Buying a Boat – Getting the Right Advice

See a boat you like? Fall in love with it at first sight? Immediately reach for your wallet? That’s all fine – however, you want to be sure that it is a boat that you will continue to be in love with even after that first flush of romance. You need to ensure that the boat continues to provide fun, pleasure and thrills for many years to come. That’s why you should take independent professional advice to help you get the best boat and have the best value for your money. Let’s consider the need for, and some sources of, advice. 

 

WHY IS ADVICE NEEDED?

 

You may very well be experienced in your profession or business. Possibly used to negotiating or being part of a project. Maybe you have technical skills. These are useful. However, we believe that buying a boat is simply more complicated. Think of a boat as a combination of a house, a car, and one that (hopefully!) floats on the water. Multiply those complexities together. This is not a problem in itself, provided that you get the right advice to help you make the right decisions. 

 

SOURCES OF ADVICE

There are of course multiple sources of advice you can use. 

The internet provides a great variety of advice. Often, however, you need to know what questions to ask, where to look, who to believe. The internet can be useful; but it can also provide conflicting and unreliable advice. Frankly, I have seen some advice on the internet that makes me cringe as the advice has simply been wrong or even dangerous! 

Surveyors are an essential and important part of boat buying. However, you need to know how to choose a good surveyor, understand the different types of surveyors and surveys, and how to make best use of surveyors to actually save you money. 

If you are looking at a boat that has had a previous survey done – maybe a year or two ago – we advise you NOT to rely on it for several reasons. Firstly, the survey is the property of the vendor, not you, so the surveyor owes zero responsibility to you. Next, some issues could have arisen since the survey. Also, if you have been given the survey, then you have been informed of any issues identified, and so you have no come back or room for negotiation on those issues. In a nutshell – you need to get your own survey done. 

Go Earth can recommend the types of survey(s) you need and assist in finding a suitable surveyor. 

Brokers are of course often ready to be helpful and give advice. However, please remember that their legal, contractual relationship is with the seller, not you as the (potential) buyer. Also, they – naturally enough – want to sell you a boat on their books. That’s what their job is. Further, if you ask the broker for information, they may simply be unable to give you accurate or full information because they may not know all the boats on their books. Also, it has been known for the seller to forget to tell the broker about significant issues with a boat! 

Solicitors may be needed for large or complex transactions. However, most solicitors are not specialists in marine matters. Your personal solicitor may, therefore, not be the most appropriate one for a boat purchase. We can help you find a specialist marine solicitor. 

Go Earth is not associated with any boat broker or boat manufacturer. We are independent. Our mission is to help boaters through all the stages of buying a boat. To do this we provide a variety of services. 

We can act as your professional advisor and procurement agent. 

The professional advisory element is typically focussed around requirement specification and identifying makes / models of boats that fit your requirements. Note that we are starting from ‘what are your requirements?’; not from ‘that’s a nice-looking boat, let’s buy it’! 

Of course, it is not always easy to define your requirements; and so we can help with that process. I have written another article about requirements specification, check it out here (LINK). 

The procurement agent does what any procurement agent in any industry does – tries to get you the best product at the lowest possible price. Go Earth is an example of a procurement agent, and provides a range of services to help you get the right boat at the best (i.e. lowest) price. While of course nobody is going to give a boat away, a procurement agent can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you buy at the very lowest viable price.

In summary, our services include introductory training, an on-board experience, boat search, boat pre-visits, and perhaps most importantly boat negotiation services. We always recognise that it is your money, and so we will do as little or as much as you want.

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