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Frequently asked questions about Yachtsnet

In this section:


Yachtsnet's Terms of Business and Commission Rates


Buying a boat - the sales process


Selling your boat - what Yachtsnet will do for you


Selling your boat - what you can do to help - boat preparation  


Financial Safety

Yachtsnet's terms of business

Yachtsnet offers you lower commission rates than the industry standard, and at the same time provides a better service than many traditional brokers.

Comparison table


Most other brokers

Will the broker actually have seen the boat advertised?


Not always

Commission as sole brokerage agent


usually 6% + VAT

Commission if other brokers are also offering the vessel


usually 8% + VAT

Commission on international brokerage - for UK-registered yachts only

6% + fixed fee/expenses on case by case basis, UK registered boats only

10% + VAT

Minimum charge


usually between £750 and £1,500

Free classified adverts for smaller boats



Classified adverts for non-brokerage boats

from 25 for 6 months


* We do not normally accept on brokerage boats with an asking price under £15,000

All commission charges are retained from the profit of the sale proceedings, and are due only in the event of a sale.  There are no other charges, unless specifically agreed for additional services.

How can Yachtsnet offer these lower rates?

Yachtsnet's lower brokerage commission rates are possible primarily because we do not have expensive marina-based offices, or use many magazine display advertisements.  Despite their expense, these typical yachting press brokerage adverts give only very sketchy details of the individual boats available, and to find out more you have to either have to wait for details to be posted to you, or look online for more information. With Yachtsnet, however, buyers can see full details online almost immediately, and we take great care to make sure that the entire boat is presented in large, high quality photographs. We also state the date our photographs were taken.  

Buying a boat through Yachtsnet

Yachtsnet aims to make the process as simple as possible - starting with letting you see full, accurate and honestly presented details, and multiple good quality high resolution photographs, directly on our web site. 

If you call us, you will be able to speak to someone who has seen and inspected the boat advertised, and will give an honest assessment of it's condition, and any work likely to be required.

When you decide to actually visit a boat, Yachtsnet staff or the owner will meet you and accompany you to see the boat. It is at this point that you will find the full benefit of Yachtsnet's detailed and accurate listings.  You will not have to waste time looking at unsuitable boats, or boats in far worse condition than expected. 

Once you have found a boat, the sale process itself is in many ways more complicated than buying a car, or even a house.  Yachtsnet makes checks that owners have "clear title" to boats offered - ie that they are legally entitled to sell.   This will have been done on all boats offered for sale through Yachtsnet’s brokerage service.  NB - Boats on our "classified ads" page are not inspected by Yachtsnet, and you will be dealing direct with the seller, not through us. 

If you choose to make an offer, it is normal (and generally strongly recommended) to do so "subject to survey".   Yachtsnet will not recommend any individual surveyor to you, but will be happy to give you a list of local surveyors. This list of surveyors is also available online.

As well as "subject to survey" it is possible to make an offer "subject to survey and sea trial". In this case the survey normally comes first, and the purpose of the 'sea trial' is not for you to decide whether or not you like the boat, but to test specific things which cannot be assessed by a shore-based survey, in particular running an engine under load.

If the seller accepts your offer, Yachtsnet will draw up a Sale & Purchase Agreement, which includes the inventory, and is signed by both buyer and seller. At this point we require payment of a 10% deposit * against the purchase price.   This deposit will be held in a separate Clients Account at our bank.  Once the deposit is put down, the boat is off the market pending your survey. Yachtsnet will then liaise with your appointed surveyor, and the boatyard, to arrange the survey.

The deposit is primarily held as a sign of good faith on the part of the buyer - to say that he is seriously interested in the boat.  It also acts as surety against a surveyor damaging the boat during survey, and offers the owner protection against any survey or boatyard haul out bills not being paid, creating a 'lien' on the yacht. In the case of a sale without survey, the 10% deposit payment immediately becomes a part payment, and is non-refundable. For sales with survey, the deposit is returnable if the survey finds "material defects" (ie substantial problems) and you and the seller cannot agree a re-negotiation of the price to cover this.

Although it is not essential, it is often an advantage for you to see the survey carried out, although it is better not to distract the surveyor too much from his task.  It is important to note that as buyer, you are responsible for the cost of repairing any damage caused by the surveyor.  Most yacht surveyors do not in fact cause any significant damage - but you must be aware of this point.

Once you have the survey report, you will normally either decide:



To complete the sale at the original price, or



To re-negotiate the price, or require the owner to repair or replace parts, as a result of defects found, or



To pull out of the deal entirely, because of extensive and major defects found

Your deposit will be returned (less any costs of "survey damage") if you do withdraw from the purchase at this point.  This situation is however fairly unusual.  

Once you and the seller have agreed a sale, Yachtsnet will draw up all the documents required to transfer legal ownership to you, and accept the balance of full payment.  

There is no charge whatsoever to you as buyer for Yachtsnet's services.

If a survey is required, it typically takes around three to six weeks to complete a sale - though if the buyer is keen to get on it can be done considerably quicker

Sales without a survey can be completed very quickly

Selling a boat through Yachtsnet's brokerage

Selling a yacht is a much more specialised business than selling a car, or even a house. 

It is essential to ensure that conveyancing is carried out properly, and that the sale contract is drawn up properly.  There is a considerable amount of paperwork involved, and Yachtsnet will ensure that this is done correctly.  

Yachtsnet will first ask you to complete a brokerage form, and provide us with copies of various documents proving that you do own the boat.  We will then arrange to inspect your boat, and check the information you have given us.  At this point Yachtsnet will normally require a key to the boat, and if in some marinas or boatyards for you to sign a form authorising us to show the boat to prospective buyers.

Yachtsnet will advise you on the presentation of the boat, and if required we can arrange (at cost price) for any cleaning or other minor remedial work required to enable the boat to sell at a good price. 

Yachtsnet will photograph the boat, both externally and internally.  A selection of these photographs will be used on the web page showing your boat.  If you do have any good colour photographs of the boat, we may also use these. Photography and the inspection of the boat will take between one and three hours - obviously the larger the boat the longer this will take. We do work hard to ensure that the photographs are of very good quality and show the whole boat at its best.

The Yachtsnet web page for your boat will have a brief summary of the characteristics of your boat.  This will be written by Yachtsnet staff.  In the unlikely event that you disagree with these comments, we will work with you to agree amendments.  Yachtsnet comments, however, will never aim to mislead purchasers.  They will be an honest description of the boat.  Ultimately, Yachtsnet will refuse to list a boat rather than to list with misleading comments.    

Yachtsnet also lists boats for sale on brokerage on other yacht advertising websites to increase the exposure, and we also have a Facebook page on which we announce new boats for sale.

An e-mail, or a colour printed copy of your yacht's details, will be sent to all prospective buyers currently on our purchaser database, or to anyone who subsequently contacts us asking for a yacht of her type.

We will whenever possible accompany potential customers who view your yacht.  If we cannot do so, we will ask that you meet them.  We will not send a customer unaccompanied to the boat, except with your express permission. We will notify you of any offers made, even if we know them to be unacceptable.  Yachtsnet will not accept any offer on your behalf without your approval, even if it is for the full asking price.  

On your acceptance of an offer we will draw up a standard Sale and Purchase contract, and accept a 10% deposit from the purchaser.  This deposit is always held in a separate Clients Account at our bank - Santander Bank UK.   

Most purchasers will make their offer "subject to survey".  Yachtsnet will liaise with the purchaser's appointed surveyor, and the boatyard, to arrange this.  If as a result of this survey they offer a lower price, which you do not accept, the buyer's deposit will be returned, and Yachtsnet will continue to market the boat.     

Once a completion date is agreed we will send you a Bill of Sale to sign and have witnessed, and then return to us, pending the date of completion. On the date of completion we ask the buyers to phone us to say they have taken over the boat satisfactorily, and at that point (assuming we are by then also holding your signed Bill of Sale) we pay you the purchase price, less our commission and any boatyard commission charge *. This payment is by "Faster Payments" bank transfer if under £100,000, which is normally a two hour same-day transfer, or by the "CHAPS" bank transfer system if over £100,000, which is very slightly slower, typically next day. We then mail the signed Bill of Sale to the buyer by a "signed for" service.

* Some boatyards and marinas operate a 1% plus VAT charge for boats sold from their premises. This practice is dying out, but a few operators still maintain it. If this charge is still made at the location your boat is kept at, we will pay this on your behalf, and deduct it from your payment.

Preparing a boat for sale

Yachtsnet's detailed pictures and descriptions for brokerage boats give potential customers a good idea of the layout and condition of a boat, but one of the most important factors in achieving a sale is the preparation of the boat for sale.   Our detailed advice is given on our preparation page. 

Financial safety

Yachtsnet.co.uk is operated by Yachtsnet Ltd.  Yachtsnet Ltd. holds full insurance, and all monies held on behalf of our clients are held in a separate Clients Account at Santander Bank UK.

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