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Old 22-07-2009, 15:06   #1
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Sailing Yachts Cheaper in US?

I am new to sailing...but I was checking the I live in seems similar boats available in uk are much cheaper in this correct? or I have not done enought research.. also if I buy a 27 ft yatch is it large enough to sail it to uk in one piece..thanks

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Old 22-07-2009, 15:43   #2
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Not a biggie, but the spelling is yacht

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Old 22-07-2009, 15:48   #3
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First, do the research yourself. In the US it's Yachtworld.Com

OK, you have to consider the extra costs. You pay VAT when you get home. You pay to get over here and travel about maybe have some fun so those costs are sort of not that bad. You find the boat and suddenly the clock is ticking. Days are now expenses. You eventually close the deal And it might take a week or so since if you expect to sail it home you need a solid survey you might have to bet your life on. You'll need cash in the bank and the ability to set up a wire transfer.

The boat turns out OK (might not). Now you need to prep for the trip across the pond. If the boat was for sale there are issues to deal with probably small since you didn't bail out of the deal. Now being a stranger you need to get all the stuff you need and effect repairs. Great, now almost ready. The boat won't come with all the safety gear. A lot of extra money spent here so far. Is it less than a boat close to home that you could think about and decide as long as you like? A boat is not always cheaper on the other side of the pond if you need to bring it home.

I'm not seeing where you save a whole lot of money. If it ties in with a trip that you might do and enjoy anyway and you can afford to wait for making the boat ready, wait for the best weather to go back, and hang out with an old girl friend an extra month then it has a chance to be worth it. We would like to see pictures of the girl friend and perhaps the boat too.

If the whole idea is just saving some money - it's a dumb idea. Do the numbers before you come and see if it is even possible. 27 ft boats are not that expensive. They sure are not giving them away here. Combine VAT, the travel expenses, and the risk before you buy the ticket. I would also be sure of boats locally. The same thing that people think are driving boat prices down here are as bad where you live. This global economy stuff sure sucks when it goes bad.
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Old 22-07-2009, 16:12   #4
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At present similar yachts seem to cost somewhat less in the US than in the UK (and with the current economy may become moreso sooner than later). As for a 27 footer, one could buy one suitable for a transatlantic but, based upon your question, it doesn't seem like that's the type boat you want or need and it would surely negate any savings you might achieve. One could, in theory, ship a boat back to the UK but I suspect the shipping charge and import duties would put paid to any savings. Moreover, there are some excellant small yachts available in the UK at very reasonable prices; and, they are well suited to the conditions there whereas most smaller US yachts likely wouldn't be.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 24-07-2009, 06:09   #5
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do forget that the boat must be built to CE standards and be marked as such to be legaly imported into the EU
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Old 22-02-2010, 06:30   #6
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A couple of thoughts.
You are new to sailing so would need either to employ a delivery skippper or send it by ship.
Sailing most 27ft yachts across the North Atlantic is a serious business and not suitable for a novice sailor, especially as the amount of safety gear and spares you can carry is very limited by space.
Vat payable on arrival Europe (cheapest option possibly to pay it in Azores).
Import likely to be forbidden unless the yacht is older than the EEC regulations on CE standards or you modify the yacht (usually impossible).
Unless you take a long diversion south, you will probably have heavy weather on the way to and from Bermuda.

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Old 22-02-2010, 06:46   #7
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When we were in the market for a "new" boat last year we looked at buying in the states. The boats in the US are generally cheaper than they are here but the difference between small boats (up to around 40 ft) is negligeble. Then add the travel costs, VAT, CE-certification, survey, extra gear and all the other stuff that Hud talked about and you'll find that in the end the US boat is a lot more expensive. Unless you buy a big one and save lots of $$ on the purchase price. If you go to the US or caribbean and buy a boat to sail locally... Then it's another matter altogether.

On the way back to Sweden.
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Old 22-02-2010, 07:36   #8
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There are about three million reasons not to think about this.

Crossing the Atlantic, even if you were qualified to do it, would cost more than the boat itself (a 27 footer) by the time you provisioned and equipped it with all kinds of equipment you wouldn't need on the coast.

A 27 footer is pretty small for an Atlantic crossing, demanding even more skill and bigger b*lls.

U.S. 27 footers like Hunters and Catalinas are lightly built lake/coastal boats. I wouldn't attempt an Atlantic crossing in one of those on a bet, although it has, of course, been done (by people even crazier than I, though).

VAT is due in the UK on importation.

A U.S. boat has a 110v electrical system which will need some modifications (at the very least, battery charger, sockets).

U.S. boats tend to have plastic decks, which are considered by many to be declasse in the U.K., where most sailboats have teak decks. The reason is teak doesn't stand up in the heavy sunlight of most U.S. cruising grounds, whereas it is a perfect joy in the cooler U.K. (well, maybe not a perfect joy, but at least an acceptable pain in the ar*e, since you at least get 15 -- 20 years of use out of them for all the trouble they cause you).

U.S. boats don't have central heating, which is a must in the U.K. They will often have central air conditioning, which you need like a hole in the head in the U.K.

Another disadvantage is that the boats are not the same. Other than the universal Benes and Jennies, sailors in the U.K. and U.S. tend to sail locally built boats not well known on the other side. The U.S. boats are not, in my opinion, better than the local boats in the U.K., especially in that size range, Sadler, Rustler, Westerly, Moody, etc., where are all pretty sturdy, sea-worthy boats made for tougher U.K. conditions. U.S. boats in that size range (Hunter, Catalina) are pretty light for sailing in the Force 8's you have constantly in the English Channel.

I bought a boat last year in the U.K. after looking both there and in the U.S. (I'm a Yank), and did not notice that boats were significantly cheaper in the States, when you compare like quality.

Now electronics is a different matter. By all means, load up your suitcase next time your stateside, but buy your boat at home.
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Old 22-02-2010, 07:58   #9
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All that glitters is not gold.

I think US boats generally have more home comforts built in from birth like stand up showers, water heaters, pressure water systems, holding tanks and decent sized water and fuel tankage.

If your looking at boats built in the 70s era, the American customer was more discerning at that time than the average Brit, so you get a better standard of home comforts fited as standard.

I think the minimum VAT rate that can be paid in EU states is 15%. Not sure on duty as this might be on a sliding scale acording to age of boat.

If your still interested because of the Dollar-Pound exchange advantage, (which is about the only thing in your favour here) I sugest you look for boats for sale that were made in the EU to start with and might turn up in the Carib islands which are still dependants of EU countries.
Therefore they conform to CE RCDs and might be EU vat paid.
To qualify though, you have to buy it and aquire the original sales paperwork to prove VAT has been paid.

Do your sums, then do them again.
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Old 22-02-2010, 08:18   #10
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Originally Posted by fardeenc View Post
I am new to sailing...but I was checking the I live in seems similar boats available in uk are much cheaper in this correct? or I have not done enought research.. also if I buy a 27 ft yatch is it large enough to sail it to uk in one piece..thanks
Hi Fardeenc, been there done that with a Hunter37 in 04/5... I can tell you that unless its a modern boat with the CE mark its not a viable idea... VAT in Azores is 15%... not bad when you take exchange rates into account.. but the CE is the back breaker... costs a bomb for putting a few quids worth of safety stickers around the boat.
eg; $30,000 would work out to just over 3,000euro in VAT today.
Not bad when you look at the fact a comparable boat would be around 30,000GBP or about $46,000.. a difference of $16K
So.. VAT= $4,500, Airfare= $700+/-, that leaves you $11,000 to live on and fit out your boat to break even on UK prices.
Now if your idea is to make this an extended adventure and buy in the US, use the 90 days your allowed to fit out and head South for the Islands, spend some serious time down there then cross back to Europe via the Azores... go for it, living carefully the $11,000 will quite possibly cover your expenses. You'll have a great time and a nice boat for when your back home.. only other advice is go st8 from the WI's to the Azores in late May, miss out Bermuda, never understand why people cross that way.. its spending more time in Hurricane Alley.
This would cost you $34,500 asking in US..
1996 Beneteau Oceanis 281 Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -=

You can buy this in Greece for 28,000 euro, not sure if VAT paid or due..
Beneteau Boats for sale Greece, Beneteau Used boat sales, Beneteau Sailing Yachts For Sale Beneteau Oceanis 281 - Apollo Duck

Do the sums mate... in the old days you could make a good deal but the EU's shut the door with the CE regs... it had to happen, to many people buying overseas at the expenses of the European Market..
Good deal 4 adventure... crap deal for profit/savings.
Anjou's got it right.. FWI's are a better idea tho' less choice/availability.

Having said all that.. I'm thinking of doing the same thing later this year..lmao.
But a 60's, 70's boat in the $10,000 price bracket.

Born To Be Wild
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:53   #11
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If you buy a good 27 footer, it will be safe to sail her from the US to EU in the summer season, provided you have the skills and the boat is prepared for the trip.


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