I grew up sailing opti’s in Denmark many moons ago and haven’t stopped sailing since!

After 25 years as a Sales and Marketing Executive in the International Furniture Business I exchanged the frequent flyer cards for a Yacht and Ship Salespersons License in 2006.

Having owned boats for over 30 years, I have cruised and raced in lots of different places from Europe to Hawaii and covered over 60,000 NM. I am active in the sailing community, presently serving as Staff Commodore of Richmond Yacht Club.I own a Beneteau First 42s7 and have for the last 8 years split my time between cruising with my wife and serving customers at Passage Nautical. Our cruise has taken us from San Francisco Bay to Europe via the Panama Canal with stops from Norway to Barcelona. We are currently keeping our boat in Puerto Rico, enjoying winters in the Caribbean.

I was the recipient of the Beneteau TOP GUN award presented in Paris, France on December 3, 2009, one of only 5 sales people from North America to qualify, joining the club ‘The Best of The Best. I am proud to have repeated winning the Top Gun competition again in 2018!

Over the last few years I have honed my industry skills to include charter placement, powerboats and multi hulls in addition to my natural comfort zone of cruising and racing mono-hull sail boats. I have done multiple International transactions representing both buyers and sellers from Europe to Canada.

With my broad knowledge of the issues of boat ownership, I can help you define the profile for you dream boat, new or used.

Follow my cruising blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/tivoli42s7/

Client References

October 2018

To Prospective Yacht Purchasers.

I’ve been sailing for over 20 years but sold my boat when I moved to the Bay Area. After a few years here I decided to start looking for a new boat.

From the initial discussion over different yachts with Torben he was was always open and shared his extensive experience with us.

When it came to a test sail Torben was outstanding arranging two different yachts at the same dock to let us compare different configuration, layouts and interiors. He was always focused on getting us exactly the right boat for us whilst sharing his knowledge and recommendations.

The service post-delivery has been excellent with Torben always happy to dispense cruising advice and help with selection of additional equipment for the yacht.

Overall the experience with Passage Nautical and Torben has been positive and very accommodating, including arranging to have our boat ready early due to the timing of a family visit.

We are happy to now own a fantastic yacht that fits our family perfectly.

2018 Oceanis 35.1 SONOS

September 27, 2018

Dear Boat Seeker,

It is our pleasure to write a letter in support of Torben Bentsen, who is not only our boat broker but, has become a friend to us.

We have been sailing in SF bay for the last 17 years and it has been our longtime dream to upgrade from our 30’ Catalina to our “retirement dream boat.” Although, we were uncertain what that was, Torben helped us to define it.

We first met Torben in 2016, on one of our many trips into Passages Yachts for information on boats for sale. Torben was soft spoken and unassuming. We noted his experience and knowledge of the market place in the area and statewide. Not only did he know what was available, he avidly searched availability nationwide. We left that meeting encouraged. Although, he knew our timeline was several years away, Torben contacted us via email with ideas and new listings shortly thereafter. We emailed ideas back and forth for a year or more. He never forgot us, pressured us or disregarded our position. My husband actually trusted Torben and welcomed the contact. Later that year Torben left for 6 months of cruising in the Caribbean and invited us to follow his blog, which we did. It was exciting to read of his adventures. This just made us more determined in our goal.

2017 was a busy year for us personally. We were planning the marriage of our daughter, which took us away from the Bay and sailing. Nevertheless, knowing that retirement would not be until 2019 Torben was not discouraged. He was politely tenacious with ideas and contact.

We managed to meet up at the Pacific Sail boat show in Richmond April 2018 where we discussed our specifics and desires along with budget. 2018 proved to be busier yet with our son’s events of graduation, marriage and relocation in the course of 4 months! Torben backed off and let the events unfold without pressure of a salesman. We agreed to reconnect for a weekend in August before he left for vacation to Denmark for his sister’s 70th birthday! This meeting was to view several boats so he could “narrow down” our wish list and get a clear idea of the boat for us. During this weekend Torben discussed pros and cons of some cruising boats, size, and operating systems with his experience as an active cruiser. On a whim, I asked him to check a boat we had seen for a year in upstate New York, a 50ft Beneteau. Torben checked and a 2016 Dufour 512 popped up for sale in Florida. As he read the specifications he said, “This seems too good to be true.” He immediately called and contacted the seller. Although the boat was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it would be sailing north to Charleston, South Carolina. This is where he quickly arranged a viewing of the boat. The owners were from the Netherlands where the boat is registered with the home port of Amsterdam.

My husband was off to South Carolina the next week at the same time Torben was flying to Denmark and I was flying to Montana for a conference! Bad timing you say? Nope. Torben worked while on vacation, managing four time zones and still was able to celebrate his sister’s birthday. We were all still a bit skeptical about the authenticity of the deal.

Torben returned from Denmark to accompany us to South Carolina for the survey and sea trial. Torben managed all challenges of international boat sales, international title search, import of the boat to the US and loan process.

All went well, Torben handled every single challenge. He really is that amazing! He had all the right contacts to make this deal smooth. Needless to say, our timeline was moved up a bit, but this was a deal of a lifetime. Torben knew it, he made sure we knew it and he helped us realize our dream.

We are now the proud owners of a 2016 Dufour 512 Grand Large!


Mark and Mary Snelgrove
Chico, CA
[email protected]

May 29, 2016

To Those Beginning Their Search for Their Dream,

I want to share some of the many positive experiences Torben Bentsen made possible in the journey of realizing our dreams of sailing and owning our own boat.

Our journey had started many years ago. I was blessed with a wife who shared my passion for sailing and beautiful boats. When she and I had met, I had sailed for years in smaller boats, while she had limited experience. Wisely she suggested we take lessons together. It became quickly apparent sailing was a good fit for her. To quote her: the (sail) boat “required” her to be involved! She loved the reward!

I vividly remember the day we met Torben Bentsen at Passage’s office in Richmond. He was thoughtful, open, understanding and heard our wishes and concern’s. He made us feel welcomed and at ease, taking the time to better learn how to help us realize our dreams. Torben understood the decision of finding our dream should not be hurried, but instead taken with patience and thoughtfulness. Patience is a quality I regard highly and we soon grew to appreciate these qualities in Torben.

We took our time, realizing how the importance of our decision would be both then and later. During those times Torben’s thoughtfulness and patience was greatly appreciated.

Torben’s understanding of our needs and desires was always apparent. When he called and told us we might be interested in a sail boat his customer was trading in, we knew we should look.

We quickly realized Torben had found the perfect fit for us, the right boat of our dreams. We never regretted our decision.

That was the beginning of our voyage into one of life’s greatest rewards; living our dream.

After many years of rewarding ownership, we recently decided to complete our dream with a significantly larger boat.

We immediately thought of Torben and didn’t hesitate in turning to him to be part of the process. His in-depth knowledge and experience helped smooth the waters of the journey once again.


Michael Betts
Tullamore Daze
Beneteau 46

August 4, 2009

I have been dreaming of owning a boat for years. While having chartered boats and sailed with friends I gained a general idea of the type of boat I wanted. But not until I met Torben did I find someone in whom I could trust and feel comfortable that he had my best interests in mind. He showed me many boats and patiently discussed their attributes. I wanted a boat I could sail with my family and friends as well as single hand. I wanted to sail in the bay and delta and be able to take her down the coast. I also wanted to be able to race her around the bay. After looking at a number of boats and exploring the features I wanted he showed me a wonderful Beneteau 37 with all I could want in a boat. Torben negotiated an excellent deal and made the whole process of title, loan, boat check out all very smooth.

Torben is low pressure, a straight-shooter, knowledgeable and responsive- all traits I look for in working with people. But what set Torben apart is his ability to ask the right questions to utilize his knowledge and breadth of sailing experience to guide me in finding the exact boat I was looking for.

The whole process took about two months and not only did I learn a lot about boats and sailing and buy a boat of my own but I gained a trusted friend. Torben I highly recommend for any boat purchase.


December 17th, 2008

This is an account of an extraordinary level of pre and post sales service.

My wife Denny and I first met Torben at the Jack London Square boat show last April. We were admiring the Alerion 28 there, but we told Torben that we were really interested in the Alerion 33, and moreover, we would want to take delivery in the British Virgin Islands. The only 33 in California at the time was in LA, so Torben offered to meet me there to see the boat.

After making the LA trip at the end of April, Torben and I began discussions about the boat’s features and standard sail plan relative to BVI sailing conditions, as well as the logistics of getting the boat to the BVI. Torben and his Pearson Composites (the Alerion builder) colleagues recommended a second set of reef points, a reduced roach, and some other BVI specific specifications, which we agreed made a lot of sense. They also recommended that the boat be shipped to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands by Dockwise Transport, who had a yacht transport vessel scheduled to sail from Newport RI (near where the Alerions are built) around the time the boat could be completed. Torben and his colleagues also checked the option of hiring a skipper to sail the boat to the BVI, however this would have been more expensive and resulted in wear and tear on the boat, and there was also an issue with fresh water capacity for the long over-water leg of the voyage. Throughout the discussions, there was never any sales pressure. So we ordered the boat on May 13th and got into the production queue, and Torben got the boat booked on the Dockwise vessel scheduled to sail from Newport in November.

During the production process he introduced us to a local Bay Area firm who handled the U.S. Coast Guard international registration process. He also kept in contact with Pearson and made sure that our boat (we named her Nymph) would be completed in time to meet the Dockwise Newport departure. At the outset of our discussions Torben said that he would meet us in Rhode Island for the commissioning upon completion of production, and that he and his wife Judy would also meet the Dockwise vessel with us in St. Thomas and help us sail Nymph to the BVI. Yeah, sure! Well, he did. We met Torben in Rhode Island for an October 31st tour of the Pearson Composites factory, an introduction to Nymph in the water, and an exciting first sail that day.

Denny and I then flew to the BVI and Torben returned to the Bay Area. About ten days later the Bentsen’s arrived and chartered a sailboat for a week of BVI sailing. Torben and Judy spent a night with us at our Great Camanoe Island home, and we very much enjoyed their company, now as new friends. After that it was off to St. Thomas for the arrival of the Dockwise Transport vessel and the unloading of Nymph, which was really interesting. The four of us climbed up a ladder to board Nymph which was on stanchions like all of the other boats. The Dockwise vessel is essentially a floating dry-dock, and while it was being flooded for boat offloading, we watched divers remove the stanchions from the boats. Finally it was our turn, and we motored off the vessel and headed into a nearby marina for the night. The next day we sailed from St. Thomas to the BVI, and Torben and Judy were great as instructors.

While I have had experience sailing on San Francisco Bay and bare boat chartering in the BVI, the Alerion has some unique features (like the Hoyt jib boom and the twin main sheet setup), and it was very helpful to have Torben and Judy on board. Also, they are experienced blue water sailors (we are not), and they had some useful advice for us about a number of operational and maintenance details. After clearing customs, we dropped Torben and Judy off in Road Town so they could take the ferry back to St. Thomas for their flight home. I took notes during the St. Thomas to BVI voyage, which Torben later reviewed and expanded on for us. To further my Alerion sailing training, yesterday Torben took a friend of mine and me for an Alerion 28 sail on San Francisco Bay.

Without any reservations we highly recommend Torben to anyone interested in buying a yacht.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss any aspects our experience with Torben.

Jim Hoelter
Piedmont, California
[email protected]

April 10, 2008

Future Yacht Purchaser,

I had the pleasure of working with Torben Bentsen from July 2007 through January 2008 culminating in the purchase of a 2002 Sabre 452. During that time, I have come to know Torben professionally and personally.

My first encounters with Torben were different than my experiences with past brokers. He spent most of his time listening to me trying to gain a genuine understanding of what I was looking for in my “ideal boat”. We looked at a wide variety of yachts initially; Torben seemed much more interested in observing my interaction with the boats, my likes and dislikes, as opposed to trying to “make a sale”.

Torben is passionate and knowledgeable about sail boats. having sailed since his youth in Europe. His European background brought a unique practical perspective to the search. Torben is detail oriented and throughout the search provided extensive information on specific boats and sailing in general; well beyond standard industry information. Our search was confined primarily to the west coast, actively looking at boats from Seattle to San Diego. Although we evaluated many east coast and international options.

Torben is quick and responsive to questions without wasting time on boats that “he’d like to sell”. He always gave the impression of valuing his own time as well as mine. He has a good sense of humor, balanced perspective and enthusiasm.

Six months later, having selected the ideal boat Torben personally facilitated all aspects of the transition with the San Diego Broker including survey, setting up off shore delivery, LLC incorporation, yacht insurance and transport to Mexico, etc. Since the sale he has been frequently, helpful and has remained an interested participant long after his commission.

In short, I would wholeheartedly recommend Torben for anyone seriously looking to acquire a yacht; and interested in it being an enjoyable and learning process.

If you have specific questions. feel free to call, Torben has my contact information.

Dr. Ross Golding

October 22, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to highly recommend the services of Torben Bentsen as a boat broker, especially as regards the purchasing of sailboats. There are many facets related to the successful matching of a boat to a client and I have to say that Torben excels at all of them. In my case he matched up my wife and I with a superb sloop at a very fair price for both us and the seller. In the end, (now a few months later), it remains a winwin situation for everyone. This is the measure of a solid transaction.

The areas where I very much appreciated Torben’s care and skill include:

  • Listening carefully to our boating objectives and list of requirements
  • Evaluating the above and honing them to a clear definition
  • Finding and selecting appropriate boats to match our criteria
  • Providing objective and balanced assessments of the candidate boats, their price,
    performance, overall deal, etc.
  • Offering, when requested, his own personal opinions based on his extensive ocean and
    bay boating experience (i.e. he “walks the walk”)
  • Knowing a wide range of industry professionals to call upon to support the boat
    evaluation and purchase (surveyors, mechanics, yards, captains, loan brokers,
    harbormasters, friends, etc.)
  • Carefully working the structure of the sales deal to be solid, complete, and agreeable
  • Successfully negotiating a good deal with savviness and respect for all parties
  • Doing his homework, working hard on our behalf (e.g. doing comparisons, attending the
    survey, delivering the boat, working odd hours, etc.), removing obstacles, suggesting
    creative solutions
  • Being responsive and prompt; always returning phone calls
  • All of the above while being neither pushy nor an unctuous gladhander

One often fears of becoming entangled with a questionable broker who only has their own interest in mind and/or overpaying, getting an ill-matched boat, and/or becoming stuck with a maintenance nightmare. With Torben I can, without reservation, heartily endorse his honesty, insightfulness, boating experience, and conscientiousness as our broker. I felt as if Torben was always working to optimize our new boat purchase.

We are very happy with our new boat and feel fortunate to have had Torben as our broker. He was truly excellent. Any boaters that find their way to Torben will be the lucky ones.

Feel free to contact me for further details or information.


Tom Condy
Custom Schumacher 52 Sailing Sloop
[email protected]