Buying A Used Boat - Advice
If you are buying a boat for the first time, Boats & Yachts Warranty recommend you use a broker. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, a broker will be able to give you professional advice and make sure you have the correct paperwork for legal ownership of your new boat.
Decide what you want your boat for before you start looking...cruising/overnight? Do you have a young family? Crossing the Solent, Atlantic or staying local?
Decide on your budget - be realistic and like a car don't forget to consider running and maintenance costs – talk to your broker - these are dependent on your location and type of boat.
Take your time - collect information before viewing. Talk to your broker, friends and read reviews about the types of boats you are considering.
Contact the vendor (dealer/broker or private seller) to arrange a viewing.
Contract & Price
Once you’ve confirmed you want to buy the boat, negotiate the price and make sure you have a warranty. The broker will create a Sale & Purchase Agreement. Both parties must sign the contract and agree any amendments – make sure your agreement is subject to a survey and sea trial if required.
You will need to pay a deposit (usually 10%) at this, stage with the balance payable before the handover.
Arrange a survey with a registered yacht surveyor. The survey will detail the current condition of the boat and may be required to arrange the boat’s insurance.
It’s important to read the survey report carefully – Discuss any queries with the surveyor and the broker. This is also your opportunity to renegotiate if anything substantial is highlighted.
If you require finance, make sure that you allow enough time to contact a finance house - the money needs to be available when you reach completion stage.
You are responsible for any costs involved with a sea trial - slipway lifting and/or skipper's fees.
Make sure you leave enough time for your payment to clear. Only when the funds have cleared, completion can take place. The broker will give you the relevant documentation – it’s important you know what paperwork you should receive.
Check your warranty coverage, terms & conditions, claims limits and process. Make sure you have enough coverage and there are clearly defined terms if there is a problem. Like insurance, after market warranties are also available with a wide range of coverage which cover for the instances outside of your insurance.
Don't forget to insure the boat before you take possession – if you are keeping your boat in a marina, insurance must be in place.
If you haven't sailed or driven a boat before, we strongly recommend that you get some training before heading off. It is essential you know the 'Rules of the Road' and have adequate safety equipment.