Buying a boat can be a big decision but it doesn't have to be a complicated process. To help you along the way Network Yacht Brokers Milford Haven, who are based at Milford Marina, have put together this handy guide.
1. What you need to ask yourself first is what type of boat do you want?
Is this your first boat? If so, opt for a small manageable boat where you can get to know her and learn to drive or sail it with tuition. Smaller boats are much easier to retrieve and launch off a trailer, or are you thinking of leaving her in a marina?
If you are a more experienced sailor - what do you want out of your new boat: more space, better fuel economy, better performance or sea keeping? You should always find your budget and stick to it, leaving some spare funds for upgrades and maintenance.
2. New or used?
It only takes a little bit of shopping to discover that there are a lot of used boats available on the market, at much lower prices than you would pay for the same boat brand new.
Fibreglass require less maintenance and much easier to look after than traditional wood and steel boats. Used boats can however come with a few small problems, you will need to be vigilant and have long discussions with your broker and surveyor about anything which worries you.
Did you know you can borrow money to purchase your next boat? Network Yacht Brokers can offer an excellent finance packages. Contact us for more information.
3. Where to find your next boat
After you determine what type of boat you are looking for and you’ve figured out if you want to buy new or used, then now is the time to browse our site and see what takes your fancy.
Look at the advert in depth, study all the photographs and don’t be afraid of asking for more. Is there enough information for you? If not just ask! If you see something you like then speak with us to arrange a viewing, or request more information. If you are struggling with making a decision we have years of experience and can point you in the right direction.
Never be afraid of looking at too many boats.
4. Where will you be keeping her?
There are many different places where you can keep your new boat, ashore or afloat. It is very important to figure this out prior to buying your pride and joy! This stage is often overlooked, which can cause problems afterwards.
Marina – Afloat, with secure, easy pontoon access. Speak with the Milford Marina office to receive a berthing quotation for the year, or on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Having the boat berth at a marina is by far the less stressful approach to boating. Access will be easy, with Wi-Fi, electric and water available next to your boat. Marina staff members make regular patrols, and contact you if there are any problems.
Trailer - Is the trailer up to scratch? Does it need any work? Brakes and bearing are prone to failure especially around salt water. Check your driving licence permits you to tow, and your vehicle is also suitable.
At home – Are you thinking of towing your boat back home? Do you have enough space to be able to store it on your drive or in a garage?
Other options – Storage ashore is perfect if you have some work to do on-board before you launch. Swinging moorings are a cost alternative option, but come with a higher risk and are much more difficult to access.
5. Viewing, sea trial and survey
Once you have found a few boats you like it’s time to view. Ring the broker to arrange a convenient time. Doing some research about the boat ahead of the viewing is beneficial so you can ask the right questions on the day.
If you like what you see, now is the time to make an offer subject to survey. As a broker we always recommend you have a survey, and can help you find the one for you. A surveyor will inspect the boat from top to bottom to ensure you are not buying a can of worms! If serious problems are found on board you can speak with your broker to alter your offer, or pull out of the sale. A deposit will be asked for prior to the survey.
If you are happy with the results of the survey you may request a sea trial. Often the broker and owner will attend, but you can ask your surveyor to also be present if you wish. This is at the purchaser’s expense.
You’ve found the boat of your dreams! Now’s the time to complete the deal. Your broker will guide you through your purchase, and make the experience as smooth as possible.
Speak with your broker about options following the purchase, and information on any work you may want undertaken.
Once the sale has been completed it will be up to you to insure her. There are many different insurance companies out there, and they will all ask you a series of questions regarding your new boat.
E.g. make, model, age, hull number (if it has one), engine, name of vessel, where will it be kept, max speed, cruising speed. Your broker can advise with this if required, and may even be able to get you a discount!
Some insurance companies want a copy of a recent survey, and other information.
If your new boat is over 5 years old it’s extremely likely your manufactures warranty will have expired. For an extremely competitive price we can offer you 3-12 months warranty on most boats under 25 years old. This will give you peace of mind during the first few months of ownership. Warranties are not hugely expensive, and are very often worth considering.
Need some advice?
Network Yacht Brokers Milford Haven are based at the Docks in Milford Marina. Give us a call on 01646 278270 or pop in to our office where we can offer you further advice on buying or selling your boat.