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Today’s Boat Buyer: Part III

Bob and Linda Coleman were looking for a boat they can retire on — something that would accommodate their large extended family, including 10 grandchildren. The Colemans, first-time boaters from Kingsville, Md., bought an Outer Reef 63 at PassageMaker magazine’s Trawler Fest in Stuart, Fla., in January.

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“The timing was perfect with the economy,” says Bob Coleman, 56, the owner a successful landscaping company. “I read an article in BoatU.S. [magazine] saying if people wanted good deals on a boat, this was the time to start looking.”

They decided to buy a boat rather than a summer home because it would allow them to travel. “My wife always wanted waterfront property,” says Coleman. “Now we can have it all the time.”

Coleman says they first saw the Outer Reef 63 last fall at the U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis, Md., and spoke with Fred Azar, one of the principals with American Global Yacht Group, a dealer with several U.S. locations, including two in Maryland. As first-time buyers, Coleman says they took a cautious approach.

"We weren’t going to write a check for the first boat we saw. We wanted to do research." -Bob Coleman

“We weren’t going to write a check for the first boat we saw. We wanted to do research,” he says.

Coleman says they looked at hundreds of boats online, and when AGYG sales associate Noelle Semmes suggested they go to other shows, the company gave them three-day passes to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. “We looked at the Outer Reef again, but we also looked at lots of other boats,” says Coleman. “There was no sales pressure.”

At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Coleman says he liked the fact that the Outer Reef has standup headroom in the engine room, which houses twin 503-hp Caterpillars. And he says the topside layout is such that he won’t have to worry about the safety of his grandchildren. “It was as if the boat was built for children,” says Coleman.

On Jan. 24 at Trawler Fest, they drew up a contract and put a down payment on the boat. The price was $2 million, but Coleman says they were able to negotiate a “significant” discount. They put around 10 percent down. “It was a great deal. It came fully loaded, [including] electronics,” he says. “It has its own watermaker, granite countertops, two stainless-steel anchors, and the deal included all the interior décor, bed sheets and pillows. It’s ready to go.”

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Coleman says they had made the decision to stay within their budget and not finance the boat. “I would think the hardest thing in today’s economy would be getting loans,” he says. “That’s why we avoided the whole thing.”

The Colemans are taking boating classes through the U.S. Power Squadrons and look forward to taking the boat south, with an eye eventually toward cruising to Central America, after Coleman retires. He also plans to work on obtaining his captain’s license. “We just can’t wait,” he says. “I can’t say enough about AGYG. They were a pleasure doing business with.”

— Liz Ellis

This is the third in a five-part boat-buyer series leading up to this week’s Miami International Boat Show. Click here for Part I, or click here for Part II. Tomorrow, meet Andy Newman, who bought a Sailfish 2660 last month.

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