About -Blake Davis Yacht Brokerage Inc.

Florida Yacht Brokers License # 32.  Established in 1984.    YES- 1984.   You can always get more money, but nobody get’s more time.

Although I’m known for Pilothouse Yachts, I’ve sold many high performance vessels. The first boat I ever sold in Miami back in 1978 was a Magnum 35′. If you ever need to know about Fountain 48’s-ask me.

 

 The Pilothouse vessels I specialize in were built from 1994-2011 (I’ve sold over 40 4788’s).  The export boom from 2004-2014 sent thousands of  yachts within the gravitational pull of Florida off to other countries (mostly to  Australia and New Zealand), and they aren’t coming back.  Sooooooo……  Racing Poodles. 

Many American buyers are coming to the market with perhaps unrealistic expectations to the availability of good (means with the right engines and never damaged) diesel powered boats with provenance. There’s such a shortage of late model boats out there that many Brokerages are just posting every listing from Yachtworld on their sites……………….    Racing Poodles.

Many baby boomers are planning to retire in a couple of years, but are out looking at boats now, as if any will be available then…….Racing Poodles.

What does “racing poodles” mean?  It means an exercise in futility.

Take the Blake Davis “support your wife challenge”.  You can call me the ‘Studebaker King’ now as the marques I specialize in haven’t been built since 2010. Before there was a Studebaker King- there was a ‘Packard King’, and like them I’m a repository of information of an ever shrinking product.

WHY PILOTHOUSES?  because “I like the sun, but the sun doesn’t like me”.  You can’t beat a pilothouse for beating the weather.

I started this business in Miami Florida in 1984 with a Captains license running charters on my own sailboats (Morgan 38′ and a OI 41′) under the name Blake Davis Yacht Charters and Brokerage. Ten years earlier at 21 yro I entered the professional boat world fresh out of college with a BFA (I guess I can always go back to slinging paint if this boat thing doesn’t work out?) degree from the Atlanta College of Art, and Temple U., when I walked into a boat yard in New Orleans:“What do you know how to do?” the owner asked. “Nothing, I just graduated from college with a degree in painting” say’s I. “Good, go paint that boat” so I sprayed it all including bottom paint (pre-OSHA day’s-no masks). “yeah that explains it”: say’s you.

The young serious Captain

         The young serious Captain and fledgling Yacht Broker in 1985 (scroll to the bottom to see my replacement)

To reach the time clock  I had to walk through the air conditioned office where I would see guys sitting with their feet propped up on their desks reading magazines all day.   After several years working out in that hot humid brutal New Orleans weather fixing boats, and during that one rare time I wasn’t being yelled at by the owner, I asked him “who are those guys inside?”  His reply was “Yacht Brokers”. I said ” I want to do that!” – he said “come in tomorrow dressed like one and you can”. I did, and the rest is history. I can attest that being on top of boats beats the hell out of being under them. Being in them-even better.

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I’m more a Lifestyle Broker than a broker, having actively cruised a motorhome from 1978-1988. I sold 87 coaches in exactly one year from 1983-1984. I, then took that seed money to start my boat business in 1984.  Hopefully my clients have the same confidence and relationship with me as they have with their lawyers, and wealth managers. I work in your interest, and fully expect to have to sell for you in the future- whatever I find for you today. The majority of my business comes from repeat clients and referrals.  The others comes directly from this website.                                  

In 1978 I  moved back to Florida, first selling new boats at dealerships in the Tampa Bay area, and Miami before striking out on my own in 1984.

I actually did a stint as the Sales Manager at Jones Yacht and Ship up the Miami River during the cocaine cowboys days.  Boy do I have stories to tell about those days.  Watch the movie- Cocaine Cowboys.  I only mention this as proof of my discretion.

By 1988 I was the East Coast dealer for the Taiwan manufacturer Lien Hwa (Hartman Palmer, LH (Little Harbor)  sailboats, Vitesse, Pacific), with an office and a boat yard on Biscayne Blvd at Maule Lake in Miami, selling brand new Motor Yachts, all lined up behind a very popular restaurant/bar named Rum Runners. I think their motto was “where the smugglers congregate” because for years I watched regular smuggling transactions go down in broad daylight.  Then out-of-the-blue along came the Luxury Tax that stopped yacht sales dead. While other brokers were literally committing suicide as a result of that economic decimation of the boat business. (1989 was THE pinnacle of yacht manufacturing) By 1992 it was dead.  I bought a 50′ single diesel pilothouse houseboat and just went cruising for several years. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live like one-you just need to know when to ZIG when others ZAG.

 Then came the Luxury Tax. While other brokers were literally committing suicide as a result of the Luxury Tax I bought a 50' single diesel pilothouse houseboat and just went cruising for several years. You don't have to be a millionaire to live like one-you just need to know when to zig when others zag.

We spent some wonderful years living aboard and cruising. I ran my business with just a beeper, and a fax machine tethered to a giant Motorola brick of a cell phone from the pilothouse. We rode out Hurricane Andrew in her.

I dropped the “charter” from my business name sometime along the way as I realized I didn’t have the personality to entertain strangers on my boat. NO you can’t smoke, NO you can’t put that there. No I can’t play guitar, and NO I don’t wanna get high. Off the boat you go!     I’m not sure I have the personality to be a broker either, but none the less, here I am, and I’m not changing now.

WHY THE MERIDIAN, BAYLINER, and NAVIGATOR PILOTHOUSES?   The short answer is that they’ve always sold very well. They were great values new, and they’re great values now.  I was introduced to them when a client requested I find him one.  After repeating the same stupid negative mantra as other brokers about Bayliners, he said “do you want to talk or sell a boat?”  Sell a boat please. I’m glad I opened my mind as it was an epiphany for me, as they flew through survey with no issues whereas the so called “quality boats” of the time- didn’t.  I discovered that just because one brand of boats cost more than another, it didn’t mean they were actually built any better.  Boat manufacturers (like watch and auto manufacturers)  build products for different price points.

I listed one pilothouse, sold it, then another, then another, then another,  then the owner of the South Florida Bayliner dealership (since 1959) discovered me and requested that I market his new 47′-57′ boats.  Later he became a Navigator dealer.  I wrote the sales material for his salesman as I had been given the royal tour of their factory by the chief engineer, and it was I who recommended Bill to become their east coast dealer.

HOW ABOUT BOAT SHOWS?   I used to do boat shows- back when boat shows were relevant, which was a LONG time (talking 1978-1996) ago.  I used to even run full page ads (links to your right)  in magazines (remember those things that would stain your fingers?), but by the late nineties the internet had totally changed that paradigm. I was actually one of the first brokerages to use the internet, and was one of the first Brokerages on Yachtworld (back when it was free) to reach the savvy buyer who knew he no longer had to stand in line, take his shoes off, and be pestered by fat guys in khaki shorts every few feet just to see a yacht.  He could, from the comfort of his chair, with drink in hand- at his leisure look at all the boats available in the entire world, and BUY- without even having to put on pants.  I’ve sold boats for upwards of $900k to buyers solely via emails without even one phone conversation. The majority of the vessels I exported were sold 100% sight unseen by their buyers.

Yes, the Internet was indeed a game changer, although it is a sword that can cut both ways. Today many buyers think they’re experts because they have access to some information because they “Googled it”. Big difference in “some” and correct.  Don’t even get me started on all the misinformation I regularly see posted on boat forums. WHY people don’t just ask professionals for THE answers vs asking total strangers I have no idea. Again, I’ve been in the boat business since 1974. What have you been doing?

Years ago during the ‘Great Recession’ I sold out ALL my inventory (mostly all exported to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) with JUST THIS WEBSITE. Here it is November 2017, and I’m about sold out of the type boats people are actually wanting to buy——–-Racing Poodles.

My clients who aren’t referrals  come directly from my websites dedicated to Bayliner and Meridian pilothouses.   Anybody who types in any combinations of those words in a browser comes up with this site at the top of their results.

 

View from the office I had prior moving to Maule Lake Marina to become the Lien Hwa dealer.

View from my Miami office for many years. .

Manufacturers come and go (mostly go), styles come and go, brokerages come and go but it was the South Florida real estate boom of 2014 that finally chased me out of Miami up north of Ft. Pierce as I had slip rates in Miami go from $150.00 a month in the nineties to $450.00 a month in the 2000′s, to $1800.00 a month IF a slip could even be found because so many marinas had been torn out during the real estate “boom”-(which indeed blew up) by 2014 -which was insanely high. Down in Ft. Pierce- it’s only $9.00 a foot at a NICE marina.

I’ve attended hundreds of surveys,  I’ve looked inside (from the outside) the hulls of hundreds of busted up boats after countless storms over the decades to see how they’re really constructed and have watched time take it’s toll. I discovered long ago, that just because a machine was expensive when new, doesn’t always mean it was built any better than the cheaper ones. Turns out you were just paying for their inefficient construction methods, their marketing, and executive salaries.

Testimonials:

 

“I think your more a poet than a yacht broker, but I can’t argue with your salesmanship” – “You don’t often see Yacht Brokers who wear cowboy hats”

Gary Ziegler, 2004 Meridian 490 Florida. (sold without either a survey or seatrial to the first person I showed her to)

 

Blake was the selling Broker when I purchased my 4788. Not only did he help me throughout the purchase of the 4788, he also helped me sell my previous boat. In our pre-purchase discussions, I felt he gave me a truthful overview as to the condition of the boat I was looking at. He also gave me a realistic assessment of the boating market at the time. I found his message was the straight goods, not what i wanted to here. I have spoken to other people that have used Blake’s services and all have spoken highly of their dealings with him. If you are looking for a knowledgeable, colourful straight shooter then call Blake, if you are looking for someone who is going to paint a pretty picture, call someone else.

Carlo Weickert
SEA BEE
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Blake sold my 45 P/H for me. He is knowledgeable, direct and outspoken. He lists and SELLS P/H boats. He has all the resources to assist the sale. You want action, he will get you the most bang for the buck in the shortest time.   (he also later purchased a 2000 4788 from me)

John Lynch Michigan

When we bought our 1997 4788 thru Blake in Ft. Lauderdale it was a big deal for us. Blake made it a very enjoyable experience. He shared his knowlege on the boat we were looking at and on others like it so there were no surprises after the sale. We found Blake to be very professional and a good arbitrator on our behalf in the purchase of our boat. The whole process was effortless for us as he drove us to and from our motel to the boat many times. In addition to the professional survey, Blake provided us with the expertice of his friend “Captian Bob” who really was helpful in explaining the mechanical side of the boat and what to expect of her. Blake gave us a list of surveyors to chose from to maintain his impartiality. After the sale Captain Bob negotiated the best deal on fuel delivered to our location. He also did some minor repairs as well as replacing filters, impellers, etc. in preparation for our long voyage home to St. Louis Mo. I wouldn’t give up the BOC forum for anything and it was Blake Davis who told me about it. Anyone wanting to purchase a pilothouse cant do any better than what the Pilothouse King did for us! Thanks again Blake

Dave Berg   GREAT ESCAPE  St. Louis Mo.

Blake is the most knowledgeable and experienced broker on Bayliner and Meridian Pilothouse Yachts in the country. You can totally rely on his guidance! 

Scott Grody

You are the most professional broker I have ever spoken to. If I have any reason to use a broker in the future or have call to recommend one, it will certainly be you. No BS, just the real deal
John Koch  490 Meridian /Marlow 49′ Florida

 

“Wow! This lease purchase was a marathon event that began in May of 2016 and didn’t end until September of 2016. It started with my quest for a new and more ideal boat. After having been in a Sea Ray 440 for 3 years I knew its limitations and wanted something different, and something that would better suit our needs. That led me to investigate pilothouse boats, which led me to Blake Davis’ website. This site has a lot of good information on it. Blake sold these boats when they were new and is very knowledgeable about them. He knows their strengths and weaknesses. Blake is an excellent communicator and knows how to use the web for that purpose. Very well designed web page. I was a prospect and called Blake out of the blue, not knowing him from anybody. He made me feel at ease from the start and offered to go look at the boat for me. From the very first time, he gave me an accurate assessment of the boat. Blake has a sharp eye and knows what a good boat looks like and which ones are a waste of time. He is very up to date on the market and values. He is honest and isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade, even if its not what you want to hear. So the boat “looked” good enough, but Blake told me she needed to be surveyed to find out what she’s really like. There were several clues that Blake (Colombo) knew about this boat (it had been grounded and damaged the rudder) that weren’t revealed by the listing agent. (Don’t ask me how he knows this stuff but he does.) Once those questions were asked they led us to other discrepancies, which led us to more unrevealed problems, making for a long, long purchase and many contract extensions while these issues were fixed. One may ask, why did you keep pursuing this boat? The simple answer is, without Blake I probably would not have. Talking to him I realized there just aren’t many pretty, well cared for, cosmetically clean boats of this kind left on the market. This one was, clean, pretty and structurally sound. It had many mechanical issues that if we could get the seller to fix, would make this a fine boat. The sellers were not the most cooperative and made this harder than it had to be. At one point, we felt as if all our efforts were lost. (The seller was not wanting to work with us on verification of repairs and we were not going to get this boat. The sellers didn’t want to extend our contract again.) After some phone calls by Blake and a few suggestions which I implemented, his phone rang at 9:30 p.m. on our last day of the contract, offering another extension. That’s impressive! But what impressed me more, was earlier that day Blake told me, “I just don’t think these guys are going to work with us, so I’m going to send you your deposit money.” That really impressed me! I didn’t even have to ask, he just said I’m going to send it back. Colorful writer and character that knows how to use words that give you a visual of what he is seeing and describing. Entertaining, and has a good eye for the quality things. You will enjoy meeting and working with him. Made me laugh more than once through this tortuous ordeal. It was worth it! I have a beautiful boat that made a Gulf of Mexico crossing from Tampa, Fl. to Biloxi, Ms., without any problems. That would not have been the case without Blake Davis”
         – Walter Vaughan – 2000 Bayliner 5288 – Baton Rouge Louisiana
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FOR BUYERS IN AUSTRALIA, CANADA, and NEW ZEALAND- I would prefer to just give you previous clients direct contact info- so they can tell you exactly the expenses and procedures for importing yachts for your countries.   I only deal with nice people, so no worries in giving them a ring. Just ask.

 

 

 

My 30 yro son Blake E. (Max-named after the Road Warrior) Davis- who has a degree in Marine Biology who has been working commercial gigs for years now has his Captains License and is gigging on a 112' Azimut. In five or six years when he has gained more Yacht Experience- THIS will be the Blake Davis of Blake Davis Yacht Brokerage Inc.

My 31 yro son Blake  “Max” (I named him after the Road Warrior) Davis, who worked for years on commercial vessels as a Marine Biologist, now has his Captains License and is gigging on a 112′ Custom Line.  In a few years after he has gained more yacht experience- he will be the ‘Blake Davis’ of Blake Davis Yacht Brokerage Inc.

 

Captain Max heading home “balls to the wall” from the Bahamas.  That’s a 32′ Boston Whaler he’s towing back there.