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Boat Buddy…Choose Wisely

Submitted onJuly 31, 2009 No comments yet, share your thoughts

Boat buddy, friendship on the high seas

Unless you’re Hemingway’s Santiago (Google it) you probably enjoy some company on the boat. Be it friends or family they make the experience more enjoyable so it’s natural that their opinion should influence your buying decision. Just how much and in what way is what you need to be weary of or they can just as easily help you make a terrible decision.  Here are some things to consider when bringing a boat buddy into YOUR buying experience:

First and foremost you must remember that YOU are buying the boat- not your buddy.  I’m not referring to your spouse which certainly has more clout, but rather to that friend that you decided to bring along to look at boats with you.  He or she may be there today and tomorrow, but not necessarily when the boat breaks down or you enter the ‘selling experience’.  Take their opinion into account, but remember to listen to your gut instinct first.

What’s their state of mind that day? You don’t have to sit them down for a psychological analysis, but nothing ruins a boat shopping day more than a cranky, tired or depressed boat buddy.  The days can be long, there may be lots of driving involved, the A/C could be off turning the boat into a sauna…etc…  Your buddy’s poor attitude will eventually wear you down or at the very least distract your attention from what you set out to do.  You’ll rush through boats, forget to ask questions or just have a lousy time.  Worst yet, you will likely associate that negative attitude to the boats you were on and possibly miss out on the right one.

Understand the purpose of your buddy. Are they there because they know you well and you expect that they would know what you like or because they’re supposed to know about boats?  What in specific are the supposed to know about boats and how will it help you?  Maybe they’re just there to keep you company.  Whatever the reason is, figure it out before you even ask them and then try really hard to keep that in mind when you go through your day.  You are there to make a sizable lifestyle investment.  Your buddy may think that you need a stout steel boat because he/she is deeply knowledgeable about the strengths of steel construction, but maybe you only intend to do some coastal cruising.  “You never know” comes into play and suddenly you own a 10 knot expedition yacht when all you wanted was a sleek cruiser with lots of sunpads.  The broker is happy- the seller is happy- your buddy is happy…are you?

Lastly, make sure that your buddy and your broker will mesh well.  I know this sounds silly “the broker works for me and should mesh well with my friends”.  What you may not be aware of is the jockying for top opinionater that can go on all day.  Your broker feels that he was hired as the expert and thus he should be listened to.  Your friend might feel that he is the confidant and thus he should be listened to.  Both are right, but if it goes unattended for too long you’re in for a long day. Before you’re forced to make excuses for one or the other start the day by setting the expectations.  “Bob, this is my good friend Jay who I brought along to help me remember all that we’ll see with you today. He knows me/this/that/whatever.  Jay, this is my agent Bob who is an expert in this/that/whatever.”  Remedial, but you get the idea.

Buying a boat, a yacht or anything that affects your lifestyle is exciting and you’ll want to share that excitement from the beginning…just be careful who you bring along for the ride.

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