Buying a Yacht

Why should a buyer purchase through a professional yacht broker?

The purchase of a yacht represents a significant financial commitment and is not something to take on lightly. Aside from the obvious points - such as suitability for purpose, price and condition, and the mobile nature of yachts - extra care needs to be taken to ensure that the yacht is sold free of encumbrance with no nasty hidden surprises in respect of legal title, registration, VAT or CE/UKCA-conformity.

These added complications mean that many yachts sold privately frequently change hands quite innocently with incorrect title or questionable VAT. The job of a professional yacht broker is not just to match buyers to yachts, but to ensure that a buyer is fully aware of what they are buying and what all the paperwork actually means.

A professional yacht broker carries out all aspects of the conveyancing process for both buyer and seller from the beginning through to the completion of the purchase. To make a comparison with property sale, the professional yacht broker is fulfilling the task of sales agent and both conveyancing solicitors simultaneously. The key advantage for the seller and buyer is that with just one party controlling the purchase, time is not lost in communications between conveyancing solicitors and the level of communication given to both parties is significantly improved.

Grabau International is an ABYA-registered professional international yacht brokerage company working to the ABYA Code of Practice. This code requires that a broker is professionally qualified, carries professional indemnity insurances and holds all client monies in dedicated client accounts written in trust with their bank.

What does it cost a buyer to purchase through a professional yacht broker?

Absolutely nothing: the services that a professional yacht broker provides are paid for by the seller. The professional yacht broker acts on behalf of the seller and working closely with the buyer to guide them through all the processes involved in the purchase is perhaps the most important part of that service.

What if a buyer needs help finding the right yacht?

We would be delighted to discuss your yachting requirements and suggest possible options to consider. Please feel free to email us or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Will a purchase be warranted or indemnified by a professional yacht broker?

A professional yacht broker acts on behalf of their client who is the seller. However, they do have a clear duty of care towards the buyer.

Where a seller is a private individual or a corporate entity not selling in the course of their everyday business, a warranty may not apply. It is very important that a buyer should satisfy themselves as to the suitability and condition of the yacht through personal inspection, professional survey and/or sea trial. The costs associated with such checks will usually fall to the account of the buyer.

In respect of title, registration, VAT and RCD/RCR, again, the buyer must be satisfied that these are in order. We will request all supporting paperwork from the seller and seek to make them available for inspection by the buyer. For more formal advice on paperwork matters, a buyer should seek further advice from qualified sources such as the relevant customs authority or in the case of RCD, a notified body

We have produced a basic guide to VAT & RCD/RCR which can be found here

What if the yacht is offered for sale privately?

We uniquely offer a bespoke & dedicated yacht conveyancing service which can used by either buyer or seller to look after all the contractual, financial and paperwork aspects of the purchase. Full details can be found here.

What is the purchase process?

To fully explain the most commonly adopted purchase process, we have produced a guide to take the buyer through the various steps of purchasing a yacht from finding the right yacht through to sailing away from the dock. This guide can be found here.

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