Mistakes to Avoid at the Boat Show, Part 3

PalmBeachsmallIf you’re reading this, you would probably call yourself a “boat guy,” and the idea of walking the docks at a show can get you excited to see boats of every stripe—including some you’d never dream of owning. That’s why finding a boat to buy at the boat show can sometimes feel like a needle in a haystack.

“Buyers can often make the mistake of viewing too much product at a show,” says Simon Gibson, a partner and broker at Worth Avenue Yachts in Palm Beach, Florida. “For a buyer to come down to the boat show and view 20 boats in one day, it’s very tough to take in and retain the amount of information that’s on display, which makes it hard to get a clear picture of exactly what it is that you’re trying to achieve.”

The bottom line is that the boat show should function more as the playoffs than the regular season. The regular season goes something like this: “We prefer to be prepared in advance; a few weeks before the boat show, we will e-mail a list of the yachts going into the show,” Gibson explains. “We will update it as the show gets closer. We’ll then do a conference call with the client, and weed out the yachts that really either don’t make sense in terms of price, layout, age or style. So what we do is come down to a short list that is manageable.” On that short list are the boats that you will end up seeing at the show.

Your hard work pays off. You’re only seeing boats that fit your criteria—though you can be as strict or as loose as you like leading into that. “It should be noted that this is supposed to be fun,” Gibson says. “Slowing the process down, spending your time on fewer boats, enjoying lunch, going out and doing a few more boats, and weeding down the list even more is a much more enjoyable way of doing things.”

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