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Old 07-06-2017, 05:57   #1
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Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Looking at the ads, I cannot find any permanent options but 5-10-20-30 years of concessions - which is not really property but prepaid rental. Prices are barely below the rental costs calculated to those periods. Besides, there are usually cheaper (state) marinas than the ones selling berths in most cruising grounds I am considering (Med & Canaries).

Rare occasion there comes a discount but still, buying AND selling a concession comes with transfer costs, difficulty to sell if you move out, hassle to rent out. What is the deal then? Usual argument is the increase of berthing fees. This I might understand for a 20 years lease, but in 20 years money also yields quite a nice sum, provided we are just ahead of a nice long rate-hike decade.

Am I alone with this point or berth-investment is really a no-go?

(Disclaimer: I considered 35-50' boat size and not bound to luxury)
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:16   #2
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Wonder about the taxes. What kind, how much and how often?
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:30   #3
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Taxes depend on jurisdiction. Concession/leasing is not property though, property taxes do not apply. I have yet to see a permanent ("real property") berth for sale.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:43   #4
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Where are you located? I just saw slips for sale and the term was 100 years. In the states I believe it is just like realty. Property taxes and insurance.
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Old 07-06-2017, 13:10   #5
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Europe. I am looking in the Canaries and the Med.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:26   #6
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

I may sell my condo with a dock, 35 feet of seawall space, suitable for 30 to 33 footer. 155,000$ US. Rent the condo use the dock. Hallandale Beach, S.E. Florida. No fixed bridges.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:29   #7
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Berth investment can be good if price inflation happens. In most popular locations the dockage supply expands far less then the demand. However, as you noted a long term lease has many disadvantages. You are essentially protecting yourself against berth price inflation in exchange for a total loss of flexibility. To me that is a lousy trade. On the other hand an actual purchase could be very attractive. It would have to include an easement for road access and parking and be priced right.
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Old 08-06-2017, 11:19   #8
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

I keep my yacht in the Canaries and rent my berth from a berth holder giving me a saving of about a third on a full marina tariff. In Lanzarote there are three main marinas and two of them have many private berths which are not always in use and are available for rent. I understand that similar opportunities exist on other islands. If I want to go cruising in a different area I am only tied in for the period that I have prepaid, normally three months. Chances are the berth will still be vacant on my return, the last time I did this it was 12 months later. Best of both worlds
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Old 09-06-2017, 00:20   #9
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

Just as everything in life, it seems if you are really using it (settled lifestyle, rich cruising ground nearby), a purchased/leased berth may be a good investment. Renting out a concession before buying the boat - as Sailu mentioned - can be a financial disaster for the "owner" though, if he/she doesn't find a long-term tenant. Purchased or "100years" is of course another story - I would focus on these kind of offers if exist in the area (and not ridiculously overpriced).

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Originally Posted by Dave22q View Post
Berth investment can be good if price inflation happens. In most popular locations the dockage supply expands far less then the demand. However, as you noted a long term lease has many disadvantages. You are essentially protecting yourself against berth price inflation in exchange for a total loss of flexibility. To me that is a lousy trade. On the other hand an actual purchase could be very attractive. It would have to include an easement for road access and parking and be priced right.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:34   #10
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

I did this exersize and, bought a dock for my cat in Spain. Made a deep research for dock rental pricing before. I still have 22 year consession ahead. What will happen than ? Mostl likely, will be renewed and, the members will pay proportionally. I still pay monthly service fee and the G5 tasa - kind of state tax for navigation. But, it still 30-50 % less than was offered from marinas. OF cause, if I quite for 1/2 year, or 2-3 years of circumnavigation (that will happen sometimes) - I'll try to lease, or club nautic may do. Will see
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:38   #11
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Re: Buying a berth - what's the deal?

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I did this exersize and, bought a dock for my cat in Spain. Made a deep research for dock rental pricing before. I still have 22 year consession ahead. What will happen than ? Mostl likely, will be renewed and, the members will pay proportionally. I still pay monthly service fee and the G5 tasa - kind of state tax for navigation. But, it still 30-50 % less than was offered from marinas. OF cause, if I quite for 1/2 year, or 2-3 years of circumnavigation (that will happen sometimes) - I'll try to lease, or club nautic may do. Will see
30+% savings (vs. present annual prices in a cheap/state run marina) is the price point I see myself entering the market. This sounds to be enough against currency devaluation (or bond/stock/etc yield could be achieved over the same period) and you only loose money if the berth is empty for more than 3 months a year.
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