A Boat Buyers’ Guide

Buying a boat (or yacht) is a major purchase. It can be confusing and even stressful. From finding the right boat, negotiating an offer, completing the inspections and all the paperwork to finally taking delivery of your new boat, the road to acquiring your dream yacht can become long and windy.

Yacht BC Yacht Sales is pleased to sponsor this page with the hope that understanding the key steps in the process will lead to a positive yacht buying experience.

Finding the Right Boat at the Right Price

Identifying and prioritizing your needs is a good place to start. Functionality — how you plan to use the boat, and with whom. Styling is probably next. And then pricing. Pricing should take into account the purchase price, delivery (e.g., the cost of bringing the boat up from Ft. Lauderdale), taxes (e.g., import duty, handling of a trade), operating and maintenance costs, potential charter revenue and future resale value.

Do your research. Take time for window shopping and visiting boat shows. The most used site on the internet is Yachtworld.com. At this point you may want to engage the services of a yacht broker who has experience with the type of boat you are looking for. The broker may have access to information through proprietary websites and his or her network.

Making an Offer and Negotiating the Purchase

Once you have found a desirable boat, you would normally draft a “Purchase and Sale Agreement” with your offer price, terms and dates, and submit this offer to the seller. There may be some back and forth in reaching an agreement of the selling price. Deposits are negotiable but 10% of the offered amount is normal. These funds should be held in a trust account and are generally refundable up until the time the boat has been accepted.


When your offer has been accepted, you will want to arrange a sea trial, mechanical inspection, haul-out and survey. We always recommend using a qualified mechanic and surveyor (SAMS or NAMS should be in their letterhead). The surveyor works for the buyer and you have the freedom to employ the surveyor of your choice. Should the survey report find any faults with the vessel, you may address these faults in an addendum to the “Purchase and Sale Agreement”.

Paperwork and Closing

After the “Acceptance of Vessel” document has been signed, there is some paperwork to be done, and the time and place for the closing to be determined. We always recommend the services of a documentation or title company to hold the funds in a trust account, handle the disbursements prepare the closing documents (lien search, bill of sale), and assist with the importation and registration or licensing.

The Launch Party

It’s time to invite your friends on board!

Who to Call?

We invite you to contact Yacht BC Yacht Sales or any member of the British Columbia Yacht Broker’s Association (BCYBA). As members of the BCYBA, we adhere to a code of ethics and handle all transactions according to prescribed procedures so that every client is treated with high standards of professionalism. Transparency is key. We believe that our clients should be well informed through all of the steps involved. In addition to the purchase, we’ll be pleased to help with arrangements for delivery, moorage, yacht service or charter management.

We look forward to being of service.
Yacht BC - Yacht Sales
Yacht BC Yacht Sales


Main image at top of page: Blue Sky at Pender