I hate Yacht brokers

This is rich stuff.  In the past few years the tax man up in B.C. has gotten a little more stringent on "possession" and getting their tax money when possession is made in their province, understandable.  As well, the US Customs has gotten a bit more strict about proper clearance paperwork.  To work with these two things we put our deal through a customs broker who takes care of organizing all the clearance paperwork and schedule - this is generally at the buyers expense.  We put a clause in the contract that the boat will be delivered to a US port of entry.  No other specifics are necessary.  The listing broker, the seller or a hired captain can do it to avoid the possession issue.  I've gone and done it myself as the selling broker, just costs transportation and $19 at the border for me to do it for the owner.  I've also had listing brokers go above and beyond and help the buyer deliver the boat all the way to Seattle after clearing customs. All this is to avoid the B.C. sales tax on the buyer and only pay the Washington State sales tax.  really nothing more than that than I'm aware of.

As someone mentioned here - if a buyers agent had been involved the situation would probably have been different.  Are there slimy salesmen out there?  Obviously there is and it's the same in any sales job known to man, there are bad ones.  Was there a bad broker here - I've no idea, but I'd guess that there was not.


George Hackett

Super Anarchist
From Ballard Sailor. - this is generally at the buyers expense.

when we bought Misty, we always assumed it was our responsibility. If you are not ready to accept responsibility, then don’t waist people’s time. 

after that, due diligence. Again, if you can’t be responsible to do due diligence, don’t waist people’s times. 

last but not least, if you expect cheap you will get cheap.  There will always be good deals. But cheap deals will cost you later. 



Super Anarchist
Just for some light relief ... there are decent Yacht Brokers out there. 40 odd years on I am still friends with lots of my customers, and have never been legal. But there are moments ...

I had a very honest Broker worked for me, who went the extra mile, despite my warnings. Sold a boat with missing masthead wind stuff, everyone aware and OK, even though outdated kit and no spares available. After sale complete, seller calls to say he has found an unused one in his garage. Buyer informed, seller delivers to the boat. Buyer tells my Broker he is afraid to go up his mast, so my guy says that on Saturday when he is on duty, he will pop down and get the owner to winch him up. Very busy day in the office. Our petite secretary comes in to get something from her desk and my Broker persuades her to go up the guy's mast. Never done anything like that and tells the owner clearly. She attaches it as per my Broker's instructions. 10 days later it falls off in 30 knots of wind. Buyer demands we pay. We are not insured for working on boats, hence my warnings to my Broker. But the buyer contends that we should have known what we were doing. Cost me a full new system.

A simpler one cost me a new dinghy... Deal completed, buyer says where is the dinghy. Seller says he told us a month ago to remove it from the inventory, and one of my employees confirms he did. No argument. Our responsibility.

More fun was a guy who tried to pull out after contract, deposit, satisfactory survey with a few minor things immediately addressed by seller. He claimed he did not know that the engine predated to commissioning date of the boat. Slightly long story of guy who bought mouldings for a 55' boat from Colvic, engine and assorted kit, and took years trying to hide from his company that he was fiddling the books as he had the boat fitted out. Got fired and boat now property of company who get a surveyor involved to project manage completion to sellable state, and us to sell it once done. Every bit of the history documented and provided to buyer. His reason for trying to get out was "entirely personal" .... Put a heavy London barrister on to bully me into submission .... After 2 hours on the phone, we started talking and laughing about life, the universe and everything, before he apologised, saying he had to go, but he would tell his "friend" to send the balance immediately. He said he enjoyed talking to someone who knew his business and the law.

There are rogues out there, and as has been said above, bargain seeking is often fraught with dangers, but take care, ask around, check up and then trust someone whose reputation has been vouched for.

I wonder if the Broker in this case realised he had cocked up and hoped he could "escape" with covering part of the delivery cost?


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