Guide To Buying & Selling Boats

The most governing factor for any boat buyer is how much you can afford or how much you are prepared to spend.  Often people come into the office full of good advice they have received from their friends and reel of a list of requirements:- i.e. must be GRP, diesel, 6 berth, aft cabin, shaft drive in good condition etc. and under £7K - would be nice, but they don’t exist.

My advice to first time buyers is do not get caught up in your friends opinion, what suits them may not suit you. Do not have too many pre-conceived ideas about inboard/outboard, petrol/diesel, shaft drive/outdrive etc.  Find a boat that has accommodation that suits you and is of an age and condition that you are happy with. The key is to look at several boats. You cannot get a real impression of a boat from a magazine advert.  Obviously boat dealers and brokers have the best choice, also a professional broker will be a member of the A.B.Y.A. (Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents.) This means that they adhere to a code of conduct in terms of the way they handle the sale (check title etc.) and your money.

In an ideal world all boats would be GRP, diesel and shaft drive. However, certain craft need to be outdrive or outboard driven for performance or accommodation reasons. The downside of an outdrive is that it will need regular out of the water maintenance. The cost of a service varies dependant on the make of drive, but £300.00 - £400.00 per drive every couple of years is a good average.  The advantage of an outdrive powered boat is that the engine is kept aft in the boat, providing better accommodation. You also gain full steerage astern and on a sports boat you gain better performance per horsepower because you do not have the drag of rudders and p.brackets etc.

Outboards - Most small boats are powered by outboards. The older ones are normally 2 stoke, so you need to mix oil with your petrol - most do it automatically (oil injection or autolube) but there are still some around where you need to measure it out yourself. The new generation of 4 stroke outboards area different kettle of fish, much quieter, smoother, less smelly and much more economical.  The key thing is to be realistic. If you are buying a two year old Sunseeker you would expect it to be just about as new and certainly would not expect significant defects. If you are buying a 30 year old ex hire cruiser, it will probably be covered in osmosis and have had several coats of paint in its live. However, it will still give years of good service. If it suits you and suits your budget - fine.

Remember, brokerage boats are sold as is and without warranty. They are open to survey and mechanical inspection but once you have signed on the dotted line she’s yours for better or worse. Aboat that belongs to a dealer is a different story. At Norfolk Yacht Agency, we prepare all our own used stock including valeting and a pre-delivery inspection.  The peace of mind this gives to a buyer is obvious.

At Norfolk Yacht Agency, we will endeavour to make the looking and buying process a pleasure. Our staff are well informed and have the backup of the longest established boat Brokerage Company in the area.  Our policy here is ‘if we can, we will’ and look forward to being of service to you.

James Fraser, Norfolk Yacht Agency