Originally Posted by jimgo
TJC, in my case I did it "backward." I had a certain amount of "cash" and wasn't willing to finance. Most of the boats I was interested in were listed at 50-100% more than my budget. I was honest and up-front, told the seller what my limit was, but also reminded them that I had cash and there weren't any financing deals to fall through, conditions based on the sale of a current boat, etc. I always made the offer contingent on my review and a survey, and made it clear that I assumed there wouldn't be any unexpected surprises. Not everyone appreciated my approach (I was called names several times), but some appreciated the candor, and I actually visited several boats before settling on the one I bought.
Of course, that doesn't help the OP, but that's a separate issue...
Jimgo, excellent advice!!! The way to buy a boat. or, anything else for that matter! Be upfront about the money. Establish that you aren't a lowballer just out to squeeze the seller. And, remind the seller of any benefits you bring to the table. For instance- cash in hand!!!!