For a number of years, we have been proud sailboat owners. However, after some changes in circumstance, we decided to make the leap over to a powerboat. After researching the different brands in the 50 ft range, we were impressed by the features and overall value offered by the Prestige line. We are located in California and started our search trying to find a newer model, lightly used Prestige 500 or 520 close to our market without success.
After scouring the internet all over the country and speaking to a number of various dealers/brokers throughout the country, we discovered a beautiful 2018 Prestige 520 offered by John McDonald with Galati Yacht Sales out of Destin, FL. In the age of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were unable to travel cross country to view the boat in person at any stage of this process. Normally, this would make us shy away from a potential deal as there is quite a bit of trust that had to be placed within John and Galati. From the very first contact, John was nothing short of excellent. He immediately took us on a virtual tour of the 520 and we were instantly impressed. After a few short hours of discussion, we were in contract.
The pre-contract process was the easy part, it was all that was done by John and the rest of the Galati team post contract is what earned them our admiration and feeling to be part of the Galati family. From what we quickly discovered, Galati is large. With multiple branches and capabilities, I was concerned that it would feel overly corporate and not responsive. I could not have been any more incorrect. Galati is a true family run business with considerable care for each of their customers. They’re not looking for the quick sale, it is clear that Galati is looking to create a lifelong relationship by working hard to earn trust and mutual respect. It is so reassuring to see business conducted with this level of care these days. Their success is absolutely deserved!
Despite multiple hurricanes thrown our way, Galati made the the post-contract / pre-sale completion process as easy as could be. Keep in mind, with the pandemic, we were still unable to travel to Florida to see the boat in person. John handled all of the details with meticulous care on our behalf. This is where trust really comes into play. John sure earned it with us! Being that were could not see it, he pointed everything out to us so just as if were were there. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated this as if trust couldn’t be established, we simply would not have been able to continue with the purchase. The survey went on without issue, the boat was exactly how John had presented it to us, it was in excellent shape. Being that this was a dealer owned used boat, it was very reassuring to see what care Galati placed in all of their boats. There were some extremely minor issues we were made aware of that Galati graciously repaired without hesitation. Simply stated, we would have gone through this buying process all over again with the help of John and Galati.
Once the sale was complete and the boat was ours, the complicated part began. This is where Galati truly shined. Being a licensed captain, John so kindly offered to take the boat from Destin to Ft Lauderdale where it would be loaded on a ship to transport to the West Coast. However, to no fault of John or Galati, we chose United Yacht Transport, which was just terrible to work with. The transport company kept delaying the transit time which went on for well over a month. With us still stuck in CA during the pandemic and being away from our new boat, unwilling to leave us behind, Galati stuck with us and went well beyond their call of duty to continue helping us along. The deal was done, the money was transferred, but Galati stayed with us the entire way. As hurricane after hurricane kept approaching and we were still waiting for the ship transport, John and the rest of the wonderful folks over at Galati continuously looked out for our beautiful new boat keeping it safe with each obstacle. They then decided it would be best to transport it to their Anna Maria location (by Tampa). John did this run himself with the help of a mate.
At this point, we were so frustrated with the transport company, storms kept coming, we still had not yet seen the new boat in person because of Covid, Galati still refused to leave our side. In fact, without us even asking, the Galati family offered, without charge, to continue berthing and watching out for the boat until it was ready to be transported. Each step of the way, Galati went beyond what anyone else would have done. We appreciate it this beyond words! We felt so comfortable and secure with Galati, never having even met them face to face. The care they showed reached well over to us in CA. Even with the delays in transport, once again no fault of Galati, we were confident knowing the boat was in excellent and capable hands.
Once the transport ship finally arrived, John arranged and coordinated the boat to be loaded onto the ship, which then went without incident.
A few weeks later, we unloaded our Prestige 520 in Ensenada, MX. We were delighted, but had no doubt, that this beautiful boat was EXACTLY how Galati had presented it to us. There were no surprises nor issues. Even though we had not seen it in person until this point, we felt like we already knew it so well with the help of John and the others at Galati.
Now that we have the Prestige safely in our home port, the attention and care from Galati continues. John always graciously makes himself available to us with any question we may have. Additionally, Sean Cardow has been such a valuable resource as he quickly responds to any service issues that arise. And, most recently, we were introduced to Brian Bodner, aka human Prestige encyclopedia, who I have been regularly picking his brain with questions and opinions that he so quickly and reliably provides.
We may be thousands of miles apart, never stepped foot at a Galati location, or even met anyone from Galati in person, but we are so proud to be part of the Galati family. And most importantly, we love our Prestige 520!