Using a Yacht Broker or Selling Privately

Yacht Broker

Just as buying a home involves a large financial investment, buying and selling a yacht requires a professional service, making the sale as smooth as possible.

Here's a simple guide to help you choose between using a yacht broker or buying or selling your boat privately.

Buying a boat

Choosing your boat

Professional yacht brokers have access to an extensive database of boats, and may also have the ability to find boats that are not yet on the market. This saves you valuable search time allowing you to make the perfect choice. A Broker can also assist in the selection process by helping you clearly define your requirements and provide the information needed to consider each yacht.

You would probably expect to pay less when buying a boat from a private seller and possibly have more scope to negotiate price. Most private sellers will welcome questions about the vessel they are selling and it’s important to remember you may have to contact them in the future, so maintaining a good relationship with them is a good idea. Private sellers can often provide an added knowledge of the history of a boat and for this reason many buyers prefer a personal sale.


Once you are satisfied with the private seller you will need to negotiate an acceptable price and arrange to make payment for the boat. This is usually carried out by bankers draft or a cash payment can be made. Occasionally the seller may be happy to accept another method of payment.

Yacht brokers are able to help in the negotiation of the sale, including price, financing, terms and often the provision of repairs and furnishings or equipment. They often provide local information on different yacht services, such as engine repair, dockage and inspection services. An experienced and professional yacht broker will advise the buyer throughout the process of assessing the chosen yacht. Part of the broker service is to recommend the extent of the survey to be used in the inspection and help to identify the best individuals to conduct the surveys.

Plain Sailing

A Yacht Broker can assist in making sure that the title to the yacht is clear, title meaning ownership of the yacht. If the yacht is a foreign flagged yacht, set up as a corporation or existing under any number of other special circumstances, the services of a professional yacht broker will become even more valuable and will result in a smooth sale.

If you choose you buy your boat from a private seller, once the sale is complete it is recommended that a buyer’s contract is arranged to protect both parties. This will act as your purchase receipt and will prove that you are the new owner of the boat.

Selling a Boat


Selling your boat privately is a relatively easy experience. Websites such as will aid you in your advertising and most websites do not charge commission for the services.

A yacht broker will know when and where to advertise your yacht to the public. Over 75% of yacht transactions are cooperative sales through other yacht brokers. Through worldwide Multiple Listing Services and other marketing networks, a broker has the tools to maximize exposure to your yacht.

Getting it right

During the selling process, a Yacht Broker can advise you on what is happening in the marketplace including price, financing and terms. These are key factors in getting your yacht sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

For the private seller it is important to research every aspect of the selling process. The best time to sell a boat will be at the start of summer when the demand is high and equally the best time to buy will be off-season.


A Yacht Broker can help close the sale of your yacht. Between the initial sales agreement and closing, problems may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required or a query in the title is discovered. The paperwork can be overwhelming for some sellers. A yacht broker is the best person to help you resolve these issues and finally sell your yacht.

When you sell a boat privately, an added advantage will be the extras that come with it. A boat cover, depth finder, marine radio, life jackets, speed control, water skis, anchor, emergency flares, life raft and the all important trailer can make the purchase more attractive to the buyer and assist in gaining a better price for the boat.

Useful resources

Change units of measure

This feature requires cookies to be enabled on your browser.

Show price in:

Show lengths, beam and draft in:

Show displacement or weight in:

Show capacity or volume in:

Show speed in:

Show distance in: