Selling your Boat, the Frequently Asked Questions


This post is also available in: French

When it comes to buying a boat, there is no lack of advice. But what about when you want to sell your yacht? 

Here are some tips and answers to the important questions you may have.

How to sell my boat quickly?

If you want to sell your boat, you must first of all give it a fair price, have all the papers ready, have the time to organize visits, the maritime expertise and negotiate the price with your future buyer. 
It is also necessary to present a clean and well maintained boat, whatever its age, and most of all have her easy access for visits.
We advise you to go through professionals who know the market. You will benefit from their expertise, their network of potential buyers and they will also help you with all the legal formalities and take the time to organize the visits.

Do I sell my boat by myself or with the help of professionals?

Most small or old boats are sold directly by their owners, because of the simplicity of the transaction. A professional broker will be able to promote the sale of your boat, through his network, as well as organise the escrow of the funds and guide you through the registration papers of the sale etc.

Should I have my boat surveyed?

Having your boat professionally surverez by a professional expert is a good way to know its true value, but also to reassure the potential buyer.

What documents should I present ?

It is advisable to present all the invoices for the equipment you have on board the boat, as well as a complete and up-to-date maintenance booklet. It is also important to have a complete inventory of the boat.

Should I plan a sea trial?

Your potential future buyer will surely ask for a sea trial and this will be at his expense.

How do I price my boat?

Study the market and the price of similar boats available for sale. 
Above all, be realistic! Here the help of a professional will be a true added value. He will advise you on a fair price according to the year of construction of your yacht, the yard, the engine hours and the maintenance done over time.

How to change the owner of the vessel?

The change of owner must be reported to the customs office where the vessel is located. This formality can be carried out by the seller or the buyer and allows them to proceed to the change of ownership.

How to change the home port of the vessel?

To apply for a change of home port, the application must be filed in duplicate at the customs office of the port where you are currently registered.

Can I sell my vessel that is being leased with an option to purchase?

Yes, but the lending institution will remain the owner until the end of the financing, and this is only a transfer of the LOA.

Is KYC information required to sell my yacht?

Yes, Know Your Customer (KYC) information is required in order to comply with international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

How is the delivery of the yacht organized?

The cost of delivery of the yacht is an issue that comes up during the price negotiation.  
If the buyer does not intend to tow his new boat himself, he will use a captain or a professional boat transport company by land or sea. 
By land or by sea?  This depends on various factors such as the size of the boat, the points of departure and arrival, and the seaworthiness of the boat. The “by sea” option has many advantages: flexibility, logistics and, most of the time, lower cost. 
On the other hand, slower and less reliable, the delivery by sea of small boats can be more difficult in this case you can use a carrier.

What taxes do I have to pay once my yacht is sold?

Taxes following the sale of a boat depend on many factors and each jurisdiction has its own regulations. 
What is the flag of the boat? Was it registered? 
Where is the yacht based?  Where was it sold? Does the buyer want to re-flag the boat? 

Who should register the sale of the boat and where?

If the flag of the boat is to be changed by your future buyer, you must make sure to deregister the flag of your vessel. If necessary, remember to check that the deeds of sale are up to date and signed. Afterwards, your future buyer must take the necessary steps to register his new yacht.