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Old 01-13-2009
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Cool My Secrets to Smart Boat Buying

O.K., so you have looked at your 100 prospective boats. You have already found the slip where the boat is going right? You have picked 10 boats that are candidates, and then further narrowed that down to 5. You’re ready to call and make some offers.

Step 1 - Get into the “Zone”

Now, what you will read here is based on the fact that you want all of these boats, but will of course, only buy one. This assumes you have no issue with making multiple unofficial offers at the same time, and then only accepting the best deal and backing out of the rest.

Example: “If I were to make a serious offer of X $ cash, would we be doing business. That offer, of course would be accompanied by a non refundable deposit based on You being able to produce a clear title, and you putting in writing the items (if any) you promised.” This, in my opinion, is the best way to buy any large ticket item.

Like a shark circling a school of fish you are just making sure that you are not wasting your time, or the seller is not at a figure that doesn’t have a chance of flying with you. Think of stacks of hundred dollar bills setting on the table. If you only are able to save one stack of hundreds, It is worth asking. In the end, the sellers should know NO boat is sold until a check comes through. Similarly, a seller needs to know that he has a serious buyer. (never make a final offer on a boat you haven’t looked at!) There is only one way to accomplish that. If you want to make unofficial offers one at a time, you are welcome to, but this article won’t apply to you. But note, you should ONLY ever make an offer (with a deposit) on a boat when you have money to back it up and you would be willing to take the deal. Don’t waste anyone’s time… the seller has a life too, and while they may enjoy talking about their boat and showing it, they are doing so because they have to to sell it, most likely not because they want to make new friends to chat about boats with.

Step 2 - Make the Offer

So now you’re ready. Make steal-of-the-century type offers on all of them.

Several of your unofficial offers (Remember don’t fall into a trap and agree that you will buy any boat if your first unofficial offer is accepted) You are merely politely “WOODJATAKING” (would-ya-take-ing) the owners to determine where their bottom line is. Sort of like poking a snake with a stick. If any of your unofficial, hat in hand, offers have been been unofficially accepted, the game is getting serious.

If one boat in particular appears to be the one, be polite enough to diffuse the close contenders, at least temporarily by phone. Putting them on hold will hopefully keep the door open in case the one with the most potential gets away from you. I can’t tell you which boat is best for you, You will need to make the final decision based on the judging points you feel are most important. Hopefully some articles here on sailingandboatingadvice.com will help you choose.

If you are starting at an affordable level, you can learn from this stepping stone boat. If you are buying right, you can sell right and step up to a bigger better boat… without financial disaster! Sleep on your final decision. Then get your checkbook out and do the deed. Once you’ve made the commitment, don’t think about it - you’ve researched the market, you’ve decided on the boat you want - subject to a survey, and sea trial if needed - buy the boat and be happy!

Step 3 - Financing and Other Considerations

If your purchase depends on financing, have your financing pre-approved and move quickly. You may be trying to get financing, and another buyer may come along with the cash and steal it if you can’t move quick enough. If you have significant other, I can only advise you to do whatever you do with other big money decisions. When it comes to toys, I am a “Damn the torpedoes!” type of guy, so when I make my decisions, if the amounts of money they and their upkeep and maintenance represent is not a major threat to my financial well being, and if I can do it with cash, and if it is with funds that have been generated from some other toy I have bought and sold (recently). I figure, why not take a chance? If I don’t like it, I can always just sell it. Even if I donate this thing to a non profit, how bad can it hurt me?

On the other hand if I have a significant other, I don’t need the aggravation of daily reminders of my stupidity… so when you get ready to buy, only you know whether this thing will use funds that entitle your spouse (if you have one) to blast you daily about your selfish deed.

Step 4 - The Final Step - Move Quickly and Notes

Buy the boat. Get the title. Take immediate possession and put it in a slip. Insure it and do all of the necessary paperwork. Or if you’re lucky, it works for you to simply assume the slip that the boat is currently sitting in. Do an immediate checklist of everything that needs to be fixed. This is because the things that are fresh in your mind as “issues” will begin to fade as you become more comfortable with the boat. Obvious things that are broken may not, but it helps to have everything in a list. Once this is done, relax a little. You’ve taken possession. She’s yours… and it’s the start of a long passage to far off places, exploration of near by wonders, afternoon beer can races, or maybe, a short term until you find another boat. That’s one of the great joys of buying a boat - she’ll take you anywhere or maybe she’s not for you - let your mind race and enjoy the journey!

Anyone have any thoughts to add?
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Last edited by CaptainFredGreenfield; 01-13-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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