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Old 06-16-2004
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Broker and buying a boat

I have not bought a sailboat before, although my wife and I have been sailing in various ways for 7 or 8 years. I have narrowed it down to Beneteau Firsts, especially 38s5s and possibly 33.7s. These are most likely to be purchased at some distance away, which requires trips and other arrangements.

I have the impression that sailboat brokers are like used-car dealers in the sense that they represent sellers of sailboats (not in the pejorative sense).

Some of the comments in this message board suggest that brokers are more like real estate agents -- a broker can work with a buyer. Possibly then they would be paid out of the proceeds of the sale?

I ask this question because I have met a broker in Charleston, SC who seems very straightforward and could be very helpful, but I am likely to buy a boat elsewhere and sail it or have it shipped to Charleston.

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Old 06-16-2004
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Broker and buying a boat

I generally prefer to work with a broker that lives in the City where I live or at least plan to bring the boat even when I am buying a boat that is quite far from my home. If you are familiar with a particular make and model, you can often get a marine surveyor to do a "first look survey" for far less than it would cost to fly to a boat and look for yourself.

Today, brokers can access listings all over the world, and have joint brokerage agreements with hundreds, if not thousands, of other brokers. Some brokers will act as a ''buyer''s broker'' being paid out of the sales commission, although even a buyer''s broker will has a bit of a conflict of interest.

By the way, I am a big fan of the First 38s5. Very nice boats. If you are interested a friend of mine has a very nice 38s5 for sale in Savannah, Ga. Please email me directly if you are interested and I will give you his email address so that you can contact him. (I am not a broker)


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Old 06-17-2004
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Broker and buying a boat


Thanks very much. I''ll talk with the broker when I go to Charleston this weekend. I''ll contact you offline about the boat in Savannah.

This will seem like an odd question, but I have read a fair number of your discussions over time, which are extremely informative and cogent.

I happened to read your discussion of your Farr 38 today. If you don''t mind my asking, other than the obvious ones of age and price, what do you see as advantages and disadvantages of a Farr 38 compared to a First 38s5?

I have been thinking through buying a sailboat for about two years but still feel like a babe in the woods. I know a lot more than I did before but there are very many things that I don''t know. I am impressed with what I can tell about the quality of Firsts and their handling, and my wife finds the accomodations on the 38s5 attractive.

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