Working with your local Yacht Broker also locks in their local sales tax rate for any boat purchase elsewhere.  For example: when you purchase a boat in Seattle or Tacoma you pay up to 10.2% sales tax unless you enlist the services of a Gig Harbor brokerage to represent you in the purchase of the same boat.  Then the sales tax will be based on the local Gig Harbor sales tax rate of 8.7%...a savings of $1500 per every $100,000 of purchase price.

The Process

Once you decide on a boat, it is customary to offer a 10% earnest money with your offer which is held in the Broker’s “Client Trust Account”. This initiates the “offer and counteroffer” process with the Broker negotiating an acceptable price while maintaining attention on your financial interests, purchasing requirements and all written conditions. But before the deal is completed, there are several important steps.

Start with a brokerage firm with their own docks.  This will allow you to leisurely go through many boats at the same stop to determine exactly what you are looking for.  Choose a Broker who is capable of advising you on everything from construction materials to the management and operation of the boat.

Choosing a Broker
Another very important benefit of working with a Broker is to have an intermediary between you and the sellers.  This minimizes your anxieties and neutralizes any negative effects personalities may have on the transaction. After the sale, your Yacht Broker can also provide you invaluable services like advice on future maintenance, demonstrating your new boat’s equipment and comprehensive on-water training.
Without exception, every purchase contract has clauses requiring that the boat must pass a satisfactory marine survey as well as a sea trial. The sea trial reassures you of a satisfactory boat and provides a chance to experience the boat underway.  At sea trial all mechanical equipment and auxiliary systems are tested and the boat’s cruising and top end speeds are demonstrated and noted.   The marine surveyor examines the boat from stem to stern and provides a comprehensive written report of  their findings and the value and condition.  Since surveyors are not licensed, ask your Broker for a list of reliable and reputable local surveyors, including their fees.  If any major findings are discovered at survey, you can negotiate further.  If the findings are extensive and significantly affect the value or seaworthiness of the boat, the offer can be rescinded and your earnest monies returned.