PassageMaker magazine is the leading publication covering the recreational trawler market worldwide. In addition to boat and product reviews there are articles on destinations, maintenance and the trawler lifestyle in general.
In early 2015 PassageMaker published an article about FSBO (For Sale by Owner) that was filled with inaccuracies creating an uproar amongst the boat builder advertisers, regional yacht broker associations and professional yacht salespersons everywhere. The author went so far as to recommend plagiarizing copyrighted forms and it went downhill from there.
Realizing they had made a terrible mistake that had just about offended everyone in the industry, PassageMaker magazine went into damage control and ordered up a rebuttal article to explain the advantages for Buyers and Sellers who use a professional yacht broker.
One of the industry leaders contacted for comment on this subject was Jeff Merrill. The entire article is reprinted here (with the permission of PassageMaker magazine) and includes some insightful observations from Jeff. There is no substitute for using a dedicated, full time and experienced yacht broker with multiple transactions under his or her belt – there are many things that can go sideways in a deal and you certainly don’t want to lose your deposit or buy a boat that has flaws that you aren’t aware of. The counsel of a yacht broker and their payment in the form of a commission is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
The purchase of a trawler is usually a fairly expensive proposition and unless you have a lot of experience in negotiating deals you will be much better served to take advantage of using a qualified and credentialed yacht broker. The confidence in knowing that your due diligence is being properly guided and that your deposit is secure in a trust account are just two strong reasons to seek the assistance of a yacht broker and avoid going it alone into the unknown.
One universal qualification that boat buyers can look for is the CPYB designation. A Certified Professional Yacht Broker is bound by a code of ethics and not only must first take and pass a rigorous test, but must stay current in their profession through continuing education requirements.
All brokers who join their regional yacht broker associations (there are seven in North America) are also dedicated to their profession and offer a higher level of service than those yacht salespersons who are not members. Yacht broker association members have access to legally vetted forms that are based on years of experience, thousands of transactions and designed to protect all parties – buyers, sellers and brokers.
There are plenty of good brokers out there who will take care of you. It is a big RISK to enter into a deal without a broker to mediate and protect buyers and sellers. Yes, a commission is involved when a broker handles the deal, but this wage for services is not only earned, but a modest concession in the overall price to make sure that you have smooth sailing and avoid costly mistakes or legal consequences.