Seattle Office Client Testimonials
We have met some great clients and friends, during all of our years in business. Read what some of them have to say about Michael Locatell CPYB and Mark Gilbert CPYB.
"We met Mike Locatell in 1998 when we began looking for a good sailing, cruising boat to replace the small racing boats we had owned previously. Since that time, with Mike's assistance, we’ve purchased two boats and sold one using Mike’s services at Discovery Yachts. I don’t think there is a better sailing yacht broker.
Mike has a broad base of knowledge across this industry. He knows the boats, he understands the transactions, and he is genuinely concerned with the desires and welfare of his customers. He listens to his customers, he is patient, he makes useful suggestions and he can lead through the purchase process. He understands the intricacies of any deal and we’ve never had any problem with purchasing arrangements. After purchase he has never failed to be a very useful resource for advice and information. He’s become a good friend.
We’ve taken our present boat from northern California to Mexico and back and across the Pacific to Australia. Our cruising plans are working out and we’re having fun. A big part of that is having a boat which does what we had hoped it would do, and for that, Mike’s advice and service has been invaluable.
We’ve taken our present boat from northern California to Mexico and back and across the Pacific to Australia. Our cruising plans are working out and we’re having fun. A big part of that is having a boat which does what we had hoped it would do, and for that, Mike’s advice and service has been invaluable - Thanks Mike!"
Bill & Janet Wickman
"I met Mark Gilbert at the Annapolis Boat Show in 2009 aboard a wonderful Malo. Thanks to the professionalism and 1st class attitude of Mark, buying my boat was a positive experience. It wasn’t a usual transaction but Mark's great disposition and wealth of experience made it happen. I have been lucky to have had Mark as my broker and all the team at Discovery Yachts to help me through the buying process. I had the feeling all along that Mark was genuinely concerned about my interest. I guess this is an honesty by-product! Fair winds."
"Having encountered Mike as a lecturer at a 2001 boat show cruising forum, I was impressed with his in-depth knowledge of the myriad details involved with offshore sailing. I remembered thinking that he seemed to be a bit of a 'know it all', but when I approached him after the lecture, I realized that when it comes to this subject - he really does!
"When I decided to return to sailing after many years absence, I knew I needed more than just a little help with the mechanics of purchasing a boat. I needed guidance through the process of deciding on what type of boat would work for me, narrowing down the list based on personal preferences and practicalities. One of the best pieces of advice I got early on came from a well known circumnavigator and offshore lecturer: he said "you want Mark Gilbert as your broker".
Mark spent hours talking with me, getting an idea of who I was, what my sailing ambitions were - all before suggesting any boats. Mark kept asking, What are you going to "do" with your boat? That was the practical basis from which he guided my decision making process. Initially, since I couldn't afford a new mega-yacht, I figured I'd be a back-burner client. Not true.
Mark was constantly available - calling on evenings and weekends as developments arose. As we started looking at - and especially talking about - the available (and suitable) boats, Marks' long and extensive experience and knowledge base was so valuable. He was able to objectively critique and evaluate the various boats we considered. Mark would write up cost analyses and pros and cons regarding general condition, equipment, etc. He patiently answered all my questions.
Once Mark found the "right" boat, he continued to guide me through the jitters of obtaining surveys (I surveyed everything). He helped me find the right surveyors, helped me to understand their reports, and was able to provide keen insight regarding valuation that allowed me to get a high quality sailboat, excellently equipped, for a relatively modest price. Before the final negotiations were complete, I knew the boats faults, what repairs and upgrades were necessary - and at what cost; Mark even recommended the riggers that are re-fitting the boat! Through-out the entire process, Marks' warm humor and attention to detail provided a basis for the trust that made the entire process enjoyable and productive.
In short, my return to sailing has been successful and enjoyable - in large part because I was expertly guided through a complicated process by a caring professional. I could not recommend Mark more highly.
So what are you waiting for??"
"In March 2008, my wife and I were introduced to Mike Locatell and Discovery Yachts during an offshore cruising seminar. We spoke with Mike briefly during the seminar and appreciated his honesty and forthright comments at that time.
A month later, we met with Mike again at Discovery Yachts in Seattle and began our search for the “perfect” yacht to call home. We were impressed with Mike’s obvious knowledge about the various manufacturers and designers and things to watch out for, but even more, the entire Discovery Yachts philosophy of no pressure. Their goal is customers for the long-term and their way of achieving this is ensuring they find the right yacht for each buyer. Our yacht search took us from Seattle to Los Angeles, San Diego and Annapolis and Mike happily setup appointments in each location and sourced appropriate vessels for us to view. We were once again impressed as at every appointment, the brokers visited indicated the esteem they held for Mike and Discovery Yachts.
Our search only took three months, and ironically we ended up purchasing a vessel we viewed on the first day, but without that search, we would not have known we had the right new home. Mike patiently and knowledgably walked us through the purchase, title transfer and possession, and has always been there for us since to answer any questions we may have.
If their goal is customers for life, they have achieved their goal with my wife and I. Thanks very much to Mike, Beth, and Mark at Discovery Yachts. The entire team is friendly, professional and a joy to work with."
Garth Stonier and Kimberley Lafferty-Stonier
"Mark Gilbert was the perfect yacht broker for us. Mark helped us buy our Pacific Seacraft 37 sailboat which we LOVE. Mark is good-natured and fair. He listened to and respected our parameters, and yet he was also willing to suggest boats and ideas that we had not thought of based on what he knew about us. He is very well-informed; and he also took the initiative to research questions about boats and equipment for us. We really felt that he had our best interest in mind throughout the whole process of searching, making an offer, and completing the purchase. We highly recommend Mark Gilbert!"
David & Elena Leonard
"We met Mike Locatell in April of 2001 at Pacific Sail Expo. Vicky was viewing a Swan and met someone aboard who referred her to a Malo 39 on the last afternoon of the show. We had not heard of Malo’s and were pleasantly surprised when we viewed the new 39’. After speaking with her owner we were really sold on Malo Yachts. The company had just introduced the new 41' that met the all of the criteria we were looking for. Upon leaving the show Vicky was really excited about ordering this new Malo. But I wondered how it could be done with all the currency exchanging that would take place in addition to building a vessel in far off Sweden.
Mike was extremely helpful in walking us through the process. He arranged money transfers and helped us plan a trip to Sweden to view the Malo Factory in Kungsviken, Sweden. He met us at the airport and we stayed together at a lovely country cottage close to the factory. Mike sent us out to look at Hallberg-Rassy, Regina af Vindo and Najad to get ideas on what options we would want for our new Malo 41'.
When our Malo arrived in Tacoma, Washington, Mike took charge of getting Maloose commissioned at a very reasonable price. Necessary documents were processed in close proximity to his office. He made sure that all safety sensors were installed and responded to all of our concerns.
Mike has a tremendous background in sailing vessels, especially European built boats. Once you have a relationship with Mike he never forgets you and gives updates on how to keep your vessel maintained, systems up to date, and resale ready.
Meeting Mike has given us the ride of a lifetime and opened up a new world for both of us."
Jake Maas and Vicky Manning
"Mark Gilbert was very helpful in working with the owner of the boat we wanted to buy, and working with us to resolve issues turned up by the survey. Mark was responsive and found creative solutions to the problems that inevitably come up in a transaction involving an older boat. We are happy with the boat, and there were no surprises in the process. With the aid of rum and many friends, she was renamed “Serafina” after the sale. We expect to put many miles under her keel."
Syd & Birgit Stapleton
“I met Mike Locatell in Seattle in the Summer of 2009. We had purchased our Wauquiez 43, the BOS, in Vancouver a few months before. Even though we hadn’t met Mike when we bought the boat (we wish we had), he was willing to come out and look at it, and to take time to talk to my son and me quite knowledgeably and helpfully about electrical, mooring, and repair issues and referrals.
Since then Mike has continued to unstintingly share his time and extensive fund of information and contacts with us, as we have sailed the BOS from Seattle to Ensenada, Mexico, and back again, covering about 2,500 nautical miles. Among other things, Mike has given us recommendations on marinas in San Diego and Ensenada, and has suggested factors to consider and people to see about repairs and upgrades in San Diego and Seattle. He seems to know the right people in the various marine industries from one end to the other of the U.S. Pacific Coast.
For example, when we needed to have the heat exchanger and water pump replaced on the Yanmar diesel 75 while in San Diego Harbor, he put us together with the right engine mechanics for Yanmar at Harbor Island, who did great work, charged us reasonably, and met our tight time table to get the repairs done before we headed back up the coast this summer. Suffice it to say that Mike has been a great guy to know, and, when and if the time comes to sell the BOS and/or buy another boat, he is the broker we would choose to employ.”
Robert and Cynda Bishop
"Mark Gilbert was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and patient with us over nearly three years of looking for our perfect boat—on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the continent. And once we found the boat, his knowledge and calm attention to detail were invaluable. He always kept our best interests in mind—even when we didn’t know what they were! I would unhesitatingly recommend Mark as a broker, and we are very grateful to John Neal from Mahina Expeditions for recommending Mark to us."
Kitty Elton & John Beal
"After 15 years of poking around in our Phil Rhodes designed Seafarer 36, my wife Debra and I started the search for a boat that would meet our broader adventuring needs. At the 1998 Boats Afloat show in Seattle, we met Mike Locatell, who at the time was the West Coast sales representative for Saga Yachts. Mike very graciously showed us around the new Saga 43 at the show and explained the concept behind this boat. We were looking for a more performance oriented offshore boat than our current Seafarer, one that also would sail well in our modest Puget Sound sailing conditions. We also wanted to spend time cruising, not varnishing exterior teak. The more we reviewed the Saga 43 with Mike the more we understood how perfectly it fit our program. No exterior teak, long waterline, easily sailed short handed, great anchoring system, ideal sail combination with the double head stay arrangement, and a handsome efficient cherry interior. It wasn’t hard to make the decision to go through with the purchase of this very well thought out sailboat. Mike took me on a tour of Saga’s yard in St. Catherines Canada and I was able to see Viva (as we were to name her) midway through construction - a once in a lifetime opportunity for a new boat owner. After over 35,000 sailing miles in Viva we are still amazed at the thoughtfulness of its design, its durability and the positive comments we receive wherever we are.
We have sailed Viva around the world, visiting such places as; Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, the San Blas islands, Cartagena, the Marquesas, across the Pacific ocean stopping in the Tuamotus, French Polynesia, Rorotonga, Nuie, Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia including the inside passage up the Great Barrier Reef and over the top to Darwin. In August 2010 we sailed across the Indian Ocean with stops in Ashmore Reef, Cocos Keeling Islands, Rodriquez Island, Mauritius Island, finally landing in Richards Bay South Africa. Even in the challenging conditions of the Indian Ocean, Viva sailed along gracefully and safely and we continue to feel fortunate to have met Mike and been guided to the Saga 43."
Scott Harkey & Debra Cutting
"Discovery Yachts is the reason why I now think that having a reputable and trustworthy boat broker will assure a smooth and secure yacht purchase. Mark Gilbert, my broker, was friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable about the ins-and-outs of buying and selling yacht transactions. His local knowledge of the Seattle talent pool allowed me to get first-rate services in all aspects of purchasing my Cabo Rico NE 400, including selecting the yacht surveyors, haul-out yard and title service. He was also very familiar with many Seattle services that I would need after purchasing the boat, helping bring my boat into seaworthy condition. I truly appreciate Discovery Yachts, and especially Mark Gilbert, in making my boat buying experience most satisfactory. Thanks!"
Howard C. Wright
"Mike Locatell and the team at Discovery Yachts I found incredibly helpful. Mike met me at Shilshole Marina to guide me through the locks when I was bringing my boat to his brokerage. Then when some problems with the boat needing repair surfaced, Mike handled them himself using his expert knowledge of Wauquiez boats and of local technicians, resulting in completing the needed repairs at an economical cost to me. I did not even need to drive up from Portland! I highly recommend Mike and the excellent team at Discovery Yachts for buying and selling a boat, especially if you want a broker knowledgeable about high quality cruising boats. I definitely did the right thing when I sailed my boat from Portland to Discovery Yachts in Seattle to have it sold."
"I'm not sure where to start when trying to explain why Discovery Yachts was the right choice for me, but one reason I decided to seek help was that I had been going to the Seattle Boat Show for the past 3 years and was only becoming more confused about a boat that I wanted to settle into. Secondly, I live and work in a very small town in Southeast Alaska. Thirdly, I'm not very swift with a computer. The Discovery Yachts storefront was very distinctive and it had been there a long time, so I made the leap. What did I have to lose?
After giving Mark Gilbert a brief boating history, what I wanted in a boat, price range etc., we set our sights on a motor sailor with good above deck visibility. Mark was extremely helpful in sending me lots of information on boats that fit my criteria and he had a complete understanding of each boat, it's sailing and motoring charactaristics, maneuverability in tight harbors, the internal system and their pros and cons. Mark's knowledge of newer systems was extremely important as my experience was in 40-70 year old vessels.
Mark always gave me just enough insight to help me make intelligent comparisons among the many choices. He always gave me plently of time to digest all the new information, never hurrying me.
Once the right boat came along and I was ready to take the next step, Mark chose surveryors and mechanics that were top in their field and arranged a haul out. The surveyors he chose went through everything thoroughly giving me great peace of mind.
Next came the negotiations and this is where Mark truly shined. Once the deal was done, Mark went over survey recommendations with me before sailing to Alaska. He got me multiple quotes on work that needed doing and helped me with upgrades, as well as changing over the radio, radar and epirb licensing. If that wasn't enough he showed up at 5:00 a.m. the day of my departure to help me negotiate the passage from Lake Union through the Locks to Shilshole.
To sum things up, not only is Mark a master of his profession, but he's the kind of guy you wish you could pick up for a next door neighbor. After owning my boat for a year now, I still believe without a doubt that this boat was the best choice I could have made."