Below are just some of the comments we have received from happy boat owners.

Thanks, Shar.  And thanks for all your help.  A special thanks to Bob Miller; he's done far more than I could ever have expected, both with prospective buyers and helping me get the boat ready to sell.  I can't say enough about how helpful he's been. 
Best regards, Sam Gibbon

Having been sailors for over 25 years, health issues in our family made us reluctant Sellers of our beloved 30 foot S-2 9.2 C “Genesis”.  Bob Miller and Shar Fillingham were: sensitive to the situation; worked hard to find suitable purchasers (it was important to us that the Buyers had children, shared “the dream”, and would take good care of “our” boat in her future life); for a fair price; and in record time.  We closed on our transaction this Friday, April 11.  The entire experience was a pleasure, for both the young couple who purchased “Genesis” (they told us that at Closing) and ourselves. 
We give Fillingham Yacht Sales 4 Stars out of 4.  Highly Recommend.
Rex & Dodie Cowan
Winter Haven, Florida



carolyn and randy
Here we are getting ready to head out!  The course has helped us tremendously and we would not have wanted to do this without it!! 

Thanks again! 

Carolyn and Randy
This is a happy story from a very pleased new sailboat owner.

It starts off with my flying in from Ca., finding the perfect boat for me and my buying a sailboat from one of the best brokers I have ever dealt in my 30+ years of boat ownership and dealing with a top notich rigger service.

Bob and Shar Fillingham of Fillingham Yacht Sales of St. Pete were wonderful. They took care of all of the paper work for closing, the marine insurance, and the documentation paper work. One stop boat buying. They received a lot of stuff I had shipped out. and keep it safe for me until I was ready to put it on board. Great people!!!!!

My next wonderful experience was with SSMR Inc. boat riggers of St. Pete.Fl.. These folks were just fantastic . I learned so very much from these folks. They were always willing to listen to me, make suggestions and share their knowledge with me.
They have their own crane on site. They said they would be through of Friday and they were!!!
The work they did was some of the most professonal I have ever experienced.
Ever time I put my sails up, I thank them in my head.

Please share this with the rest of your readers if they are looking for the best!
Pablo Shaimas
S/V Tranquility
Great to work with you, Shar and Ken too!
I will definitely recommend a friend.
And I may be back in a few years to find a Cabo 32 - ha, that is the great thing about boating we can always be looking for something else.

All the best!!!

Larry, New Owner of 2004 33Ft Grady White Express, which was shipped to California from St. Petersburg, FL

Yipppeee!!! I can't thank you and your company enough for all of your help and caring effort in getting this done so quickly and efficiently! We value this relationship and are comforted to know that we will never need to shop for boat/yacht broker again! We are so excited to pick up the boat tomorrow!

Leslie & Patrick, New Owners of a 2001 34Ft Sea Ray Sundancer just in time for the Fourth of July weekend!

Thank you again for your efforts in selling my boat. The entire process went quicker and smoother than I ever could have expected. Michael P.
Thanks for all your extra effort in expediting the closing. We appreciate your timeliness and will certainly tell our boating buddies to consider Fillingham Yacht Sales and John Hockenberry. Bill G.
It was a pleasure doing business with you all. Thank you. David & Susan P.
Sorry for my bad English. But all the things I want to again thanks James and Shar for all the support we had at all times, without you we would not have done it. Best! Javier 
Good afternoon Bob – Perhaps you remember showing a 44 Gulfstar Wide Body to my wife, Nancy and me shortly after the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. This is not the kind of news you like to hear, but we are in the process of closing on an 1986 Gulfstar in Tennessee. However, I am writing for another reason. I just wanted you to know that of all the brokers we dealt with in our boat search, you stand well ahead of your peers as being the most friendly and informative. You even followed up with the comment that if we purchased another boat or had any questions in the future, that we were always welcome to give you a call. You are indeed an ambassador for your industry and we send our appreciation. I wish you and yours the best for 2012 and if I am ever in a position to send someone your way, I will be happy to do so. Happy New Year! – John & Nancy 

A story you all may be interested in.

Buying vessel from the States

From Ron and Michelle Thompson


I GUESS I NEED TO START 4 years ago; my wife and I purchased a 32 Bayliner to see if we really could enjoy boating, and should we include boating in our retirement plan.

 So that’s where we started it was very obvious from day one, and the first few days in the sounds that we were hooked. So upgrading the boat we brought was the first thing which we did at a cost that was within budget and hopefully not over capitalizing our wee boat.

As expected over a year or so and meeting so many nice folk that boat in Havelock it was clear that we now need a bigger boat.

Like most we had a limited budget and wanted the Queen Mary. So I started investigating the local market, we must have looked at 1000’s after been told every sales story in the book. (Which was my background along with some years importing product?)I got to a point where I just didn’t believe we could purchase what we wanted in New Zealand for the budget we had available.

So the journey started, I guess my back ground made me take a long look and a very time consuming exercise in R & D.

It is so important to do your homework and take a long and healthy look at just what your requirements are, most of the time there are just the two of us on board so age was a factor in what we could handle. But we wanted a boat that would allow us to take our grandchildren and parents but still giving room and home comforts.

Good bathrooms were a must, good showers and water available a must, gallery also had to do it job and room to stay indoors if the weather turned bad.

Bedding for us old folk was no brainer; no good bed, no wife on board for any length of time.

Mechanical side was important to me as I have no skills in that area and my health does not let me get into small places with ease. So easy access to the engine room a must.

So with all that in mind I started to look worldwide for the Queen Mary.

After 12 to 14 months of looking and the US dollar looking good we decided to get serious.

There are just so many boats for sale but very few that really make the grade the choices are huge. To cut a long story short we settled on a 44 foot Carver Trojan 440 express. Why well it has most likely the best layout for a boat of this size and has a 15 foot Beam just giving so much room.


Your choices are many liquidated boats, bank offers, etc. all have issues when you are at arm’s length.

However after checking the options we decided to use a broker.

It was without question the best choice well in our case anyway. We were so lucky to come across a company in  headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida.

When you’re at arm’s length there are things you want.

  1. 1.A trust worthy broker
  2. 2.One who has the ability to go the extra yard for you
  3. 3.The backing of his head office
  4. 4.Great commutations keeping you updated
  5. 5.Ability to organize surveys with the right people
  6. 6.Making sure the seller is aware of your requirements and working with him

Fillingham Yacht Sales was all those things and more and I am happy to speak to anyone wanting more information.

They worked to get a price sorted. Negotiations took some time as I wanted to stay within budget. This took a little time and the salesman basically said, look this is the best we can do it a great boat and you won’t be disappointed.

This is where the trust side becomes imperative I took his word and jump on a plane to Florida. .He picked me up at 4 am poor guy but after a coffee or two all was well.

My first look at the boat was very positive and for a change the photos stacked up.

The next thing was the survey and all that was pre arranged I was able to talk to both the hull survey chap and more importantly for me the chap who was doing the Mechanical survey. Both were very professional and honest.

At the sea-trial which took 4 hours a few problems became apparent the owner upon reading the reports was responsive and did most all the required fixes none of which were major apart from re balance of props and chart plotter and auto pilot need attention. I under took to do a few other minor things whilst the boat was out of the water.

Total cost to owner around $8000.00 us my side around 2000.00us.

Not to bad for me.

It is cheaper in most cases too have small jobs done there as parts seems to be cheaper. Labor costs are higher.

Completed, a second sea trial was done which cost me around $300.us

Survey costs were about $2000.00 us however they are a must and don’t even think of buying without them it is money well spend. The work the owner did would have cost in NZ around 30000.00.


This can be a nightmare so do your homework. I had quote done here and Australia cost went from $45000 $51000 and on top of that if you have brought your boat on the wrong coast you have anything from 3to5 K having the boat transferred to the ship. My costs to the ship were 1300.00us my total freight costs to nz were $37250.00us including insurance thanks to Fillingham Yacht Sales. That a huge reduction.

Other fees you have to endure are port berth fees around 12.00 us a foot per week.

Yes I did have to wait a couple of weeks extra for the ship but at the end of the day the savings far out-way other inflections.

Things to look out for are:

Add ons

1. Captains taking your boat to the ship, use where possible the intended   shipping company Captains

2. Insurance this can be a night mare suggest to your broker and the owner that you use their current cover and pay the owner for that. (Not always possible)

3. Although they did their best even they struggled to firm up prices on some things and to be fair I told  them. It’s the extra little things like that that add up and increase costs in our case around 2000.00us.

Over view

It is best to use a broker I had the preeminent and would happily recommend  the Fillingham Company as they were trying every day to make the transfer as easy as possible for me. (“Pretty unusual these days”.)

After all the drama we came in close to budget and will have it in Havelock early March.

I am told the 2013/14 news years party is on our boat which will be called DUCKING OFF.

Ron and Michelle Thompson, February, 2013




Florida Keys Office

Capt. Bill & Jann Mellman

825 33rd St. Gulf
P.O. Box 500808
Marathon, FL 33050-0808
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Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Office

Fillingham Yacht Sales, Inc
61 Shore Drive W
Miami, FL 33133
(727) 460-5687

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