Trying to purchase a boat is a joke!!

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GrandWood

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2022
Messages
140
It must be that there are a ton of looky loos out here, because I cant get a single broker that has a boat I’d be interested in to answer the most basic questions, I leave my email, my phone number and nothing.

I’m sure if I was sitting in Seattle looking at boats in person I might get a better response, but im currently in colorado, I’m not traveling clear to Seattle to look at a boat and with in 10 mins I’m not interested.

Just seems unbelievable that these so called brokers listing a boat, especially one that’s been for sale now over a year, don’t reply, is the market that good for old GB woodies?

Even private sellers don’t seem all that interested in answering questions, providing current pictures, or anything.

Why list a boat with pictures from 2020, and do you really expect to sell your boat with 10 pics, from days gone past. Just so freaking frustrating.

I’m to the point of just giving up on the dream of retiring to a live aboard, and buying a dang RV.

The whole boat purchasing scene is so lame I’m put off, and getting to the point I don’t trust anyone, it’s like there all hiding something trying to sell a POS.

:banghead::banghead::banghead:
 
I think it's shear laziness. For the past few years brokers haven't needed to do anything other than fill out purchase contracts. I think few sell even know how to "sell", and even in normal times most just sit around until a buyer hits them over the head. There are always exceptions, and I know some good brokers, but they are a significant minority.


You might do well with a buyers broker, but I'm not certain. If you are looking at GB woodies, we aren't taking about very high value boats, so there aren't a lot of commission $$ to go around. That's probably another reason why you aren't getting any attention. A broker will respond to inquiries about a $500k sunseeker long before before they will spend any time on a $50k listing.


You might need to line up a few boats in an area like Seattle and make a trip to see them. Or come spend a few days plunking yourself down in front of brokers.



Another thought would be to track down the owners of the boats and let them know that their broken has been unresponsive and ask them the questions directly. Finding the owners may be easier said than done, but worth at least considering.
 
I think it's shear laziness. For the past few years brokers haven't needed to do anything other than fill out purchase contracts. I think few sell even know how to "sell", and even in normal times most just sit around until a buyer hits them over the head. There are always exceptions, and I know some good brokers, but they are a significant minority.


You might do well with a buyers broker, but I'm not certain. If you are looking at GB woodies, we aren't taking about very high value boats, so there aren't a lot of commission $$ to go around. That's probably another reason why you aren't getting any attention. A broker will respond to inquiries about a $500k sunseeker long before before they will spend any time on a $50k listing.


You might need to line up a few boats in an area like Seattle and make a trip to see them. Or come spend a few days plunking yourself down in front of brokers.



Another thought would be to track down the owners of the boats and let them know that their broken has been unresponsive and ask them the questions directly. Finding the owners may be easier said than done, but worth at least considering.


Thank you for your response, and yes they do seem lazy.

I have been lining up boats to look at, and I’m prolly going to have to spend on a trip just to view them myself. I’ve been talking with a broker from Pop Yachts there in seattle, I’ve given him my wants, and I just keep getting sent glass boats that I have no interest in, thinking he might have connections on boats that aren’t listed but owners may be willing to sell.

I’ve asked a few brokers if would be possible to speak with owners and no response.

Thing is, and I tell them all I’m a cash buyer, I’m not loaded by any means, hence the small trawlers. I have in mind what I want and need in a boat, they just dont seem to pay attention to that.

Anyway, I’ve sold my place, need to be outta here by end of April, so I guess I’m going to need to make the trip.

Thanks again
 
Could it be that the boat is sold and the listing never removed.
 
You might need to line up a few boats in an area like Seattle and make a trip to see them. Or come spend a few days plunking yourself down in front of brokers.

This is what you need to do. Back in 2012 I emailed brokers in the Seattle area and said I am travelling from Australia and want to inspect that boat on this day at this time. I saw about 12. From memory all brokers responded, and only one was a bit late time-wise, but otherwise it went as I had planned. One broker suggested I look at a different boat than I had on my list. And that's the boat I ended up buying.

You might also check our TF Classified's. There is a woodie for listed for sale, and you can contact the owner directly.
 
I've rarely gotten much help from brokers, even in good times. Hard to get return calls or emails, and they rarely answer questions.


I've had the best luck writing to everyone that had the boat that I was interested in. You can often get this info on the state registration site, some states a little harder than others.



You might also post on boat wanted classifieds, here and other sites.



And, yes, the brokers are lazy now since they had such a run on the market over the last few years, but that's changing.
 
When we are shopping for a boat I don’t think too much making a trip for a boat that looks interesting. I have driven 13.5 hours each way during Covid to look at one. Another trip during Covid was only about 9 hours each way. I have flown from Tucson to Seattle, LA, Portland and some other places to look at a boat. I was in the airport in Las Vegas and my wife called me to reschedule my trip to Seattle, that is where I was headed, to go to LA to see a boat she found on the internet. I called the broker, he said the boat was still for sale, he was the listing broker and come to LA to see it. My wife changed all the travel arrangements and I went to LA. After looking at the boat I went to the brokers office to make an offer. I left the brokers office and was heading back to the marina to see if I could keep the slip. The broker called and said that the boat had been sold, sea trialed and surveyed. And he said he was the listing broker and he didn’t know any of this about the boat…. I drove to LAX and on the way I had my wife get me a flight to Seattle, book another hotel and rental car. Finally bought a boat in Tulalip, WA. Ran it down to LA that spring.
 
Here is my opinion.

1) Don't make initial contact via E-mail

2) Don't ask a bunch of questions via E-mail

3) Don't ask a bunch of questions via Phone.

Here is what gets the most success.

1) Call by Phone
2) Leave a voicemail with name, number, and a request to book a showing.
3) Follow-up with E-mail indicating that you called and left a voicemail. Include name, number, and a request to book a showing.

It's just a matter of numbers and inability to scale. The broker represents many boats. The brokerage represents many more boats than that. The broker, by and large, goes by what the owner tells them.

They will get basic details, but if you're going to ask things like "When was the last time 'xyz' service was done", that is going to require the broker call the owner...then most likely leave a voicemail message, wait for a reply and potentially have to follow-up a second time.

Now, imagine it takes 5 min. to go through new E-mails. So let's say they have 25 E-mails in the morning. That's a little over 2 hours. Now they take 5 minutes to call all 25 E-mails back, that is another 2 hrs. Now they take 15-20 min. to chase down info. on half of the calls (20*12.5 = 4.25 hrs. They are already 8.25 hrs into their day, they shown no boats and haven't even had lunch.

Yes, there are a lot of tire kickers out there. Don't act like one.
 
It must be that there are a ton of looky loos out here, because I cant get a single broker that has a boat I’d be interested in to answer the most basic questions, I leave my email, my phone number and nothing.

I’m sure if I was sitting in Seattle looking at boats in person I might get a better response, but im currently in colorado, I’m not traveling clear to Seattle to look at a boat and with in 10 mins I’m not interested.

Just seems unbelievable that these so called brokers listing a boat, especially one that’s been for sale now over a year, don’t reply, is the market that good for old GB woodies?

Even private sellers don’t seem all that interested in answering questions, providing current pictures, or anything.

Why list a boat with pictures from 2020, and do you really expect to sell your boat with 10 pics, from days gone past. Just so freaking frustrating.

I’m to the point of just giving up on the dream of retiring to a live aboard, and buying a dang RV.

The whole boat purchasing scene is so lame I’m put off, and getting to the point I don’t trust anyone, it’s like there all hiding something trying to sell a POS.

:banghead::banghead::banghead:

I can completely empathize...

I started out intending to buy a used boat, but ended up buying a new one because of the delightful experiences I had -

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s62/boat-buying-nightmares-63951.html
 
Don't feel bad I am in the Seattle area and didn't get a callback on a recent boat I was trying to go see. It's frustrating to need to chase a sales person. Here's a craigslist such that may be helpful to you. https://seattle.craigslist.org/sear...wler&search_distance=187#search=1~gallery~0~0 The search area goes from southern British Columbia down to Portland, OR which is all within a reasonable distance to relocate a boat to wherever your homeport in the Northwest will be.
 
Seattle


I’m to the point of just giving up on the dream of retiring to a live aboard, and buying a dang RV.
You've gotten some good input here on dealing with brokers.

I want to give you a heads up on where you seem to be headed. Seattle and live aboard. Live aboard moorage any where near Seattle, by that I mean most of western Washington, is very difficult to find. Waiting lists are often years long. Start your search now prior to boat purchase. The farther you get from Seattle the better your chances.
 
I am familiar with a lot of brokers in Seattle. A lot of them are friends. Now some of them are very good brokers and not so good friends. Some of them are good friends but they are really bad as brokers. a few are good friends and good brokers.

Now, all the good brokers are good and they make good money. Over the last 10 years these brokers have all figured out that the work involved is the same whether the boat costs $50,000 or $500,000. Obviously the good ones wont accept boats that are under $250,000 or have unrealistic sellers.

This makes dealing in the Sub $100,000 range really difficult. First there are a lot more flakes shopping for sub $100,000 boats. This is hard on brokers. Second, the percentage of poor brokers dealing in the sub $100,000 market is extremely high.

I normally recommend using buyer brokers but in the sub $100,000 market I have no one to recommend. Thus, I don't believe a buyer's broker is going to help you.

Given the OP's position I believe Shrew has given some pretty good advice. Most the posters have been right on with their comments as well.
 
I missed the live aboard comment. If you mention live aboard to a broker the conversation is probably over. Live aboard is a red flag, means there will be financing issues and moorage issues and the deal will most likely fall apart. Why bother working a deal that looks dead before it starts.
 
My wife and I have a boat advertised in the TF Boats For Sale section. We recently listed it with a broker because of some personal health issues (we are in Texas...the boat is on the Great Lakes). Tiltrider 1 summed it up well. With high dollar boats in the broker's inventory, I don't expect much from them. So, if anyone is truly interested in the boat....PM me or email me at bittersc@netzero.net before contacting the brokerage! (Bitter SC was a limited production German sports car...I'm not bitter...yet!). I've already been through one failed deal fiasco via the brokerage.
 
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After a life of surveying and working with and around brokers let me add a little bit about what it may look like from their side. Now understand there are brokers and just plain car salesmen wearing Sperry Topsiders . Fewer and fewer knowledgeable brokers are available these days to satisfy this wave of ‘Baby Boomers’ with portfolio cash looking for hideaways. To the really top shelf knowledgable brokers the most frustrating element of this buying/shopping environment is dealing with customers who have no idea what they want. People, new wealth, who want attention and preference because they now have some loot and really don’t understand that good brokers only work for, and always have, those with money. Tire kickers thinking a couple days looking at yachts asking volumes of elementary questions is like free tuition. It’s fun and doesn’t cost anything except the brokers time.

You know I really like that steering wheel upstairs.
 
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I missed the live aboard comment. If you mention live aboard to a broker the conversation is probably over. Live aboard is a red flag, means there will be financing issues and moorage issues and the deal will most likely fall apart. Why bother working a deal that looks dead before it starts.

True.

The boat we bought had a contract that fell through. Momma was gonna buy the boat for sonny to live on.

No go, didn't work, waste of time.
 
I missed the live aboard comment. If you mention live aboard to a broker the conversation is probably over. Live aboard is a red flag, means there will be financing issues and moorage issues and the deal will most likely fall apart. Why bother working a deal that looks dead before it starts.
It seems that a buyer should limit a personal explanation, like liveaboard, like I have a boat to sell. Seems the past few years were good to brokers and now they will just deal with the cream of buyers. They are no longer salespeople, they are order takers.

I also agree with the comments that under 100K boat buyers no longer produce a broker paycheck of interest.
Then there are buyers that do not want to deal with owners direct and ignore sources like Craig list and expect to find an under $100K boat on Yachtworld. Brokers cannot justify the cost to advertise against the sale commission.
 
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Wow, thank you guys so much, really opened my eyes, I have zero experience in the boat world. I owned a 29 ft day cruiser on lake mead in Vegas, and bought off a friend that needed cash at the time, so it was, I paid him he gave me the title, very easy.

The process for ocean going cruiser with brokers and surveys and whatever else I run into is another world. And I’m taking my time reading researching as I go, seem to learn something new everyday. Just seems kinda sketchy, and for sure don’t want to end up with a money pit right off the bat. So bit hesitant as well.

I’m not scared of working on one, I’ve rebuilt many gas V8s, built many hot rods over the years, have experience with diesels as I was a heavy equipment operator for many years. Can do carpentry, plumbing and so forth. It’s the cost of just about anything to do with marine items that scares me.

I’m on a limited budget, 50k or less to aquire a boat, just fuel tank replacement gets spendy. Sanding/painting not that hard.

Plans for the boat, is to live aboard on the hook, visit a marina for pump outs, fuel and supplies, anchored out and dingy in to shore. I do not want to buy a boat and be tied up to a dock, that’s not what I’m interested in, I want to finish out my days living on the water and taking advantage of all the food available from the sea and coast lines.

Just looking for the right ones, good range, and set up to say on for long periods of time. Solid hull with good engines, pretty I can make happen as I live on it.

There’s 3 to 4 currently up in the Seattle/ SanJuan area and one in San Diego that fit the bill, and I’ve been looking for over a year now and interesting ones come and go, so I’m pretty sure I can get what I need, I have needed to wait until the home sold to make it all happen.

We’re looking local here right now for a classC RV for my wife, as she’s not interested in boat life. I’ll be on the boat with my son. So once she’s squared away I can head out on my own to the PNW.

I think I’ll try and find a good boat guy to tag along with me and point out items on the boats I look at.

Thanks again
 
All good reasons why a broker might not want to work with someone but,whatever happened to the short "Thanks for you inquiry but I am unable to assist" reply.

One day the OP might be back buying a $$$$ boat.
 
.....
I was in the airport in Las Vegas and my wife called me to reschedule my trip to Seattle, that is where I was headed, to go to LA to see a boat she found on the internet. I called the broker, he said the boat was still for sale, he was the listing broker and come to LA to see it. My wife changed all the travel arrangements and I went to LA. After looking at the boat I went to the brokers office to make an offer. I left the brokers office and was heading back to the marina to see if I could keep the slip. The broker called and said that the boat had been sold, sea trialed and surveyed. And he said he was the listing broker and he didn’t know any of this about the boat
….

What the heck.... Really?? I woulda been hopping mad :mad::mad::nonono:
 
If you are looking for an under 50 grand live aboard do the Craig's list thing.
 
GrandWood, If you're looking for a Grand Banks woodie in the PNW look no further https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1157704&postcount=1

If I were looking for a permanent live aboard year round on the hook I'd want something more substantial than a yacht. Even as nice a yacht as a Grand Banks.

Maybe something like this 48 foot liveaboard for sale - $48,000
or if you can learn to like the appearance
41 ft Canoe Cove Power - $52,000

In addition to all the generally boaty stuff for year round on the hook I'd want

  • Lots of fresh water tankage. You don't want to be searching out a dock every few days for water
  • Substantial holding tank. Same idea.
  • A good generator. You'll need it each and every day.
  • Generous cold / frozen food storage. One of the many reasons you want a generator.
  • Heat. Good high performance heat. There's that generator again.
  • Skookum ground tackle with a work boat style anchor winch. Expect winter winds routinely 25 + knots with occasional up to 50 knots and higher.
  • A good skiff, not a 13' RIB to get yourself and your son ashore frequently. Who wants to be docking the big boat every day for exercise, room to wander and to run errands?
  • A water maker would be nice but you will still be limited by holding tank capacity.
It's gonna take more than a yacht to meet that list.

In addition to Craigslist check out Pacific Boat Brokers every once in a while a real gem shows up there.

And dig around on the Govt surplus sites. Good finds there are even more rare but when they pop up you can't find anything better. This one, Clifford A Barnes sold a few years back in the $30K range. A helluva solid boat, the ex USCG WYTL Bitt.
 
Wow, in the future I may be in a similar situation.
Do not want a wood hull.
Do not want to live on it. Well maybe months in a row. Just not full time.
No financing
Likely will spend $100K or just over that

I did not think the process would be as difficult as posted here.

Action
 
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All good reasons why a broker might not want to work with someone but,whatever happened to the short "Thanks for you inquiry but I am unable to assist" reply.

One day the OP might be back buying a $$$$ boat.

A good broker would answer his call or at the least call back. Unfortunately, OP is shopping at a level that is dominated by bad brokers.
 
Plans for the boat, is to live aboard on the hook, visit a marina for pump outs, fuel and supplies, anchored out and dingy in to shore. I do not want to buy a boat and be tied up to a dock, that’s not what I’m interested in, I want to finish out my days living on the water and taking advantage of all the food available from the sea and coast lines.

Just looking for the right ones, good range, and set up to say on for long periods of time. Solid hull with good engines, pretty I can make happen as I live on it.


Thanks again

In my opinion you have an unrealistic expectation of boating in the PNW. It is one thing to live on the hook during the summer. It is a whole different world in the winter and I am mostly referring to wind and seas. Then there is the eating from the sea. Fishing, crabbing and claiming are highly restricted and can only be done in short seasons. Finally there is almost no ability to anchor anywhere near the services you will require to refurbish a classic boat.

I am going to recommend you do more research on what year round boating is like in the PNW.

Now if your plan is to be a summer time liveaboard and then store your boat on the hard in Anacortes for the winter while you move south, that is a much more doable plan.
 
I am going to recommend you do more research on what year round boating is like in the PNW.

Now if your plan is to be a summer time liveaboard and then store your boat on the hard in Anacortes for the winter while you move south, that is a much more doable plan.

This is excellent advice. Storage of a boat on the hard in Anacortes is pretty reasonable and available. Our boat was stored that way and I can tell you that during the winter I was happy to not be on the water and be in my home in SoCal. If a nice weather window opens up at some point, take a quick flight up and have them splash the boat and enjoy, then back on the hard to wait out more bad weather. Best of both worlds.
 
The other option is subleasing a slip during the winter months.

Good luck on your boat shopping. It took us about a year from deciding to buy a boat to actually buying one. We just bought off of Facebook, person to person deal.
 
Thanks again for the great responses and PMs, you guys have been so helpful.

Full time on the boat year round is the plan, no option to live on land as I won’t have a home anymore and don’t want to live in the wife’s RV. My plan is to go south the first few seasons to the SF Bay Area, in the back waters until I’m confident to go to San Diego and further south even to mexico, and yes I understand awaiting a good weather window to move, all movements will be on calm seas and land in sight, hehe. Fair weather cruiser.

Summer along the inside passage staying in the fiords all along the coast, so many places to explore. As for foraging from what I’ve read a Canadian fishing license covers gathering gooseneck barnacles, prawns, crabs recreationally year round, along with fishing. Within the coastal forests there is a abundance of edibles greens, let alone the varieties of seaweed, berries, mushrooms. Anchored for a week there’s plenty of time for foraging. I follow MV Skookum, and they do t seem to have a problem eating off the sea.

Gooseneck barnacles and urchin are in abundance as well and you don’t have to worry with the barnacles as they are a single valve animal and don’t become toxic as clams, mussels will. And I know there are areas marked not to harvest in those areas. There are many varieties of seaweed to eat, which I enjoy very much, spending my childhood in Japan and the Philippines. 100 lb sack of rice as well as beans on board I think I’ll do fine. Seaweed has 6 times the vitamins and minerals of your avg garden vegetable.

As for maintenance, most every boat I’ve seen is due a bottom paint, which after sea trial part of the survey gets hauled out to check the bottom, I’ll put it on the hard get the bottom and hull painted up to the bulwarks, and topsides done on the hook later. Seems there’s plenty of places throughout the San Juan’s, British Columbia, and Seattle to go to when needed.

Yes, best laid plans don’t always work the way you anticipate, so just adapt and make it work. For me it’s going to be a whole change in life style, all new and exciting, a whole new leaning experience and I look forward to the challenge. What better way to end your days.
 
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GrandWood, If you're looking for a Grand Banks woodie in the PNW look no further https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1157704&postcount=1

If I were looking for a permanent live aboard year round on the hook I'd want something more substantial than a yacht. Even as nice a yacht as a Grand Banks.

Maybe something like this 48 foot liveaboard for sale - $48,000
or if you can learn to like the appearance
41 ft Canoe Cove Power - $52,000

In addition to all the generally boaty stuff for year round on the hook I'd want

  • Lots of fresh water tankage. You don't want to be searching out a dock every few days for water
  • Substantial holding tank. Same idea.
  • A good generator. You'll need it each and every day.
  • Generous cold / frozen food storage. One of the many reasons you want a generator.
  • Heat. Good high performance heat. There's that generator again.
  • Skookum ground tackle with a work boat style anchor winch. Expect winter winds routinely 25 + knots with occasional up to 50 knots and higher.
  • A good skiff, not a 13' RIB to get yourself and your son ashore frequently. Who wants to be docking the big boat every day for exercise, room to wander and to run errands?
  • A water maker would be nice but you will still be limited by holding tank capacity.
It's gonna take more than a yacht to meet that list.

In addition to Craigslist check out Pacific Boat Brokers every once in a while a real gem shows up there.

And dig around on the Govt surplus sites. Good finds there are even more rare but when they pop up you can't find anything better. This one, Clifford A Barnes sold a few years back in the $30K range. A helluva solid boat, the ex USCG WYTL Bitt.

Thank you for taking the time to post, I have been messaging with Steve on his GB36 linked above and it’s one on my list.

The Tug linked above is in my mind a beauty, and inline with my budget, I really like it, with the woodies it’s the nostalgia that attracts me, the lines of the boat, old school trawler, tugs were so far out of my budget I wasn’t considering um, the one linked is so nice, and he has left his number in the listing and will ring him up today at some point, like to get some interior pics to see the lay out, which is why I like the GBs so much. They take advantage of the space really well.

Thanks again
 

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