Has YachtWorld.com dumbed-down its search options?

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Blissboat

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Recently it's become harder to set up an efficient search on Yacht World, in two ways. It used to be that you could select a country in which to search for listings, such as the U.S. or Canada (or both), and then select multiple regions with those countries. In my case, I'd select the various regions of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, having no wish to consider boats on the west coast. That still left lots of regions from which to choose, like the Heartland, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Gulf Coast, etc. No more. Now you must either search the entire U.S., which is tedious, or search each individual region one at a time - also tedious.

It also used to be possible to search for power boats according to the number of engines. Having no wish to view listings for twin-engine boats, I always select for one. That option has simply disappeared from YW's search menu, so now I have to click on every listing for a boat that meets my other search terms just to find out whether it has twins or a single. In the vast majority of cases, that info is only found down-screen at the sub-field called "Propulsion," which you cannot open until after you close a pop-up prompting you to contact the listing broker for more information. More tedium.

At first I suspected a browser or platform hiccup, but after trying the usual fixes the conditions persist. After messaging YW with no response, I believe this is intentional. My guess is that YW's digital marketeers track the number of individual listing views to justify the fees they charge to brokers for posting on the platform, so forcing online shoppers to click on more listings generates better metrics for YW, and more pricing leverage over brokers.

It also keeps shoppers on the site for greater periods of time, which also strengthens YW's value proposition to advertisers. What's not to like? Unless you're a schmuck like me, who gets on the site a few times a week to follow the market, monitor listings that interest me, and who hopes to find my next boat so I can quit haunting YW and Boat Trader late into the night, and instead spend more time on Trawler Forum. Will someone please launch a user-friendly competitor to YachtWorld.com?
 
It used to be that the YW United Kingdom site still had all the advance search features, but I just checked, and they've also dumbed down their site. Less about customer satisfaction, than about raking in $$$ as mentioned above . . . .
 
Glad I am not in the market for a new boat. I used to spend hours at a time on YW but it has become a PITA to use now. I rarely go on it anymore.
 
Yacht world is the unofficial MLS type site for yachts. I say unofficial because unlike all real estate agents who must use Realtor.com and pay their fees if they want to be called a Realtor, yacht brokers don’t have to use Yachtworld.

Another thing that has changed in the yacht buying/selling business is that unlike a couple of decades ago you generally can’t go to a broker, tell him the specs of the kind of boat you want and have him do a search (on Yachtworld) for you. Brokers strongly discourage that kind of shopping.

Brokers will show you their own listings if you ask, but aren’t too interested in showing other brokers listings.

This has all developed over the years to give brokers more control over their own listings and not waste time showing other brokers listings.

The changes you have noticed are partially to support this broker centric approach to boat looking, but probably more to Yachtworlds internet geeks not paying attention to individual buyers needs but to the brokers who pay for all Yachtworld costs.

I strongly suspect that the brokers version of Yachtworld is much more friendly and usable than the individuals version. When i was a broker they were mostly the same. Not today.

David
 
Broker friendly??

In the past, because it was more user friendly, I spent quite a bit of time on YW. That former user-friendly format not only caused me to spend more time there than I do now, but it also resulted in me buying several boats over that time.

Now I get almost no joy out of boat shopping on YW, and I have almost completely lost interest in buying another boat.

I do not consider any part of that broker friendly or good for YW.

The format changes are a miss. Period.
I expect an alternative will emerge.
 
Ditto! In "the old days" I used to search, "used, powerboats, diesel, 40-52', listed in the last 3 days, PNW" 2 or 3 times a week. So I always had an idea of the status of things. I did this for years. Now I rarely look at YW and when I do.. Grrrrr...
Regards,
Scott
 
It’s become impossible to navigate, maybe it’s my older iPad but trying to scroll through listing pictures is a nightmare not worth the effort.
 
I detest all of the popups!

But remember it is the internet....if something is free, then you are being used for their purposes.

In this case YW is not interested in you, they are tailoring the site to their paying customers, both Brokers and advertisers, and to their own benefit.

Have been using YW for a number of years and the search options have definitely been reduced, with the number of obtrusive popups having increased.

Not to mentioned the massive banner image on the homepage which pushes the search off the bottom of the screen......that right there tells you their priority!
 
I still see all the US regions and states but not picking engine number or type other than fuel.

Yes, the regions are still listed and available to be selected. My beef is that you can no longer select more than one region during a search. IOW, you can search "Gulf Coast," but then you are done adding regions. Formerly you could set up your parameters and select "Great Lakes," "Gulf Coast," "Heartland," "Mid Atlantic," "Southeast," and even add all the eastern provinces of Canada, excluding British Columbia. Not any more - you can only search one individual province at a time. Want to check out what's listed in the neighboring province? Start over with a new search. Maddening.
 
Agree that YW has lost its appeal as a boat shopping venue with their non-user-friendly changes in searches. And annoying pop-ups that take over the screen. I'm not shopping as much as researching DeFevers and Grand Banks; I rarely visit YW anymore. And NOAA has closed their public access so I lost another avenue to trace classic trawlers.



While I'm on the subject of annoying ads, Trawler Forum, too, has become a mosaic of landmine ads. Reading on my phone means that ads cover my entire screen, causing me to inadvertently open the link in which I have absolutely NO interest. Or when succumbing to temptation to eradicate the ad by touching that little "x", it's programmed to open, not disappear. Sadly, I'm avoiding diving deeper into these posts, too.
 
Yachtworld

In reference to Yachtworld, first I strongly disagree with DavidM regarding the status of co-brokerage in our industry. My firm presently has six pending sales with other brokers. We constantly cooperate with other brokers, even Pop Yachts!!! A vast majority of yacht brokers cooperate with each other and sell each other's listings. Sure, there are a few bad apples, like in every industry, but a vast majority cooperate with each other, especially as the market slows from the overheated Covid era. There is no sinister cabal trying to corner the market or skew what boats sell or don't sell.



As far as Yachtworld, my opinion is they are pricing themselves out of the market. Their constant price increases, including a 21% increase today, are forcing many brokers to stop doing business with Boats Group (Parent company) and are to the point where this eventuality seems to almost be an intentional business model. Most brokers are leaving Boats Group websites for yachtbroker.org and yachtr.com. These sites are owned by our industry. I just wish more brokers would support these websites sooner to make our industry owned websites even more successful than they already are.



We decided to leave Boats Group marketing websites a year ago last month. We got tired of hearing all our clients' complaints about the ads, pop-up windows and horrible search process. We also track inquiries from all marketing sources and observed inquiries from Yachtworld declining and inquiries from other sites increasing, while Yachtworld prices skyrocketed. We are still in business and doing well with different marketing, so we are proof brokers don't need Boats Group websites to survive and succeed.


If you are a buyer, please try to use yachtbroker.org and yachtr.com to search for boats for sale and let any broker you deal with know you use these websites. Finally, if you are a seller, please list your yacht or boat with a broker who uses these two websites.


Thanks,
 
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Yachtworld?

I was thinking something similar to the OP, because I got an email earlier this week from a brokerage company I have worked with stating that they have now joined a new listing service called "Yachtr.com" for buying and selling boats with their clients. ( don't know what the extra "r" stands for, if anything.)
They didn't explain why they made the change, but usually these things involve cost in one way or another.
I did look briefly at YachtR; they seem to list everything from a 10-ft dinghy to a 200ft super yacht, but I really only looked superficially.
I haven't seen that any other well-known broker has changed - yet.
Peter
 
First I like that Yachtworld has some competition. I feel like their site has gotten bloated and clunky.

I noticed that the Yachtr site runs much smoother.

Yachtworld has many more boats but Yachtr does have boats that are not on Yachtworld. This means you will need to use both sites when researching.

I see Yachtworld has added a location by radius feature. This should take care of the issue of cross regions (why they did away with allowing multiple regions is unknown)

Yachtworld is a dealer tool. Dealers pay for it not us, but, they sell advertising that is geared to consumers and not dealers so there appears to be a conflict of interest which appears to have opened the door for competition.

I will certainly be using both sites from now on.
 
Unfortunately yachtr is another broker only listing site. I find 99.999% of brokers to be of exceptionally low character.
 
Csiyachting:

I am glad that you find that brokers are still sharing listings and cooperating. When I was a broker in Annapolis 20 years ago that was generally the case.

But do potential buyers come to you and ask you to find their ideal boat for them? That was the case then but I am sure it is not today. Buyers do their own search and call up the listing broker for more details and schedule a visit, right? That is what is maddening to me about Yachtworld’s horrible search tools, it is now used by the guys who buy the boats. Why can’t it be more user friendly.

That change in shopping habits puts the listing broker more in charge of his own listings, right? Twenty years ago our brokerage firm sold maybe 60-70% of our own listings. Now I suspect it is 80-90%.

Back twenty years ago, YBAA tried to establish its own search tool. It failed. I hope it makes a comeback and drives Yachtworld out of business.

David
 
This downgrade of YW occurred after my 2022 purchase, but why?
Even then my pet peev with the site was when you pressed + on pictures they became smaller.

Since this thread started I looked and saw what was being discussed. Just before posting went to YW and find it is as it was before. Maybe the dumb down was site under construction?
 
Since this thread started I looked and saw what was being discussed. Just before posting went to YW and find it is as it was before. Maybe the dumb down was site under construction?

After seeing SteveK's post, I returned just now to YW and used "Advanced Search" to find Downeast style power boats within a certain range of lengths and price. There is still no option to search for listings by the number of engines. The "radius" option is helpful, although YW does not seem to want me to tell it where to anchor the radius - they are confident they know where I am already and use their info to initialize my search radius. I don't particularly mind that they use my location data - no one can hide anymore, anyway. But it would be more efficient (for me) to manage the search geography myself. C'mon - these functionalities are old / low tech, and thus easy to program.

It seems clear that YW is cleverly pretending to be dumb, in the service of their site revenue. So good for them - it's a free market. Now, would some smart entrepreneur please exploit that economic freedom to compete with YW and win my business? I'd even consider a paid "subscribe-to-search" platform, which ought to be an extra-value proposition for listing yacht brokers as well as FSBOs ("for sale by owners").
 
@ Blissboat
I see what you mean, there are still choices not there. It is better for a local search and extends out 5000 miles or if you pick USA it will add areas Gulf coast, pacific northwest and west. Then states California, Mississippi, Oregon, WA

To me, this is still developing as I am sure there are boats in New York

ETA: Canada only has boats in Nanaimo British Columbia when I look for my current boat with one listing.
Here again it depends on the boat because when I do not input the boat of choice it lists 7 provinces
USA displays a lot of states, a lot of regions.

I suggest do not input the boat make model and work from there to see all boats in the area of choice
 
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Yachtworld is almost, but not quite, unless at this point. Clearly they hobbled it so you HAVE TO GO THRU A BROKER to do anything.

It's a shame but the brokers pay the bills. And, after all, free enterprise most likely paid for most of these boats!
 
Yachtworld is almost, but not quite, unless at this point. Clearly they hobbled it so you HAVE TO GO THRU A BROKER to do anything.

It's a shame but the brokers pay the bills. And, after all, free enterprise most likely paid for most of these boats!
you meant to say USELESS.
Regardless of whether they pay for the ad space it is still the buyer looking that needs to have easy access to search for what they want to buy. Then the broker who listed the boat will get a call.
Another thread however pointed out that in a hot market brokers are not replying to questions. I am just glad I found my boat before this **** show started with the new format.
 
As far as Yachtworld, my opinion is they are pricing themselves out of the market. Their constant price increases, including a 21% increase today, are forcing many brokers to stop doing business with Boats Group (Parent company) and are to the point where this eventuality seems to almost be an intentional business model. Most brokers are leaving Boats Group websites for yachtbroker.org and yachtr.com. These sites are owned by our industry.

If you are a buyer, please try to use yachtbroker.org and yachtr.com to search for boats for sale and let any broker you deal with know you use these websites. Finally, if you are a seller, please list your yacht or boat with a broker who uses these two websites.

Thanks for the reference to yachtr.com. I went to the yachtbroker.org site, and it re-directed me to yachtr.com. I like the search tools. Looks like quite a few listings, too.
 
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Neither of my browsers (Sarari and Chrome) will successfully navigate large photo collections on YW. I found that when available, the brokers websites are easier to navigate. Unfortunately, many brokers have ditched conventional websites for FB pages or simply a rerouting back to YW.
 
If one is really serious about buying a boat as opposed to just looking out of boredom, nothing beats shoe leather walking the docks. Every major marina area has several brokerage companies.

If you want a Nordhavn there are 3 good brokerages to peruse without ever going to YW. Ditto Fleming, OA, KK etc. Boating magazines list hundreds of boats for sale. Just for grins, I went to YW and saw several boats of interest with contact info for brokers. No problem getting more info for the serious buyer. YW is largely a teaser, eyes on and shoe leather are real.

How did we sell our last boat? Some guy knocked on the door and asked if we wanted to sell. Every boat is for sale, find a few you like and pursue them up front and personal. Education on boats and knowing what to look for obviates the need to browse YW.
 
If one is really serious about buying a boat as opposed to just looking out of boredom, nothing beats shoe leather walking the docks. Every major marina area has several brokerage companies.

If you want a Nordhavn there are 3 good brokerages to peruse without ever going to YW. Ditto Fleming, OA, KK etc. Boating magazines list hundreds of boats for sale. Just for grins, I went to YW and saw several boats of interest with contact info for brokers. No problem getting more info for the serious buyer. YW is largely a teaser, eyes on and shoe leather are real.

How did we sell our last boat? Some guy knocked on the door and asked if we wanted to sell. Every boat is for sale, find a few you like and pursue them up front and personal. Education on boats and knowing what to look for obviates the need to browse YW.

While I agree with you at one level, I think many buyers need help honing in on their target vessel - some mechanism that leads them to (perhaps) a Nordhavn/KK/Defever/etc.

For me, I occasionally peruse YW. We are on a lazy delivery to bring Weebles to her new home that will fit no larger than a 36 foot boat. Die is cast on that. And I don't see us becoming full time cruisers, but if we did, I wonder what boat it would be? The closest "perfect" boat I've been able to find is a N57, perhaps an N50. But I'd really like something more simple. I don't exactly know what that means so I sometimes search a bit. Simi60 seemed to have a good feel for what I might be swayed by. I'd probably post here in TF of the certain qualities I'd like in a next boat and let the power of crowd sourcing see if there's a needle in the haystack.

My point being is that if I landed on a N50 (or N57), I'd bypass YW and go straight to a broker and other Nordhavn owners. Even then YW is helpful - N57s varied quite a bit in configuration and not all have appeal to me (I very much like the asymmetric saloon layout). Good to see what's out there.

Yachtr.com site looks better than YW. Recent trend of being unable to view all photos without them shuffling quickly is especially annoying. But thanks for a new rabbit hole.

Peter
 
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