Thinking About Buying a Used Boat?

Who is Protecting Your Interests?

Over the last ten years the process of buying a used boat has changed, putting buyers at a serious disadvantage. Zimmerman Marine now offers a unique service that represents the buyer’s interests before, during, and after the purchase of a used boat, by utilizing the expertise of one of the industry’s leading boat repair yards.

Zimmerman Marine has been building and repairing boats of all types for thirty years. We are experts at assessing the condition of a vessel and accurately determining the costs of repairs and modifications. We stand behind our inspections with a One Year Post Purchase Limited Warranty.

To contact Steve Zimmerman, please call 1-804-725-3440 or email [email protected].

How It Works

We offer a radically different boat buying experience.

Zimmerman Marine will represent your interests throughout the purchase process. We are not here to sell you a boat - we are here to help you find the right boat for your situation. Steve Zimmerman will meet with you to learn about your cruising plans, your experience, your preferences, and will prepare a cruising profile for your review. The next step will be online searches, with recommendations based on the information gathered in the initial meeting.

Once the online searching has helped define a list of possible boats, we will begin to look at individual boats. Steve will preview any serious candidates, including a "pre-survey" to avoid wasting your time and money on a boat that does not warrant a contract offer.

Here are the services included in our process:

  1. Assistance in determining the right type of boat for your intended use, then finding likely candidates for purchase, including information about the design and construction.
  2. Pre-assessment of boats identified as candidates for purchase
  3. Negotiate on your behalf with the seller’s broker so that you don’t pay more than the market price for any boat.
  4. Organize pre-purchase general survey and engine/genset surveys, including finding highly qualified service providers.
  5. Review findings with buyer, make recommendations, and provide estimates for repair and modification costs.
  6. One year Post Purchase Limited Warranty for problems not identified during survey and inspections
  7. Credit toward any service work performed by ZMI within 12 months of the purchase date, equal to 20% of the fee
  8. One year of free 24/7 telephone Technical Support Plan, whether needing help with a system failure while cruising, or wanting advice regarding repairs at another boat yard.

Post Purchase Limited Warranty

We have great confidence in the professionals who will handle the surveys and inspections. If a problem is found that could have been identified during the survey and inspections, ZMI will pay to have the problem corrected, or will travel to the boat to do the work ourselves, at our option. This warranty is subject to the following:

  1. Warranty expires one year after the closing date for the purchase of the boat.
  2. Warranty is limited to problems that could have been identified during the survey and inspections through non-destructive methods, and without disassembly of vessel components in order to gain access. Failure of equipment due to age and/or normal wear and tear is not covered.
  3. Total warranty coverage for the 12 month period is capped at 50% of the initial fee

Technical Support Plan

For one year after the purchase date, ZMI will provide telephone and email for support for questions about existing equipment, including talking you through problems that occur while underway and repair recommendations. All inspection records and documentation are kept on file so that we can refer to them as needed.

For Sellers and Brokers

Our program is designed so that the net proceeds to the seller and listing broker are not reduced - please call us to find out more. Our approach is not geared toward finding every possible flaw and condemning every boat we inspect. Although finding problems is a necessary part of the process, it is equally important to put those finding into context for the buyer. Are the findings what can be expected for a vessel of this age or price? How many of the items have to be corrected, and which ones can be left alone? What would it cost to repair the ones that need attention? Coming up with a list of ABYC “violations” doesn’t mean the boat is unsafe or should not be purchased.

In fact, when problems are found (and there are always some), it has been our experience that buyers are often scared off by the prospect of depending on a yard they don’t know to correct the problems. By working from the outset with a boatyard they trust, these concerns can often be overcome, and the sale of the boat becomes more likely.