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Buying a secondhand boat

Buying a previously owned boat is a good way to get more features for your money. As well as saving money, you can get afloat within days, without waiting for your ideal boat to be built.

The price of a boat will reflect its condition and specification. Unless you are adept at DIY work, you should buy the best-maintained boat you can afford. You should also check that spares are still available for the engine and other key components. Whatever you choose, maintenance costs will inevitably be higher than with a new boat.

If you’re not purchasing from a reputable boat broker, make sure that the person selling the boat is the lawful owner and that there’s no finance lender with a stake in the vessel. Ask the vendor for a legal Bill of Sale using the Government’s recommended pro forma.  

Buying a boat with a mooring

Take great care if the boat is advertised as having its own mooring. It’s not normal for mooring agreements to be assignable to a new owner of the boat, so ask to see a copy of the mooring agreement and check with the mooring provider that they will assign it to you.

The price of a boat which has an assignable mooring could be much higher than the value of the boat itself, and if this is the case, you need reassurance that when you come to sell, you do indeed have a legal stake in the mooring for the long term. Even then you cannot be sure of being able to recover the premium you paid, particularly if the annual mooring fee has been rising.

Last date edited: 7 July 2015