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What is it with Brokerages and Marinas?


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Forgive me butting in here - I'm new to the forum - but I'd be interested in your views.

 

I have about £50k to spend on a used narrowboat. Not an inconsiderable amount of money I think most would agree. However, some of the brokerages I've been in touch with or seen on the internet seem to have an attitude towards customer service on a par with a poke in eye the sharp stick.  Also, many of the boats I've seen don't even appear to be readied for sale with even just a quick tidy up and removal of 4 inches of water out of the engine bilge!

 

Same with marinas I've contacted who seem to say 'yeah we've space, cost you a lot though and we're not really bothered if you take it or not. Oh and by the way that's just the basic cost. We also charge for extras  like the air that you breathe and the jetty you walk on'!

 

Am I missing something here? Are narrowboats some sort of massive inconvenience to marinas and brokerages? Is there really that much of seller's market they can afford to be offhand, incompetent or rude?

 

Actually, when I do buy my boat (and I have my eye on a few) I do know where I'm going to moor it. A new marina, architect designed, in the south midlands, close to two junctions not far from a prison. They called me, emailed me and were extremely pleasant. That's where I'm going even if it does cost a little more than others. I'm not even bothered if there's a prison break - they'll probably be nicer and less crooked that some of the boat businesses I've come across!

 

JRT

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Boats have always sold well during my ownership so at present with it deffo being a sellers market then they will get another buyer next pick up of he fone. I am selling mine in the new year and reckon it will sell within a week, but we will see. Some brokers are much better than others though, much like second hand car dealers.

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7 minutes ago, JRT said:

Forgive me butting in here - I'm new to the forum - but I'd be interested in your views.

 

I have about £50k to spend on a used narrowboat. Not an inconsiderable amount of money I think most would agree. However, some of the brokerages I've been in touch with or seen on the internet seem to have an attitude towards customer service on a par with a poke in eye the sharp stick.  Also, many of the boats I've seen don't even appear to be readied for sale with even just a quick tidy up and removal of 4 inches of water out of the engine bilge!

 

Same with marinas I've contacted who seem to say 'yeah we've space, cost you a lot though and we're not really bothered if you take it or not. Oh and by the way that's just the basic cost. We also charge for extras  like the air that you breathe and the jetty you walk on'!

 

Am I missing something here? Are narrowboats some sort of massive inconvenience to marinas and brokerages? Is there really that much of seller's market they can afford to be offhand, incompetent or rude?

 

Actually, when I do buy my boat (and I have my eye on a few) I do know where I'm going to moor it. A new marina, architect designed, in the south midlands, close to two junctions not far from a prison. They called me, emailed me and were extremely pleasant. That's where I'm going even if it does cost a little more than others. I'm not even bothered if there's a prison break - they'll probably be nicer and less crooked that some of the boat businesses I've come across!

 

JRT

Have a look at ABNB's website. Their boats are well described with good photos and, should you be moved to go to the expense of a visit, fairly represent what you can expect to see.  Most here would agree they're amongst the better brokers. Just a suggestion in case your search has only kissed the frogs so far. Other reasonable brokers are also available.

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A broker is marketing and maybe accompanying viewings on the sellers boat.....not providing a cleaning service...although that can be offered at a cost. 

If the seller cannot be arsed cleaning the boat or moving rubbish/personal possessions, then this gives the potential buyer far more information about the boats care and maintenance regime than something sanitised by a contract cleaner.

 

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8 minutes ago, Ray T said:

One service that marinas in general appear not to do is valet boats for sale.

When we were looking for a boat some of the interiors were dreadful, a couple we did not get beyond the doors because of the stink.

Yes we visited some terrible boats and were shocked at the state some of them were left in. The one we purchased was where the previous owner had taken the time to black the stove, replace some carpet tiles and generally clean and present the boat in a tidy condition.

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As long as the broker gets his commission, he won't be too bothered the price as long as the boat moves quickly. As already said, if the vendor can't be ars*d, then it says a lot about how the boat has been looked after, unless, maybe, it is being sold by relatives of someone deceased, in which case looking a bit further may find you a bargain.

As regards Marinas, think how their 'laissez faire' attitude might impact on future relations. If they don't want liveaboards, this may explain their offhandedness.

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26 minutes ago, JRT said:

Hmmm. Some very good points and food for thought so, thanks everyone. I should have said though that I've made it very clear I want a leisure mooring.

 

 

Dunchurch pools (I assume this is the one you mention) have always seemed good to me, but you shouldn't conflate a poor initial attitude with a later poor performance. One marina I stayed in, I would have left on the first day had I not paid in advance, but it turned out to be a good un in the end.

 

Have you tried Rugby Boat Sales? They are good as brokers go and don't hide that they act for the seller. Admittedly £50k would be towards the bottom of their range.

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12 hours ago, matty40s said:

A broker is marketing and maybe accompanying viewings on the sellers boat.....not providing a cleaning service...although that can be offered at a cost. 

If the seller cannot be arsed cleaning the boat or moving rubbish/personal possessions, then this gives the potential buyer far more information about the boats care and maintenance regime than something sanitised by a contract cleaner.

 

This is very much the same as with house estate agents. It is up to the seller to present the product as best as they can.

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13 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

Have a look at ABNB's website. Their boats are well described with good photos and, should you be moved to go to the expense of a visit, fairly represent what you can expect to see.  Most here would agree they're amongst the better brokers. Just a suggestion in case your search has only kissed the frogs so far. Other reasonable brokers are also available.

Just a quick heads up.about ABNB, look at the 70 footer back up for sale for £50k this week. Absolutely desperate paint job, Diesel heater system (not fitted), Travelpower...not working...

 

It's not ABNBs fault, entirely the fault of the previous owner(s). However, I was surprised to see a boat like that on the ABNB books.

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The attitude of the management in our marina changes depending on how full they are. Unfortunately moorings here are always in demand, but a few years ago when people left in droves when a new marina opened nearby, the management here couldn't do enough for you. But once we were full up again they went back to their old ways.

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5 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

I remember viewing a boat on brokerage which has soiled bed sheets on the bed.  And I really mean soiled! 

Some brokers have a reputation for selling crappy boats, but there's no need for them to take it so literally.

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5 minutes ago, doratheexplorer said:

I remember viewing a boat on brokerage which has soiled bed sheets on the bed.  And I really mean soiled! 

I viewed one with a really full and stinky toilet.

I left quickly.If the owner can't be bothered to empty the casette,I can't be bothered to look at the boat.

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14 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

I viewed one with a really full and stinky toilet.

I left quickly.If the owner can't be bothered to empty the casette,I can't be bothered to look at the boat.

One of the reasons I have sold all my previous boats very quickly I think is apart from I price them sensibly is I live aboard. This means when visiting in winter instead of going onto a damp cold boat they walk in and the stove is on and I can show them how everything works and explain fully what its got etc etc. Even in summer being with the actual owner rather than some second hand car dealer type the buyer is more happy. I do however sell through a broker so they can market it and deal with dicks on the fone and cut out the chaff, its worth the money. Sold my last two boats through Rugby boat sales when Dom owned it and will be using them again with James when the time comes.

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11 hours ago, JRT said:

Hmmm. Some very good points and food for thought so, thanks everyone. I should have said though that I've made it very clear I want a leisure mooring.

 

 

I think you'll find many prospective moorers 'only want leisure moorings' until after they've been there a few weeks. This may explain the reluctance of some Marinas to fully engage at the first enquiry.

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4 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

This is very much the same as with house estate agents. It is up to the seller to present the product as best as they can.

For related reasons, some of the most obviously cleaned up (as well as cleaned out) boats are trade ins owned by the marina.

 

It did sometimes amaze me what state people leave something they're selling for 40k+ whose attractiveness to buyers is linked at least as much to condition as who built it when, but often the boat is for sale because the owner isn't in a position to do anything about it. Maybe brokers  should offer valeting services.

 

17 hours ago, JRT said:

Removal of 4 inches of water out of the engine bilge!

 Surprising how many dont do that, even including some high end brokers...

 

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7 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

One of the reasons I have sold all my previous boats very quickly I think is apart from I price them sensibly is I live aboard. This means when visiting in winter instead of going onto a damp cold boat they walk in and the stove is on and I can show them how everything works and explain fully what its got etc etc. Even in summer being with the actual owner rather than some second hand car dealer type the buyer is more happy. I do however sell through a broker so they can market it and deal with dicks on the fone and cut out the chaff, its worth the money. Sold my last two boats through Rugby boat sales when Dom owned it and will be using them again with James when the time comes.

Does anyone else think James sounds exactly like Dominic on the RBS sales videos. I pulled up our sales video from 2015, its still out there, just to check and they sound identical. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, The Happy Nomad said:

Does anyone else think James sounds exactly like Dominic on the RBS sales videos. I pulled up our sales video from 2015, its still out there, just to check and they sound identical. 

 

 

Lol I thought the same. To be fair the system worked and James has the sense to realise if it ain't broke don't mend it even down to the presentation. 

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