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Airmon 10-01-2019 12:44 PM

Broker and surveyor recommendations in or near Chesapeake, VA
Hi all,
My wife and I are first time trawler buyers ( we've had several small runabouts as a couple, and I've got some past experience on diesel boats in the 35-40' range ) and are looking to buy a moderately inexpensive boat for living aboard (full-time) & a few years of coastal cruising. Little loop, Great loop, Downeast loop, FL Keys, Bahamas, etc. We'd like to stay under $100k and while we don't need a lot of luxuries, we'd like a solid boat with space for weekend guests and no major issues.
We've got our eye on a few Taiwanese trawlers, mostly, and are working to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's sometimes a challenge, we've looked at two boats that were really serious projects - one of which was majorly misrepresented. We've learned from that experience now got our eyes on two others that seem like what we're looking for. One of which we've set foot on and are impressed by, and the other that shows well from a distance at least.

To that end, we're looking for a broker to represent us on a purchase and a surveyor that has some experience with the type and price range we're looking in. The broker for the first of our latest "crushes" seems fantastic, but it seems like a conflict of interest for both the buyer and the seller to use the same broker. We're hoping for a surveyor that will help us evaluate a boat with our use case in mind.

We're shopping on the east coast, near Norfolk, VA.

Thanks, and we look forward to getting onboard our own vessel soon and really joining the club.
Eric Udell

RT Firefly 10-01-2019 12:56 PM

Welcome aboard. I would highly recommend Jim Dias for your survey. He did 2 boats for us (sisterships). One failed miserably and we bought the other. We've owned it for going on 12 years now and no surveyor missed "surprises".

Shrew 10-01-2019 12:58 PM

You're looking for a 'Buyer's broker'. That individual will work WITH the Listing Broker. You are correct that the Listing Broker can really only represent the seller and it would be a conflict of interest to work on both parties behalf.

The benefit of a Buyer's Broker is that they will do the leg work to narrow the list of boats based on your search criteria, and then (hopefully) separate the chaff from the wheat for you. Theoretically reducing the number of boats you would need to visit in person before submitting offers.

The other side of this is that the Buyer's Broker will also want a commission. There is no guarantee that the Listing Broker will split their commission (which is technically paid by the seller based on the actual sell price). If the Listing Broker agrees to split their commission there is no guarantee the Buyer's Broker will take commission split either.

You may be in a situation where, upon purchasing the boat, you'll need to cut a check to your Buyer's Broker.

SeaBreeze 10-02-2019 11:30 AM


I am in Virginia Beach and bought a Taiwanese Trawler a year ago (1974 Marine Trader). I went through a lot of the fun you are now experiencing. I learned a lot and also have come to know a good bit about these trawlers. Happy to share what I have learned and also willing to let you see my boat which is a good representation of a well kept Taiwan boat from that era. Feel free to message me if you like.

fgarriso 10-02-2019 11:50 AM

Buyers Brokerage
If I may I would recommend Curtis Stokes for the type of boat you are looking for. His services would cost you nothing until you buy, and then he will split the commission with the selling broker.

You need to have some one to represent YOU and not the seller.


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