• Our first piece of advice is not so much a 'helpful tip' as a pre-requisite when making such an important purchase. Please ensure you always employ the expertise of a reputable and professional Yacht Broker who is a member of the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA). * See below to find out why.
• Always make sure you have somewhere to berth or store the boat following purchase. Your broker may well be able to help you find somewhere suitable.
• Try to view the boat yourself as early in the boat-buying process as you can.
• When you are viewing the vessel with your broker and/or the owner, ask them to show you the engine, and check that all the electronics and systems are working if stated as so.
• Make sure your Broker runs a protected Client Account and holds Professional Indemnity before you place any funds in their client account.
• If you are ready to offer, we advise making it subject to survey and ensure you have that survey carried out by a professional who is a member of Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA)
• Only pay purchase funds into the Broker’s Client Account who will generally ask for a 10% deposit upon agreement of your offer
• Following successful survey results and your ‘acceptance’ of the vessel ensure you take out insurance cover for the boat.
• Ask to see copies of all the original ownership paperwork. Upon completion the previous owner must hand these over to the buyer – they must be originals (going back at least five years) and not copies.
• Finally…do as much research (through independent sources) as you can. This will prime you for any queries and give you the confidence and knowledge to question any potential anomalies before they occur.
* Why Use A Professional Broker?
On initial enquiry, a professional broker will work on your behalf , listening closely to detemine if the boat you have in mind is the right one for you, and can tell you whether or not it represents good value. They will be extremely well informed about the current market conditions and have a familiarity with similar boats and their recent sale prices. They will also be able to advise on what offers the vendor may accept.
They will be fully familiar with ALL the paper work needed to check that the boat has a clean and unencumbered title, including the trail to show payment of VAT where appropriate.
Your broker will be able to advise you on the very best course forward should you wish to apply for finance that may assist you with some extra leverage when negotiating prices.They will also possess a sound knowledge on marine insurance, surveys, VAT and offer recommendations for specialist marine lenders.
A broker can use their position as an intermediary to keep the negotiations between yourself and the seller moving to a successful conclusion, even in the event of unforeseen problems. They will also be able to recommend local training centres should you wish to further your boating knowledge.
As mentioned above, a professional broker will use a client account for your funds, and ensure that on completion of the purchase, any existing loan or other encumbrances are paid off. This safeguard is absolutely imperative to both yourself and the vendor. This is where it all has the potential to go seriously wrong in private transactions which do not involve an ABYA trained professional.