Boat Shopping Trip #2

Mark has a business trip planned in the Houston, TX area, so we thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to tag along on the trip and look at some boats! Not a lot of big, ocean going boats in Minnesota, so any chance we have to get near big water and big boats is the perfect opportunity to do some more shopping.

After limiting our yachtworld search to the Houston/Kemah, TX area, we have identified several boats that we have not had the opportunity to see up close and in person that fit our purchase criteria. On this list for viewing this trip includes the following:

40′ Passport
46′ Formosa
36′ Pacific Seacraft
42′ Westerly
37′ Tayana

We were particularly interested in the Passport and have considered the Passport 40 to be one of the boats at the top of our shopping list, but we hadn’t seen one yet. A call to the broker was placed and we scheduled a date and time to walk the docks and view the boats on our list. Up to this point, we haven’t really been all that “schooled” in terms of how these arrangements work, how to work with a broker or things of that nature. Only have heard and read other people’s stories and experiences on the web. That gives you some sense of what to expect, however you never really know….until you know.

We had a great couple of days in Kemah. It was awesome to see some of the boats that we had only seen in pictures. General impressions – you really can’t judge the real space or feel for a boat from looking at pictures. You can only tell if it’s too big, too small, not enough storage, doesn’t feel comfortable, to dark, etc by spending time aboard.

We were disappointed to learn, once we got there, that the Passport had been sold between the time we placed the call to the broker and when we arrived in Texas. Here we learned a few more valuable lessons of how this boat buying process works.

Lesson # 1 – At least for us, we learned that it only makes sense to deal with the listing agent. Dealing with a different broker who doesn’t know the answers to your questions and has to get back to you after checking with the listing broker just doesn’t make sense. It was a bit like playing the telephone game and we never felt like we got a direct response.

Lesson # 2 – If you are serious about a boat, put some money down or put in an offer to demonstrate your interest. We were disappointed that the Passport was sold prior to us arriving in Texas and after seeing the boat lying in it’s slip, we wished we would have made the commitment and extended an offer to avoid having it sold prior to our arrival in Texas. It was a great boat.

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