Wednesday, 2 November 2011

First Time Trawler Yacht Buyer Tips

If you’re a first-time trawler yacht buyer the choice of used yachts available for purchase can be overwhelming. How do you make sense of all the models and styles out there?

The first time trawler yacht buyer needs to avoid buying on emotion and take a hard look at what they intend on doing with the boat.  Making the wrong choice will be a major disappointment in the long run and perhaps cost you thousands.

To start, are you a sailor or a motor cruiser?  Some like the romance of a sailboat with the image of tropical islands in the picture; some don’t want the hassle of the sails, rigging etc.  But a sailboat is very inexpensive to operate if your plans include traveling to far-away places.  Still, power boating is not expensive if you choose the right boat.  Powerboats generally come well designed with all of the creature comforts you could every need; generally more so than all but the largest of sailboats.  And you don’t need to learn all of the sailing techniques either.

Once you have assessed your boat preference you can then decide on what you intend on doing with it.  Are you going to sail, cruise or fish from it?  Of course, you could fish from anything if you wish, but trawler yachts made for fishing are much different than those built for cruising.

How often will you use your new trawler yacht?  I always say that there are “boaters” and “boat owners”.  Boaters use their boats; boat owners just like to say they own a trawler yacht as their boats rarely leave the dock.  Some boaters may be full-time liveaboards using their boats as their home every day.  Others may just use their boats on nice weekends when time permits.

Next is the cost of trawler yacht ownership.  You must take this into consideration.  The purchase price is almost like a down payment.  Boating has its costs that you need to be aware of.  If you are mechanically inclined, you will find that the costs are not substantial.  Most boat owners do the majority of work themselves.  I have posting at my Cruising Center website about the specifics of boating costs that breaks it down into each expense. Feel free to take a look.

So thus far we have determined what type of boater we are, so we know what style of trawler yacht generally appeals to us, we know how much we expect to use it and about what to expect in the upkeep of her.  So far so good!

Now comes the hard part; how to choose just the right one?  I have developed a purchase checklist that I use with my customers to let them specify the critical features of a boat.  This allows them to choose features that they can live without and those that are features that are must-haves.  That checklist then becomes the basis for the perfect boat search.  When I am working with customers, I then look for used trawler yachts that best meet the customer’s wants recognizing that boat purchases usually involve some compromise.  Rarely do I find a boat with all of the desired features.

In the looking phase, I always say that you’ll know it when the right boat comes along; it will “talk” to you.  Any potential boat will have the lines, the feel and the character that appeals to you.  Don’t settle for anything less than that pleases you.

But what about the cost of that used trawler yacht?  How do you know you are getting a fair deal?  Borrowing from another posting at the website Cruising Center about the True Value of Boats, good boats always command higher prices, always!  A newer boat in poor condition will bring less than an older boat in good condition always!  Never buy a trawler yacht based upon the price alone or you’ll be selling it within 6 months.

And should you complete a survey, yes it’s always recommended.  Choose a knowledgeable surveyor that has experience with your desired boat.  Ask him for references too. If you are working with a reputable Trawler yachts Broker, he will recommend several top-shelf surveyors but will insist you choose the one you want.

And lastly, locate a Buyer’s Broker to represent you in your search, selection and purchase.  It will save you lots of time, money and a lot of disappointment.

The author, Mike Dickens is a veteran liveaboard boat owner, Yacht Broker and owner/operator of Paradise Yachts in Florida USA.

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