Choosing the best broker to represent your boat for sale is an incredibly important decision. There are so many variables to consider; broker experience and product knowledge, competing boats listed for sale, asking price, location, access for showings, staging, etc. Good quality listings are highly sought after and in high demand.
At JMYS we have developed several proprietary sales and marketing techniques to help our sellers’ present their boats efficiently and effectively. We believe it is essential to tell each boats story in a way that is appealing in order to generate interest. We like to visit each boat, crawl all over it, ride on it underway, ask questions of our sellers and do our best to fully understand the unique advantages so that we can explain the virtues when a qualified lead inquires. We are committed to detailed and accurate write ups supplemented with lots of photos.
Our network of potential buyers and industry sales broker colleagues enable us to cast a wide net with amazing reach. In addition to the major multiple listing services we have successfully used boat shows, open houses, e-newsletters, videos and social media to gain exposure. Above all a well-conceived internet marketing campaign is essential to finding a buyer.
We have been very fortunate to work with some amazing owners to help them list, market and sell their boats. We are honored to share their comments; the results speak for themselves…
Well, I’m not sure if this was an unprecedented transaction but it sure was unconventional and it would not have come through were it not for the stellar assistance of the JMYS Team! Due to a complex set of circumstances, I had to put Jubilee on the market over the winter months, while she was in winter storage in Michigan and with me still stuck in Japan due to the pandemic travel restrictions. I had no doubt that it would be impossible to conduct such a sale remotely by myself, hence my turning to Jeff Merrill in order to put the winter months to good use and start marketing the boat.
Jeff is intimately familiar with the Diesel Duck brand and it showed. In no time was he able to mount an effective and credible marketing campaign that resulted in a rapid succession of inquiries from interested parties. Jeff also provided invaluable advice as this was my first broker sale, patiently answering my many troublesome queries through a virtual dialogue that continued across the Pacific throughout the winter. And, as he promised, buyers were lined up just in time for the scheduled launch of the boat in the spring. The reach of JMYS was particularly evident when one potential buyer who had already committed in writing had to suddenly withdraw due to a precipitous change in his personal circumstances, and yet Jeff and his team had another buyer lined up within days.
As critical to the successful completion of this journey was the professional assistance provided by JMYS Listing Broker Lawrence Friedman. Although not based in Michigan, Larry took on the challenge of travelling to Northport several times in the dead of the winter to get acquainted with Jubilee and ensure that all was in place for viewings in the spring. Luckily, serious buyers were already lined up by the time of the launch, so Larry was on hand to assist with out of- and in-water surveys, initial viewings, sea trials, etc. He piloted the complex transition to another buyer when the previous one had to withdraw, facilitated all aspects of the transaction between the final buyer, based in California, and I who remained stuck in Japan. Larry proved his worth not only in navigating this complex transaction but also by looking after several issues that the seller would usually be handling, especially minor repairs and faulty equipment that unavoidably come to the fore when launching a trawler after spending the long winter months in storage.
Now renamed Shiplet by a lovely couple who will look after this Diesel Duck with great care as they prepare to take her across the Atlantic to Scandinavia, I use this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to Jeff and Larry, whose professional approach and expert advice made such a difference during quite a stressful period. Their brokerage services proved of the highest standard and I would recommend JMYS without hesitation to any trawler buyer and seller. I wish you both the best and do not hesitate to put prospective clients in touch with me if they want to talk about your services or anything to do with Diesel Duck as my wife and I refocus our attention on our other DD 382, Shirayuri, currently moored in Malaysia.
Fair winds and following seas,
Hugues Canuel – Diesel Duck 382 – Jubilee
Well done! Jeff thank you for helping me sell my Nordhavn 50.
A fellow Nordhavn owner suggested that I reach out to you based on his experience buying with you and your reputation in the world of trawlers. Having met you briefly while attending one of your classes at TrawlerFest a few years ago you were already on my list of potential brokers to consider. After several calls and emails including a review of the market and your brand analysis, it was clear to me that we were a good fit and you were the best choice. Now, only a few weeks later, I’ve gone from listing to SOLD.
I have been in sales my entire life and I know it’s not easy to work with a fellow sales person. From my experience of decades in the automobile industry, where I have literally met hundreds of car sales people, I would rank you in the top tier of professional sales people. Car sales is a crowded industry with a different method for results, but you have the right style and approach to market yachts and good regular communications were a big part of why this sale was quick and successful.
Wasn’t sure how Covid travel would work with you being in California and the boat in Virginia, but I appreciate you flying across the country to meet me and Wild Rumpus. In person you had a better understanding of my situation and the vessel particulars. Your detailed write up was truly the best I have ever read and your video is outstanding and a great way to showcase my trawler.
To any other trawler owner looking for representation I would highlight your confidence, product knowledge, calm negotiating skills and exceptional understanding of the brokerage process. One example, we could have had a delay in closing if you hadn’t noticed the state created registration glitch on the tender. Your systematic check-list-organization kept everything on track and really helped connect all the dots.
All of that aside, and more importantly to me, I really enjoyed working with you. You are a high energy person, a patient listener, and an articulate communicator. The process of working with you was better than I expected and I’m going to miss our regular chats, but don’t worry, I’ll still bug you now and then to remain in touch.
I am more than happy to endorse you and your company. Here’s to your continued success!
Tom Kline – Nordhavn 50 – Wild Rumpus
There is a saying amongst boaters: “The happiest times in your life are when you buy a boat, and when you sell a boat”. Sometimes that is not the case.
I purchased a vessel from Jeff Merrill the owner/broker of JMYS about 2 years ago. Yes, it was one of the happiest times of my life. Jeff went above and beyond what you would expect from a broker.
Unfortunately, I developed some serious medical issues and had no choice other than to sell the boat that my wife and I had become very attached to. I again used JMYS, this time as a seller.
Jeff did his magic with a new member of his elite team, Rob Piwowarczyk. My medical issues worsened shortly after listing the boat leaving me pretty much homebound. Rob treated me with dignity and understanding. He made the 14-hour round trip for every showing. Rob was well organized, has excellent communication skills, and relieved me from the heavy lifting. He was present at the haul out, survey, and sea trial which I was unable to attend. Jeff is fortunate to have this new addition to his team. Selling the boat was not the happiest time of my life as the saying suggests, but Rob certainly took the sting out of it.
1998 Kadey-Krogen 39 – Debadoo – Sold in Stuart, FL
Jeff and Christopher,
I want to take a few minutes to not only thank you both for the amazing job you did in marketing and selling our beloved Krogen, but to also help inform potential clients of yours about some of the techniques and care that you used which made the entire process so rewarding.
Debadoo is a 1998 KK39 with a rich history of being used to explore the eastern US coast and rivers from Florida to Maine, the Great Loop, the Bahamas and beyond. Most brokers (including Krogen, the manufacturer) would either use photos from the owner or past photos from previous brochures to market the vessel. Then they would use a write up about the boat often cribbing from other listings for the same type boat. All in all, the approach they seem to use leaves you with the impression that no matter how you feel about your boat, to them it’s just another boat, only worth what any other similar boat has recently sold for. They claim to be experts and then manage you rather than take seriously your thoughts and concerns. Basically, they do the bare minimum and then assume that by posting to YachtWorld, etc. they will get a prospect who they can close.
Enter the Jeff Merrill way of marketing a boat. Christopher already knew the boat as we were docked together with his Krogen Sweet Ride. None the less we started with a thorough walk through – noting things to be addressed, items to be removed and any issues that needed obvious attention. Next a highly talented photographer (Christopher’s wife, Alexandra!) was brought in to professionally photograph the boat. Jeff happened to be in Stuart at the time and came by for a look. He immediately decided that Debadoo showed so well that a video should be put together. In a couple of hours with Jeff and Christopher after showing me how to record, we shot the video. Then Jeff had it professionally edited and even spliced in some nice footage I had of the boat running up the Chesapeake.
As for the descriptive content, Jeff encouraged me to take a stab at the cover story. Who knows the boat better than the owner? If there is a story there, you should try to tell it. How was the boat used? maintained? etc. Finally, the entire listing was loaded to its own landing page within JMYS and linked to every posting on YachtWorld and a dedicated Debadoo Krogen 39 listing site. The result: We identified a buyer within a week of hitting the market. The buyer had agreed to a deal on a similar boat (a sister ship KK39 which failed a survey) and which was priced significantly less than Debadoo.
Jeff and Christopher methodically executed a fact based strategy to get the buyer comfortable with paying what we felt the boat was worth. We all knew the boat was worth the extra money, but getting the buyer to embrace that is not an easy task. Christopher took the lead and stuck with working the prospect for nearly two weeks talking with the buyer’s broker and kept us informed at all hours of the day and night.
On inspection day, Jeff showed up and provided careful guidance in dealing with the inspectors (hull surveyor and diesel mechanic) and in following up with the buyer’s broker to insure that any concerns were addressed quickly and completely. All in all, the listing and selling process was a wonderful experience.
I would not hesitate to use Christopher and Jeff again for our next purchase or sale. Thank you Jeff and Christopher for a masterful job. Please feel free to use this letter as a testimonial to your great service.
Lawrence A. Friedman
1986 Defever 53 – Great Northern – Sold in St. Helens, OR
Thank you for your diligence in helping us sell our DeFever 53, Great Northern.
We wanted to write you a recommendation so that you could put it on your website and share our feelings with other trawler sellers out there. You and I have known each other for a long time and this was a more difficult listing for you, due to our distance apart, but I want to compliment you on how well you were able to represent our boat even though you were a state away. I have to think that a long-distance listing is tough on both the broker and seller, but after trying a local Portland broker and not getting any results we are very glad that we switched over to you.
Your approach with the promotions and video were great. I don’t think I’ve ever read a better listing write up than the likes of the one you prepared for Great Northern, thank you!
My career has been in the marine industry, primarily on the commercial, tugboat side. I’ve been involved around the water for decades and I’ve seen a lot of boat builders and boat brokers. There is no question in my mind that you are at the top. Your follow up and attention to detail are unmatched.
It’s not very easy to sell a boat of our vintage when today people want to buy something new, but you were able to persistently keep communicating with us and let us know about all inquiries. We were happy to attend the showings that you couldn’t make, and we really appreciate you coming up for the survey.
We’d also like to acknowledge and thank your sales associate, Rob Piwowarczyk, for his role in coming up to help out with the survey. Rob is very calm and did a great job keeping things together.
We could not be happier with your efforts Jeff and if I was to summarize your approach and brokerage business in one word it would have to be “Professional.” Katie and I would often speak in the evenings about you and your professionalism – we believe that that is a significant difference that you and your brokerage provides.
Thanks again for helping us find a buyer and we look forward to staying in touch.
Chuck and Katie Garman
With the sale of our Nordhavn 63 Kokomo completed, we have now closed another chapter with you in the Nordhavn world. Ruth and I are very grateful for your guidance and support over many years and truly value your friendship.
After selling the Nordhavn 55 Starfish for us in California several years ago, you helped us create the detailed specifications and equipment selections to order our beautiful Nordhavn 63 Kokomo which is the best boat we have ever owned.
When it came time to sell, we knew you would be the best person to help us. We want to thank you for your marketing efforts to sell Kokomo. Very impressive – so many methods with photos, a custom website, social media, video and more all contributed to this result. There was a lot of competition in the market with so many Nordhavn 63’s for sale and you clearly made us stand out in the crowd and found a buyer in a very fast time frame.
Of course, your secret tool in Stuart, FL is John Hoffman and we want to add John to our thanks for making this all happen. Thank you both for handling the survey for us in Florida so we did not have to come over from Switzerland until the boat was accepted and we could complete the hand over.
From day one through the end, your management of this project was very smooth, organized and with great communication.
Jeff, we wish you, John, and JMYS continued success. Please come visit us in Switzerland some time and we hope to see everyone again in person one day soon.
Jurg and Ruth Beeli
Thank you for selling our Nordhavn 46, Storm Haven. We don’t know many brokers who are as involved as you were to market a trawler. Your background at Nordhavn gives you a big advantage for understanding and explaining a special trawler like ours.
We want to also acknowledge the extra time and effort you spent to travel to Mexico, showing our boat to prospects, producing a great marketing video and all of the other creative ideas you did to help our boat stand out in a crowded field.
The agreement which led to the survey, haul out and sea trial in Mexico went very smoothly. You are very professional in how you organize all of the details and keep all of the loose ends tied together.
We felt very comfortable that you were sincere, fair and caring to both us and to the buyers. It can’t be easy to represent both parties equally in a purchase like this, but we think you did a terrific job of communicating the various concerns to make sure that everyone felt like a winner when the deal closed.
Thanks Jeff, we enjoy our friendship with you and wish you continued success. If any trawler sellers want to speak with us about your services, please feel free to put them in touch.
Don and Paulie Grover
Two thank you notes from the sellers of Terrapin.
Thanks to all for a great job getting Terrapin a new home.
You are a great team and Christopher did a wonderful job representing the buyers, please give him our best and thanks for the good work on the sale.
It is amazing we met Ray in the Pacific 28 years ago and here we are still messing around in boats.
We shall miss Terrapin, but life moves on and we are all very fortunate. I hope we will all cross paths again along the way.
Best to all involved,
Jeff and Ray,
What a wonderful phase of life Terrapin proved to be and how great that she gets to continue with a likeminded couple. I am so glad that we met them at the Trawler Fest and know how much they love Terrapin…
Working with you and your fabulous team could not have been better. It’s so comforting to know what hardworking, honest people you are.
We wish you all the best and hope that our paths will continue to cross.
Again, thank you for all!
Mason and Catherine Williams – Nordhavn 55 – Terrapin
I consider Jeff Merrill to be a friend although our relationship started out as a buyer and a broker. Several years ago, Jeff help me find and purchase the Selene 55, Bella Luna. He was great to work with as a buyer’s broker and even helped me deliver the boat home from San Diego to Ventura.
Once settled in Channel Islands Harbor, I started a charter business and Jeff was kind enough to help me promote the business on his website. As my life changed, I decided it was time to sell the boat and, of course, I contacted Jeff. I also talked to some local brokers as well, but other than advertising on YachtWorld, they really didn’t have a lot to offer and I really wanted someone who knows trawlers leading the sales campaign.
Jeff and I talked about what he could do to help set my boat apart in the world of boat marketing. Jeff created a special website for Bella Luna, shot a video of Bella Luna, set up a Facebook page, and listed her on YachtWorld as well.
Jeff’s office is about 100 miles away from Bella Luna, so I agreed to help show the boat when he couldn’t be there, but he did end up showing the boat quite a few times which I know used up an entire day each time. The ultimate buyers contacted Jeff and initially told him they were several years away from making a purchase. Jeff told me they seemed qualified and convinced me since he was out of town that I should meet them for a tour. We hit it off and they decided they were very interested in the boat and Jeff took it from there.
Jeff wrote up the offer and was extremely professional in his transparent representation of both buyer and seller. He attended the sea trial and survey and made sure that everything was organized, and the transaction was successful.
I see Jeff on a regular basis as he is very active up in the Oxnard / Ventura area. As a professional yacht captain, I work with a lot of brokers and I can tell you that Jeff has developed an impressive business approach involving a lot of travel and time on the docks.
The Bella Luna charter business continues to expand with the new owners and I still see Jeff on a regular basis as a friend. If you are thinking about selling your trawler I recommend contacting Jeff to see how he might be able to help you.
Thank you, Jeff!
Captain Paul Wolff
We recently sold our Nordhavn 35 and with Jeff’s help, it went quickly and with a lot less stress than expected. Our listing on his well-prepared web site greatly assisted in getting prospective buyers to appreciate the uniqueness of our boat. Jeff very ably dealt with unexpected issues in the listing of our boat. He partnered with a Canadian broker for local sales representation and continued on in a marketing role, preparing a video, photos and descriptive write up.
Jeff always put our interests first, took care of the details, and responded quickly to our calls and e-mails. He was a pleasure to work with.
With his extensive experience, his guidance through filling out the required forms, deciding on the selling price, and preparing for the sea trial/survey was essential to making the entire process go smoothly. Our boat sold in less than five months. His patience, honesty, and engaging manner made what could have been a difficult experience, easy and straight forward.
Without reservations, we highly recommend Jeff Merrill when you are ready to sell your trawler.
Gary and Sharon Robinson
When we decided to sell our trawler Pegasus, a Seahorse Marine 52, we asked friends and Internet trawler groups for recommendations for a broker. We had seen JMYS online but thought that they dealt mostly with Nordhavns. However, cruising friends of ours with a Nordhavn personally recommended Jeff and said he handled all makes of trawler so we gave him a call.
We are so glad we did. Despite our boat being in Florida, us in Scotland and him in California, we got first class, responsive service. Because of a series of unexpected problems on our end, not his, we never met Jeff until the Sea trial and Survey in Florida. Throughout this time, from talking about listing until we met aboard, his communication skills, minute attention to detail and excellent advice fostered a relationship that completely mitigated the lack of meeting in person.
His website is first class and his associate, Don Allen, helped make Pegasus look her best.
The sea trial and survey is always fraught with tension, but Jeff was a calming influence. His suggestion that, against conventional wisdom, we were present through both days, was a good idea. We were able to answer the prospective buyers questions in more detail than any broker or surveyor could have done.
Jeff has so much experience with trawlers, his specialty, that we were able to trust his judgement on selling price, preparatory repairs and how to present Pegasus in the best way. He negotiated well on our behalf, with realistic and satisfactory outcomes for all. With JMYS we sold our boat within 3 months of listing, and at what is traditionally a sub-optimal time of year.
We can unreservedly recommend him. He made us and our boat feel the most important thing to him at all times. He always responds immediately to emails and texts and we see why he is so successful. Thank you Jeff.
James & Charlotte Caldwell
April 13, 2017
Mr. Jeff Merrill
Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales
310 Old Ranch Pkwy, Suite 440
Seal Beach, Ca. 90740
Re: Thank You for an amazing job selling “Transition”!
We just can’t thank you enough for making the sale of Transition as smooth and painless as possible. By the time it was done, you probably worked harder, longer and for less pay per hour than any other boat ever sold, and you made sure everything was handled fairly and promptly, while patiently smoothing out the inevitable speed bumps for everyone involved.
We’ve owned boats for 40 years and worked with many brokers, but never one who was so capable, honest, tenacious and diplomatic in absolutely every situation. We really believe you’ve set the Gold Standard for yacht brokers. The industry would be far better if all new brokers were trained by you before ever receiving a license to sell their first boat.
We recommend Jeff Merrill and JMYS wholeheartedly and completely, without reservation, to everyone who is ready to buy or sell a boat and wants the best possible man at their side as the ultimate advocate and guide. If anyone would like to speak with us personally about the experience of working with Jeff, please feel welcome to contact us any time at the email listed below.
Wishing you continued great success in all you do,
Back in 1985 I engaged naval architect Ron Holland to design a sail boat that would express my architectural design approach to a ’90 cold molded sloop. We sailed Canadian and Alaskan waters for 3 years and spent years in the South Pacific, then sailed her through the Panama Canal to the Great Lakes and then back out to the Eastern Seaboard. As I am building another boat, it came time to sell Lauren L. I contacted Jeff Merrill, a family friend for decades. With Jeff, we developed a more extensive market plan to find a buyer. We put together a website and a comprehensive brochure which we mailed to brokers specializing in larger cruising sail boats.
Jeff’s efforts included visiting the boat in Charleston, NC to photograph and get better acquainted with her. It’s not an easy trying to promote a one-of-a-kind sailboat, but Jeff approached the project with enthusiasm and creativity. Jeff and I met regularly for updates and after nearly two years we found a buyer. Jeff was excellent with the many documents required for the sale.
Jeff is an exceptionally creative and bright guy who is good at following up, I recommend him whole heartedly.
2007 – Nordhavn 40 Maria Elena sold in San Diego, CA
2004 – Nordhavn 35 La Tempestad sold in San Diego, CA
Just a quick note to thank you again for all your time and hard work related to helping us sell our Nordhavn 35. It’s hard to believe this has been our third time around with Nordhavn’s and every time you have been there for us. If we learned one thing early on in our trawler adventures it was that selling a trawler even as well-known as a Nordhavn takes time and can be stressful. Even after you found us a buyer with an acceptable offer on our 35 the balance of the process proved to be challenging and not something I could have done alone.
Your organized write ups and marketing strategy with lots of photos really helped to set our boats apart. Thanks for being there for every survey and trial run, it is comforting to know that you have our back and can keep things on track.
Your ability to successfully navigate us through three Nordhavn resales shows us that you know your profession and can be trusted to make the right decisions regardless of the pressures that comes with this type of transaction. Thanks again for everything and you know that when time comes to sell our next trawler (and there will be a next time) we will be calling on you to guide us.
John & Maria Torelli former three time Nordhavn owners; 40 #50, 40#61, 35 #22
A follow up thank you for being my broker and helping me sell my Nordhavn 35, Maxine D. I appreciate the time you took to meet with me and go over the boat and the advice you had to make her ready for sale. Your internet write up was complete and accurate. Looking back, I feel pretty fortunate that you were able to get everything done from signing up to closing in less than 90 days, that’s pretty fast. It was also very nice of you to fly up to WA to attend the survey and haul out, that helped to keep things smooth.
I wish your continued success in your brokerage and thank you again for all your efforts.
Now that the transaction is over I wanted to write you a referral letter in the hopes that others will know how you work above and beyond what I have seen other brokers provide. As you know, I had “Twins” listed with a major house for two years, and the only time I would hear from my broker was when it was time to renew the listing.
I have known about you for years through your reputation in the Nordhavn community and looking back, sending you an email to ask about listing our boat for sale was the first step in creating a successful sales strategy.
Offering a boat for sale in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico did have some challenges, but my first “wow” was when you flew down for two days to understand the boat, take photos and shoot the video (which still blows me away that were over 12,000 views by the time we closed).
Once you completed your very thorough write up you did a great job of keeping me informed, even when there were no inquiries.
After we agreed to move the boat up to San Diego I appreciate that you drove the 200 mile round trip from your office to make several showings and when the eventual buyers did show up you were there for the survey, trial run and a few weeks later the offshore delivery.
Jeff, Alicia and I are very thankful that you took us on and you did make a huge difference in helping us sell our boat. Your product knowledge is amazing, you had some nice suggestions to improve our presentation and you were always available by phone or email when we needed to get in touch.
If any potential sellers are considering JMYS to market a cruising boat for sale, but before they sign up want to talk first hand to a successful seller, please know that I would be happy to speak with them about you and your service. Hope to see you again soon.
Scott Case – former owner of Nordhavn 50 Twins
My wife (Jenny) and I live in New Zealand. We saw our first Nordhavn, here over 5 years ago and the Nordhavn dream began for us.Not long after our first Nordhavn inspection, we met with Jeff Merrill in California. Jeff made us feel very welcome. His knowledge of all things Nordhavn is encyclopedic. Jeff showed us over all of the Nordhavn models that were in Southern California, despite knowing that we were still ‘only looking.’ Over the years we have continued to stay in touch with Jeff.
One of the must-do steps before we could purchase a Nordhavn was to sell our Offshore 40 sailboat. We tried to sell her locally, but did not have much success so we contacted Jeff. Even though we were located half a world away, Jeff listed and helped us sell our yacht here in New Zealand. The exposure of ‘Defiant’ on JMYS.com and other international websites made selling her here in NZ much easier.
Jenny and I are now onto our newest adventure; we are purchasing a Nordhavn 47.
Jeff’s guidance and knowledge has helped us along the way, and we are truly grateful for his support.
We continue to stay in touch with Jeff, and highly recommend him when it is time to fulfill your dreams.