The Benefits of Working with a Certified Professional Yacht Broker

A captain guides a ship safely to its destination, but before you need a captain for your boat, you need a boat! Similar to the captain, the right yacht broker guides boat-buyers in their quest of finding the perfect vessel. Whether traveling overseas or trying to find the yacht that best fits your needs, the wrong captain or broker, or going without one, can result in making a very expensive and bad decision.

There’s a lot to consider before writing the check. Knowing your budget and size of the boat you want is just the beginning. How you’ll use it, who will maintain it, where you’ll use it, and even what type of boat matches your style and personality are things to consider. Because of the difficulty and potential risks of buying the wrong boat, many buyers work with brokers to help with the purchase and make sure they won’t regret this significant investment.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than watching the excitement on the faces of the family I’ve helped find their perfect boat,”  says Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB) JC Schwalback of MarineMax Fort Myers. Schwalback is one of around 600 CPYB’s, whose jobs are to work with boat buyers from the research stage to the final delivery of their boat. “We help buyers find the perfect boat for them instead of giving subjective advice on looking at one boat versus another. Our goal is to guide you through the process and look out for your best interests in every aspect of the purchasing process.”

Regardless of the manufacturer or size of the boat, there are both visual and mechanical aspects of every vessel that need to be considered. “People can look at it (the boat) and think it looks great and forget there’s a lot under the boat that needs to be inspected. You can’t equate a clean aesthetic with a good boat — looks can be deceiving.” Schwalback recommends that every used boat should be examined. “There’s a lot mechanically that can be wrong with a boat. A mechanical inspection is a must when buying a boat because you can’t determine what repairs or replacements you might need just by looking at it.

An inspection may seem like an unneeded expense, but you can’t truly know what you are buying without having an expert checking it over. If working with a broker, ask for recommendations on independent inspectors before purchasing a boat.

Certified brokers are required to have expertise on all major boat builders and brands. According to Schwalback, finding the right certified professional broker gives the buyer a full array of possibilities instead of focusing on a select number of boat builders. “A typical retail or yacht salesperson may sell X or Y, while a certified professional broker sells A-Z.” Additional benefits of working with a certified yacht broker include their wide base of knowledge and unbiased guidance due to not being tied to a specific manufacturer. Brokers are cost-free to buyers and receive their commissions from the seller’s proceeds.

When asked about the best time to buy a boat, Schwalback recommends that prospective buyers act sooner rather than later. “There’s no better time to buy a boat than right now. A specific boat may cost less in the future, but they never get less expensive. If considering buying a boat, consider buying one now.”

To find a certified independent broker, he recommends visiting the National CPYB website, contacting local marinas, and asking people you know and trust who own a boat. Research and a managed buying process may not be your idea of fun, but due diligence and finding the right broker are key to making sure that your investment isn’t sitting in the shop when you’d rather be out on the water.

About JC SchwalbackFT_BrokerBio_JCSchwalback_Page_1 (2)

JC is a Certified Professional Yacht Broker (CPYB), licensed Florida Yacht Broker (#6438) and active member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, demonstrating professional leadership and knowledge. He is dedicated to broadening his knowledge to benefit his customers and has completed factory training with CABO Yachts, Boston Whaler and Sea Ray Boats, as well as Caterpillar, Cummins MerCruiser and MAN Diesel engines.

To contact JC Schwalback of MarineMax Fort Myers, email him at or call at 239-222-5908.

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