Boat Buying


Boat buying is a skill. Sadly that is the truth of it and I had known it for years. But like every middle aged man I had an urge for a challenge in my mid years so a boat is for me. However this urge for a boat comes with some added surprises which will be explained.

I didn’t want just a boat! I wanted a statement. Yeah so what I wanted it and that’s what I searched for. I first started looking outside from Japan for my statement but quickly concluded the options were better here already.


We contacted a few different brokers who dragged us around to look at Bertram’s, Vikings, A Hatteras or two and some gasoline powered launch in Osaka. One Hatteras I remember particularly well had a beautiful Tuna Tower, Silicone Boobs sucked onto the bathroom mirror and a G String hanging from the cabin roof.

Basically all the ships we saw were either poorly maintained inside and out, disgustingly dirty, or on one case falling apart. At one point I found the boat until we started it and the port engine wanted to catch on fire. My broker said it was just smoke that would clear later. LOL

Noting that this broker was a trustable fellow I decided to get a boat surveyor involved and guess what. Japan does not have them. The rule of thumb is to trust your shady broker and do your due dillagence prior to buying.

So with this new information in mind I joined a forum and read everything I could and started the search again. Blow and behold the same day Mr Shady guy called and said he had a boat down at Zushi Marina for us to view. A 1993 Viking Convertible that measures 44 feet in total length.
The Most Expensive Marina In Japan.


Zushi is really a good two hours drive from us and I was ready to say yes to about anything. We all meet shake hands and the cold coffee breaks out from a machine. Here I am ready for a great little ride out to see and he takes us to the dry dock. Attitude is everything and my attitude sucked at this point. I ask if we have power to check everything? “Yes” In his language this is a maybe which ended up being correct.

We clamber on board and he stated that the boat had been on the dry for over two years and that the motors have new heads and turbo’s but has 1,960 hours on each engine. This all add’s up to 50% good and 50% possibly not so good depending upon how the engines have been used or abused.

Heading To Tokyo from Zushi

I wanted to go straight into the cabin because being on the hard (dry dock) I realise that we cant start the engines. Once in the cabin my wife and I are somewhat shocked at how little rubbish there was and how everything seemed to be in tact from the woodwork to the fabrics. 

A Gem Is Glowing Before Me

Over the last 4 months I had not seen an older Sports Fishing boat in this condition and I was not prepared to walk away empty handed.

My broker at the point Mr Shady knows me well and gets straight to the point. You like?. Yes whats the price? Really? Ok I will take it subject to a sea trial and other items being fixed once I do my schoolboy survey. My guy is in shock!

The wheels of Progress

Yes the wheels of progress move slowly in Japan and when you buy a boat they tend to move even slower than usual. 

Finally some 3 months later and heavy into winter she is ready for her sea trial. More coffee arrives from a nicotine stained hand in the form of a Boat Broker.

She starts well and we motor out for about an hour. She is put through some pretty hard paces and stands up well. Only when we get back to the port does the port engine start overheating and the alternator stops working. All fixable.

One week later my new Man Toy is paid for in full and she in on her way to Choshi Marina which is a 14 hour motor at a slow 15 knots in heavy sea.