As Geoff mentioned, I would particularly like to thank Jim Poulsen and Benchawan from Lee Marine in Phuket.
Ron and I first met Jim in 2011 with Steph and Sam while on holiday in Phuket. We arranged to meet for a viewing of Emotion 2 while she was up on the hard. Several brokers had Emotion 2 listed and I have repeatedly thought how incredibly lucky we were to have chosen Jim to meet with. From the beginning Jim went out of his way to accommodate our needs and kept in touch with us after we returned to New Zealand. We were waiting for our business to sell and a pending sale fell through meaning we were unable to proceed with the purchase but Jim kept us appraised of the work being done and almost a year later we talked to him about making an offer. The vendor is Italian, residing in Italy and Jim made what could have been a difficult process very smooth sailing indeed. Benchawan, his assistant, is a wonderful person who so kindly sent through videos of inside cupboards, in the engine rooms and helped us with anything we asked.
With the agreement all signed and deposit paid, Jim organised a survey on our behalf, including photographing the haulout and being on board for the survey, sea trial.
When the time came for us to come over, go for a sea trial and complete the purchase, Jim and Benchawan gave us so much support and local knowledge, from where to stay, where to shop to recommending insurance brokers. Without this support we would not have known where to start.
When the sale went through, we had a few days to get a couple of things done before accompanying a crew to sail the boat to Langkawi, Malaysia. Once again, Jim and Benchawan organised contractors to get this done within the short time frame.
I would have expected that to be the end of Jim's obligations to us but he arranged our clear out from customs, arranged a broker in Langkawi to meet us and clear us in through customs, deregistered the boat from the previous owner and assisted with registering the boat in Langkawi.
It was almost a year later that we returned to Phuket for our daughter's wedding. Marina berths were very difficult to find and it is only through Jim, we were able to secure a spot at Yachthaven Marina. This time, Jim organised to clear 8 people in through customs and after the wedding, 13 people out. Benchawan greeted us with open arms. It was like coming home.
I am sure there are other brokers who offer an amazing service, but for us, buying a boat overseas, from an absentee owner in countries where English is not their first language, Jim and Benchawan went far above and beyond. We will not forget you or your kindness. Thank you!