Buying a Boat

SHOULD YOU USE A BUYER’S BROKER?

Owning a boat is more than the vessel itself – it is a way of life.

With the help of a Broker to navigate the process, you can be confident that you are getting the most out of that investment. Yacht brokers work like real estate agents, helping you find exactly the right boat at the right price for your needs. Using their knowledge and experience, the Broker will represent you in all inquiries and transactions throughout the deal; help you make an informed offer; attend the sea trial and survey; negotiate the deal and safeguard the funds. The Broker will also help you with any repairs, maintenance issues and equipment that you may need once the deal is complete.

WHY CHOOSE A BROKER AT ST. BARTS YACHTS?

  • There is ZERO COST to you the buyer. The Broker’s commission comes out of the seller’s proceeds.
  • Our Brokers have over 100 years of combined EXPERIENCE to help you navigate the deal.
  • St. Barts Yachts has an in-house SERVICE department to provide skilled and reasonable repairs and maintenance.
  • St. Barts Yachts has a dedicated administrative staff to SAFEGUARD your funds and keep the process moving to a successful conclusion.
  • You will have a boating FRIEND for life!

HOW IT WORKS

Once you have decided to purchase a boat, your Broker will listen closely to your wants and needs and will help you determine the right boat for you at the best value. Your Broker can objectively tell you about the condition of the vessel before you decide whether or not to spend your time looking at the boat. Your Broker will help you determine if there are similar boats on (and off) the market, the history of the yacht, how long it has been on the market, and the motivation of the seller. Anyone can look up asking prices on boats, but it takes a professional broker to have an intimate knowledge of current market conditions, a familiarity of similar boats, and information on recent sale prices and time on the market through www.soldboats.com, an industry resource not available to the public.

Once you have found the right boat, your Broker can help you decide on a realistic offer that increases the chances of buying the boat for a fair and reasonable price, and with the necessary elements to protect your interests. Your Broker will prepare an Offer to Purchase which spells out the terms of the sale including obligations that you and the seller have agreed to, and when these obligations will be fulfilled.

If your offer is accepted, the next step is sea trial and survey. You, the buyer are responsible for the cost of the survey including the haul-out. Therefore you want to have an experienced Broker to attend the sea trial and survey with you, and to help you determine how to properly address the nearly inevitable survey issues that arise. Your Broker will put these issues into the context of the deal and negotiate any repairs. Your broker can also help you estimate time and cost of any issues found. Here at St. Barts Yachts we are especially fortunate to have our own professional Service Department to handle your repairs and maintenance in-house.

An especially important function of the Broker is to safeguard your funds and to ensure at closing that any existing loan or encumbrance is paid off. Without a Broker, this can be a potentially hazardous situation and leave you the buyer holding the ball.

Once the deal is complete, there are still many concerns that your Broker can help you with. You will need dockage and maintenance, possible repairs and customizations. Your Broker can refer you to classes on sailing, boathandling, seamanship and boating etiquette. Their experience in local waters can help you chart a course for a great day, weekend or longer trips. The relationship with your Broker lasts long after the closing – you’ve got a boating friend for life.

MARINE FINANCING

Once you have made the decision to buy a boat, there are still several things to consider, such as financing. Financing your boat is a good idea no matter what boat you buy. Earnings from maintaining your cash, assets and securities often exceeds the cost of marine financing! Here at St. Barts Yachts, we have teamed up with several dedicated marine lenders to offer our clients competitive rates with the best service, all in-house. There are no closing costs, and there is no commitment required for pre-approval.

Our lenders offer various loan options but the most common and generally most flexible is a fixed-rate, fixed-term simple interest loan. Depending on your credit score and net worth, our rates on fixed loans vary from 4.5% to 5.2% with a 20 year term. We can usually do a 0.125% discount for 180 month terms and there is no penalty for pre-payment.

The lender will need to check your credit, verify your income and look at your overall financial situation. In order to provide the best loan decision, you will be asked for a personal financial statement, copies of tax returns for the past two years with W-2’s, copy of most recent paystubs and proof of liquid assets. An important factor in applying for a loan is debt to income ratio. Including the monthly payment for the boat loan, a debt to income ratio below 40% is best. You can use this BOAT LOAN CALCULATOR to determine what your monthly payment will be.

Dear Mr. Laughlin,

I thought I’d take a moment to let you know how satisfied we were with St. Bart’s Yachts and, in particular with Andy Roberts. We had owned a Catalina 320 for about 13 years and decided to sell. Having no experience in selling a sailboat we, on the recommendation of several friends and knowledgeable local people, enlisted the help of Andy Roberts to act as our broker. The process couldn’t have been easier for us. Andy responded to our inquiry within an hour, met with us at our convenience, fully explained the process he followed, and gave us an honest appraisal of his sense of the value of the property when we asked for help in setting a fair price. Although we were 3 hours away from the boat,  we do know from those at the marina just how many prospective buyers he met with to show the boat. And he was diligent in keeping us informed about how things were progressing, When an offer was made and accepted (within weeks-not the months we expected) he walked us through the necessary paperwork which we would have had a hard time negotiating ourselves.  We do know that the buyer was also impressed with Andy’s knowledge of boats and the industry having met him to tour the boat.  To say we were completely satisfied would be an understatement. We will now be in the group that will recommend Andy and St. Barts in the future.
Sincerely,

— Jim and Babs Brown, Durham, NC