Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Online boat shopping
Any/all of the various listing sites are great for filtering out your likes and dislikes.. but no matter how good (or bad) the pictures are they are nothing like 'being there'.
The pro sites like Yachtworld seem quite current as to listings sold or under offer, CL and others require the seller to update or remove the ads so that's less certain. However a simple inquiry by phone or email will quickly sort that out.
Shop local if you can; at least withing easy driving distance. A friend had some very specific wants, and after discussions with brokers flew from BC to California and to the Great Lakes on the brokers' assurances, only to discover within minutes that the boat was not in the 'pristine' condition that was claimed. The pictures looked good, but......
That said, if you do narrow down to one or two specific designs you may have no choice but to buy at a distance, but obviously there are extra costs involved - inspection travel, 'remote' surveyor hiring, and ultimately transport/delivery time and money on top of that.
Finally, pay attention to where the boat was built.. North American built boats are duty free, Euro and Asian built boats will have near 10% duty attached if you end up importing (eg buying in Canada - where you get a good deal on your dollar). Many Beneteaus and Jeanneaus, for example, from the 80s/90s were built abroad.
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)