Once you walk through the gates of the Providence Boat Show, you’ll see 130 new power, sail and paddle craft inside the convention hall. But if you are open to exploring previously owned models, there are thousands more boats for sale through the Providence show, along with experienced brokers who can help you find the boat that fits your needs and wants.
“When you attend a boat show, one of the more important ‘products’ you come in contact with are knowledgeable marine professionals,” says Matt Leduc of Latitude Yacht Brokerage located in Jamestown (R.I.). “Brokers with years of experience who can help buyers find the boat they are looking for will be at the boat show.”
Leduc points out that winter is an excellent time to start your search: “The inventory is at a premium right now, especially if are looking for a particular model … Good boats that are priced right go quickly; if you wait until spring, you will be looking at picked-over inventory.”
There are companies exhibiting at the Providence show that focus solely on yacht brokerage, such as Leduc’s Latitude Yacht Brokerage. Marinas and dealers also represent pre-owned boats, so as your tour the show ask companies about their brokerage listings.
The best thing about starting your search at the Providence Boat Show is the ability to one-stop shop. You can talk with a number of brokers all in one day to find the professional you want to work with on your search.
According to Leduc, the process he follows is to first talk with a potential client to understand what that person is looking for in a boat. Together, they then narrow down the choices to a list of potential models and schedule a day to visit those boats together.
“If that person ends up with two, or even three, boats they are having a hard time deciding between, then I have done my job well!” he says.
So do your homework before getting to the Providence Boat Show. Make a list of the type of boat you are looking for, how you plan to use it, features you’d like to have on your boat, and what your budget is. The more information you can give to a broker, the better chance you’ll have of finding the right boat to get you on the water this season.