How to Buy a Pre-owned Boat

How…Listen Up!

The For Sale By Owner(FSBO)Market…This is the suckers market…My experience both as broker and surveyor found that…the market is generated by ignorance and greed surprisingly on the part of the prospective buyer…In general, a better-maintained boat and a better financial result can be found through the brokerage community… WHY?…Since the great majority of boats are plastic (longevity)…the supply exceeds the demand side by a considerable margin…”Take advantage of it”…I’ve seen some real turkeys in the (FSBO) market “ready for the rookie bargain hunter”.

Is boat insurance required in South Carolina?… People always overlook this, BUT YOU NEED INSURANCE. Think about the cost of this BEFORE you buy your boat and not after. Be sure to budget for this. Here’s a great place to get a quote if you are looking for cheap insurance in SC or more specifically, insurance in Greenville SC.

Dealing with the Brokerage Community…You’re the Captain…your crew…Broker, Surveyor, Banker, Insurance Underwriter….”A good Captain knows how to run his crew”.


How to run your crew… Broker…You only put one man on the wheel at a time…get a broker and stick to it…if you don’t like the job he’s doing fire him and get a replacement…only one helmsman at a time…and have a little patience…”If you play games in this area…you’re heading for rough waters”…now you set up a situation where the broker is not working for you but for himself…That’s poor bridge management. Surveyor…You’re paying him up front…so get a top hand who knows there are three sides to a coin…even willing to turn too on a sea trial… or you may wind up with a laundry list of “BS” not appreciated by the other crew members…Banker and Insurance Underwriter…You’re always being sized by the crew… These two can be tough at times to handle.

Under Way…Your Broker has two jobs…A-To find a vessel…he’s got huge resources at his disposal especially with the advent of modems and data bases That’s why I stress One Broker B- To carry out your bid through a contract…Your position from the bridge is to look for the “soft market”…don’t be afraid to show the color of your money…Like the stock market, today’s bid is tomorrow’s asking price…you never know the spread till it’s tested. There shouldn’t be any bridge to bridge communication till your crew member comes back with a signed contract. A good captain lets his crew do their job without f****** with them…dealing with your exercises doesn’t need to be another job for the crew.

Sea Trial…Your boarding pass is your escrow money. You’re the visiting captain…the permanent captain must impress upon you that his vessel meets your expectations. this is very much your subjective opinion. Somehow this vessel must appeal to you from the inside…the second part is cerebral…just the facts. Your surveyor should have “turned too” either aboard…or with a detailed list given to you of information he needs to do his job. It’s your job to interact with the other captain…to test all systems…simply what works and what doesn’t work…only when that’s accomplished…and your convinced as to weather you want to command this vessel is the sea trial over. While the crew is aft pulling lines…you’re busy with navigation…making ready a command decision…should you relieve the other captain and sign on your permanent crew?

Crunch Time…By now the captain should have gone over all his charts…If he likes the vessel and believes it right for his permanent crew “Buy It”…if not the temporary crew have more work to do.

The Captain…Navigating in like fashion, you should be on your way to becoming a good captain and seaman…providing you learn to treat the mate of your permanent crew with respect…and cut the junior crew members a bit of slack…A good captain does not under any circumstances yell at his crew…if things aboard do not go smoothly, it’s the Captain’s responsibility…In short, that’s his job…Expect little from your crew but if they surprise you at times be grateful. That’s your psychological pic to cool it…It sets the tone for a serene voyage…Sign of a real professional.

Following this course, your log entry may read…riding easy, calm seas, light airs, visibility excellent.

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