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Old 25-06-2012, 02:48   #1
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Buying a Boat Overseas ?

Has anyone done this before and how is it generally done? I am looking at two boats in particular one is in Italy and the other in the Netherlands. Is it something that would be to difficult to purchase and find someone to help me sail it back to the US? Is it worth my time or no? There are no deals similar in the US.
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Old 25-06-2012, 06:09   #2
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

tmoney,

Been done many times. Markets change and make it more favorable to purchase overseas.

I purchase overseas, because we wanted new and they do not make them in the US.

Hired a captain to bring it from France to Newport RI. USA.
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Old 25-06-2012, 07:14   #3
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

I see nothing but problems buying a boat in a country where you have no idea of the laws of transfer, probably don't speak the language, have no means of procuring a surveyor other than one recommended by the broker, and the possible difficulties go on and on and on. There are many good boats for sale in your own neighborhood. Why put yourself at the mercy of a group of people who would like nothing better than to have you take the boat out of the country. IMHO stay home.

Buying an new boat from a reputable manufacturer is a whole different story than buying from an individual.
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Old 25-06-2012, 07:27   #4
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

Purchased our boat in UK and just had to show documentation that it was registered there. If not I would have had to show the original builders cert and all the transfers upto me to register with USCG. Or so I was told but everything went smooth. I used a 3rd party though and cost was around $300 for the transfer but think its about half if you do it your self.
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Old 25-06-2012, 12:01   #5
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

Yeah I understand all the difficulties that was the major reason for this post. The boat I am looking at is in Italy and potentially needs work. So that adds to the whole pot. I am in the process of finding out the current condition. I have a friend (foreign exchange student) from italy I am going to try to get him to go over for me and have a look see. But I am pretty sure he doesnt know much about boats.
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Old 25-06-2012, 13:28   #6
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Certainly doable BUT

Similar thread
Buying a boat in another country, how hard

Same comments - doing your homework without any assumptions or comparison to USA laws / customary ways will be critical

Good Luck in your pursuit
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Old 25-06-2012, 13:31   #7
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

Probably more likely worth your time if you also wanted to spend extended time in Europe (or wherever else you bought) and then bring back to the US (or sell in the same place).

In Europe buying a boat will have it's challenges on the paperwork front - as you will need to understand how things work (assume nothing when doing paperwork abroad!), but the good news is that the locals seem to manage it - and my bet is that just like in the English speaking world most people don't know what that involves and so either ask folk or pay someone to do the paperwork. The extra paperwork wrinkles probably mostly centred around you needing to be a resident to simply swap the boat registration - and as likely not you therefore would need to de-register and then re-register in your "home" country.

Of course add in that the boat search is complicated either by having to spend time and money away from home and / or feeling like you have a deadline to buy something and end up buying worse than you had hoped.

But at the end of the day - it's still a boat that you are buying. If you can manage to do that at home (and willing to put the time and effort in to make sure you don't buy a pig in a poke by overly relying on others) then odds are you will do ok.

Money wise - purely as a figure plucked from the air! - I would say boat would need to be 50% cheaper than the equivalent back "home" to make the boat worth bringing back. But if you also factor in the cost of getting transocean capable (of a US boat to - or an EU boat from) and instead later sell in Europe (i.e. without ever leaving!) then the figures may get more attractive. At the end of the day, I would suggest you would need a good reason.
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Old 25-06-2012, 14:00   #8
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

Happen to be sitting on The Italian Job. A boat I bought in Italy rather then sail my big boat here. I plan on keeping it for three more years and then selling it here in Europe. Not sure where. It can be a hassle to get the paperwork done though. Make sure that you don't turn over any money until you get the boat de-listed from whatever country it is currently registered in.
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Old 26-06-2012, 02:07   #9
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Re: Buying a boat overseas?

We have bought 2 boats abroad, one in France from a broker the other in Croatia direct from the charter company. We have also sold the first one to Germany using a broker. These all went without a hitch. In the UK over the last few years, a very large no of sales of secondhand boats have been to abroad because of exchange rates to US, Aus and Europe. Prior to that it was all the other way with Brits buying boats in Europe. The point I am making is that cross border purchases are very normal in Europe. Italy as part of the EU has its fair share of foreign purchases.
While private cross border sales do go on, many go through a broker. A good broker will sort paperwork, VAT and have separate client accounts etc, but as a seller you do pay for it. The British RYA do offer lots of advice to members and maybe there is similar help available in other countries. My advice would be to buy through a reputable broker and part of that would be to check them out on this forum.
Another point is that unlike the UK, it seems normal in Europe not to have a buyer survey. In my view, surveys are worth the money as they are often a lever to reduce the price and in the UK, insurers often need a recent survey.
Good luck.
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Old 26-06-2012, 19:27   #10
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Re: Buying a Boat Overseas ?

I want to move to Italy and get the boat up to par. Then cross the atlantic back home with a group of people. I am a very amature sailor and would need someone from europe to come with me. The boat is in ok shape but needs a little cleanup and possibly more.
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Old 26-06-2012, 20:22   #11
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Re: Buying a Boat Overseas ?

If it's a really good deal go for it, but having just returned from Italy I would expect that you will need time and patience. Being able to speak Italian would be an advantage too.
Italians seem to be very nice people but they don't seem to have the same sense of time that us Anglos do.
I.E midday siesta where everyone but the restaurants close and ordering parts is a two week wait.
Maybe they are smarter being more relaxed about time constraints, but it did my head in.
Also dealing with paperwork can be a challenge if you are constrained on time.
A good interpreter is worth their weight in gold even if they don't know anything about boats.
So again if the deal is good do it, just make sure you have enough time to enjoy the experience, you won't regret it.

Good luck.
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Old 26-06-2012, 20:36   #12
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Re: Buying a Boat Overseas ?

I have the time. I would like to work while I am there. If I like it there I might even bring my wife over. The whole reason I want to purchase a boat to live on is to lose the sense of time and just enjoy life and relax. The Italians sound like they have it figured out. I believe its a good deal I will need to get some more info and secure a deal then I will advertise it here and see what the rest of you guys think.
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Old 27-06-2012, 22:13   #13
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Re: Buying a Boat Overseas ?

Does anyone have any connections in Italy? for expertise when working on a boat near rome and possible help finding part time or full time work for a few months there. a few as in probably over 6 months
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Old 28-06-2012, 02:21   #14
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Re: Buying a Boat Overseas ?

Tmoney. The plus points of Italy are that a lot of people speak English, boat kit (most of which is made in EU) is freely available from anywhere in EU without tariffs and there are lots of boat services. However, mooring fees can be extremely high and there is a berthing (wealth?) tax applied to boats above a certain size, not sure the threshold or rate, look it up on the web. That said, if you have a cheap mooring Italy would be fine and not a bad place to while away the time with an expresso while waiting for service, but it may drive you mad!

If the mooring cost is prohibitive, there aren't a lot of low cost alternatives nearby, probably France is the best bet if you can find one. Port St Louis du Rhone specialises in cats and was reasonable but its a fair way away from Rome. Otherwise it would be Tunisia but then the logistics for parts will be a pain. Even in Croatia with a massive charter market and due to join the EU next year getting parts can be expensive and slow. My opinion is that you would be best to stay in EU while you are refitting.

The idea of getting a crew to sail the boat is sound but assuming you have very limited experience, you do need someone who can skipper the boat and has experience of the med and possibly an atlantic crossing until you have gained enough experience yourself. There are plenty of qualified Yachtmasters, but far fewer with sufficient experience who I would trust and would be available for such an adventure. You would probably need a whole summer cruising the Med to shake down the boat and yourself before thinking of the Atlantic.

The project is certainly possible with careful planning - good luck
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Old 28-06-2012, 09:41   #15
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Working? - humm

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Originally Posted by tmoney View Post
possible help finding part time or full time work for a few months there. a few as in probably over 6 months
Not sure what country you are from or what passport you hold, but most countries prohibit tourists/visitors from employment. Adding the fact that Italy is in financial trouble with high unemployment.
However, a person can always apply to change their immigration status or break the law and work "underground" with the associated risks.

Schengen - if it applies to you, then an added complication

If the boat is mostly operable, you could move slowly eastward getting work done in France, Spain and Gibraltar - while positioning yourself for the crossing.
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