Did I break boat buying etiquette? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 31 Old 06-04-2016 Thread Starter
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Did I break boat buying etiquette?

Sadly, the boat I had hoped to take over this month didn't pass her survey. There turned out to be more water in the hull than under it . I had a great surveyor who said he knew of another boat the same make and year. He even had me follow him to go see it. Great!

I arrive, check out the other boat and say, you know, not quite what I needed. However, the same boat yard has another one that I take a look inside and get very excited about! It really pulls at the heart strings and has a lot of what I was originally looking for. I come out to start tapping around the hull and look for deck problems, check the chain plates, check for water intrusion...the salesman tells me that I am not allowed to do any of that. He said "you can't afford this boat." Which was $10,000 more than the other one I just looked at costing $22k. My budget is $10k to $50k and the boat in question is listed at $33K. The guy knew nothing of my finances as we had just met.

I was told its highly unusual for someone looking at boats to be tapping around the deck and cabin with the end of a screwdriver (which my surveyor suggested I do before calling him to save me money). Am I in the wrong here? I thought I was being an analytical and informed buyer.

Very turned off by the yard and trying not to let the guy's attitude cause me to lose out on a potential find.
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post #2 of 31 Old 06-04-2016
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I'd want to say to the salesman, "Does the owner know that you're working so hard to discourage buyers this way?" Every forum I read has a guide on how to pre-survey a boat before calling the surveyor.

There is a discussion on this very site describing the tools a potential buyer should take to perform their own pre survey survey. It describes doing the same thing you were doing.

I'd also want to ask the salesman, "So what's wrong with this boat that you don't want me to discover?"

I would be inclined to contact the yard owner or manager or a different salesman and say, "I am very interested in a boat in your yard but I tried to look at it the other day and was discouraged from doing a close examination by one of your salesmen. What do I need to do to schedule a time to look at this boat and give it a close examination to determine if it's a boat I want to have my surveyor look at?"
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Last edited by midwesterner; 06-04-2016 at 06:00 PM.
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post #3 of 31 Old 06-04-2016
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

I am confused... you went inside a boat that was listed for sale without a salesman or the owner there? If so then you that would typically be frowned on, it's also illegal.

You then started banging on the hull, without discussing it with the salesman or owner? Again no, you can't just walk up to random boats and start hitting them.

Sure the boat may have had a sign on it, but it may still be there because the boats under contract, or just sold, or a long list of other things.


If you want to mess around with someone else's property then you need to call their rep and arrange for a time to do so.
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post #4 of 31 Old 06-04-2016
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

Well he does seem to indicate that a sales rep or broker of some sort was the one telling him not to tap around the boat so this point should be clarified.

Was the "salesman" who told you to back off someone in charge of selling both the boat you didn't want and the one that you were interested in? Were they the one who showed you aboard the "don't touch" boat? Or did you just see a "for sale" sign on the boat or at the marina office and go poking around on it without any appointment with the owner or their broker?
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post #5 of 31 Old 06-05-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

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Originally Posted by Skyeterrier View Post
Well he does seem to indicate that a sales rep or broker of some sort was the one telling him not to tap around the boat so this point should be clarified.

Was the "salesman" who told you to back off someone in charge of selling both the boat you didn't want and the one that you were interested in? Were they the one who showed you aboard the "don't touch" boat? Or did you just see a "for sale" sign on the boat or at the marina office and go poking around on it without any appointment with the owner or their broker?
To clarify the last two posts. All boats are locked in the yard and it is a brokerage; yes the salesman gave me the key and the boat was immediately outside the sales area or I wouldn't have bothered asking. He unlocked the cabin for me to go through the boat. I would never step on someone's property just because a for sale sign was on it. Our "altercation" began when I went to my car to grab a few things and returned to him locking it up. I would consider my interest peaked after the initial viewing of the cabin layout and instead of leaving and coming back another day, I decided to begin a pre-survey. The same salesman had also given me the keys for the other boat but didn't want to walk to the other end of the yard to assist. He simply pointed at it and told me the name of on the boat.

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-r...trip-tips.html
From this sticky thread over in the boat buying forum, I was basically doing what is in the list (minus a moisture meter). It looks as if I just found myself a bad salesman. Thankfully I know another guy in the same lot that I've talked to before so I'll be going back to him from now on.

Last edited by gigamanx; 06-05-2016 at 12:14 AM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 06-05-2016
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

Yeah, it seems like a poor broker who actively turns away a customer, especially telling them the boat is out of your reach financially (which might cause some to take offense), when then know nothing about your financial situation, and the price is only 10K above the other boat you were serious about.
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

So if a broker gave you the keys or permission to look it over, then it was the guy who tried to get you away from the boat that was being unprofessional. I would get in touch with his boss and complain.

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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

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Originally Posted by Skyeterrier View Post
which might cause some to take offense
My blood was boiling. I wanted to flip him off and say I'll never step on this land again, thanks for making the decision easy for me.

My wits told me to hold off until the adrenaline calmed me down and I could think clearly about what I was there for. I wasn't there to make the salesman happy, I was there to find my family the perfect boat for us.

Rule #1 of selling, don't tell someone what they can or can't afford.
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post #9 of 31 Old 06-05-2016
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

I was at a Honda dealership in my work clothes, salesperson would not give me an all in price on a new CBR600. Pulled into the Honda dealership 2 days later on a brand new Kawasaki ZX6r, found the salesman and showed him the receipt for my new bike I paid cash for....
Asked to talk to the owner, told him what happened, showed him the receipt for my Kawi - fired the salesman with me still in the store.
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post #10 of 31 Old 06-06-2016
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Re: Did I break boat buying etiquette?

Agreed with all the above. If you're that interested in the boat I'd climb the chain of command in a heartbeat. I can't believe that business selling $30k yachts is so good that they are happy to run off people who are actively looking to buy.

If you decide to buy it, deal with a different agent and give him the "Pretty Woman" movie treatment..."Do you work on commission? Big mistake. Huge."

If it turns out the douchebag IS the management, read the registration and track down the owner, then go direct. I would never advocate that outside of situations like this, but if that guy owns the brokerage or something, I'd cut him out in a second. It's obvious he's not doing the boat owner any service.

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