New Yachts: North Point’s Brands

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North Point has been matching clients with just the right boat since its founding in 2007, acquiring the long time J Boats and MJM dealer in Annapolis. Since then, the company has grown rapidly, complementing the high performance models of J Boats with the with the contemporary European yachts of the Hanse Group. North Point has made its mark in the powerboat world with perhaps the most sophisticated of the Downeast style express yachts, MJM, and has developed a brokerage speciality in other high end Downeast express yachts such as Sabre and Grand Banks Eastbay. More recently North point has been appointed the Chesapeake Bay dealer for Tiara and Tiara Express Yachts. The great brokerage houses of America have long represented well found yachts of both power and sail, reflecting the appreciation of yachtsmen for good boats regardless of their principal means of propulsion.

Over the last half decade, investments in second homes and yachts have reflected the stress of the economic downturn. Even so, the marquee names of yachting have managed to retain much of their value. And North Point’s premier brands are yachts that are built for the rigors of use at sea, as well as incorporating all the modern comforts and technologies that make boat handling more convenient and safer than ever before.

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Your Vacation Home

For many of our customers, investing in a yacht has become an alternative to a second home. With the new technologies in propulsion and maneuvering, a cruising couple can handle a larger yacht safely, and be able to live aboard and cruise without sacrificing shoreside amenities. Our locations in the mid-Atlantic provide the perfect place to manage such a second home, with northeastern summers and Caribbean winters always within striking distance, plus the magic of the Chesapeake in between.

Brokerage Yachts: Why You Should Have North Point on Your Side

An experienced yacht owner looking for the next boat often knows exactly the type of boat he or she wants; for others there are a lot of questions to be answered to work toward a selection that fits the need. In either case, the goals are the same: to find the right boat at a fair price, to carefully review its condition and equipment, and to get it into the right condition and location to use it. It will require surveys, documentation services, insurance considerations, financing in many cases, decisions on updates to equipment and electronics, and possibly modifications to fit the new owner’s use.

The internet age gives you the feeling that you can get all of the information and knowledge on your own, and it is certainly true that there is vastly more detailed information (and mis-information) available than before. This makes a knowledgable broker more important than ever; we can sift through the forest of data out there and provide a more sophisticated analysis than in the pre-internet period, and give you much more than the reams of data and opinion floating around in cyberspace.

How a Broker is Compensated

In the acquisition of a used boat it is important to know that a broker’s compensation comes from the seller. Many yacht brokerage transactions involve both a listing broker, representing the seller, and a broker representing the buyer. In other cases the broker represents both, because both buyer and seller have established a relationship with the broker and have confidence in his or her motivation to act as an honest broker between two parties. The total commission paid by the seller is the same regardless of the number of brokers involved. We are compensated only by a share of the sales commission paid by the seller. One instance in which I favor separate listing and buyer’s brokers is if a client is travelling to look at boats, and has no knowledge of the brokers representing the boats. There it often pays to engage a broker, with whom you have worked before and trust, to set up appointments for you and manage the transactions. In all cases, however, the buyer’s broker should attend the survey and sea trial, and represent your interests.

There is a fairly recent phenomenon in the trade wherein the listing broker’s website will offer a search engine covering the whole market in order to entice buyers to call them about a boat that may be far from their office, thereby becoming your buyer’s broker by default, and in some cases never seeing the boat in question. Let’s say you live in New York have found a boat in Texas while you were shopping a broker’s site in Florida, but in fact the Texas broker is the actual listing broker, not the broker you called. The Florida broker makes a call to Texas and registers you as a client. You visit the boat, but have no relationship with either the Florida or Texas broker. Working with a broker you know from the outset can avoid this situation. Read the fine print on the listing and make sure you know who it is you are contacting.

A buyer’s broker has access to tools on the internet that can quickly provide comparable recent sales nationwide. Your broker also has the experience to assess the value of included equipment such as electronics and tenders. Enlisting a knowledgeable broker to find you a boat will never cost you more and will almost always save you money and time.

Selecting the Right Boat

A professional will begin with questions to establish a variety of parameters for your next boat such as:

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-What is the principal use: cruising, fishing, extensive living aboard?
-How many days a year will the boat be used, and what are your cruising grounds?
-Where the boat will be kept: marina, home dock, mooring, trailer, dry rack, lift?
-What are the depth and clearance constraints, at your berth and approach?
-Does it need to be child friendly, pet friendly or age friendly?
-What sort of range or offshore capacity will be needed?
-Do you plan to carry a dinghy aboard, and how big?
-How large a boat are you comfortable operating?
-Do you need to be able to operate the boat alone?
-Will you need a captain or crew?

Making the Purchase

With information from questions like those above, we are skilled at searching for appropriate vessels, worldwide if necessary, and working with you carefully in the evaluation process. We have many contacts in the trade and enjoy a reputation for integrity earned over many years of working with other brokerage houses. 

Once a boat is selected, the prospective buyer makes an offer, subject to survey and sea trials, through his or her broker on a form known as a Brokerage Purchase and Sale Agreement, accompanied by a 10% deposit. This deposit is held in a separate escrow account managed by North Point. A surveyor to inspect the boat is engaged by the buyer at the buyer’s expense, including the costs to haul and relaunch. Based on the survey the buyer then has the right to accept, accept with allowances for deficiencies, or reject the boat, in which case the deposit is returned. Other circumstances are covered in the agreement also, but this is the essence of the process. During the process, we can help with surveyors, financing, insurance, and securing estimates on modifications and upgrades. As your broker we are present at all stages and work on your behalf.

The People of North Point

We know our boats and how to select and outfit them to fit your particular requirements. Among our staff are coastal cruisers, offshore sailors and expert racing sailors, all with a deep understanding of how boats are built and used. We each have areas of expertise and are pleased to share that with a client or colleague, but our common interest is providing a seamless process for acquiring a boat that will provide years of pleasure. 

© Peter Bass 2013-19