Skipper Buds – A Great Sailboat Purchase Experience

Skipper Buds LogoWe purchased our recent project boat, a Catalina 30 from Skipper Buds in Bay City Michigan. In the past, working with dealerships has been hit or miss for us – some have been terrible to deal with, but Skipper Buds was great. Possibly because they are a large chain of dealerships, they have great service, clear processes and were a pleasure to deal with.

First, we initially inquired about a Hunter 33, which actually sold before we even had a chance to think about it. The sales rep asked about what we were looking for, and called back a few weeks later with another boat that we might be interested in.

Since we were looking for a project boat, we were definitely on the low-end price-point wise of what they sell, so we weren’t necessarily expecting great service. What we received was tremendous service. The boat that we purchased was about 6 hours from where we live, so we only had the opportunity to look at it once before making the purchase.

A few of the things that Skipper Bud’s did that really went above and beyond include:

  • Provide us with recommendations for other services we needed, like shipping.
  • Take photos of specific parts of the boat that we forgot to take pictures of when we first viewed it.
  • Test the electrical systems (and they even sent us a video to verify that they worked).
  • We took possession of the boat in the middle of the winter in Michigan; they hooked the boat up to shore power for us so that we could work on the boat and use space heaters.
  • The sales rep, John, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and very communicative. He got back to us quickly and we were never having to chase him for answers.

Everybody from the sales staff, to the receptionist to the guy handling the paperwork were all very knowledgeable and friendly.

As a large dealership, they really seemed to be well organized, helpful and they all really went out of their way to find us the boat we wanted and make it happen. If you are in the market for a boat, definitely consider dealerships like Skipper Buds. Working with the sales rep saved us a lot of time – since he knew what we were looking for, he was able to keep us up-to-date on their inventory.

 Where have you purchased from? What was your experience like?