I bought my boat from Spain
from an Italian owner not too long ago. Here are a few things to look for:
1. Make sure the broker is a reputable boat broker
. They works for the seller's commission, but they must be helpful and transparent to you on all issues
2. Have a good and experienced surveyor
who are willing to send you a survey
sample report to see how complete (s)he perform the survey
. The issues found in the survey report can be used to negotiate price
and demand fixes for the boat before closing. I use the found issues and estimate the fixing cost and deduct from the offered price
. Do a pre-sales survey if you cannot do it yourself.
3. EU paperwork and legal fees
are expensive, insist on seller+buyer share closing cost if you can. It motivates the seller/broker to find competitive services - translator, public notary, contract
, etc. as they also share the cost
4. Find low cost marina for berth as soon as you start making offer.
5. Any service
, make sure the service
person writes down the detail service and est. timeline and cost; especially if you have any Marine legal
6. Structure the sale contract
with an initial deposit (5-10%) for surveying and the final payment (in escrow) at closing. Sale
Contract must include the seller deregisters the boat as soon as you make payment, and the seller provides evidence of boat deregister application within 3 days. Assuming you will have the boat registers its home port of your country right after.
7. All contracts and documents must be translated to English
to document for title (at least with USCG). The translator must provide credential and certification
of translation accuracy.
8. Ask the broker to handle escrow for the transaction if possible. Make sure written receipt sends to you for each payment. Wire transfer usually takes 2-3 days. Unless the seller agrees to take wire transfer then you don't need escrow.
9. EU boat will require to be exported out of EU for non EU buyer, ask the seller to share this cost of hiring an export agent. You can register for an export ID with the EU (online), the export agent can help with this.
10. The boat is required to exit EU territorial water
in 90 days after the sale is concluded. Typically the buyer will have to exit the EU country then bring the boat to non-EU country for a port entry stamp then come back to EU country for the 18 months stay. There is another approach where the EU port captain
can track your boat AIS
as it exits the EU 12 nautical miles boundary as exiting EU and come back in as exiting evidence. But it is tough to find a port captain
who is willing to do this.
11. Once you complete the exiting EU, your boat is considered a foreign entity in EU territory.
It is a lot of paperwork (EU), just be patient. Good luck.