Jan 9, 2020

Frozen BoatWinter is a great time to buy a boat! At Pat Sturgeon Yachts we continue to show and sell boats regardless of the weather.

A good Yacht Broker will break out the winter gear this time of year. Tools of the winter trade include:

-An adjustable ladder

-Plastic snow shovel

-Small hard broom

-All weather tuck tape to re tape cut shrink wrap

-Lock de-icer

-Warm gloves and hats for clients who forget to bring theirs

-Flashlights

I tell most buyers that the bulk of boats for sale come on the market in the fall and the selection is at its peak. But, opportunities for good deals and good boats will always be there in the winter. In fact, for the Ontario market we have our largest indoor show in January - the Toronto International Boat Show - and lots of boats come on the market at this time as people fall in love with the new product at the boat show.

Winter is fickle, and although the survey clause is the most important part of the contract for obvious reasons some surveyors are reluctant to survey boats in the winter. However, most of the boats we show have some sort of winter cover, whether it be plastic shrink wrap or canvas tarps. The decks are usually clear and a good visual inspection is possible. Moisture meters will read ice as well as water, and a good surveyor will look at a boat and from experience be able to detect core issues even if frozen.
Looking at a boat in its winter state can give you a good feeling as to the type of care the owners have given a boat and the sellers recognize that not all systems can be checked in a static winter survey. We adjust the conditions of the contract to accommodate that fact. We always have a holdback clause to more than cover any issues that may arise in the spring at commissioning, including starting the engine.

If a timely survey is just not possible due to inclement weather I always allow for a clause to include a statement that the survey may be delayed until proper conditions permit a practical assessment of the boat.

If boat deals were left until spring for acceptance then the sellers would be forced to essentially take their boat off the market for months pending the decision of one person. Their only recourse is to keep their boat actively on the market having the buyer take their chances that someone else doesn't come along and buy the boat out from under them.

If a customer is willing to brave the cold and look at boats in the winter they are usually considered serious buyers. It might be cold and snowy but it is still a good time to buy!

Pat Sturgeon
Pat Sturgeon Yachts
Mississauga, ON

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