Welcome back to our series on buying a boat in California! Today we’ll detail the process of actually buying the boat once you’ve figured out what you want. This is where the services of a licensed yacht broker are sure to come in handy.
So you’ve narrowed down which type, make, and model of boat you’d like to purchase. The next step is actually finding a boat for sale that meets your parameters. Your options here are either to purchase through a private seller, or through a broker licensed in the state of California. Which path you decide to take may have no bearing on your ease of purchase, but there are some issues to consider when buying a yacht through a private seller. A contract will need to be written, you’ll have to figure out how to pay taxes on the transaction, you might require a third-party escrow service to hold onto the cash during the sale, and you’ll have to decide yourself on whether or not to hire a marine surveyor to investigate the quality of the vessel. Finding and purchasing a boat is hard enough on its own, but if you feel as though you’re equipped to take on the added challenge of purchasing privately, then more power to you.
Utilizing the services of a broker is your other option. A broker can use his network of contacts to find a boat that suits your needs, determine its fair market value, and put forth an offer. When writing the contract, they can specify that purchase is conditional on an inspection and a sea trial so that you can be sure your vessel is in good working order. Once you’ve hired an independent surveyor and completed your sea trial, you’re almost ready to close the deal. Your broker can guide you through the closing process, and once all the papers are signed, and funds transferred, you will own your new boat!
Next week we’ll discuss safe boating practices, and how to apply them to your California yachting experience. Fair winds and following seas!