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Willsail 03-22-2007 01:27 PM

Broker, Broker, where are you?
Can anyone recommend a broker that at least returns phone calls, or simpler yet, responds to emails on their own weblink.
I'm in the market for a 47-55 foot 3 cabin cruising sailboat. I've emailed through the most popular yacht sales websites, requesting additional info regarding several sailboats, and to date have received zip. Over 2 weeks have passed.
I then took it upon myself to phone these brokers on a few of the particular boats, only to leave a message on an answering service. None called back.
On the one occasion where I actually chatted with a broker, he stated he couldn't chat right then but I should call him back.
Call him back.
These brokerages ranged from Annapolis to Florida, and beyond.
I know this isn't a Little Harbor 50 for 700,000.00, but it's still a fair purchase.
I've owned a 32, and 41 foot sailboat before, and in both cases, never used a broker before, and again probably won't again.
What I would be cheesed at, is if I were the owners having listed with these
firms, I'd be choked that a serious buyer was being ignored.

Just for the record, I'm looking for a Hylas 47,51, Tayana 52,55, or Mason 53, or similar style of boat. If you're a serious seller, I'm a serious buyer!
Center cockpit preferred.

TrueBlue 03-22-2007 02:04 PM

Search for the boats you like at , make a short list and call/email each broker. You will have a much greater chance of a return call from the seller's broker, than finding an agent who co-brokes.

camaraderie 03-22-2007 02:25 PM had the typical broker experience. So many are jaded sloths.
I found a couple of good ones when I was out looking for my T52 but it is about a 10:1 ratio IMHO.
PS...aside from the Tayana...I looked at the same boat models before I found mine. A couple of others to suggest...Passport (older) and Tashiba and Moody.

sailingdog 03-22-2007 06:17 PM

It would help if you said where you were.... then someone might be able to recommend a good broker that you could use as a buyer's broker... Generally, the seller is the one who pays the broker, and if there is a buyer's broker, he is paid part of the broker's cut of the sale price.

Willsail 03-22-2007 06:59 PM

Sailing Dog
Sorry if I didn't clarify. I was trying to access information on those boats through the listing brokers via their own websites. I'd picked them off of Yachtworld.
That's why I found it startling that they didn't reply.
Same thing when I made the phone calls, direct to the listing broker.

I have since been in contact with a local broker that would act as a buyers agent, but he wants a cut as well.
Never bought a boat this way before.
I was fortunate when I bought and sold my previous boats that they were in great condition when I bought and sold, and buyers just sort of showed up.

I used to cruise BC waters, and there was a wide selection of boats locally.
Presently I'm in Nova Scotia, and the type of boat I'm now looking for is almost non existent. I have to go to the US for any selection.

Before I make the rounds, I'd like to qualify the boats that fit the bill to avoid too many destinations, thus travel costs.

In summary, everything I'm doing is preliminary right now, but with brokers, even simple emails, or return phone calls are a challenge.

PS.Camarderie, I have looked at the Passports as well. Nice boats.

sailingdog 03-22-2007 07:26 PM

Lazy sods... it's a pity that they don't work for the money they make on the sale of the boats.. You might want to try a broker down here to act as a buyer's broker, rather than one up there.

Does anyone have a broker recommendation for Willsail in either Annapolis or Newport? I chose those two areas due to the number of sailboats in them.

captlar 03-22-2007 07:33 PM

Since you are doing a "long distance" purchase (none available in your area), a buyer's broker may not be much help. They would split the commission so they are less likely to hear back from the listing broker than you. Long distance buy is tough. I have tried it and learned that, before you travel, you want a local surveyor to take a prelim look. I have done this a few times and for $100 had an independent (not recommended by broker) surveyor do a first pass.

I am really surprised that listing brokers are not responding. Certainly many are on vacation but a well run company would communicate that information. I do not typically ask for the listing broker, but ask for info on the boat. Many times I learn the boat is sold or off the market. I might also learn the broker quit or is out of town for 3 weeks. Many brokers will not waste their time calling a distant buyer ( low percentage of selling) to try and establish a connection. How many times have you gone to a broker to ask about a boat only to have him show you something completely different sitting at his dock ? Many are like car salesman - immediate gratification, no long term view. NE is unusual because we have a better bunch. IMO - they are knowledgeable salts with solid ethics. Try California or Florida if you really want some BS.

If you want to explore the buyer's broker option, you could consider one of the quality NE brokers in Maine or Mass. They can get it done, but they will need to believe you are a serious buyer with cash in hand. I can give you a few names if you like.

Sailormann 03-22-2007 08:39 PM

Call Bill Stevenson at Clift's Marine. He is the only one I have dealt with (out of 11 different brokers) that believes in earning his commission. They operate in Canada and the U.S.

His number is: 905-528-2628

(re above:...not that I have bought 11 boats through brokers, but dealt with 11 different ones looking for the one we just bought)

labatt 03-22-2007 09:16 PM

I have an absolutely amazing, completely wonderful broker who has helped me every step of the way. As a matter of fact, he will be helping me sail my boat from Annapolis to New York in a few weeks. He carries a Blackberry, always returns calls and is amazingly knowledgeable about boats from Beneteau's to Oysters. He had a lot of stressful jobs in life and now he's "retired" to being a broker. I should have paid him a whole lot more than he made off the sale of our Passport to us... He works nationally. Tell him Chris Labatt sent you. Contact info:

Bill Day
Martin Bird & Associates
Yacht Brokers
326 First Street
Annapolis, MD 21403
484-576-0804 cell
410-268-1086 office
410-268-0942 fax (replace _at_ with @) website

CharlieCobra 03-22-2007 09:32 PM

I haven't seen this behavior out here in Washington State thank god. These guys will jump through hoops to help you find a boat or view and sail one you're interested in.

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