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Old 05-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #1
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looking for a buyers broker.

Hello everybody, I've been lurking on this forum for a while now trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible before I made the leap and I am finally there. The house is sold and I need to start looking for my new home in the middle of a pandemic.
I'm Looking for recommendations for a buyers broker on the Gulf or East coast (Or maybe 2) who can help me with my search. I have looked at a few boats over the years while on vacation and have at least a basic idea of what I want. (Or more importantly what I don't want)
Any recommendations or referral's would be greatly appreciated and we can discuss the anchor issue later.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mckenziemt View Post
Hello everybody, I've been lurking on this forum for a while now trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible before I made the leap and I am finally there. The house is sold and I need to start looking for my new home in the middle of a pandemic.
I'm Looking for recommendations for a buyers broker on the Gulf or East coast (Or maybe 2) who can help me with my search. I have looked at a few boats over the years while on vacation and have at least a basic idea of what I want. (Or more importantly what I don't want)
Any recommendations or referral's would be greatly appreciated and we can discuss the anchor issue later.
Instead of a buyers broker, how about a buyers consultant?

They work for a fee instead of commission and can save you time, money and steer you away from issues.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:11 PM   #3
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I'm not adverse to talking to an "Consultant" but I haven't even heard of one up until now.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:13 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!

Don't depend on a broker to do the searching and finding for you. A GOOD broker that you've gotten to know over some time or one that has an interest in and process for getting to know their clients may be helpful, but those (IMO) are becoming rare. Your call for brokers may point you to some of those.

Do your own research. Start with a price range and lists of "needs" and "wants" and see as many boats as possible to determine which fit your requirements. You'll discover the trade offs and probably find that no one boat on the market suits you best but some may come close. A broker won't have the insights you and your family have, but they do have access to tools and connections to learn more about boats you're interested in. Even so, do as much as you can without one.

If you're not in a hurry, spend the time to build a relationship with a broker. Describe what you want and look at boats together. Few brokers will stick with long-term tire kickers, but that's how you should start this adventure. If you are in a hurry, slow down.

Best of luck finding the broker and boat of your dreams, but mostly the boat.

Greg.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:20 PM   #5
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I'm not adverse to talking to an "Consultant" but I haven't even heard of one up until now.
Steve D'Antonio on TF does buyers consulting.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:22 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'll look him up and maybe give him a call.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanks Greg, That's the type of information I am looking for. I'll be down on Padre Island next week and will be trying to look at as many as possible while there but I don't have a lot of connections at this point.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:27 PM   #8
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Do you mean gulf coast and east coast of Florida or the whole gulf coast and whole east coast?

If so, that's a lot of area to cover looking at boats. You may want to start with Florida then broaden if you can't find what you want.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:43 PM   #9
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At least for the next month I'll be on vacation starting in Texas and then moving east toward Florida so I can Look at a lot of different boats as I go. At this point I've only looked at a CHB 34 and a couple of Marine Traders (34' and 36') and they are just to small. I'm not locked in to anything specific at this point other than a real shower that I can stand up in and a full size bed. An pilot house might work but an Europa probably wont do because of ladders. (Large dog)
My thought is that a buyers broker may be able to help me sort through all the different manufactures and models to narrow down my search.
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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I think you might want to narrow it down at least a little as to what you want to do. Some folks specialize in long range trawlers, some on motoryacht style boats, etc. Some focus on certain price ranges, etc. It's not that they're picky, it's just that you can't know it all.

As an aside, I know what a buyers broker is in concept. But I'd look for a broker who is comfortable with long sales cycle customers versus transactional brokers who look for customers who purchase from existing market inventory. For long range Trawler yacht type boats, such a broker is Jeff Merrill JMYS. Out of Socal but has associates in Florida. His client base is global so location is less of an issue as his clients are seeking specific boats

Good luck with the search.

Peter
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:16 PM   #11
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Also check out Curtis Stokes - they do a lot of work for DeFever club members and have a great rep.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:20 PM   #12
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Thanks Peter and Menzies, I'll give them both a call and see what they have to say.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:38 PM   #13
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Peter, I'm looking to do the loop and the Islands to start. (Full time cruiser) No desire to cross the Atlantic or Pacific at this point and although I still have a sail boat at the moment I am over the romance of that lifestyle and it is about to be sold. I am at the point in life that I like AC running water and ice along with a real bed at night. I prefer diesel to gas and don't really need to cruise at 30 knots. Prefer to keep the initial purchase under 100K. I don't have a problem working on the boat myself so will deal with cosmetic issues and general maintenance issues but want good bones to start.
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Old 05-24-2020, 04:41 PM   #14
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Peter,
Good advice so far. My additional would be to discuss carefully with your significant other how you want to use the boat. Sounds like you have a start already. Things like long range or short, coastal or some open water crossings, guests often or never, use for a few days or weeks at one time or months at a time, etc. All of this will lead you to determine your must haves, nice to haves, and DO NOT WANT features. This is very personal, as many posts on this forum indicate, and therefore what works for you may not work for me
Once that determination is done and you have decided on a budget, you should have a reasonable starting point for narrowing down your search to several makes, models, and sizes that could work for you and your plans.
Unless you like working on boats, do not buy a project. Many have and later come to regret all of the money and time they have spent when they could have actually been boating and having fun.
Good luck
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Old 05-24-2020, 05:39 PM   #15
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Trawler Fest is a really good place to start. For about 3 years in the early days of TF, I was one of their core presenters and did Boat Buying 101. Some observations from the little I've heard

1. Budget. You're looking at under $100k, at least right now. No problem, there are some nice boats out there in this budget.

2. Large dog. This rules out boats like aft cabin or motor yacht styles unless they have a cockpit extension.

3. Loop. I've never done it, but I understand you need range of around 400nms and your air draft is limited. I forget exact number, but in the 19 foot range (check to be sure). This rules out most boats with a hard top or mast. As a sidebar, it's not too difficult to temporarily reduce air draft by hinging down an arch as long as it was part of the original design.

4. Recovering sailor. Couple of generalities. In my experience, Sailors want the redundancy of twins. I think it's because many sailboats have under-engineered power trains, many sailboats have lousy engine access that discourages maintenance, and the usage cycle in sailboats is poor. In short, if I took care of my single engine diesel the way Sailors do, I'd want redundancy too. I'm not here to kick off a long debate of single vs twin, just to recognize that you do have to make a decision what is acceptable to you.

The second part of being a recovering sailor is speed. On the good side, most Sailors consider consistent 7 kts acceptable. But not all.

Finally, you probably already have an idea of how you will use outdoor space. Covered sailboat cockpits are pretty inviting spaces.

5. Outdoor space and how you'll use the boat. I like a flybridge for navigating in good weather. But I don't find it good space for hanging out at anchor. Personal preference. I live in Florida and believe nice covered outdoor space is important which is why I like a sedan. Pilothouse layouts have a nice covered aft deck too. Trunk cabin trawlers like the CHB 34 have side decks and a flybridge. You need to decide if that's acceptable for your destinations. I personally like a lot of shade. Trunk cabin trawlers don't do it for me. If that's what I had, I wouldn't swap out. But it wouldn't be my first choice. But that's really personal that is different for everyone. Folks on lists like these will forcefully tell you why their decision is good. All I can say is why we made the decisions we made.

6. Speed. So I said above that Sailors are okay with trawler speeds. But it sounds like you're not retired yet. Time may be a precious resource for you. If you're doing trips of 3-7 day vacation trips, well, 15 kts nearly quadruples a the area you can explore if your time is limited. Yes, it's more expensive from fuel burn and it means twins, but if time is contained, might be a good value overall.

7. Budget. There was recently a Defever 40 listed on CruisersForum (sister site to this, though more sail oriented). Owners had just completed a 2 year cruise from San Diego to Miami. $50k. Good deal and likely on good shape. Goes up from there

So that's my best thinking. Figure out your constraints like the dog (getting on /off via dinghy). Go to a trawler fest and attend their seminars. They appear to be a bit sales oriented compared to the old days, but likely valuable.

Finally, this forum is a great resource. Once you identify a boat, this group often has ideas on what to check - steel tanks for example.

Good luck

Peter
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:21 PM   #16
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Peter, I appreciate the info. I'm not to concerned about single or twins as I'm going to live aboard and travel full time. I've fully retired now and somehow managed to sell the house in the middle of all this mess for what I wanted. (Probably should have asked for more but then I might still be living in it.) I haven't spent a huge amount of time on the ocean to be an expert by any means but I have spent a lot of time on Lake Powel cruising through canyons on a 50' house boat so I'm ok with slow. Twins are good for redundancy but I'm ok with a single. At this point I'll be single handling the boat most of the time with regular visits from friends and family (Grand kids) and I tend to agree about the outdoor space.
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Old 05-24-2020, 09:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Trawler Fest is a really good place to start. For about 3 years in the early days of TF, I was one of their core presenters and did Boat Buying 101. Some observations from the little I've heard

1. Budget. You're looking at under $100k, at least right now. No problem, there are some nice boats out there in this budget.

2. Large dog. This rules out boats like aft cabin or motor yacht styles unless they have a cockpit extension.

3. Loop. I've never done it, but I understand you need range of around 400nms and your air draft is limited. I forget exact number, but in the 19 foot range (check to be sure). This rules out most boats with a hard top or mast. As a sidebar, it's not too difficult to temporarily reduce air draft by hinging down an arch as long as it was part of the original design.

4. Recovering sailor. Couple of generalities. In my experience, Sailors want the redundancy of twins. I think it's because many sailboats have under-engineered power trains, many sailboats have lousy engine access that discourages maintenance, and the usage cycle in sailboats is poor. In short, if I took care of my single engine diesel the way Sailors do, I'd want redundancy too. I'm not here to kick off a long debate of single vs twin, just to recognize that you do have to make a decision what is acceptable to you.

The second part of being a recovering sailor is speed. On the good side, most Sailors consider consistent 7 kts acceptable. But not all.

Finally, you probably already have an idea of how you will use outdoor space. Covered sailboat cockpits are pretty inviting spaces.

5. Outdoor space and how you'll use the boat. I like a flybridge for navigating in good weather. But I don't find it good space for hanging out at anchor. Personal preference. I live in Florida and believe nice covered outdoor space is important which is why I like a sedan. Pilothouse layouts have a nice covered aft deck too. Trunk cabin trawlers like the CHB 34 have side decks and a flybridge. You need to decide if that's acceptable for your destinations. I personally like a lot of shade. Trunk cabin trawlers don't do it for me. If that's what I had, I wouldn't swap out. But it wouldn't be my first choice. But that's really personal that is different for everyone. Folks on lists like these will forcefully tell you why their decision is good. All I can say is why we made the decisions we made.

6. Speed. So I said above that Sailors are okay with trawler speeds. But it sounds like you're not retired yet. Time may be a precious resource for you. If you're doing trips of 3-7 day vacation trips, well, 15 kts nearly quadruples a the area you can explore if your time is limited. Yes, it's more expensive from fuel burn and it means twins, but if time is contained, might be a good value overall.

7. Budget. There was recently a Defever 40 listed on CruisersForum (sister site to this, though more sail oriented). Owners had just completed a 2 year cruise from San Diego to Miami. $50k. Good deal and likely on good shape. Goes up from there

So that's my best thinking. Figure out your constraints like the dog (getting on /off via dinghy). Go to a trawler fest and attend their seminars. They appear to be a bit sales oriented compared to the old days, but likely valuable.

Finally, this forum is a great resource. Once you identify a boat, this group often has ideas on what to check - steel tanks for example.

Good luck

Peter
Really good advice.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:09 AM   #18
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Peter, I appreciate the info. I'm not to concerned about single or twins as I'm going to live aboard and travel full time. I've fully retired now and somehow managed to sell the house in the middle of all this mess for what I wanted. (Probably should have asked for more but then I might still be living in it.) I haven't spent a huge amount of time on the ocean to be an expert by any means but I have spent a lot of time on Lake Powel cruising through canyons on a 50' house boat so I'm ok with slow. Twins are good for redundancy but I'm ok with a single. At this point I'll be single handling the boat most of the time with regular visits from friends and family (Grand kids) and I tend to agree about the outdoor space.
I was raised in Salt Lake City and did a few Lake Powell trips when I was a kid. What a fabulous place! Rented houseboat with a couple families and kids all over.

Two additional thoughts.

First, you mention traveling full time. From your experience, you may have a sense of whether you would lean towards anchoring out. Dinghy, dinghy storage/access are important. I tend to think of myself as an anchor out person, but truth is my wife and I often find a reason to go ashore. That may be changing. Our boat is under a major refit and we have been hunkered down due to COVID and have sort of enjoyed a return to simpler, more self sufficient times.

Second, toys and storage. With grandkids come toys. Paddle boards. Kayaks, scuba, who knows. If that's your vision, you'll need some room to accommodate whatever activities your family enjoys. I too am a recovering sailor. My dreamboat was to have enough space to stow a Laser or something similar alongside my dinghy on a big boat deck. I just don't want a boat big enough to be able to fit both a dinghy and Laser - they're bigger than they look.

Back to the original question about buyers broker, having some information like these would be helpful. If one or two things keep hanging you up, a list like this one is invaluable as there will always be someone who encountered a similar issue and has an idea. For example, I seem to recall someone mentioning their dog being a priority. I think they had a Helmsman 45, a pilot house style boat that has a full width salon. To get to the flybridge and boat deck, you exit out the pilot house doors - because the salon is full width, there are molded-in stairs to get to the boat deck and flybridge. There are tradeoffs for not having a side deck, but point being there are often solutions but you will need to prioritize the problems. I would have never heard of Helmsman Trawlers had it not been for this list. I think some of the Nordic Tug and American Tug boats may had stairs to top deck too.

I find Jeff Merrill's JMYS YouTube channel pretty interesting - he mostly has self produced videos of brokerage boats, but also has a few where he walks the Docks at a trawler fest. His walk through videos are usually pretty good as his pace is good (most broker produced videos are slow and rambling).

I wish I had a direct answer to your question about finding a buyers broker. I'm a bit skeptical about the term because if they are paid out of the commission, they have to make a living and will evaluate whether you will lead to a sale. Some brokers do focus more on more expensive boats with longer sales cycles and understand that education is part of the process. But most view it as residential real estate brokers do: here's the available inventory.

Good luck

Peter
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:02 PM   #19
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Hi all, JMYS.com Jeff Merrill has offices all over and his people are knowledgeable and nice. They specialize in Trawlers too! They have been very helpful in my search. Check the web site then call. Lotz to learn and this is a great place to start! Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:12 PM   #20
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Please message me. Thanks!
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