"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Skip Gundlac » Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:14:14


Howdy...

I'm in the next stage of our boat search, with very encouraging results.
We've found several boats which work for us; the next step is to continue
with the trip(s) to the rest of the close to 200 candidates identified in
this last research.  I'll expand on that in a separate post.

However, on the subject of the Chesapeake Bay portion of this search
segment:

Just a followup to my original message of a couple of weeks ago.

Quick synopsis of before:  I'd been led to believe (mistakenly) that I
might have to go to each individual broker in the Chesapeake Bay area in
order to look at the boats I'd selected.  By way of background, I'm out
looking while my wife stays in the salt mines; I start with a thoroughly
researched list, and when I'm on a boat, I take detailed notes on the
YachtWorld listing page that I've printed out for the purpose, in order
to keep the large number of boats I've seen straight.  I also video,
along with write a 6-page report on, those I think are good candidates
for purchase, in order to back up the notes with visual observations
when I'm bringing the results home...  Following the original post of
this title, I received some recommendations of brokers, one of which was
duplicated, so that's the broker I selected.

I called the office.  The recommended broker was not available at the
time, "but I'm his partner" was.  "We work together."  Of course...

Sure enough, when I identified what I had in mind (seeing all the boats
in the area around Annapolis and the Eastern Shore, with my prepared
list), the partner asked me a few questions about what our sailing
objectives were, and reassured me that they'd eagerly work with me,
including the weekend in between when I arrived and before I expected to
have finished the list.  By agreement, I sent him the spreadsheet of the
listings in which I had an interest.

On arrival, we reviewed my list.  He (the partner with whom I was to
work) had cut it in less than half based on assumptions which he'd made;
we succeeded in restoring most of it after discussion which revealed the
inadvisability of the assumptions.  He also observed that for some of
the further boats, he'd 'send me off on my own with a ham sandwich' and
directions and setting up the showing with the other broker.  I found
that reasonable, given the couple of far-flung instances.

So, we set to work on Wednesday morning (he never could be there earlier
than 9:30).  One of the boats on my list had just had an offer accepted,
and a survey done, and a counter offer made.  He agreed that we should
still see this boat, which we did, in the pouring rain, as one never
knows what will happen to a deal in process.  It was one in which I did
a video and writeup (the following day, when there was some sunshine!).
That's something I'd not do unless I would consider purchase of that
type of boat, even if that one were to be sold, and I do it in order to
document not only a specific boat, but a boat type, since we're still
trying to find a boat I can fit on.  Since he knew that I didn't video
anything which wasn't a potential for purchase, and I'd done a couple of
other video and reports, I expect he felt he had a "live one".  However,
I sensed a growing irritation that I'd not made an offer on this boat.
Since there was an active, accepted contract in place, even if I'd been
moved to make an offer, I felt that I was not in a position to do so
until the buyer asked for his deposit to be returned.  For what it's
worth, the buyer was still actively pursuing the boat's purchase through
my departure from the area nearly a week later.  Despite that, he
actively (politely stated) solicited a contract from me for that boat.

In any event, Friday afternoon arrived, and after we'd arrived back in
the office to review our progress, the partner announced, in effect
(paraphrased), "I've shown you the best boat for you" (the one with the
contract in place). "If you don't buy that boat, I don't have any use
for you.  Just go ahead and go direct on the rest of the boats.  If you
want to see the rest of these in Annapolis, you're an idiot.  You can go
direct on those.  I don't want to go to the Eastern Shore, so just go
ahead and see *those* on your own.  Call me on Monday and let me know
how you made out.  Maybe we can see the XXX then."  (The XXX is another
boat which had a sistership in horrible condition, but which appeared
might work for us, so he'd apparently felt there was some merit to
keeping that one open.)

Well, you can (if you realize it's Friday night and no arrangements with
any other brokers have been made!) imagine I was not a very happy camper
at that point.  I'm faced with sitting in a hotel, trying to find
brokers to talk to, on a Saturday morning, when, if they *do* come in,
it's usually not until 10 or later.  Never mind what might be the end
result on Sunday, with no prior commitments to meet, nor that I'd
specifically covered this broker's willingness to work on the weekends
and cover the area involved, when making the selection of who to work
with...

So, as you might conclude, I'm not pleased with this broker (the partner
to the one I'd had two referrals into).  Given that I'm not one to point
fingers, I'll only say that if you want to know who it is, drop me a
line off-list.

Now for the good news, and a recommendation, including a couple of
stories: Scrambling as hard as I could to make it happen, one of the
listing sheets I'd made up had a broker who listed his cell phone as
part of the listing information. I reached him, and made arrangements to
see most of the boats on the Eastern Shore.  The others I managed to
track down on my own, not even involving a broker (they turned out to be
boats which would not work for us), by going to yards in which they were
placed (having had that information from the original broker, before he
pulled the plug).  The broker I worked with on the Eastern Shore, and
fervently wished I'd called to begin with, was Frank Gary, of Bristol
Yachts in Annapolis.  I found him to be totally professional in every
regard.  I later got to visit him in his Annapolis office, and while
there, noted that he was a past broker of the year.  I'm not
surprised...

In the course of working with him on the Eastern Shore, he explored our
objectives, budget, time frame, and all the other things a good
salesperson would do.  In addition to a professional appearance and
demeanor (definitely not the case with the prior), his objective (at
least as far as anything I could see, certainly) was to be the best
possible representative of the boats available, whether his or other
companies' listings, without in any way attempting to push or bend our
objectives, and offered two telling pieces of advice.  The first was
that I should absolutely not make an offer on any boat which didn't
reach out and grab me and not let go.  The second is that I should
ignore the price shown in making any offer.  He followed the second with
the observation that too many buyers had ignored his answer to their
"What do you think I should offer for this boat?" and offered far less -
with a resulting sale with no counter.  (In case it's not readily
apparent, this is *not* the presentation being made by the other
broker.)  Wow.  What a refreshing contrast!  Jumping out of time
sequence and ahead for a moment, that other broker did, indeed, show me
that other boat after the weekend.  However, when we parted later that
day, he made it very plain that he was entirely disgusted that I had not
bought a boat from him.  However, back to Frank:

So, we saw several boats in the weekend.  In addition to ones I'd
identified, he showed me several we'd not had on our list.  One of them
is on our "intense scrutiny" list - the very short list of boats we're
actively considering buying.  Beyond that, he did research which allowed
me to see additional boats the day following my departure from the first
broker.  *Those* were in Annapolis, and there was another boat which
he'd found (back!) on the Eastern Shore, to which he was quite happy to
take me, as well. However, since that one had a contract on it as well,
and the selling broker expected it to succeed, we decided to take a pass
on it.

Epilogue:  Monday, after our having worked together over the weekend, he
had an email in my box thanking me for the time and wishing me well.
Wednesday, after our working together again on Tuesday, he had another
email, just following up, wishing me well on my continuing search and
offering encouragement for the 1000 mile dash down the coast and back
home.  Guess who else hasn't said boo??

So, in the end, what's the point?

If you want to get professional brokerage services in the Chesapeake Bay
area, I could not recommend anyone or company higher than Frank Gary and
Bristol Yachts in Annapolis.  Further, while I won't soil this space
with the other, if you want to know who it is/was, I'll answer any
questions you may have off-list...

L8R

Skip, Frank's info below:

Frank E. Gary
Bristol Yacht Sales
623 Sixth St.
Annapolis, MD 21403
Tel: 800-610 5300
Cell: 410-703 4017

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by DSK » Tue, 18 Nov 2003 22:09:30

Quote:

> Your stories are certainly interesting, but are you *sure* you are going
> to buy a boat?

Sounds to me like he's doing a good job in shopping carefully. What's your
problem?

DSK

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Skip Gundlac » Wed, 19 Nov 2003 09:13:13

Howdy...


Quote:
> On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 03:14:14 GMT, "Skip  Gundlach"

> >Howdy...

> >I'm in the next stage of our boat search, with very encouraging results.
> >We've found several boats which work for us; the next step is to continue
> >with the trip(s) to the rest of the close to 200 candidates identified in
> >this last research.  I'll expand on that in a separate post.

> Your stories are certainly interesting, but are you *sure* you are going
> to buy a boat?

That's an entirely valid question, given the amount of exposure this group
has had to the process.  Of course, most of the readers here can't
adequately relate without having come off a boat with head bleeding (as
happened on this last trip), because the search process is immeasurably (OK,
someone could probably quantify it!) more difficult when the universe of
boats on which I can fit is so small, and despite all the hoo-ha of the
advertising, the info presented is wrong more often than it's right.  Case
in point is the Morgan I drove several hours to see, fighting car troubles
all the way, which had stated that the walk-through was 6-4.  I made the
irrational assumption that if the walk-through was that tall, likely the
rest of it was similar or better.

Imagine my irritation, since that was the *only* boat in that market, and I
could have been 5 hours closer to home by not coming there, as it was the
last boat on that trip, when the walk-through proved to be 6-1 at the tall
end and 6-0 at the short end.  The stern cabin was appropriately sized to
the walk-through, which is to say that I walked right off again, having
proved it to be a "bonk boat" - my name for the rejects due to height.

Now that I'm finished with my excuses, you'll be thrilled to know that I put
up a 2-digit number of boatbux as the deposit on a boat 8 days ago, which
offer was immediately accepted.  The fact that we rejected the boat after
the offer was accepted (details privately if of any interest to any here),
and the monies about to be refunded isn't germane to your question.

So, the answer is yes.  But I refuse to go into a high 5 or low 6 figure
investment which I intend to live on for the rest of my days (which is
likely to be a very long time) without being satisfied that I'll not only
enjoy it, but that it will be a good investment should I have to leave, for
whatever reason.

Stay tuned.  We've now got more than one candidate, and my next trip has
another dozen or so potentials we've not yet been aboard (see above for
expectations of truth in advertising, however!), of boats which work, under
40 feet, and several which also work in the low 40s.

Just doing my due diligence.  If you think it inappropriate, I've got a
business I'd like to sell you... :{))

And just in case you haven't been paying attention, that's the second boat
on which we've offered.  The first was rejected, this was accepted...

Yes, we're going to buy a boat...

L8R

Skip

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by DSK » Wed, 19 Nov 2003 22:56:10

Quote:

> ..... despite all the hoo-ha of the
> advertising, the info presented is wrong more often than it's right.  Case
> in point is the Morgan I drove several hours to see, fighting car troubles
> all the way, which had stated that the walk-through was 6-4.  I made the
> irrational assumption that if the walk-through was that tall, likely the
> rest of it was similar or better.

> Imagine my irritation, since that was the *only* boat in that market, and I
> could have been 5 hours closer to home by not coming there, as it was the
> last boat on that trip, when the walk-through proved to be 6-1 at the tall
> end and 6-0 at the short end.

Should have handed the broker who gave you the bad info a bill for your time. I
threatened to do this with several of the less-good brokers we tried to deal
with when hunting for our last boat.

Quote:

> And just in case you haven't been paying attention, that's the second boat
> on which we've offered.  The first was rejected, this was accepted...

Keep the faith. My wife and I made made offers on 6 and had 2 accepted, only to
fall through, before we landed 'the one.'

Quote:

> Yes, we're going to buy a boat...

I used to say, "We *are* going to buy a boat, but we refuse to be sold a boat."
A lot of brokers could not tell the difference.

We also saw a lot of ironic circumstances, such as the boat we really liked &
would have suited our needs; only to have the owner refuse to consider the boats
actual condition & equipment instead of what he imagined it to be... six months
later he sold the boat for less than our offer which he'd refused, after paying
to have some of the stuff fixed that we'd balked at. Three of the boats we made
offers on are still for sale. But we waded through a LOT of BS and
misrepresentation and unprofessional conduct by brokers, oh yes. It's a wonder
that anybody actually buys boats at all.

Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Kathy Mumm » Tue, 02 Dec 2003 07:34:42

We are just researching now and planning to buy next winter. But your post
brings up a question I have, if you don't mind.
Does the group think it is better/cheaper to buy from an owner privately; or
a broker? It seems the broker prices are more inflated and the boats carry
less equipment. Some seem stripped actually.
The privately owned boats better equipped?
I realize this is subjective of course. I imagine many will buy "up" to
larger boats and move equipment.
This will be first boat so this will be a large factor.
Any input welcome!
Thanks,
Kathy M.

Quote:


> > ..... despite all the hoo-ha of the
> > advertising, the info presented is wrong more often than it's right.
Case
> > in point is the Morgan I drove several hours to see, fighting car
troubles
> > all the way, which had stated that the walk-through was 6-4.  I made the
> > irrational assumption that if the walk-through was that tall, likely the
> > rest of it was similar or better.

> > Imagine my irritation, since that was the *only* boat in that market,
and I
> > could have been 5 hours closer to home by not coming there, as it was
the
> > last boat on that trip, when the walk-through proved to be 6-1 at the
tall
> > end and 6-0 at the short end.

> Should have handed the broker who gave you the bad info a bill for your
time. I
> threatened to do this with several of the less-good brokers we tried to
deal
> with when hunting for our last boat.

> > And just in case you haven't been paying attention, that's the second
boat
> > on which we've offered.  The first was rejected, this was accepted...

> Keep the faith. My wife and I made made offers on 6 and had 2 accepted,
only to
> fall through, before we landed 'the one.'

> > Yes, we're going to buy a boat...

> I used to say, "We *are* going to buy a boat, but we refuse to be sold a
boat."
> A lot of brokers could not tell the difference.

> We also saw a lot of ironic circumstances, such as the boat we really
liked &
> would have suited our needs; only to have the owner refuse to consider the
boats
> actual condition & equipment instead of what he imagined it to be... six
months
> later he sold the boat for less than our offer which he'd refused, after
paying
> to have some of the stuff fixed that we'd balked at. Three of the boats we
made
> offers on are still for sale. But we waded through a LOT of BS and
> misrepresentation and unprofessional conduct by brokers, oh yes. It's a
wonder
> that anybody actually buys boats at all.

> Fresh Breezes- Doug King

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Jere Lul » Tue, 02 Dec 2003 08:41:04

Quote:

>We are just researching now and planning to buy next winter. But your post
>brings up a question I have, if you don't mind.
>Does the group think it is better/cheaper to buy from an owner privately; or
>a broker? It seems the broker prices are more inflated and the boats carry
>less equipment. Some seem stripped actually.
>The privately owned boats better equipped?
>I realize this is subjective of course. I imagine many will buy "up" to
>larger boats and move equipment.
>This will be first boat so this will be a large factor.
>Any input welcome!
>Thanks,
>Kathy M.

Generally, we find that brokered boats are cleaner, with less junk lying
around. (There are exceptions; Xan was one.) Most of the extra stuff on
some boats is pretty much going to be replaced or tossed. It's sorta
cool at first to have some of the personal stuff onboard, but it
eventually finds its way to the trash bin. Even a lot of electronics and
other "useful" gear is often out of date or near its useful life. For
instance, I never found LORAN to be particularly useful even if the
previous owner (PO) used it regularly. Xan's old crystal-controlled VHF
was immediately replaced along with the depth and speed equipment which
seemed okay, but was pretty much DOA. On some boats, the various fabrics
on cushions and windows would have been the first to be replaced.

'Course, every boat, PO, and buyer is different. Often, an owner sells
privately because a broker recommended a lower value than they think
their baby is worth. Often a truly great deal is available via broker,
particularly if your first bid is appropriate for the actual market for
that boat.

Key to everything is your knowing about what a particular boat is
actually worth on the market. That requires a bit of research on your
part, but that is far easier these days than it was a decade ago.

--
Jere Lull
Xan-a-Deux ('73 Tanzer 28 #4 out of Tolchester, MD)
Xan's Pages: http://members.dca.net/jerelull/X-Main.html
Our BVI FAQs (290+ pics) http://homepage.mac.com/jerelull/BVI/

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Lloyd Sumpte » Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:37:53

Quote:

> On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 03:14:14 GMT, "Skip  Gundlach"

>>Howdy...

>>I'm in the next stage of our boat search, with very encouraging results. We've
>>found several boats which work for us; the next step is to continue with the
>>trip(s) to the rest of the close to 200 candidates identified in this last
>>research.  I'll expand on that in a separate post.

> Your stories are certainly interesting, but are you *sure* you are going to buy
> a boat?

Another comment: Are you SURE you need a broker?

Seems to me the first broker you mentioned did some broker-like things, like
trying to narrow your search, give you advice, etc. You rejected it (which is
fair enough). In fact, you seem to be someone who doesn't like to be TOLD stuff
- you want to form your own conclusions. So I'd say you DON'T need a broker to
hold your hand while you notate, measure, video, etc. all the boats you're
looking at.

Seems like you only need a broker to negotiate price once you've settled on a
boat, and you're probably wasting THEIR time asking them for advice then not
taking it.

Why not go to the broker with this in mind? Tell him you'd like to look at these
boats by yourself and form your own conclusions, and let him know what the
result is. I think you'd be thanked. As someone else said, you want to buy a
boat, not be sold one.

Lloyd Sumpter
"Far Cove" Catalina 36

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Kathy Mumm » Tue, 02 Dec 2003 10:58:12

Thanks for reply. Seems to make a lot of sense, especially when we are just
learning. We are hoping to take advantage on winter prices for boat AND gear
anyway. Last years models in working condition would be much better than
equipment included which is DOA.
Kathy M.

Quote:

> >We are just researching now and planning to buy next winter. But your
post
> >brings up a question I have, if you don't mind.
> >Does the group think it is better/cheaper to buy from an owner privately;
or
> >a broker? It seems the broker prices are more inflated and the boats
carry
> >less equipment. Some seem stripped actually.
> >The privately owned boats better equipped?
> >I realize this is subjective of course. I imagine many will buy "up" to
> >larger boats and move equipment.
> >This will be first boat so this will be a large factor.
> >Any input welcome!
> >Thanks,
> >Kathy M.

> Generally, we find that brokered boats are cleaner, with less junk lying
> around. (There are exceptions; Xan was one.) Most of the extra stuff on
> some boats is pretty much going to be replaced or tossed. It's sorta
> cool at first to have some of the personal stuff onboard, but it
> eventually finds its way to the trash bin. Even a lot of electronics and
> other "useful" gear is often out of date or near its useful life. For
> instance, I never found LORAN to be particularly useful even if the
> previous owner (PO) used it regularly. Xan's old crystal-controlled VHF
> was immediately replaced along with the depth and speed equipment which
> seemed okay, but was pretty much DOA. On some boats, the various fabrics
> on cushions and windows would have been the first to be replaced.

> 'Course, every boat, PO, and buyer is different. Often, an owner sells
> privately because a broker recommended a lower value than they think
> their baby is worth. Often a truly great deal is available via broker,
> particularly if your first bid is appropriate for the actual market for
> that boat.

> Key to everything is your knowing about what a particular boat is
> actually worth on the market. That requires a bit of research on your
> part, but that is far easier these days than it was a decade ago.

> --
> Jere Lull
> Xan-a-Deux ('73 Tanzer 28 #4 out of Tolchester, MD)
> Xan's Pages: http://members.dca.net/jerelull/X-Main.html
> Our BVI FAQs (290+ pics) http://homepage.mac.com/jerelull/BVI/

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Kathy Mumm » Sun, 07 Dec 2003 09:08:45

Thanks for all the input.
Am gleaning a LOT of great information from the group.
Kathy M.


Quote:
> x-no-archive:yes


> >We are just researching now and planning to buy next winter. But your
post
> >brings up a question I have, if you don't mind.
> >Does the group think it is better/cheaper to buy from an owner privately;
or
> >a broker? It seems the broker prices are more inflated and the boats
carry

> A lot of times an owner will try to sell privately, be unsuccessful,
> and then list it with a broker with the broker's commission added to
> the sale price.  So if you were sure that you wanted a particular type
> of boat and could find one that was not yet listed with a broker (for
> instance I keep a list of CSYs for sale and the owners often list them
> with our group before they go to a broker), then it might be cheaper
> to buy one that way.

> You can look at BoatTrader where owners can list their own boats.
> YachtWorld listings are of course all with brokers.

> >less equipment. Some seem stripped actually.
> >The privately owned boats better equipped?

> I don't think the amount of equipment is the result of being listed
> with a broker.

> >I realize this is subjective of course. I imagine many will buy "up" to
> >larger boats and move equipment.
> >This will be first boat so this will be a large factor.

> We were lucky in that we got a boat which had very little on it in the
> way of equipment.  A LORAN which we've never used, an old VHF radio,
> an AM/FM radio with speakers in the***pit, and that was about it.
> Not even a GPS.  So we could get the equipment that we wanted that was
> up to date as of when we bought it.  We missed getting a boat that we
> chartered and loved which had all the toys, but they were 5 years or
> so old.  (We missed it because we didn't know that it was on the
> market.)

> We had bad luck with several brokers - we spent some time in the Miami
> Ft Lauderdale area with one broker looking at boats and asked him to
> let us know if any of the kind we wanted became available, and one
> did, and he didn't let us know.  OTOH, one of the brokers up here
> called us as soon as one came on the market up here, and we bought
> that boat.

> One thing about working with a broker - if the seller is suffering
> second thoughts, he's less likely to yank the boat if he has to pay
> the broker's commission anyway.  We looked at several boats which the
> seller wasn't really committed to selling.  And I know of one boat
> being sold privately where two separate parties made a full price
> offer and the owners then raised the price.  That boat also had a
> bunch of equipment on it which didn't go with the sale.

> grandma Rosalie

 
 
 

"Chesapeake Bay Boat Buying" followup/Boat search update

Post by Skip Gundlac » Wed, 17 Dec 2003 06:50:08

Well, I'm back from the latest foray.  I'll talk about that in a separate
post.

Quote:
> Another comment: Are you SURE you need a broker?

> Seems to me the first broker you mentioned did some broker-like things,
like
> trying to narrow your search, give you advice, etc. You rejected it (which
is
> fair enough). In fact, you seem to be someone who doesn't like to be TOLD
stuff
> - you want to form your own conclusions. So I'd say you DON'T need a
broker to
> hold your hand while you notate, measure, video, etc. all the boats you're
> looking at.

That's entirely true - in fact, I'm happy to have them go off somewhere and
attend to other business, while I'm busy on the boat, which some did, this
last trip.  What I *do* need a broker to do is set up the viewings, and
since they know the area, get me to and from each of them in the least
amount of time.

So, I don't need them on the boat with me - I just need them to make me get
on as many as possible, in as short as possible a time.

Quote:

> Seems like you only need a broker to negotiate price once you've settled
on a
> boat, and you're probably wasting THEIR time asking them for advice then
not
> taking it.

> Why not go to the broker with this in mind? Tell him you'd like to look at
these
> boats by yourself and form your own conclusions, and let him know what the
> result is. I think you'd be thanked. As someone else said, you want to buy
a
> boat, not be sold one.

I've not really had a problem, once I've gotten under way, other than with
the specific broker mentioned.  Plus the ones who are actually listening
(and doing some feedback/questioning, which he didn't do) go beyond the
initial setups and suggest others which might work.  If we've already
isolated the type, I'll know about it and we can move on.  If not, as
happened in the last trip, serendipity, or providence, depending on your
position, may have it that the broker, in taking me around a yard with a
bunch of boats immediately available and to hand, puts me on the boat which
works for us, when it hadn't been on the list.  Without the broker, I'd have
never been on that boat, and still looking, probably, though as the separate
post will point out, there are now several choices, most of which have more
than one from which to choose...

So, I'm glad I've used brokers.  There's no way I could have seen the
several hundred examples, including going aboard well over 100 - close to
200 - individual boats, without brokers doing most of the shuttling, in the
total of only about 40 days on the road.

Of course, if you already know what boat you want, and where to fiind it,
you don't need a broker, other than if the boat's listed with a broker...

L8R

Skip (and Lydia, by proxy)

--
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away
from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Discover."   - Mark Twain