Caribbean Sea Trial Covid-19 Style – A Broker's perspective!
Having listings scattered around the globe means typically traveling to exciting places and adventure on the high seas! Facilitating a survey and sea trial during Covid-19 times is another story. I recently traveled to Grenada to do just that. Once all parties had agreed on a survey date, I needed to go about making my typical travel arrangements.
My first step was to get online to the Grenada Government website to verify travel requirements.
I learned that first, I needed to fill out an application and wait for the Government to extend an invitation into the country. I needed a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Grenada, and once there, I would be escorted to my approved hotel and quarantined for four days -- not including my arrival day. On the 5th day, I would take another Covid-19 test administered by the Government -- that I would pay for-- and if negative, I would be allowed to move freely around the island. Of course, I would need to wait 24-48 hours for the test results. This would require being gone for ten days to facilitate a survey and sea trial that under 'normal' circumstances usually would only take a couple of days. This trip would be a considerable time and financial investment for a deal that had no guarantees!
OK, I decided to go for it.
After all, I needed a little R&R on a beach in a beautiful Island country, so I decided it was worth the hassle of the whole covid testing and quarantine saga. I booked my stay at a beautiful resort with Global name recognition. The pictures of multiple pools, restaurants, and Tiki bars began to make me feel better almost immediately. After speaking with a hotel representative, I found out only one swimming pool, one restaurant, and one bar would be available to quarantined guests. Oh well, how many did I need anyway? I thought to myself.
The airport in Miami is host to more Caribbean flights than any other airport globally, and it was a bit chaotic.
Before checking in, you needed to present a confirmed application to travel to Grenada and provide your Negative Covid-19 test documentation. There are approximately 20 different types of Covid-19 tests.
NOTE: Do not try to travel with a negative Antigen test. It's not acceptable!
Arriving in Grenada proved to be a reality check.
I noticed a lot less traffic at the airport than on my last visit to Grenada, and when we arrived at the hotel, the stark reality of how Covid redefined travel entirely sank in. These were different times! Duh!! I knew that, but I didn't stop to think about what had been happening for the last ten months.
They have had no tourists, very few visitors, and NO MONEY coming in! The hotel staff was sparse, and the one open pool was restricted to guests that had gotten through quarantine. The once beautiful resort was looking a little neglected. The beautiful pictures didn't match what I was seeing. I failed to consider the devastation this Pandemic has caused. I began to think about how this scenario played out all through the Caribbean, over and over at resort after resort. Our world had changed. I only hope these small Island countries are able to sustain this devastation and rebound sooner rather than later.
The survey and sea trial (as always) was a challenge. A delicate balancing act with me dealing with both buyer and seller. The other broker and I had discussed, under the circumstances, only one of us making the trip. Not ideal, but we made it work. With the cooperation of all involved, we were able to bring the deal to a successful close. A trip like this would have been a bit too much if the deal had fallen apart.
How did we get a buyer to travel to a foreign country and buy a boat during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
One simple reason – My seller had six years of detailed maintenance and upgrades in 15 plus pages of a spreadsheet document. Ask any broker; there is nothing that sells boats faster than detailed documentation.
Thanks to a very detailed selling couple and a great buying couple! I wish you both the best!
David Walters Yachts