Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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As indicated above, it's quite difficult to do this without wasting some time and money.
Pictures can be deceptive, there's no real way of knowing how current they are, or for that matter if they are actually of the boat for sale. Brokers have a strong self interest so they are generally not terribly objective. We bought our boat a few hour's drive from home, but a friend did shop elsewhere and ended up flying to California and Chicago from Vancouver BC based on conversations with the brokers and assurances that this boat, indeed, was exactly what he was looking for and in GREAT condition. In both instances within 5 minutes he knew he'd wasted a trip. They ultimately bought a boat in WA.
Several others I know of have bought at a distance, even one member here bought a boat in Hawaii and shipped it to the PNW - but everyone has always made the personal trek to check it out.
If you can develop a good relationship with a broker of your own in the area of interest, they should be able to do some filtering for you for a modest fee.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)