I just returned from a trip to the Caribbean to inspect some catamarans with a buyer. Once we identified the exact model the buyer preferred (in Fort Lauderdale, the Supermarket of Yachts), I called a dozen brokers in the Caribbean to identify the perfect boat. The Caribbean can be a great place to find “deals” on catamarans because there is a huge imbalance of sellers verses buyers. In the case of the Lagoon 440 model, there are 71 on the worldwide market now and maybe 12 will sell in the next 5 months. And most are in the Caribbean so this is where the deals are usually found. I specifically told each listing agent that we wanted a never-chartered boat that showed little use…with no defects in the floors or woodwork…. The engines/gensets had to be low hours and I specified a number of other parameters. Well, when we arrived down-island we found that every single boat that we had narrowed down (to 4 on the “to see” list) had been misrepresented. I could go on for hours about the glaring misrepresentations and omissions, but suffice it to say that the listing agents either never saw the boats and omitted the problems from ignorance, OR they intentionally covered up problems. We didn’t find out until we arrived that one boat had been a “total insurance loss” and was literally a wreck. But this was never disclosed in advance. When I asked the agent, “Did you know this was a "total" recently bought from an insurance company?” he admitted it….But his listing sheet had no hint about the fact that this was a wreck. I wanted to kill him because he wasted our travel money and our valuable time!
Lesson to be learned: be very careful to thoroughly interrogate the listing agents before spending a lot of time and money travelling to see boats. Many of them are misrepresented! Or get me to preview them for you. A lot of these Listing Agents are not experienced (they just happen to work near the boat) and this is why this happens.
Luckily, we stumbled upon a 5 year-old, better than new catamaran that was owned by a mega-yacht captain who was extremely anal about maintenance. And it was priced $100,000 under the other boats. That's the one we bought.
So, all’s well that ends well!