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Old 08-05-2019, 03:03 PM   #1
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My Recommendations for Buying a Boat in Pensacola, FL

Hi everyone! I'm just concluding my buying experience of an American Tug 34 and wanted to give some recommendations for anyone else buying a boat in Pensacola, FL.

Thanks to another member on here's recommendation, I am very glad that I went with Seth Mosley of Mosley Maritime for the general survey: https://mosleymaritime.com. The guy is super knowledgeable - surveys personal and all the way up to industrial boats/jobs. Detailed. Reasonable price for all that he offers/does. The survey report was long and very helpful. Afterwards, he spent tons of extra time with me, both on the boat after the survey showing me issues and explaining PLUS via email and phone afterwards counseling me on price of repairs and parts so that I could prepare my post-survey "ask" of the seller to come off the price. I have since heard from other people in the boat industry that I've been dealing with down in Pensacola that Seth is well-known around there as being top notch.

As for engine-specific surveyors, I went with the local Cummings dealer Saunders Yachtworks. I was warned that they were pricey and are the company that handles all the mega-yachts down there. But I was told it was important to go with a Cummings certified shop as they'd be the only ones who'd have the special computer equipment to plug into my digital engine. They cost 1,000 more than any other quotes I received, so it was a big decision to go with them. This cost more than the general survey by far. I spoke to the service supervisor about this and the nice fellow he sent out to do the survey. However, I was later told they couldn't get their computer thing to work, so I didn't get the benefit of the readout. I wasn't told that at the time during the sea trial. They did (without me having to ask first) knock a few hundred off the price in the end, which was good. But I was a bit worried to not have this service, as the boat did overheat during the sea trial and I'd wish I'd had more data on why as well as service history, etc.

The seller's broker was Kevin Barber of Edwards Yacht Sales. He was a good negotiator for the seller. But I felt he was a fair and warm person, and didn't rush me through the tour or survey at all - on the contrary - he allowed me to spend half a day crawling all over the boat on the tour alone. His communication throughout the process was excellent, and he went the extra mile to arrange details for me like getting the haulout, and just so much more. He made the entire process smooth. I would have liked it if Edwards Yacht Sales had permitted this to be co-brokered so I could have been represented directly myself, but that said, Kevin was excellent and has helped so much. The man works hard.

Finally, Performance Yacht Deliveries will be trucking the boat up to Maryland where the boat will live. So far, I am very impressed. I'll update when the job is done. Colt is the owner/operator. He seems to truly love his job and appreciate boats. I get the idea he will handle my baby with love. He is also highly regarded around there - all the other tradesmen spoke highly of him. His communication is excellent. He gave me a quote very quickly and it was fair.

Looking forward to getting her home and doing some work on her. She's not been serviced for a couple years. The poor thing will need the TLC and I can't wait to give it!

Final note: I am a 30's gal buying the boat on my own, showing up alone to the survey, and making all the arrangements myself. And I'm no pro either. Plus I get giggley/silly excited around my dreamboat. Given this fact, I was happy to find that Seth, Kevin, Colt all have treated me like I have a brain throughout this process. Respectful but still explaining stuff. Its been nice and empowering too!
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Old Yesterday, 06:17 PM   #2
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If you don't mind me asking, what is it costing you to transport your new boat?
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Old Yesterday, 06:21 PM   #3
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Congrats on your new baby. It is nice to see a lady buying a boat on her own.
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Old Yesterday, 07:06 PM   #4
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Don't mind at all! It was quoted at $7,800, but then added $1,000 for the dinghy, and another $3,000 when the transporter realized it would need a pole car due to height. So all told, $11,800.
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Old Yesterday, 07:25 PM   #5
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Great write-up of your boat buying experience! And not only wonderful to see another woman aboard here at TF, but also a relief to hear that you were treated respectfully by the local marine professionals. Personally, I know well how often that doesn't happen.

You will find the knowledgeable gents here on TF also very respectful of our gender, with the occasional mystifying post. It is the internet, after all.

How did you decide to go with the American Tug 34 (one of my all time favorite boats)?

Cheers,
Mrs. Pea Trombley
Aboard Mariso on the Tenn River
with hubby Dan and two boat pups
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 PM   #6
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Update: the transporting process was tough, but I suppose that's typical?

My boat transporter had given Troendle Marine (the prep company) a to-do list and the seller's broker let them into the seller's private boat shed on Friday to prepare for the haulout and placement on the truck Monday. I thought whatever the transporter needed had been accomplished, as I'd authorized them to do the work and communicate with the transporter.

The transporter showed up Monday to the haulout with his truck ready and nothing at all on the boat had been prepped by Troendle Marine. I immediately called them, and they said that the seller's broker had told them they didn't have to do the list the transporter had given them. I have no clue if that is true or not, but regardless, why hadn't they called me to ask? I am the customer in this situation. Or even called the transporter for clarification...that would have been acceptable too. Who knows? I wasn't there...trying to stress about it from hundreds of miles away.

They said they had only scheduled themselves for a small amount of work - were told this wouldn't be a big job. So they didn't have much time.

They then went out to the boat, where the transporter was attempting to do the job alone to make deadlines (trucking a boat is a complex affair with lots of permits, route surveys, fees for all the states you are passing through. And in fact, he also said there was a curfew of 4pm that day out of Pensacola, so he had to get going. Meanwhile, it was pouring rain!

They apparently did 1 hr of work to remove the radar mast and an add-on bimini in the back.

The transporter then told me that - because they didn't remove the railings the week prior (that would have taken hours), the boat was sitting too high and thousands in extra permits would be needed if he hadn't loaded the boat further into the truck - which then caused damage when loading to the bow/hull below the waterline. He said the cost would be minimal for me to fix (I am waiting on the estimate now that the boat is safely here). He said it was a calculated decision to save me money (and I believe him and feel he was an excellent contractor for me).

When I arrived to see my boat - inside the boat nothing had been secured by Troendle Marine. For instance, they hadn't secured a fire extinguisher which had rolled all around on the teak and holly floor, making scratches in the otherwise beautiful floor.

The whole thing made me very unhappy with Troendle Marine, but I wasn't there and don't know the whole story. Very nervewracking to not be there in person. I only know what each party relayed to me.

I feel like Troendle Marine and Saunders Yachtworks were both big bummers in this process, and in both instances, nobody communicated to ME, the buyer and their customer. Which is so weird. I don't understand why.
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 PM   #7
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Oh I could go on and on about the AT34!!! I've been drooling over them for years online. And in fact, I saw this same one for sale a couple years ago by the original owners, but didn't have the savings secured yet to make the purchase. I was overjoyed to see it back on the market earlier this year. It has a custom layout from the factory with two uber-comfy chairs rather than the L-shaped settee.

At any rate, I love American Tugs so much. The reliable Cummings engine. The fact the factory doesn't scrimp on anything - and overbuilds them. And the interior layout for full-time liveaboard use!!! Oh its dreamy. The head in those is huge, same with the galley (I love to cook). All the space where it matters. And yet small enough to get confident in by myself...that is really cool.
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Old Yesterday, 07:36 PM   #8
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The trucking company should have insurance for the damages to the boat when they loaded it on the trailer. As far as the interior damages they probably make you responsible for securing things. But I would not accept responsibility for the damages loading it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:39 PM   #9
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I get ya, but I do think the transporter probably saved me a few thousand by making that decision, and it was the fault (really) of the prep company for not doing his to-do list. So I think - in the end - I have no desire to ding him or his insurance rates for doing me a favor, ya know? I could be wrong, but that's my sense. In fact, I was grateful to have selected him for this part of the ordeal. He was super nice, good communication (the only one who did have good communication!), and very respectful of me.
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Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM   #10
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Well as long as you are happy then itís all good. Hope you enjoy your boat and have a great time cruising it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:44 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your encouragement, everyone! I am having a lot of fun just working on the boat at the yard, and arranging work. Can't wait to have it in the water and move in!!!!
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 PM   #12
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Are you going to live aboard fulltime?
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Old Yesterday, 08:51 PM   #13
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Wifey B: Go 1021. Love having another woman here, one who loves boats and does her own thing.
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 PM   #14
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m1021, that`s bizarre. You are the customer,not the sellers broker. And yes, I suspect it`s BS for "we forgot". Hope it works out,damage minimal. A friend had his boat holed on the truck during transport, discovered only when it was lifted into the water.
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