April 15, 2010

A time of high emotion

WHEN THE TIME COMES to sell your boat, should you use a broker? In most cases, I believe the answer is yes — though I’ve never done it myself. Brokers bring to the transaction a sensible impartial balance that most owners find impossible to achieve because of their emotional attachment to the boat. I mean, it’s like selling your spouse.

Brokers can estimate, far better than you can, how much your boat is really worth. They also have access to long lists of prospective buyers. They know the laws, they understand the procedures, and they can smooth the way to financing the deal.

Judging by the advertisements, most brokers don’t like to bother much with selling boats for less than about $5,000. The reason is pretty obvious. But that’s not to say they won’t try — if you make it easy for them. That means moving the boat nearer to them, for a start. It means getting the boat squeaky clean and ready for sale in every way. It means being prepared to drop everything and take a client for a sail at short notice.

Selling a boat is usually a time of high passion. You’re either distressed at parting with it or overjoyed at the prospect of getting rid of the damn thing. Either way, your judgment is too clouded to secure the best deal. Better leave it to a broker.

Today’s Thought
There is no such thing as “soft sell” and “hard sell.” There is only “smart sell” and “stupid sell.”
— Charles Brower, President, Batten, Barton, Dursline & Osborn.

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #40
It takes as long as 20 minutes to develop full night vision — and it’s destroyed in a flash. Luckily, red light has no effect on night vision, so if you have to go below to a brightly lit cabin, you can don red ski goggles and maintain your night vision. In a pinch you can close just one eye if you have to go below to check on something quickly. The closed eye will retain its night vision so you can see well when you get back on deck.

“Gimme a return ticket.”
“Yes, sir. Where to?”
“Back here, you idiot.”

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