Galati Yacht Sales sells new boats of six different brands, but also sells a large number of pre-owned brokerage boats each year. While Part 1 in this series looked at buying new, in this article and the accompanying video, staff and customers discuss what it’s like to buy a pre-owned brokerage boat through the Galati Yachts Worldwide Brokerage program serviced from their offices throughout the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas, as well as offices in Costa Rica and Mexico.
Because the Galati sales team sells new yachts built by Viking, Tiara, Cruisers, Maritimo, Princess, and Prestige—and most of those brands for over 20 years. They have in-depth knowledge of both the fishing and cruising market. The knowledge goes beyond those six brands. Team members need to learn about competitive brands, and as a result, they are in a good position to advise potential brokerage customers on boat models across the cruising and fishing spectrum.
Customers we spoke with who had bought brokerage boats through Galati Yacht Sales said they were impressed with the knowledge of sales professionals about the strengths and weaknesses of different models. Said, one customer. “They can tell you exactly what years were best,” as well as what builders and models may have been known challenges.
Customers also credited team members with listening and truly understanding what they wanted before showing them the first boat on the dock. “They researched our needs,” said one. “[to learn] what type of boating we were going to do. He didn’t just sell us a boat. He sold us a boat that suited our needs.”
A common theme in our discussions was good communication and an open process. In working towards a fair price, sales professional Jim Nelson explained how he tries to put buyers and sellers in each other’s shoes. Effectively promoting a holistic view of the brokerage sales process. Likewise, the Galati business office was credited with keeping a customer-focused view of the purchase process to make buyers aware of next steps and keep things simple.
Perhaps there was no better example of transparency than when we asked about surveys. Every sales professional pointed out the importance of the hull and propulsion surveys. Plus the ethical requirement of the customer choosing their own surveyor and doing their due diligence, without any influence or bias from the brokers involved.
“No boat is perfect,” said sales professional Tim Pulcher, “And there are going to be issues on a survey; but no matter what you need to fix, it can be done.”
Customers appreciated the brokers’ straightforwardness. As well as the fact that the brokers could usually give reasonable estimates of costs. Which kept the process moving forward without undue stops and starts.
We talked with several repeat buyers who were effusive in their praise of Galati. Above all they appreciated the forthright, honest way in which Galati team members treated them. They credited Galati sales professionals for their commitment and personal touch.
“They never hide,” one customer pointed out. “Someone always picks up the phone”. Then he added that, in his experience of buying and owning boats, the people were almost more important to him than the boat that he selected.
Galati Yacht Sales has grown significantly from its origins as a small family business on Florida’s Anna Maria Island. The values of the Galatis’ upbringing have clearly been retained. More than one customer told us, “They treat you like family.”