So You Want to Buy a Boat?


So You Want to Buy a Boat
So You Want to Buy a Boat

By George Eberhard

Aug 2, 2020

So you want to buy a boat!

You can’t find a better way to Social Distance!  That’s True!  As unexpected as it may be, the used boat business is on fire.  This is mainly due to low inventory and lots of new buyers. So how can you maximize your efforts when buying a brokerage boat? I hope this bit of information will shed some clarity on the process while maximizing your efforts.

Buying a boat can be a time consuming and frustrating endeavor at times.  Most buyers are familiar with Yacht World and other listing services for boats of all sizes and prices. It is a good way for buyers to familiarize themselves with what's out there and can be done without leaving home.  As you begin your search be truthful with yourself and establish a realistic budget.  Don’t extend your budget, boats are expensive, you will need reserves to deal with survey issues and upgrades all buyers will make. If you are buying a boat within 6 months, it may be prudent to further your research by going to Boat Shows. However, don't spend time and money traveling to see boats that will most likely not be available if you do not plan to make your purchase within a 6-month window.

When you are ready to buy, call a broker; hopefully, you will call one of the brokers here at David Walters Yachts. We have hundreds of years of experience between us to share with you. Seriously, call a broker and work with one you find to be responsive and knowledgeable. If the first one you speak with isn't what you expect, call another.

Your initial call should be one of exploration.  Ask questions! 

Let the broker know how far along in your search you are and when you hope to buy a boat. Let him know if you will be financing your new yacht or paying in cash.  Its never to early to find out if you can get financing for the boat you are looking for.  In some cases, yachts that are over 20 years old are sometimes tough to finance.

Discuss the way you will be using the boat, weekends, extended cruises, or sailing to far off destinations over long periods.  Let the broker know your boat ownership experience.  Discuss the type of boat, from your research that seems to be the ideal boat.  The broker may offer alternatives. For example, the broker may discuss the benefits of Express Cruisers vs. Motor Yachts, Sport Fish vs. Center Consoles, Aft Cockpit vs. Center Cockpit, Long Range Cruisers, Day sailors, or Performance Cruisers.

All have their strengths and weaknesses.  This is important to remember!  There are subtle differences that can make a world of difference once you’ve bought the wrong type of boat for what you plan to do. 

For example, a "Sugar Scoop" is missing on a boat you want to cruise the Bahamas and the Caribbean with.  Without a Sugar Scoop, your water access is somewhat restricted; with only a side boarding ladder, it’s more challenging to get back aboard with snorkel or diving gear, especially as we get older.  Make a list of the most essential features your boat will need.  

Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for, make an appointment with a broker to show you these types of boats in his area.  He can also set up showings in other areas utilizing his network of brokers willing to do courtesy showings in his absence.

Working with one broker will save you time and money.  Knowledgeable brokers can set up showings taking into consideration the travel time between each showing, ultimately making your search easier and more efficient. While you are looking, your broker is with you all the time, you're not waiting at each boat for a different broker to show up.  The same knowledgeable broker can compare and contrast each boat, helping you understand their strengths and weaknesses and which one meets most of your requirements.  

There are so many styles and types of boats out there; your head will spin. If you’re looking for a boat on the East Coast of the US, be thankful! We have the most extensive inventory and variety of vessels anywhere in the world.

I have clients from all over the world who would give anything for a couple of days of looking for the perfect boat here on the east coast but can't because of travel restriction or time restrictions. So make that call today, and start your Boat Buying Experience.

I look forward to hearing from you, 

George Eberhard

317-517-4666

Senior Broker, David Walters Yachts

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