Buying A Yacht

Why buy a boat through a Broker?

  • Sales documents – we issue Sale & Purchase Agreement
  • Survey – we liaise with Surveyor and organise detail
  • Documentation – we deal with formalities of Bills of Sale, vat and CE regulations
  • Finance – we hold deposit and final balance funds
  • Legal – we deal with title documents, boat transfer and timing

The process of buying a yacht through a broker

1. Inspection

Arrange a viewing of the boat, consider inventory and decide in principle whether she is the yacht for you. Determine how much you would be prepared to offer, based on the asking price indicated by the vendor and your own perception of the market value. Our specialist knowledge of the boat and the market will enable us to help you in this decision.

2. Offer

Contact us to discuss and submit an offer for the boat, which would generally have one or two conditions attached, such as:

  • subject to either a structural survey or a full survey
  • subject to engineering check and/or rigging check

3. Deposit

Next step is to send a 10% holding deposit in the form of an electronic transfer, which will secure the boat for you. The deposit will be held in a separate Client account “in escro”. Incidentally, if the boat is being bought unconditionally i.e. “as is, where is”, the 10% is not a “deposit”, but represents the first stage payment.

4. Purchase Agreement

Once the offer is accepted, we will make out a formal British Marine Sale and Purchase Agreement, to confirm what has been agreed verbally (nb: in the case of boats and indeed most things except houses, you can have a perfectly legal verbal agreement, but all reputable Yacht Brokers will use an approved form of agreement). The Purchase Agreement will be in two copies (for vendor and buyer) with the Sales Specification, plus inventory sheet if appropriate. We will also send a selection of YDSA approved surveyors if required, all of whom are accepted by insurance companies. You would then sign the S&P Agreement as soon as convenient and return to Lucas Yachting. We also work with Surveyors who are members of the International Institute of Surveyors (IIMS).

5. Survey

Cost of a survey will be between £14 and £18 per foot depending on Surveyor, plus travel charges, if relevant. Where yard facilities are being used and the yard is hauling out the boat on a travel hoist, this will cost between £100 to £200 according to size of boat and sophistication of the yard. You would normally be allowed up to 3 weeks in which to complete the survey.

6. Survey report

The Surveyor will carry out the Survey and send his report to you. In the light of this report, one of three things will happen:

  1. The survey will be as expected for a boat of its age and price (i.e. nothing of serious consequence will have been found)
  2. Various matters require work to be done, expensive enough to expect a reduction in the agreed price – either relating to structural problems or matters affecting seaworthiness of the yacht.
  3. The Survey is seriously critical of the boat, (with significant material defects), that you would want to withdraw from the purchase. Buyer is then able to withdraw and recover the deposit money in full.

In the case of ‘b’, the price will normally be renegotiated to everyone’s satisfaction and the sale proceeds.

7. Discussion period

From the time of survey to completion and transfer of title, the duration can be quite short or sometimes up to 3-4 weeks from date of Survey report. This is discussion and thinking time, and negotiation if necessary. A longer period can be mutually agreed if required.

8. Title checks

Meanwhile, we will be checking title through the Registrar of British Ships if she is Part I registered and also securing various documents to demonstrate clear title and ownership. We will then prepare the Bill of Sale and collect relevant documents such as a Declaration of Ownership, proof of VAT payment, EC Declaration of Conformity and so on, so that once the yacht is yours, you can legally demonstrate your ownership, free of encumbrances.

9. Sale completion

Once the final payment is agreed, you will pay the balance of the purchase price in to the Lucas Yachting Client Account. Title is transferred once your final payment has cleared this account and you have checked through the boat and inventory with the vendor, who will then hand you the keys to the boat. We will then send to you the Bills of Sale, Certificate of Registry (if applicable), VAT documents and relevant receipts/maintenance records.

We trust this adequately explains the procedure for purchasing a boat and if we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 07717 885435 (Mike) or e-mail