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Old 03-02-2015, 07:55 AM   #21
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
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I slept better getting that off my chest among friends. Thanks for listening and supporting.

I still woke up to melting snow, frozen tree limbs and bushes, and an icy drive to work that was aborted, but not before the decision was made for me. All's well. There was no harm to me or mine. I'm just stuck until the thaw.

Someday, a trawler, retirement, and a new lifestyle will deliver me from this.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
Thanks, All.

Yes, the survey is on the 9th. Counseling wouldn't be enough to get me through this 9 times. I'd buy the condo in Florida about #3 and give up on boating.

Yep, plenty of pics to come. You're right, without the pics it hasn't happened. I'll post the pics when it has.

I'll also post some of my notes that detail the highs and lows of the last couple attempts. I'm doing this one without brokers - per the seller's wishes (and mine) - so I think there will be lessons to share when it's all over. I've also gone part way down the road with brokers on both sides, and I have plenty of opinions about the differences.

I'm not superstitious so am not concerned about tempting fate, but I'll wait to post pics until I've closed the deal. Too many things can happen, and if I don't get this one, it'll be another one, someday.

I did say beverage of your choice. Non-alcoholic is fine!

@Britannia: Have you posted your pics here somewhere? If not, I'll be looking for them when you do. Good luck with your closing. Here's another tip to you!
Welcome Greg looking forward to the pictures and stories
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Old 03-15-2015, 02:34 AM   #23
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
It's not mine yet, but it's close enough that I think it's okay to post a few pics. Both shots were taken during the survey last Monday. Yep, it's a Hatteras 48 LRC. Can't wait to get your input on the anchors. The happy guy next to the boat hauled is my friend, boating mentor, and delivery captain.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:54 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
It's not mine yet, but it's close enough that I think it's okay to post a few pics.
I did the same thing, Greg. Posted a little early. I think you are safe, though, as it appears to be a well maintained boat. Congrats!
Done with diesel power boats! Have fallen in love with all electric!
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:06 AM   #25
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She's a beautiful boat and we wish you the very best of Irish Luck with her.
The broker's just a Mr Fixit trying to make a buck, just think of him as a marine realtor. I never ever use one myself.
Buying is always a fraught time, even for us that have done it many times but the joy it will bring you is priceless.
Fair winds and safe harbours.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #26
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
No brokers. The sellers and I have had to feel our away along a path we don't travel often, but that's okay. Both sides are happy with the experience and the deal.
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:13 PM   #27
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No offense to the good folks here that are boat Brokers, but really look forward to your thoughts, impressions, opinions and process on buying without. I bought my first large boat with a lot of help from a supportive sales guy, but clearly there were strong "agendas" on both sides that often got in the way. Never really got a chance to talk much with the seller, but suspect he was a pretty nice guy from all I have discovered. The sales guys we quite successful in keeping us isolated.

I have bought and know many others who have bought cars from private individuals, but boats and real estate is a bit too scary.

I can really see some advantages of two decent honest folks working through a boat deal personally that satisfies both parties - the brokers definitely got in the way and left us in the dark a lot!
I would really like to try to buy my next (big[er]) boat privately.
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:56 PM   #28
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
I have kept silent on the broker topic, but it has been on my mind. I don't want to start a broker bashing discussion. I'm confident that most of the brokers here are decent, conscientious, honest, good at what they do, and responsible to their client's interests as they work to achieve the best possible deal. Owners here have apparently found brokers that were useful in the buying or selling process, speak well of them and the experience, and recommend them to others. I have not been so lucky.

After a recent experience that went south due (in my opinion) to both the seller's and buyer's brokers having confused allegiances, I decided that the next attempt to buy a boat would be as broker free as possible. Finding a private sale requires one to search differently. There are FSBO sites (they say), Craigslist and other fringe ads - at least for large items like yachts - and other small circulation print and internet sites where FSBO ads can be found, but it's tough.

Finding the boat you want being sold by a private party will be a greater challenge than navigating through the sales/transfer process. From others, I've heard that private parties experience a tremendous response from the brokerage community to list their boats. Even if one starts down the path to sell the boat themselves and successfully parry the initial broker assault, dealing with endless tire kickers, difficult people, or getting no response at all might cause the private seller to become desperate and choose one of the brokers who'd promised to take care of everything, making the unpleasant part of selling the boat go away. I'm sure that offer can become incredibly attractive after a short time. A skill that experienced brokers offer the seller is the ability to filter responses to the ones that matter. I haven't been a seller, but I can imagine how difficult finding sincere buyers can be, and I know I'd appreciate someone taking that entire chore off my hands.

Once a private seller is found and the buyer musters the courage to deal with the seller directly, the buyer will need a general understanding of the boat selling/buying process. I think most anyone can successfully complete the process. Well, except that I don't imagine everyone is capable or willing to negotiate a major purchase like a large boat. Negotiating a large ticket item is intimidating and requires communication and reasoning skills that we either don't have or very rarely use. It might be helpful for the buyer to assume that many of the private sellers are going to suffer the same disadvantage.

Apart from the negotiating part, the process is pretty routine and well described in many places. The rough steps are:
  • Buyer inspects the boat
  • If the buyer desires to purchase, an offer is made
  • The offer can be made and accepted verbally but is usually documented in a "Purchase and Sale Agreement" or similar
  • Buyer hires surveyor(s), schedules the haul out, coordinates with the seller
  • Buyer pays surveyor(s) and the yard
  • Buyer receives the surveyor's reports and arranges post-survey discussion with owner
  • Owner/buyer decide on final price or part friends, OR
  • If the sale continues
  • The Purchase and Sales Agreement is updated with the price determined during the post-survey discussion
  • Note: At this point, it might be wise to enlist the help of a documentation service to help with the rest of the paperwork. Different services do different things, but a buyer might be interested in a service that: prepares the documents needed from this point forward, complete a title search, collect fees, complete the paperwork and file as needed for in/out of state registration or USCG documentation, payment of sales tax, and ensuring that all tasks to close the sale are done in accordance with the agreement between the buyer and seller. All of this can be done by the parties involved, but paying a reasonable fee to an experienced party to complete these items correctly might give peace of mind and alleviate headaches
  • The buyer completes an "Acceptance of Vessel" with any conditions agreed to during the post-survey discussion
  • The buyer and seller mutually create and sign the "Closing Statement"
  • The buyer and seller complete the items on the Closing Statement.
The Closing Statement spells out what has to be done to close the sale, and both parties work to get done what needs to be done to complete the sale and the process to transfer the ownership of the vessel. There are many other important details included in the above steps that are spelled out in the body of the documents. Since I'm working from memory - even though a recent experience - I might have missed something. Consult multiple guides on the 'net and tailor them to fit your situation.

I'm nearly through the process dealing directly with the boat's current owners, and it has been mostly a pleasant experience. Any unpleasantness has been minor, of my own making, and NOT the owner's fault. Yes, negotiating was tough, but I didn't do any of it without first discussing my next steps and the ultimate objective with my wife and another friend/adviser. I don't like negotiating, but at the same time, I was glad to be involved and working directly with the seller. I'm proud and extremely happy with the deal we've agreed to, and the sellers assure me that they are too. That's priceless.

I would not have the same appreciation of the result if the seller and I had communicated solely through brokers. Yes, there were emotions involved throughout the process on both sides. My experience showed me that the presence of emotions is important - we are humans after all - and the presence of emotions by themselves don't mean that the process or its result will be something less. For me, the process and the result are greater with the experiences I had to get there. I'm thankful that I was able to see that at times the sale was very difficult for the owners while at other times it was a labor of pure joy.

In my mind, the presence of brokers would have removed me from the process and the lessons I learned. After having been through the purchase up close and personal, I would not want it any other way.

I hope I've stated the reasons for my choices without bashing or offending any brokers.
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:10 PM   #29
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GB, very well said. Congrats and welcome aboard. Beautiful looking vessel. GREAT outline of your process. No feelings should have been harmed in your dissertation.
Happy trails, I mean sails, no that isn't right either,. Fair winds and safe harbours. Toast to you and yours,
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:22 PM   #30
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Another wannabe on the journey to ownership

I tried to use a couple of buyer's brokers and it didn't work out for me. Probably mostly my fault-- I don't think I could clearly articulate what I really wanted in a boat so we floundered.

Ended up buying my boat at a repo liquidation place. I put in a bid online and the bank took it. Then after the survey it had some issues, so I reduced my bid $10000, and they still took it. 😳

The broker representing the banks was quite interesting-- there was never any doubt who he represented (not me).
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:52 PM   #31
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Thanks much for the excellent explanation. Rather made it sound like a multi-month process, albeit a most fulfilling one.
Like you say though, these kinds of boat cannot be picked of Yachtworld; the hunt must take years.

Love the boat!
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:19 AM   #32
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
As for the length of the process, here's my schedule:

Owner placed the ad: 1/28
I found the ad: 2/15
Contacted the owner with initial questions: 2/16
Dug out from snow storm: 2/16 - 17 (a motivational factor)
Flew to the boat's location: 2/19
Viewed boat for the first time and agreed on initial offer: 2/20
(The 'books' advise not to talk money the same day as the initial inspection. I saw no reason to wait. We documented the agreement with a "Yacht Purchase and Sale Agreement" which set 31 March as the date to close by.)
Visited the yard where the haul would likely occur: 2/20
Returned home: 2/20
Contacted 3 hull surveyors: 2/21
Received responses from all 3: 2/21-22
Chose the hull surveyor and contacted an engine surveyor he recommended: 2/21
Agreed on survey date of 9 March with surveyors and owners: 2/21
Scheduled the yard for 9 March short haul: 2/23
Arranged non-refundable travel for me and a partner: 2/23
Two more snow/ice storms to dig out from: 2/25 and 3/5 (pucker factors and more motivation)
Flew to boat: 3/8
Survey: 3/9 (a full day but could have gone home very late)
Flew home: 3/10
Received hull surveyor's report: 3/10
Received engine surveyor's report: 3/13 (takes longer due to fluid sample analysis)
Met with owners by phone for post-survey discussion: 3/14
Agreed on final price: 3/14

I believe what is left to be done can be accomplished in a week, certainly two. The date we chose to close was suggested by me and mutually agreed to as 'reasonable,' agreeing we'd adjust it if absolutely necessary. The time from acceptance of the initial offer to closing the sale or the buyer rejecting the boat is time the seller can't be selling the boat to someone else, so there's motivation on both sides to move things along.

It might have been an aggressive schedule when there were many unknowns, but it was easily done once the other participants were coordinated. It might have been more difficult if done while the surveyor's or yard's schedules were more full.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:17 PM   #33
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Thanks again Greg,

I am sure I speak for others as well that we are getting a lot out of your detailed private buyer's journey. It's a great contribution you are making to the Forum.

I don't want to sound lazy, but since you have done the ground work, can you share some of your documentation resources? I assume you found various "boat buyers" guides on the web or such, some being more helpful than others. Can you point us in the direction of the ones you found more helpful?

You must truly be blessed to have executed this transaction relatively painlessly.
There are a lot of unscrupulous scam artists out there selling stuff on Craig's list and others - buyer beware! Although, probably not a lot of scammers hustling 48' Hatteras.

Really curious; how did you know, or how/when did you feel that you were talking with someone you could do serious business with? What was that something that said to you to go forward and spend the money for those flights, hotels, and transport to go do the deal? I am sure others will be pleased to hear this as well.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:02 AM   #34
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
There isn't a sure-fire potion, a list of guaranteed steps, or magic glasses that if taken internally, followed religiously, or worn while viewing web pages will keep away evil spirits and Internet frauds. Lacking those, we all develop our own crap detectors and use them to filter the world around us. Until my own crap detector goes off, I choose to assume the best in those I meet. Set your own detector sensitivity as needed.

I don't know or don't have the personal experience to indicate that the Internet is as fraught with peril as you suggest it to be. I've been borrowing and sharing information online since the 300-baud BBS days in the mid-80s and buying/finding/researching products online since the late 90s. My first major purchase was also my first boat which I found in a Boat Trader ad (I think) in 2000. We still have it. In all those years of surfing the Web for various purposes, I found the BBS culture, now somewhat matured as forums like this one, to be one of the more intimidating and scary aspects of the Web.

As for sharing links to resources I found useful, I prefer to leave that discovery to others in the course of their own journey. My knowledge is collected from several sources and recent experiences, including information given to me verbally by brokers, boat show and Trawler Fest participants, and boat owners I've met along the way. I can't provide a link to those and other similar resources, and links that I could share taken individually are insignificant pieces of the whole.

Blessed? I don't think so. Lucky? Probably, but I've worked hard and long to create the circumstances that made the likelihood of a good outcome more likely than the alternatives. That's about all any of us can do, and, IMO, we are obligated to those we share our lives with to do at least that much. I suppose that's off topic. Oh well.

Whatever journey you're on or path you choose to get there, enjoy the journey, and good luck!
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:17 PM   #35
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I think the most important thing is not to push a purchase if things are not working fluidly. Sometimes things happen to slow the process but I too believe in the "If it was meant to be" attitude.

Beautiful vessel ...
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:19 AM   #36
City: Solomons, MD
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 645
And she's all mine!

When the sellers and I wrote up the Sales/Purchase Agreement after they'd accepted my initial offer, we set the end of March as the date the deal had to be done, a short 5 weeks and 4 days later. I assumed there was some flexibility in that date, because we just guessed at a reasonable date and all agreed that we didn't really know what was reasonable. Even so, the Agreement said what it said, and I worked very hard to comply. Technically, if the owners wanted, and the deal hadn't completed by that date, they could take my deposit and walk away. I don't think that would have happened, but I sure wasn't going to let it be an option, if I could help it.

As it turned out, it took EXACTLY 5 weeks to complete the deal. The paperwork transferring ownership and legally documenting the boat's new status is still making the rounds for signatures, but it should be all signed and filed with the right agencies within a day or two. The owners have been great to work with, and I've done my best to treat them in kind.

In the final weeks of the deal, I submitted several insurance applications and settled on the best of the resulting responses. I'll write later - possibly in my blog, currently in its infancy - about the lessons I learned there, but I'll summarize here with a plug for Peter Ricks of Anchor Marine Underwriters. I learned there's no substitute for working the details with a live body. Peter was accessible and responsive throughout the entire process, and I'm confident that his efforts to tailor the policy to precisely what I needed, coupled with his knowledge of the industry, resulted in a policy with the coverage I need at a price I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. The same result MAY have been possible through some of the big online storefronts, but the effort and time required to get there would not have been reasonable. A couple of those agencies told me flat out that they were limited in what they could provide due to the age of the boat, my experience, or both. I got no such nonsense from Peter. If there were limitations, he worked with them or around them rather than presenting them to me as obstacles. I can't say enough about the experience and Peter's contribution to the successful conclusion. If you're in the market for a new policy or renewal, start there.

I was also able to arrange a covered slip at the boat's new home on the Chesapeake. I feel luckier to have found the slip than the boat, but that's due to my inexperience with such things. The timing couldn't have been much better - and that was purely accidental - because most of the marinas around here renew their agreements May 1st.

What's next? The boat is headed to a nearby marina to catch up some deferred maintenance items before making the journey home. I've engaged the experts needed and am waiting for estimates to get the work done. I'm planning to meet with the POs over a weekend in about a month to get a pass down on the operation of every system on the boat. I'll enjoy visiting with them and getting more details of their adventures with the boat and what they know of its history in a completely different context.

There will be lots more to share as the adventure continues. Be well.
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:39 PM   #37
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Congrats on the beautiful boat, Greg!! I was on Steve Cary's (Scary on TF) 48 Hatt LRC this weekend for the first time. That's a lot of boat and much taller up close that it looks at a distance. What a salty vessel...and very comfortable. Nice choice!
My boat is my ark. It's my mobile treehouse and my floating fishing cabin. It's my retreat and my respite. Everyday I thank God I have a boat! -Al FJB

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