Yacht Purchase Checklist

Choose the craft that suits your budget and lifestyle; factors to consider might include age, condition, the cost of additional equipment, refitting etc.

Assuming you have already decided the type of yacht/boat you’re interested in purchasing, the following checklist will help you through the process. If you haven’t decided on what type to purchase, please Contact Us for preliminary consultations and have one of our experts guide you through the process, whether it is racing, casual cruising, extended cruising, investment, charter, tax shelter, second home or live-aboard, we can help!

1.   Find a dealership that sells the range of boats you think you are interested in. Make certain you are buying from a reputable dealer. Check whether the dealer/boat builder is a member of any marine association or federation.

2.   Schedule an appointment to see the boat and meet with the dealer or broker.

In case of new yacht/boat

Create a list of questions to ask the dealer or broker, i.e.:

  • Where is the boat manufactured?
  • What kind of accessories does it come equipped with?
  • Do you have it in stock and/or how long is the delivery waiting time?
  • How is warranty repairs made?
  • Do you offer in-house financing?
  • Do you have a service facility and/or dock side repair?
  • Are the service technicians factory-trained and certified?
  • Are the service technicians licensed, insured and bonded?

In case of used yacht/boat

  • Check whether the seller has provided ownership documents and can guarantee clear title (including a CE Certificate* if the boat was built after June 1998, VAT invoice (if applicable) and Registration Certificate and Bill(s) of Sale).
  • Identify a suitable marine surveyor (to check whether the boat and its engine / equipment is sound and seaworthy).
  • Agree on and view all the equipment to be included in the sale.
  • Arrange insurance prior to completion.
  • Check whether the boat is currently mortgaged. If mortgaged, check how it will be paid off before completion.
  • Check how many hours on the engine.
  • Check if the boat needs any repairs.
  • Check what accessories come with the boat.
  • Check if the boat was regularly maintained.

3.   If you like what you see, make an offer (make sure that any issues/concerns are in writing and will be resolved to your satisfaction before you close the deal). Agree on the specification and any additional equipment.

4.   Ask the boat builder or dealer for details of the deposit and stage payments required. 10% is customary. Ensure the deposit is held in a separate client trust account.

5.   Request a sea trial, try and have the owner/builder and/or the broker on board.

6.   If it is a used vessel make the purchase conditional upon a survey from a qualified marine surveyor. Be sure you choose the surveyor.

7.   If you need a boat loan, be sure you make it a part of the contingency.

8.   Sale agreement is prepared and signed. Make certain the boat builder / dealer is using an approved contract.

9.   Once you have released all the contingencies you should release the final funds. Final balance should be paid to broker’s/dealer’s trust account. Check at what stage does the boat become yours and when do you become responsible for the insurance.

10.   All documents should be given to you at closing:

  • Ship registration document.
  • Warranties and manuals.
  • Service bills for equipment or repairs.
  • Invoice and receipt for the purchase.
  • Sale Contract signed by all owners (if more than one).
  • Closing statement that breaks down costs and funds paid in by you.

11.   Check that the seller (dealer or agent) can guarantee clear title and, if so, how?

12.   Make sure your dealer has arranged lessons for you from a licensed skipper and that you will have technicians to help you with any after sale service.

Don’t forget the extras

There are quite a few extra costs associated with running a boat, so don’t leave the following out of your calculations, while making purchasing decision:

  • Insurance
  • Boat and trailer registration
  • Taxes and VAT
  • Fuel
  • Docking and mooring fees
  • Storage
  • Equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, marine radio, anchor and dock lines
  • Maintenance
  • Trailer
  • Survey
  • Crew costs