By Capt. Scott “Fraz” Murie
I’ve been a captain since 1978 and have taken boats from coast to coast, fishing hot spots for years. I’m still fishing but trying to stay closer to home. Let’s face it, I’m getting older.
Over these many years, I’ve met and developed relationships with many boat brokers. These relationships, for the most part, have been an asset to my career. I’ve had referrals for captain’s positions, delivery jobs and other positions I otherwise wouldn’t have known about, except for a broker. So, with that said, I’ve learned to appreciate the work of a good boat broker.
I heard a question the other day from a captain. He wanted to know the industry standard commission rate from a broker to a captain in yacht sale. He thought it was 5%. That’s just stupid!
There is no standard, nor is it ethical, for a broker to pay a captain a pre-arranged commission. That would be like a broker wanting a percentage of a captain’s salary if the broker found that captain’s job. I’ve heard it all. Things like, “Man, that broker is making 10% for doing nothing but showing the boat.”
What these captains (who are on salary and getting paid anyway) don’t realize is a broker is paid by commission only. These sales can take countless hours and weeks and months to come together.
They also require thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses such as flights, hotels, food, professional photography, advertising and even then, a deal can fall apart. So, if you think it’s so easy, go get your broker’s license and get you some.
My advice to you captains is to develop a relationship with good brokers by helping them. A good, hard-working broker knows and meets a lot of people in our business. That broker just might be the person responsible for advancing your career down the road one day by his referral.
A good boat broker also knows the value of a good captain. If the captain goes out of his way to help the broker in every aspect of the boat sale, a good broker will express his appreciation by giving that captain a well-earned tip. It would always be after the sale finalizes and it could be substantial sometimes.
For a captain to demand a certain amount of money from a broker is ignorant and possibly illegal. It also shows what kind of captain they really are. So just do your job and take what you get.
– That’s my two-minute warning.
Do you have any comments or questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.