Having owned a previous boat, we aren't going into the process blind.....we kinda know what we want this time.
Our previous boat, a 3-cabin Beneteau 411 was a great boat...it was perfect for what we did, which was to cruise the Bahamas for 6 months at a time. While doing that, we learned that for full-time cruising we wanted a larger boat and we needed a 2-cabin version this time (much more storage). With a 2-cabin we will still have the extra cabin for visitors and could resort to using the galley table/berth if necessary.
Notice in the above paragraph I used the words "wanted" and "needed"....there definitely is a difference. The Lord willing, we will get what we need, but whether we get what we REALLY want......I doubt it. What we really want, our dream boat, is a two-cabin 2004 or 2005 Beneteau 50. That ain't gonna happen; with the economic turndown "that ship has sailed", so to speak. A more realistic boat will be a Beneteau 46 - 47'.
While the boat market is a buyer's market right now, so is the real estate market. That's great for buying the boat, but not so good if you were thinking of selling a house and some other properties. So, what we ultimately get will greatly depend on what we net (I made a ryhme :-) ] for some of the real estate we sell (now decided to rent out our house) and how long we want to wait before taking the plunge, buying the boat and leaving. The longer I work, the more money we save for the boat and the kitty; but I have never been know to have a great deal of patience, and..... how long will the boat market be a buyer's market. Ahh, the dilema.....
We have enlisted a yacht broker in Hilton Head, SC to assist us in the search...we met him when we sold our other boat, and really liked him. He brought the buyers and was friendly, and professional. We have told him what to be on the look-out for and that we were going to be patient and wait for the right boat at a great price. He has been very helpful thus far. We will give him a plug later in the blog, or not. It's up to him.
Updated Nov 2013: No plug for our broker....he wasn't any help. We found our own boat and negotiated our own deal with a selling broker. It has worked out so far; we are due to close in May 2014.