Marlin Magazine – 21st Century Broker

October 26, 2021

Kusler Yachts is honored to be featured in the Marlin Magazine 40th anniversary edition article, “21st Century Yacht Broker”. Below are a few snippets from the article, for the full article visit Marlin Magazine online.

Marlin Magazine – 21st Century Broker

Relationship builder, yacht expert, client advocate and much, much more


Kusler Yachts feature in Marlin Magazine 21st Century Broker ArticleKusler Yachts feature in Marlin Magazine 21st Century Broker Article


Repeat business is the foundation of many successful broker careers. A process that might start with a prospective owner learning the ropes as he or she gets into their first boat might very well turn into a decades-long business relationship—and friend- ship—that includes a number of purchases. A good broker’s knowledge and skill here are used to make the boat-ownership experience pleasurable and enriching over time.

“The big picture for us is relationship building,” explains Michael Kusler, president of Kusler Yachts in San Diego, California, and Newburyport, Massachusetts. “Our business is as much about the relationships as it is the boats themselves. Essentially, we sell a house that floats in salt water and does 40 knots. A good broker knows everything from electrical systems, electronics, hardware and more.

“Maybe 90 percent of the people who have bought boats from me have become fishing buddies,” Kusler continues. “Some brokerages just churn out numbers—the used-car model where they toss you the keys, never to be heard from again. Our real work, however, starts once the boat closes—especially with a new boat.”

“Our business is as much about the relationships as it is the boats themselves. Essentially, we sell a house that floats in salt water and does 40 knots.”

marlin magazine kusler yachts broker

What exactly does this ongoing broker-client relationship look like over time? “Les Sherrill built a brand-new Cabo 44 with us in 2014 to fish on in Hawaii. I go to Hawaii every year to make sure that everything is going well with the boat,” Kusler says, and commitments such as this are the foundation of many of today’s successful brokers.

This commitment takes many forms. From managing warranty issues to captain and boat- yard recommendations to handling upgrades and maintenance needs, the successful modern broker leverages his skill and expertise for the benefit of his clients throughout time. The broker becomes more than a salesperson. He or she is a trusted resource who curates the boating adventure to keep owners in the sport, and each of these experts provides a different take on this theme.

“I do quite a bit of work with clients over the course of their ownership. With a new boat, the cli- ent will call me before they call the yard,” Sneed says. “After all, owners don’t have to have a boat. They must be happy with it or it goes away.”

Kusler Yachts’ business model is based on delivering a curated experience to all its clients. With his home office based in San Diego, much of Kusler’s focus lies in bridging the gap between a West Coast clientele and the fact that most boatbuilders are located on the East Coast.

When it comes to new builds, this focus lies in not only being the liaison between the client and the builder, but also ensuring that the new build incorporates West Coast fishing modifications—such as increased live-well capacity, bow rails, and forward casting areas.

Once the client takes delivery, Kusler Yachts can handle the transportation logistics as well, and Kusler’s expertise helps clients take full advantage of the fishing in Baja. From helping source tournament crews to handling yacht deliveries to and from Mexico, broker-buyer relationships are built upon delivering the types of unique owner- ship experiences that matches the clients’ vision. The results of this commitment take the form of repeat clientele, as well as such statistics as Kusler Yachts’ six-year stretch of having its clients place in the top three in a Bisbee’s tournament from 2014 through 2019.

In the 21st century, the successful boat broker is many things. He or she understands the boating market, onboard systems and warranty policies; the world of financing, marine technicians and destinations; and the many classes of boat makes, models and editions. They also understand people —their preferences, situations and, basically, what makes up their ultimate dream for recreation. What’s more, the best brokers are those who leverage their expertise and ability to understand people in order to consistently produce incredible client adventures over time. With all that said, you can now be forgiven for thinking that yacht brokers were just salespeople.

Kusler Yachts prides itself on being one on the best yacht brokerage companies for selling new and used fishing boats and motor yachts in Southern California. If you are looking to sell your used boat please click here for more info.