There’s a lot to consider when buying a boat in Europe. We explain how to go about finding a reputable seller and what to expect during the buying process


You’ve fallen in love with a boat and you’re all set to buy her. The next thing on your list is getting a survey completed.

One of our top tips when it comes to finding a good surveyor is ensuring that they’re a member of the Yacht Brokers Designers & Surveyors Association (YBDSA).

If you’re not quite sure where to find a surveyor local to your boat, use the Marine Institute of Surveying, ask around in the area or inquire with a broker – if you’re using one.

Yachting Lawyer Hannah Cash says: “Unless you speak the language, I’d always recommend getting an English speaking surveyor.”

Once your survey has been completed you have a number of options depending on the report’s findings.

If the survey reports no major faults, you can continue with the sale as planned.

However, should the survey discover any problems with the boat, a good sales agreement should allow you to do one of the following:

• Negotiate a reduction in price with the seller
• Ask the seller to complete the repairs at their own cost
• Pull out of the sale

It’s important to make sure that any sales agreement you sign clearly states that the sale is subject to satisfactory survey in order for you to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.


Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Survey
  3. 3. Completion of sale
  4. 4. Post completion
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