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Boat Buying Done Right; Overview for the First Time, Last Time, or Any Time.

November 3, 2018

By A. Clayton Slawson III

It’s buying season, so lets do it right! There certainly is a process to follow when gearing up to make a boat purchase for next summer and now is the best time to start.  In the coming weeks, most people will be thinking about snow flakes and how to best enjoy fresh fallen snow, but serious boat buyers should forgo the discounted mid-week lift tickets and instead reserve those token days off for boat shows and working with their broker to effectively navigate the boat buying process as boat inventory expands this time of year.

When buying a vessel, it is important to hire the right people to help in the transaction.  First, look to contract a broker who will manage the process and maintain organization, facilitate any and all essential paperwork, recommend surveyors, delivery personnel, and finance and insurance companies. Access to a proven lender and insurance agents will help speed up the transaction and ensure the “back office” component is complete. Your surveyor will review the vessel’s structural integrity, operating systems, and performance capabilities while your delivery team can handle the physical transportation of your vessel to the new home port.  Each one of these contractors provides a different and specialized service, so consider each a valuable asset in your “boat buying portfolio.”  Reading reviews and testimonials, asking for referrals from your broker, and interviewing all potential service providers is the best method of due diligence to identify the right people for your shopping experience.

Once the right team has been formed, your broker will monitor and oversee the process on your behalf.  He’ll present several boats that meet or exceed your wants and needs, then help narrow the scope to one or two vessels, and finally complete all necessary paperwork throughout the transaction. Plan to close within forty five days as the process includes multiple boat showings, a purchase and sale agreement on the selected vessel, a survey and trial run, vessel acceptance or rejection, and finally the closing. Variables affecting the time line are hinged on external factors like weather and the availability of your hired team, but your broker will manage all of these components and ensure the major events are reached without a hitch and as scheduled.

Certain milestones throughout the buying process are contingent on the buyers outlay of funds. Buyers should be prepared to make a ten percent deposit in coordination with signing the purchase and sale agreement, fully fund the survey and trial run; plus any expenses related to due diligence, and have the balance accounted for at the time of closing. Although the purchase of a vessel requires funds upfront, consider them as a means to the end; you’ll finally be one step closer to being the skipper of your dream boat!

Whether the perfect vessel is a high performance fishing vessel, a smooth sailing island hopping cruiser, or a summer’s day picnic boat, the boat buying process is a necessary component to boat ownership; and utilizing the knowledge and skill of a broker can assure you’ve followed the prudent, systematic, and correct way to acquire a yacht.  Use this Fall and Winter to begin the buying process and help avoid limited Spring supply.  Starting early will enable your future boat to splash first, come the 2019 boating season!

For more information regarding the boat buying process and to work with a buyers advocate, please contact Clay at Latitude Yacht Brokerage to help make yacht ownership a reality. www.latitudeyacht.com clay@latitudeyacht.com (203)-836-9081