Spectator — October 2002
By Tom Fexas
The Boat Always Knows
|Part 2: Coincidence? I think not.|
The first car that I ever sold acted similarly. Before I knew any better, I had a huge, befinned `60 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible. The car was extremely complicated and had "power everything," including, believe it or not, power no-draft windows and a little electric motor in the radio that changed stations at the press of a button in the floor. The damned wiring harness between the body and the driver's door (which contained most of the controls) was massive--about five inches in diameter. I distinctly remember cruising along the Clearview Expressway in New York with my buddy Rosco telling him I had seen the light and was going to buy a brand-new 1963 Jaguar XKE to replace the big Caddy. Immediately after I spoke the words "to replace the big Caddy," the no-draft window on the driver's side started cycling uncontrollably. Then the top developed a leak, the brakes started malfunctioning, and the triple carburetors went out of sync. At end, I was happy to unload the slug for about half of what I was asking for it.
Since those two moments of revelation, I have never discussed the sale of a boat or a car while aboard or anywhere near it.
This raises the question of exactly how you can advertise or show a boat (or car) to a prospective buyer without the boat knowing or suspecting what is going on. You have to be cool. You need to take the prospective buyer aboard as an innocent visitor who is merely curious about your boat. It's fine to show all your boat's workings and describe her attributes, but when talk comes to negotiation of price, do that as far away from the boat as possible. Feel free to run an ad, but never take the publication containing the ad aboard. You may think this senseless, but given a choice, don't you always walk around a ladder instead of under it? Why tempt fate? Since I have adhered to the above rules, countless sales have gone off without a hitch...the boat always knows.
Tom Fexas is a marine engineer and designer of powerboats. His Web site is www.tomfexas.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.