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Old 01-01-2015, 15:33   #1
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7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

If you're American or Canadian, and have either bought or tried to buy a boat in Europe, please chime in. Extra Points for real life stories.

Our Perspective as a new buyer: (What's Yours?)

Cons:
1. Distance and expense to see a prospective boat(s).
2. Buying/Selling Process may vary from country to country.
3. Financing/ Transfer of funds/exchange rates.
4. Insurance/ Taxes/ Ownership paperwork.
5. Difficulty with finding a qualified surveyor/buyers broker.
6. How to find a reputable yard to do work on boat.
7. Time and distance to sail it home.

Pros:
1. Plentiful source of European blue water boats (Oyster, HR, Najad etc).
2. Good time to take advantage of exchange rates.
3. Opportunity to see Europe and sail the Med. (bucket list stuff)
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Old 01-01-2015, 16:30   #2
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
If you're American or Canadian, and have either bought or tried to buy a boat in Europe, please chime in. Extra Points for real life stories.

Our Perspective as a new buyer: (What's Yours?)

Cons:
1. Distance and expense to see a prospective boat(s).
2. Buying/Selling Process may vary from country to country.
3. Financing/ Transfer of funds/exchange rates.
4. Insurance/ Taxes/ Ownership paperwork.
5. Difficulty with finding a qualified surveyor/buyers broker.
6. How to find a reputable yard to do work on boat.
7. Time and distance to sail it home.

Pros:
1. Plentiful source of European blue water boats (Oyster, HR, Najad etc).
2. Good time to take advantage of exchange rates.
3. Opportunity to see Europe and sail the Med. (bucket list stuff)
If your sole purpose to buying a boat in Europe is to sail it back to the USA or Canada then I'm sure the list would only need one item, 1) Not a bright thing to do, however if you wanted to cruise the Med for a couple of years and then do the same in the Caribbean then maybe not a bad idea.
When we were purchasing a couple of years ago we ran into a number of Aussi,s and Kiwi,s that were buying and sailing home and they have a lot further to go. The choice in Europe is huge as they have so many more sailboats than we do. European boats are sort of in the middle condition wise as they spend half their lives usually on the hard in the winter as the season is not that long. The electrical system is 220v but that may not be an issue depending on where you sell it. Depending on the exchange rate that may or may not influence your decision but in our case our dollar has really gone down lately but when we bought it was higher than the US dollar. We opened a bank account with HSBC in France and did not pay any transaction fees. We found a good British surveyor who did a decent job and the local workmen were more than capable although we did most of the work ourselves. All in all it was quite the experience but we loved the time in the Med and especially Turkey which was our favourite.
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Old 01-01-2015, 16:34   #3
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

I England there is an excellent choice of qualified marine surveyors. You will also find plenty of brokers and finance businesses, not to mention that London is, i believe, the capital of marine insurance.
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Old 01-01-2015, 17:03   #4
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
If your sole purpose to buying a boat in Europe is to sail it back to the USA or Canada then I'm sure the list would only need one item, 1) Not a bright thing to do, however if you wanted to cruise the Med for a couple of years and then do the same in the Caribbean then maybe not a bad idea.
Sailing the Med, though a long term 'wish list', is not the primary motivation.

We're in the market for a well preserved, northern European boat like Hallberg Rassy, Oyster, Najad or Contest. Those makes are not plentiful here in the States, and tend to be overpriced when they hit our shores.

We'd be looking in the Netherlands, Germany or England-careful to stay out of the charter climes of Greece or Turkey.
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Old 01-01-2015, 17:36   #5
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

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Sailing the Med, though a long term 'wish list', is not the primary motivation.

We're in the market for a well preserved, northern European boat like Hallberg Rassy, Oyster, Najad or Contest. Those makes are not plentiful here in the States, and tend to be overpriced when they hit our shores.

We'd be looking in the Netherlands, Germany or England-careful to stay out of the charter climes of Greece or Turkey.
Don,t worry about the Med because of charter boats, no one charters the type of boat you are looking for although many are cruising the Med. We bought a Moody which is also scarce in our country. The Baltic is a decent place to look and some people we knew bought there but it is a pain to get them back to NA. I think your best bet is to shop the Med for your choice of boat. We met a couple in Turkey that had a like new HR that they had for sale for almost 2 years and they decided to take it back home as they could sell it for a lot more but litterly a few days before they were leaving a buyer flew in from Finland and bought the boat. Talking to the buyer his view was that he saved money buying in the Med.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:33   #6
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

We purchased 4 years ago our Jeanneau 43DS in Croatia. She was for sale from a Bresilian Owner under a Gibraltar flag. Bach Yachting d.d.o. in Split was the agent we dealt with, they have offices in the Netherland and are quite reliable which is one of the key to agood transaction. With a good briefing on what we were looking for he prepared a list of boats (7 boats spread from Split to Pula) and planned a week visit with 2 days at the end for a survey in case we were ready to make an offer.. We found the boat we were looking for, got her surveyed (partially) and made an offer that was accepted! The ship was then re register under a Canadian flag. Our intent was to sail the Med as long as we could before crossing her in the Caribbeans some time in the future. We stayed 3 years in Pula Croatia and relocated in 2013 to Marmaris Turkey. In both places we found reliable resources to take care of our boat and provide us with professional maintenance.
SK Yachting who also operate a charter company is currently in charge of our ship and highly recommendable. We found the purchasing process lengthy (3months) and the money transfer somewhat stressful as the money is put in escrow with the agent until the papers are in his possession. Only then does he simultaneously send the papers to the new owner and releases the money to the seller. And only then can you proceed with the re registration of your ship in your country. In the end we found the experience quite stressful but well worth the life we now enjoy in the Med sailing 5 months + every year. The cost of travelling back and forth every year form Canada to Turkey is offset by a lower cost of living. With taxes unpaid we believe we saved 60k over a 200k purchase although saving money was not our primary motivation! Hope our experience can help.
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:42   #7
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

I appreciate everyone's comments. Since we need to partially finance the boat purchase, I am investigating whether this is possible in Europe.

I am trying to find a European lender willing to do business with an American. Does anyone have info or experience with this?
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Old 03-01-2015, 13:01   #8
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

You might want to try Nicholle Associates in the UK they offer a wide range of services to an international customer base and have proven to be very reliable. Adrien Nicholle is the man we dealt with. Good Luck
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Old 03-01-2015, 17:43   #9
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
I appreciate everyone's comments. Since we need to partially finance the boat purchase, I am investigating whether this is possible in Europe.

I am trying to find a European lender willing to do business with an American. Does anyone have info or experience with this?
We opened up a preferred client account with HSBC in Vancouver and a second one in France which allowed us to borrow or remove cash (Euro) without any fees. Check with them as we were able to use our credit rating in Canada when dealing with the French branch. We did not borrow money but we could have if need be, might be worth checking out. I'd have to check with the wife but I think we needed to deposit a minimum of 100 thousand in our home branch to qualify for this account.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:11   #10
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Talking Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

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Originally Posted by JulieMac View Post
If you're American or Canadian, and have either bought or tried to buy a boat in Europe, please chime in. Extra Points for real life stories....
Hi ! Sorry, but I did it the other way around... I went to the Great Lakes to find a fresh water sailboat. With the exchange rate (I work in a Euro zone), I found a 34 footer in excellent condition that I motored & then sailed to the West Indies where I live/work. If you want a European sailboat, there are a lot available on the great lakes & you can motor/sail it down the great lakes, the Welland canal, the St-Laurent river & then off downwind to Ireland & Europe When I compared pre-owned sailboats, in Europe, I would have ended up with a good 28 footer for the price I paid for my Ericson 34
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:32   #11
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

Hi Julie,

After spending 2 1/2 years looking at HR, Contest, Najad, IP, North Winds, Van den Stadt, Trintellas, Jongerts, we came to the conclusion that much of their appeal is perhaps... a bit of snobbery... just perhaps. :-)

So after a friend took me on his Amel SM, we changed our tack; these are as competent sea boats as any of the ones above but with a HUGE level of common sense items (carry 125 bottles of wine in dry bilges, 4 water tight compartments etc) most others don't have... plus they will run circles around anything other than the Oysters and cost you half the moolah. But they are French with a few different things... you have to like the styling.

You may not need "financing" after all!!!

GL
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:12   #12
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

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Hi Julie,
After spending 2 1/2 years looking at HR, Contest, Najad, IP, North Winds, Van den Stadt, Trintellas, Jongerts, we came to the conclusion that much of their appeal is perhaps... a bit of snobbery... just perhaps. :-) So after a friend took me on his Amel SM, we changed our tack; these are as competent sea boats as any of the ones above but with a HUGE level of common sense items (carry 125 bottles of wine in dry bilges, 4 water tight compartments etc) most others don't have... plus they will run circles around anything other than the Oysters and cost you half the moolah. But they are French with a few different things... you have to like the styling. You may not need "financing" after all!!!
GL
Amel is one of the most underated builder. He's up there with the best. If I had the money, I would look for one in the US where nobody knows them & their asking prices are lower than in EUrope You can crew on one of them, the 56' Amel on
https://www.findacrew.net/secure-ser...account=161327
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Old 05-01-2015, 04:50   #13
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

Bonjour Alain,

Actually, there are some in the US, sailed by very enthusiastic owners.

However, you can find a number of Amel Super Maramu 53's for under $250K.. both in Europe and in the US. 2 nice ones in the US as of yesterday.

A Maramu is nothing to sneeze at either ...being 46 feet of loveliness. Santorins were the follow up to the Maramus. A bit more dosh but also more modern.:big grin:

Am I prejudiced?? Naaahhh!
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:34   #14
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

Hi Julie,

Would this tempt you?

1989 Oyster 53 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

I am trying to help...
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:36   #15
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Re: 7 Pitfalls with Buying a Boat in Europe

I find them great boats, you kinda have to get used to the looks and some of the systems but they are a great cruising choice, they will take you anywhere and back. The brand new ones are much nicer on the eye but the older ones are excellent boats that were designed with one thing in mind..cruising and crossing oceans. Good choice!
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