Decide what you want your boat for, before you start looking. Cruising/Racing? Do you have a young family? Cruising the Greek islands or crossing the Atlantic? Charter?
Review your budget and don’t forget mooring and marina fees, fuel, winter storage fees, surveys, insurance etc.
You have seen the yacht that you want. What happens next? Read on:
If you wish to proceed further, the next step is to ask us to make an offer to the vendor for the yacht on your behalf. We would recommend that such an offer should be made subject to a survey and/or sea trial. In certain circumstances, it may be sensible to make an offer on an `as is, where is’ basis, but we must point out to you, that to do so does incur an element of risk which you must understand. A professional surveyor’s report is the best way for you to establish the yacht’s structural integrity and her ability to go to sea in safety.
When you find a boat you like, talk it through with the broker, who will provide a sales and purchase agreement that both parties sign.
You will need to place a deposit, usually 10%, which the broker then puts into the Client account, this deposit is fully refundable if there are any issues that get brought up on the surveys or sea trial, minus any costs that have occurred made by the purchaser e.g. fuel for the sea trial or damage to the boat.
If you require finance ensure that you contact a finance house in good time, as the money needs to be available when you reach completion.
Whilst you’re in the process of purchasing the boat, it is important to make sure you have made arrangements of somewhere to berth the boat, for when the sale completes.
Arrange a survey (if you choose to have one) the broker cannot recommend a surveyor but they can give you a list of surveyors in the area. The surveyor will then give you a list of dates he can make and they then usually liaise with the broker to make sure the date is OK to make sure they have keys etc. They will report back to you very quickly if there are any major issues and then provide you with a report on the boat.
Although it is not essential, it is often an advantage for you to see the survey carried out. It is important to note that as buyer, you are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage caused by the surveyor. Most yacht surveyors do not in fact cause any significant damage – but you must be aware of this point.
Once you have the survey report, you will normally either decide:
a) To complete the sale at the original price, or
b) To re-negotiate the price, or require the owner to repair or replace parts, as a result of defects found, or
c) To pull out of the deal entirely, because of extensive and major defects found
Your deposit will be returned (less any costs of “survey damage”) if you do withdraw from the purchase at this point. This situation is however fairly unusual.
If a survey is required, it normally takes around three to five weeks to complete a sale
If you require a sea trial, advise the broker when placing the deposit, so they can make the arrangements. You will be responsible for the fuel needed and any lifts required.
Decision made, check the inventory and that the title documents are lodged with the broker. The balance payment can then be paid and once the funds have cleared, completion can take place. The broker will then give you all the title documents and a Bill of sale transferring title from the vendor to you and the keys to your boat.
Don’t forget to insure the boat before you take possession. (We can help with a list of marine insurance companies)
If you haven’t sailed or driven a boat before do get some training before heading off. It is essential to know the ‘Rules of the Road’ and have adequate safety equipment. The RYA has a wide range of courses specific to your requirements. The are many good courses available in the area.