How we help you:
- Get the ball rolling-- Starting with a good search
- Decide on a brand and model
- Find your favorite one
- Help get financing and loan pre-qualification
- Negotiate a price
- Survey, short haul and sea trial
- Insurance and documentation
Start the ball rolling -- the initial search
You've already looked at some yachts or you wouldn't be calling us. Our job is to show you what else is out there, what various models have to offer, what features you might want, optional power systems, and advantages to bigger and smaller yachts. We also will educate you on annual maintenance, slip fees, insurance, and winter storage. You'll help us out by telling us what kind of boating you'll do. Are you a 'sit at the dock with a cocktail in your hand' type? Or do you like to zoom full throttle up and down the bay to raft ups with your buddies?
There are a lot of sources we have access to that you don't. We'll search the internet, trade and mainstream publications, and national and international ads for any vessels that may match your qualifications. We'll narrow it all down into summaries highlighting what we think might interest you. You'll review that material and let us know what you'd like to see. The more specific you can be with us, the better. Yacht style, interior layout, overall condition, rig design preferences, color, and anything else you can offer us to help narrow the search parameters will simplify the process. We'd also like to know how far you're willing to travel for a boat. Sometimes a great deal is a really fun delivery trip away!
Once we've got our notes together, we'll have a plan and we'll make appointments to see some yachts. This is the fun part. Fortunately, yacht shopping is not like car or house shopping. You NEED those and you DON'T need a boat, you just want one badly. That fact alone should keep the process fun and productive.
Decide on a brand and model, then find the best one...
After climbing on some yachts, you'll develop a much better idea of exactly what you want. Once we narrow down the field to a specific brand and model, we'll find the best ones on the market regionally, nationally and internationally. There are many ways to get your new yacht back to home waters. We can help you arrange to ship a boat across the country or, even better, we can drive or sail it home. So, if the best yacht on the list turns up in Maine, we'll hop up to Portland, buy it, and sail it back.
Financing, loan pre-qualifications, and paying cash
A lot has changed in the banking world in recent years. While banks are a bit stricter with their lending these days, there is still money out there for you! Marine loan rates are often only a point or two higher than home mortgage rates so money is really inexpensive right now. If your dream boat has the basic ingredients of a second home (sleeping, eating, and bathroom space), you can write off the interest! If you're considering paying cash for your yacht, you should definitely explore financing opportunities as a possible alternative.
It's possible to finance as much as 85% of your purchase at very competitive rates for 10-25 years. We have several marine lenders who not only offer their own money for you to buy a boat, they also shop other lending institutions to find you the best rate and terms available to suit your specific financial needs.
While we're out shopping, it's a great idea to get loan pre-qualification out of the way. Our goat at offer time is to come across as strongly as possible as a buyer. We've found that our negotiating power is enhanced when the seller believes that we're capable of carrying the deal through to closing. The more likely that seems, the better price we'll get out our boat.
Negotiate a Price
This is one of my favorite parts, 'the deal.' Once we have the right boat within our grasp, we're ready to make an offer. If borrowing money, you're already pre-qualified at this point. You sign an agreement in which you state that you will purchase this vessel under the following two conditions:
- That you get a satisfactory SURVEY report back from a qualified marine surveyor acceptable to YOU.
- That you participate in a SEA TRIAL that ends up acceptable to YOU.
The beauty of this agreement is that it's heavily slanted towards your end. If EITHER of these conditions are not met, you can get out and you get all of your money back.
During the negotiating phase, your 10% deposit is held in escrow in our escrow account. It does not go to the seller or to his firm.
We go back and forth with the listing broker to come to an AGREED UPON SALES PRICE. Once there, you add a supplemental check to bring up your earnest money deposit to 10% again, and we have a ratified sales agreement.
Survey, Short Haul & Sea Trial
By now, your financing is probably in order. It's time to order the survey. A marine surveyor is a licensed professional that will thoroughly go over the vessel, out of the water and underway, to determine if there is anything wrong with it. Nearly all lending institutions and insurance companies require a survey before they will give you money or insure your vessel. Can you blame them? They (and you) need to know that you're getting what you're paying for. Even if it wasn't a requirement, you WANT a marine survey, period.
You pay for the survey on the day of the inspection, typically about $22-24/foot. We'll schedule a short-haul if the boat is in the water so our inspector can examine the hull, wetted surfaces and running gear. This runs about $5-10/foot of vessel length. You'll pay for both the survey and the short haul that day. We might also want to get a detailed engine inspection for the propulsion systems are often one of the most expensive items on the yacht. We'll contract with a licensed mechanic who specializes in our specific types of motors. This runs about $115/hour or up to about $750 for the typical two engine/one genset inspection. Larger yachts with more powerful and complex engines can cost more. We'll also perform a sea trial with our surveyors on board to see how the yacht and her systems perform. This involves full throttle engine speed runs, hoisting the sails and generally running the boat through her paces. This is an opportunity for you to briefly run the boat yourself.
The surveyor puts together a detailed report and forwards it to us in about 2-3 working days. The report will be a laundry list of what is right and wrong with the yacht. It's very important to understand our goal here. We're hoping for a good report with only minor issues one would expect to find with any previously owned yacht. We'll get three categories of findings: essential corrections, required corrections and desired corrections. We want (and deserve) a vessel that is structurally and functionally sound. If things don't perform to spec and/or as advertised, this is our opportunity to request either corrections or compensation. There will also be findings that we would expect when buying a used yacht. We'll help you navigate the survey report to determine what issues we should bring up with the seller.
Our survey may result in some negotiation of the deal. We can ask for repairs, we can ask for compensation or we can walk away. Walking away is seldom necessary but you should ALWAYS be prepared to do it if necessary. Remember, we're after a GREAT boat and we should hold out for one if we need to. There is often some compromise during this process. Ideally we'll reach a deal that is workable for both buyer and seller. Once resolved, we're ready to move towards documentation and closing.
Insurance and Documentation
Prior to closing, you'll need to obtain suitable insurance coverage. The insurance company will want to see a copy of the survey. They will want to know about your yachting experience and what type of boating you will be doing, including where you will be going and how many months out of the years the vessel will be in use. You will need to secure insurance prior to closing.
Both we and the financing company will take care of documentation issues. We run a title search on the yacht to determine if there are any bank notes or liens placed on the title. We will prepare title transfer documentation, and state registration paperwork to be executed at closing. We'll also collect and distribute sales taxes to the appropriate authority.
Closing is a fairly quick and simple finale to the yacht buying process that generally takes place at the office of the buying broker or the lender. After all the preceding matters have been addressed and resolved we set a date that works. The owner may attend but seldom does. In the case of an out-of-town sale, closing will take place here. Documents are exchanged via express mail and include limited power of attorney exchange so we can transfer ownership smoothly. The sales price and is paid by the seller and split between brokerage houses.
At the conclusion of a typical purchase, you get the keys to your new yacht and everyone walks away. You're on your own. WHAT? We don't think that's an appropriate way to finish the deal.
Here at Integrity Yachts, we have a different approach to wrapping up teh deal. After closing, if you desire, we'll help deliver your yacht to it's rightful new home AND help you familiarize yourself with everything about it.
Local deliveries, not far from home, we will do for free. Longer distance or coastal deliveries we'll do for a nominal fee. Come along if you can and we'll turn the delivery into a blast of a boat trip and a thorough introduction to your new boat. We'll help you get comfortable with handling it, including 'parking lot day' (driving around the marina), docking, various points of sail (if a sailboat), storm tactics, and learning your way around the boat's systems. We can help as much or as little as you'd like.
Should you need any work done on the vessel such as repairs or additions of the new equipment, we'll point you to the right places to get a quality job done at a fair price. Also, we have wholesale accounts with many marine suppliers like West Marine, Boat US, Fawcetts, etc. As long as we know each other you're welcome to make marine purchases through us.
We really want to establish a long term relationship with you during this process that lasts well beyond the sale. We can be a great source for boating advice, finding you deep discounts on gear, and you can send us more business. Let the dream begin!