Re Reputable Brokers.
Clearly I can't defend the indefensible and if you have been "stitched up" by a broker, then I'm as appalled as you. And I can't claim that having a financial stake in a sale won't lead some people astray.
As it happens, when acting as brokers we would always suggest people get a mechanics report or a print out of the engine - as much to protect our reputation as their satisfaction. In fact in most cases (as in the Zodiac 550 Pro Open we,ve just advertised), we would get that information in advance of advertising the boat.
I think that an ethical broker who is looking to build or keep a good reputation would be able to see that "stitching someone up" for the sake of a quick profit is not the way to build a business.
If we sell a boat on behalf of someone else, we are always keen to inspect the boat before advertising it and certainly wouldn't look to cover up or omit to mention something which would materially effect the value or performance. If we are selling our own stock, we are legally obliged to offer a warranty and therefore do.
We know a lot about ribs and I could easily write a list of each popular rib manufacturer and the likely faults with a used rib of theirs - and some unlikely ones. Part of our service is to make sure the customer is informed and ultimately happy with their purchase.
Have to stop now and polish my Halo
Seriously though, I know there are dishonest people out their who claim to be reputable brokers, but equally, there are those who don't see the point in going through life ripping people off and I wasn't seriously suggesting that you "take things at face value" just because someone's got an "honest face"
So to address the point directly - if you are not sure about the honesty of who you are buying from then an independent opinion can't be a bad thing!