Selling your yacht

Why should you use a yacht broker?

A yacht is an extremely valuable asset. Yacht values may often match or exceed those of houses and will usually be the most valuable asset that an owner holds outside of their home.

Yachts are also an asset that can move freely, both within and outside of the EU, and can originate from anywhere in the world.

This freedom of movement presents a multitude of risks in respect of legal title, registration, VAT and CE-compliance (also referred to as RCD ‘Recreational Craft Directive’), all of which any potential purchaser should be very wary of before handing over their money and sailing away from the dock.

Furthermore, establishing the correct value of a yacht in the present market conditions, effectively and proactively marketing it in the right places, dealing with the subsequent enquiries and then successfully taking an enquiry all the way through the delicate process of viewings, negotiations, creation of legal contracts, secure handling of client monies, assisting and liaising with the surveyor, correct transfer of title, administration of registration and any necessary dealings with marine finance (in respect of settling outstanding or arranging new marine mortgages) can and often will take a great deal of time, commitment, knowledge and experience.

As many yacht owners are very busy people who prefer to spend their leisure time enjoying the fruits of their labour, the services of a qualified, experienced and professional yacht broker can be extremely valuable.

A professional yacht broker should therefore be able to provide you with all of the following services:

  • Accurate and up-to-date knowledge of the market conditions, along with the likely demand for your yacht and its value.
  • The use of ABYA-approved listing agreements outlining the contractual agreement between client and broker.
  • Personal inspection of your yacht where logistically possible.
  • Preparation of comprehensive and accurate sales particulars and photography.
  • Proactive marketing through a variety of media including direct marketing, website marketing, the use of listings websites and social media.
  • Answering enquiries quickly and efficiently with a structured follow-up policy.
  • Accompanying viewings where logistically possible.
  • Encouraging acceptable offers and negotiating between both parties throughout the selling process.
  • Using ABYA-approved legal contracts for the Sale & Purchase process.
  • Holding any and all client monies in Client Accounts, designated as such, and identified at the Bank as such.
  • Full insurance for the purposes of the business and the value of yachts being sold through the business.
  • Providing knowledge, guidance and administration services in respect of legal title, yacht registration, VAT and RCD matters.
  • Transfer of legal title.
  • Prompt transfer of net sale proceeds and provision of statements and invoices to support the sale and the services of the broker.
  • Working directly with marine finance houses in identifying the presence of, settling, or securing a marine mortgage.
  • Liaising directly with insurers to assist purchasers with securing cover for their new purchases.
  • Close working relationships with third party businesses within the industry to cover all the additional logistics involved in the sale of a yacht. This can include refit/repair, valeting, delivery, marina berthing, tuition and charter.

(This list is only a guide and is not exhaustive of the services you should expect)

Why should you use Grabau International?

In addition to all these services that a professional yacht broker should deliver, Grabau International can provide the following:

  • We focus specifically on the market for brokerage and new, high quality, blue water and performance orientated cruising yachts.
  • With over 20 years of experience in this particular sector of the market, we can offer market-leading experience and knowledge of the market.
  • For those with ex-VAT yachts who wish to sell within the EU, we are authorised to use the ABYA ‘Customs Warehousing Scheme’, operated in co-operation with HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Alex Grabau of Grabau International has been an ABYA member for over 16 years, carries Full Broker Member status within the association, was awarded one of the first ABYA/BMF ‘Boat Sales Qualification’ awards and is also an extremely active member of the ABYA committee and past member of the BMF’s BRBA committee.
  • Our professional brokerage services are carried out in accordance with the ABYA Code of Practice, using ABYA-approved contracts and with all client monies held in dedicated client accounts (in Sterling, Euros or Dollars) written in trust at Natwest Bank.
  • We work closely with a network of established independent brokerage houses worldwide to co-broker listings thereby ensuring the widest possible market exposure for all of our listings.
  • We can offer ‘man on the ground’ logistical support throughout the Mediterranean via our office in Viareggio, Italy and our network of strategic partners located in the South of France, Balearics, Turkey and New Zealand & Australia.
  • In addition to advertising listings within the Yachts For Sale section of our website and direct marketing via our own database of active yacht buyers, we also advertise all of our listings across the main International yacht sales websites, giving access to many thousands of active buyers worldwide. These sites include:
    • Yachtmarket.com (250,000 unique visitors per month with 5-6 million page views)
    • Yacthworld.com (2.5 million unique visitors per month),
    • Boats.com (750,000 unique visitors per month)
    • Inautia.com & Coasdebarcos.com (1 million unique visitors per month)
    • Scanboat.com (specialist listings portal for the Nordic countries)
    • Sailing-Boats-For-Sale.com (specialist Global network website for sailing yachts)
  • We also operate regularly-updated social media accounts via
  • While we offer new yachts for sale, we do so as an appointed sales agent acting on behalf of an importer or manufacturer, rather than acting as a conventional dealer. We do not stock boats. In effect, the new yacht sales services offered by us are similar to that of a traditional yacht broker and as such our new yacht offerings are viewed in exactly the same manner as brokerage listings. This, in turn, allows us to concentrate on matching the right yacht to the right buyer.

How much will my boat sell for and how quickly will it be sold?

Quite possibly the two most common questions put to any professional yacht broker by their client. The truthful reply to these two questions is that there is no definite answer.

The value of a yacht is ultimately dictated by the market and the demand for the yacht in the market is affected by both internal and external factors.

Internal factors include asking price, condition, location and marketing reach, so consideration should be given to ensuring that the yacht is priced competitively, is well-presented with any easily-resolved defects attended to and that the location does not present a barrier to a purchaser.

External factors include economic strength, political stability, currency exchange rates, changing social trends and, of course, the time of year. A broker cannot influence these factors, but observing them and advising the client on how best to accommodate them is most definitely part of the professional yacht broker’s job.

The key to the successful sale of a yacht is the working relationship between professional yacht broker and their client. With the benefit of a willing and cooperative client, a professional yacht broker can ensure that the listing remains competitive within the market so as to ensure the best possible chance of securing a quick and efficient sale at the best possible price.

Please note – A reality of yachting is that the parts of the world where owners choose to keep and enjoy their yachts can often be different to where buyers might prefer to purchase them. We are happy to work with yachts in any location and in any state of commission, but where a seller is open to moving the yacht to ensure best possible market exposure, we are happy to advise and assist with making the necessary arrangements.

What do we charge?

We offer competitive brokerage rates* for yachts located in the UK, Europe and further afield. Please contact us for a quotation.

For sellers who are happy to look after the marketing aspect and wish for a professional yacht broker to look after everything else once a buyer is found, we also offer a fully-insured unique and bespoke dedicated conveyancing service at a reduced commission rate**.

* The sale of yachts owned or registered outside of UK mainland ship’s registry and requiring additional official translations, notary-signed documentation or apostilled documentation may necessitate further charges to specifically cover these additional administration costs.

** A minimum charge of £1,500.00+VAT to this service.

How do I proceed?

Simply email us or better still, complete the form below outlining some basic information about the yacht you wish to sell.















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