From an original article by Cathy Bouguereau

In Tex Avery’s cartoons a boat broker would probably have been a dapper little chap (sorry ladies but we are talking 1940’s) with impeccable presentation, if slightly obsequious manner. His honest and upstanding conscience would be portrayed by a little halo topped angel siting on his right shoulder proffering saintly advice whilst the inevitable little red devil would be perched on his left shoulder encouraging him into all sorts of devious dealings.

The reason this image comes to mind is that it reflects the two extreme points of view I have encountered since becoming a boat broker. For some, a broker is a saviour. A person who will mysteriously sell their boat quickly and without fuss after they have tried without success for a number of years. For others, a broker is just a shark (apparently they can be found in fresh water too) who will charge a fortune for doing nothing other than amputate the meagre profit they were hoping to make from the sale of their boat.

For us at Boatshed Bourgogne and Boatshed Midi Canals the broker is the person who will, thanks to diligent hard work and the system, help vendors and buyers throughout their sale and acquisition process from the first 'phone call to the last detail. As Boatshed brokers we acquire considerable knowledge of each boat we sell by physically visiting everyone. Taking all the photos and videos ourselves and compiling a detailed description and specification. This knowledge allows us to present the boats in detail and the performance of the web platform enables us to promote them to the whole world and work pertinently with prospective buyers saving them time, money and disappointment.

Another aspect of our work is of course administrative. The broker organises everything from visits to surveys, fund management and conveyancing. The implied administrative tasks can and do involve dealing with different departments of many flag countries around the world.

The broker is also a buffer (punch bag?) between buyer & vendor, using his / her negotiation skills to avoid confrontation, cool tempers, and allow each party the opportunity to express himself or herself freely without jeopardising the transaction. Once every one is in agreement contracts are drawn up and funds are securely held in client accounts until title is verified and correctly transferred thus avoiding the many pitfalls associated with international transactions between private individuals.

So? Who wins? Guardian Angel or Devil Incarnate?

Well I'd like to leave the last word to Droopy, Tex Avery’s deadpan dog. He had a well-loved phrase that every broker likes to hear from their clients.

“You know what ?......I’m happy!”

Cathy Bouguereau