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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My wife and I are looking for our first boat - 30ish foot family cruiser, and we think it will probably make sense to get some help from a broker. We live in southern Rhode Island, and we'd appreciate any recommendations or advice.

Thanks!
 

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I just bought a 1978 Bristol 29.9 from Ken Hilton of Standish Boat Yard in Tiverton, RI.

He made the process very easy for me.

FYI the Bristol 29.9 is a 30ish family cruiser; I think they are great.
 

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I worked the Mark Edwards of Cape Yachts last spring to purchase my boat. I found Mark to be a extremely helpful. With his experience working for a boat builder for many years, he also provided some great insight into the various options. Good luck wih your boat search.
 

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I'm not going to post my guy, as I've been hearing some real mixed feedback about him lately. It's now been years, since I actually used him, but the trades in the area all seem to have a problem. Not sure it's legit or not, because I find most of the trades in the area to be awful too, but enough that I'm not going to take the chance.

As for advice, understand these guys almost exclusively work for the seller. They can be very helpful, some are more honest than others.

One strategy I've always liked is this. If you have a brand that you like and it's still made, see if the nearest dealer has a used broker on their staff. Sure, they'll first want to see what they have, but they often know every boat available and more about them than you would ever know. If you have a couple of brands, it's okay to make it clear that you are working with them on only brand X.

However, do not use multiple brokers without disclosure. They can and often do put a significant amount of time into finding you a boat. If you then buy through another, or they sense their odds are low with you, your calls will not be returned. You become a waste of their time. They do need to make a living and return calls to better prospects first.
 
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We had a good experience when buying from the PO through his broker - John Osetek at Boatworks Yacht Sales.
I would second Joe's recommednation of John, we bought through him last year and I felt he was a fair and reasonable guy to work with, seems to know the area coastal cruising market well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After talking to a few people, I went with Dave McKenney of Brewer Yacht Sales in Wickford. Dave's been very helpful, and my wife and I are looking forward to enjoying the Sabre 30-3 that we just purchased.

The only comment I would offer the group is that Glenn Walters of Bluenose immediately lost interest in us when it became clear we were planning to keep the purchase under $40k. He seemed like a nice and knowledgeable fellow, but he's apparently not interested in our end of the boat market.

Now... I'm heading over to the "Gear and Maintenance" area to get a few pointers on some of the little problems that need to be addressed with our old boat.

Enjoy the day.
 

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After talking to a few people, I went with Dave McKenney of Brewer Yacht Sales in Wickford. Dave's been very helpful, and my wife and I are looking forward to enjoying the Sabre 30-3 that we just purchased.

The only comment I would offer the group is that Glenn Walters of Bluenose immediately lost interest in us when it became clear we were planning to keep the purchase under $40k. He seemed like a nice and knowledgeable fellow, but he's apparently not interested in our end of the boat market.

Now... I'm heading over to the "Gear and Maintenance" area to get a few pointers on some of the little problems that need to be addressed with our old boat.

Enjoy the day.
Congrats gdr. Where are you going to keep her?
 

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The only comment I would offer the group is that Glenn Walters of Bluenose immediately lost interest in us when it became clear we were planning to keep the purchase under $40k. He seemed like a nice and knowledgeable fellow, but he's apparently not interested in our end of the boat market.
The 6% selling side of the commission on a 40k sale is $2,400 of which the broker gets half or $1,200.

$1,200 doesn't allow for a lot of time or travel for the broker who pays all of his own expenses so, there is just not enough there unless it is quick and nearby.

Congratulations on your purchase.
 

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The 6% selling side of the commission on a 40k sale is $2,400 of which the broker gets half or $1,200.

$1,200 doesn't allow for a lot of time or travel for the broker who pays all of his own expenses so, there is just not enough there unless it is quick and nearby.
That's true, but some (smart) brokers realize that the buyer may well want to buy another, bigger and more expensive boat in a few years. Or has friends who will want a recommendation of a good broker. These brokers take the long view of how to make $.
 

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That's true, but some (smart) brokers realize that the buyer may well want to buy another, bigger and more expensive boat in a few years. Or has friends who will want a recommendation of a good broker. These brokers take the long view of how to make $.
Sounds great and maybe sometimes even happens.
 

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Sounds great and maybe sometimes even happens.
Maybe it's rare. I don't know. All I know is that the broker who sold my last boat worked really hard to sell a relatively inexpensive boat. He treated me like my boat's value (and his commission) was 10X what it actually was. As a result, I have recommended him and his company to several others. And when I go to buy my next boat, I'll call him first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've already recommended Dave to two friends - one in the market now and one considering it. I'll also come back to him if I decide I want a different boat. He's been great, and I appreciate his time.

Also - I'm not convinced that Dave got a bad deal for the commission that he's earned from my purchase. I did a lot of the legwork on my own after Dave spent some time educating me on what to look for. He helped out with the survey, and has been great with the paperwork, advising me on various maintenance / repair issues and connecting me with some professionals in the area.

All-in-all, I think it was a win for everyone involved.
 
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