Prior to the emergence of mainstream internet sites like www.yachtworld.com
, searching & locating boats to fit a buyer's specific budget, tastes and desires may have been easier with the assistance of a broker. Today, if a prospective boat owner knows what he wants and has done the necessary research on potential problems with specific boats, I see no need to clutter up the process with a middle broker.
Before my last purchase, I knew exactly what model boat I wanted. This came after much research of various boat types and from my experience of owning several boats through the years. We located (4) NC33s - all along the east coast, and after contacting the 4 different listing brokers, arranged to inspect each one. Taking our time, this was an excellent education into the various layouts & conditions of available boats on the market.
We ended up buying the 5th Nauticat we saw and knew immediately it was the right one. The broker was of course representing his client's interests, but being the original US importer of Nauticats back in the '70s, he shared his wealth of knowledge with us and was very forthright with what to look for. This shared info has never proven to be one-sided, confirmed by my experience in viewing the 4 prior NC33s and after 18 months of ownership.
Of course, it is important to hire a highly qualified surveyor, knowledgable with the model boat you're buying, to represent you during the final inspection - AFTER an offer has been accepted by the seller & his listing broker. In my situation, the surveyor enabled me to reduce the offer by an additional $8,000.
Although my experience is probably a unique exception, I would think that if I had a middle broker working for me, my direct relationship with the listing broker would have been compromised.