. So you have taken up 1 hour of the sales persons time. You decide after the drive that you like the way the Chevy drives the most. So you make your offer, after all you know what the dealer paid, you know how much your going to pay. Your offer is accepted and you drive home in your new Chevy. Thinking you just spent $50k on your new truck this guy really made a home run and is eating well tonight with his commission check. What you didn't realize is prior to you coming in and taking time to drive in you three trucks he did that with five prior clients that chose not to buy and that took several days. Sales is a lot of work and your never guaranteed getting paid while investing in a client's goals.


We all choose to do something with our time in return expect to get paid for our time. When selling professionally it takes many many hours, sometimes more than you'd like to obtain a sale, so many buyers and questions need to be answered emails responded to, calls made before you have accomplished what a seller needs. I for one will not categorize one profession or group of people together. Good and bad in any profession.

Off my soap box now.

I know several very reliable, honest and hard working brokers I have done business with and refer people to. If you'd like I'd be happy to share those contacts with you. They are on the West Coast, one in Seattle and one in Portland.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:39 PM   #11
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^^^AMEN^^^ In agreement for sure. I am not in sales. But I know they work their asses off. And I also know there are slimy people in all walks of life. And there are certainly some good brokers out there. I have used one guy for the last 20 years. And the brokerage house he works for is top notch. But I have known some places that fit the description of what David is talking about. Not so great listings...not so great brokers.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:42 PM   #12
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I went to the Annapolis boat show. I talked to a lot of brokers about the boats that I will soon be shopping for. I've been doing a LOT of homework. I've been playing with boats for a LONG time. The amount of BS coming out of some of them is frightening. The condescension in trying to tell me I don't know what's good for me is appalling. I know there's good ones out there, had them sell boats for me in the past. You gotta look long and hard though..... Maybe they're too busy serving their clients to be picking their nose spouting garbage at boat shows....
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:14 PM   #13
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Just like in any other profession, there are above overage and below average brokers. I just came back from another boat hunting trip and most brokers were frank and open. One even volunteered major accident history that was not obvious.

My beef is more with the absentee owners not fixing even small issues that detract from the overall appearance of the boat. For example a major leak destroying expensive woodwork. And its going to rain for the next 6 months here in the PNW. Another owner professionally redecorated the interior and removed all hour meters for both engines and both generators. There were none in the engine room either.
Nobody seems to be keeping maintenance logs anymore. I'd be happy with a simple Excel spreadsheet or some of the recent major bills. Nope, owners can't be bothered.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gsholz View Post
Just like in any other profession, there are above overage and below average brokers. I just came back from another boat hunting trip and most brokers were frank and open. One even volunteered major accident history that was not obvious.

My beef is more with the absentee owners not fixing even small issues that detract from the overall appearance of the boat. For example a major leak destroying expensive woodwork. And its going to rain for the next 6 months here in the PNW. Another owner professionally redecorated the interior and removed all hour meters for both engines and both generators. There were none in the engine room either.
Nobody seems to be keeping maintenance logs anymore. I'd be happy with a simple Excel spreadsheet or some of the recent major bills. Nope, owners can't be bothered.
Wow! Preaching to the choir on that one. When I inquired about maintenance logs, at sea logs and operator manuals, I may have well been speaking gibberish. And when I insisted on cycling every component on board, I was greeted with outright disbelief. I walked.
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bshillam View Post
I know several very reliable, honest and hard working brokers I have done business with and refer people to. If you'd like I'd be happy to share those contacts with you. They are on the West Coast, one in Seattle and one in Portland.
I'm working with one now who fits that bill. Pulls no punches, a CPYB member. A pleasure to deal with. Needless to say, the others wouldn't pass the exam.
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Old 10-30-2018, 11:34 PM   #16
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The problem with brokers is 3/4 of them are below average. Seems impossible, right?

One good way to approach it is to do a lot of research on the type of boat, and the boat, before talking to the broker. Then ask several questions that you already know the answer to. This is often very telling. If he/she answers those questions correctly or honestly, then there is a much better likelihood that the questions you don't already know the answer to will be answered correctly or honestly.

There was no broker involved in the trawler I bought, and I'm pretty happy. But there are many situations where you are forced to use one, or should use one.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:22 AM   #17
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One good way to approach it is to do a lot of research on the type of boat, and the boat, before talking to the broker. Then ask several questions that you already know the answer to. This is often very telling. If he/she answers those questions correctly or honestly, then there is a much better likelihood that the questions you don't already know the answer to will be answered correctly or honestly.
Yup!
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:23 AM   #18
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With exception of Jerry at Green Turtle Bay (who we would highly recommend to anyone looking for a boat,) we had a hard time getting brokers to show us their listings. We would try to schedule viewings and they could never seem to call us back or be able to show us the boat they had listed when we could see them.

We were looking for a trawler in the 70k-150k range. It was like they could not be bothered with us. (We had the cash available for the purchase ready to go.)

So our experience was one good hardworking broker and a dozen or so guys that couldn't be bothered. (In a couple of cases, the boats that we did see had little relationship to their listing, even after getting assurances the boats were in great condition...)

Just my .02 worth
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:27 AM   #19
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I have had similar experiences with brokers. The fellow we used to sell our boat and to help us buy our new (to us) boat was great. Very little (if any) BS, spent hours with us showing us boats, advising us as to suitability for us (after fully determining what we wanted), etc.

However, the other brokers (listing agents) were mostly a different matter. (To be fair, there was one or two that seemed pretty good). In one case, where the boat was moored at the Brokerage's marina (and he would not allow us to bring our own broker - first tell tale sign of a problem in my opinion), the boat had both a propane tank and a gas can stored in the cockpit lazerette which also contained a stern thruster motor, battery charger, and 2 - 12 volt batteries. Can you say BOOM!
After inspecting the boat, we found one of the stringers had at one point separated from the hull, and had been "repaired" using some type of caulk to "fill the gap". We contacted the boat builder (and they were fantastic and a big help) for advise and they informed us that this could be a very big problem (but difficult to tell for sure from only photos) and that the repair in any case was not adequate. This broker told us: " it's not a big problem at all and that stringers are not important"! On top of this, the seller didn't want to deal with the issue either in price or actually fixing the problem.

We walked, no actually we ran, and will never return to this broker. By the way, even though we couldn't involve our broker with the above boat, our broker still offered lots of advice and counselling. Above and beyond, in my opinion. He was involved in our final purchase.

Good advice from the others about asking questions where you already know the answer. It will give you an indication as to their honesty, knowledge, and maybe willingness to find out if they don't know.
Regards,
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Old 10-31-2018, 08:47 AM   #20
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I like Chuck Grice at Virginia Yacht Brokers i Chesapeake, Va. just visit there web site and see how well they list boats with accurate information and great photos. First class folks to deal with IMHO.
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