For the last twenty years, JMYS, a team of yacht sales specialists, have created a unique brand of personalized service while helping clients buy and sell cruising sailboats and trawlers. JMYS’ direct, one-on-one approach and hands-on involvement not only helps clients become more comfortable with the purchasing process but has also enabled yacht salespersons at JMYS to amass an incredible amount of time at sea, cruising underway, and gaining in depth knowledge of systems and operations equipment. This broad base of knowledge and real world experience is something we at JMYS enjoy sharing with clients.

transactions. JMYS salespersons have spent countless hours with buyers to help them figure out how they plan to use their trawler, determining where they want to cruise, what they can afford, finding the right boat, making offers, completing their due diligence to close and then assisting with coaching as they take the helm. JMYS consults take detailed notes and capture trawlers from every angle to ensure their buyers make educated, well thought out decisions. JMYS’ commitment to detail has resulted in systems, routines, and checklists to help prevent anything from “slipping through the cracks”.

For the past fifteen years Jeff Merrill has taken this wealth of information and condensed it into a 90-minute seminar called, “Purchasing a Trawler” for PassageMaker magazine’s TrawlerFests. It is one thing to be a broker who can fill out the forms and deposit the money, it is quite something else to outline the purchase process and explain it to a large crowd of sophisticated buyers.

JMYS has acquired extensive knowledge through front line experience…from the design table to shipyard construction, through outfitting and shakedowns on to the boat show displays, and running at sea, our salespersons have lived it. Clients always have been and always will be the top priority at JMYS and we will always look out for their best interests. Commitment to clients has solidified JMYS in the marketplace as a recognized contributor to the explosive growth of yacht sales and the trawler market.

When it comes to yacht sales, JMYS takes their time with clients (pacing along at the “trawler speeds” we are used to) and we pride ourselves in forging partnership relations while working with buyers – whether the buyers have owned boats before or are new to the trawler lifestyle.

Black Douglas Twin Stack Trawler - Purchasing a Trawler with Jeff Merrill

The purchase of a trawler is an expensive proposition, and the process can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of questions you need to answer and JMYS consultants will walk you through them. For example, two of the first things you need to do is determine how many people will be on board (typically a husband and wife) and where you want to cruise (are you going to stay close to home or cruise the world?).

Most trawler buyers begin their search by reading magazines and talking to their boating friends. The internet is a great place to shop for trawlers and learn about your choices. Although ultimately, you need to get on board, either with the guidance of a trusted broker who can arrange showings or by attending a boat show or TrawlerFest, to physically inspect a large number of trawlers. It’s hard not to have favorite brands and preconceived notions of what you want but try to resist the temptation to “know-it-all” and open your mind to the wide variety available. Fast trawlers, slow trawlers, multi-hulls, fiberglass production hulls and one-off custom steel trawlers all offer unique advantages. Get on as many trawlers as you can and “try them on for size” and while doing so, ask yourself some questions: Can you move around in the engine room? Can you see out the pilothouse windows? How well do you fit in the showers? Are you comfortable sitting on the settees? Will you be able to sleep on the beds? Does the galley have all the cooking essentials you require?

As you begin to narrow your preferences you also need to be realistic about your budget. The budget to purchase a trawler is only the starting point as you will also need to set aside a reserve for upgrades and improvements as well as annual costs like slip rent and insurance.

JMYS often works with clients by collaborating to develop a spreadsheet of “must have” (like a flybridge), and “would be nice” (like a water maker) features and equipment and then uses this document to establish a comprehensive comparison chart to methodically evaluate your choices. JMYS approaches this process as if we are a silent partner and freely gives suggestions and opinions as if it was our personal money being used to buy a particular trawler.

The “hunt” is very gratifying and the more informed you are about your choices the easier it will be to make a final decision. Trawlers are easy to operate and maintain, but you need to consider if the trawler you are interested in is “turnkey” or a “turkey” (a project) and figure the overall time and expense costs into your list of determining factors.

There are a lot of different trawler brands and models to study. One piece of advice from JMYS, don’t fall in love until you own your trawler, but when you finally find the right boat at the right price, make a bold effort to acquire it and then go out exploring!

Keep in mind that someday you will probably need to sell the trawler you purchase so think about all of the costs involved and try to avoid getting upside down financially. JMYS is dedicated to helping you navigate this process. Their professional and thoughtful approach will help ensure that you enjoy the purchasing experience (almost) as much as your time spent cruising.