Information For Boat And Yacht Buyers

We enjoy helping buyers to find the boat that is just right for them. We can access the listings of all San Diego area yacht brokers, and indeed, can access listings of brokers throughout the world. We talk with you about what kind of boat that is right for you. We work with you on the search and then schedule a time to view the boats that have caught your attention. Since we have a good relationship with other brokers, many times we can gain insights into a particular listing that you wouldn’t be able to achieve on your own. Once you have found the right boat, we prepare the offer and present it to the seller’s agent. We continue to represent you as negotiations move forward. And once an agreement has been reached, our efforts on your behalf continue as we coordinate the surveys, and provide you resources for funding, insurance or finding a slip. Full service and serving your interests. That is how we see our responsibility to you.

Costs To Consider

Purchase Price
Sales Tax (8% in most of San Diego County)
Total Purchase Price + Tax
Amount Financed
Immediate Out-of-Pocket Expenses:
Deposit (10% of offer amount)
Engine Report (~$250/engine)
Hull/General Survey ($13-18/foot)
Rigging Report (~$250/mast)
Haul Out ($10/ft to 40′) ($12/ft 40′ & up)
Misc. Services
Post-Survey and Closing Costs:
Registration (DMV $210/Doc $372-$560)
Dinghy Registration (DMV $155-$225)
Insurance (Est. $15-20 per $1000 value)
Slip Rent ($13-$22/ft per month)
Amount Needed to Close:
Total Purchase Price
Less Amount Financed
Add Immediate Out of Pocket Expenses
Add Post Survey and Closing Costs
Less Deposit
Monthly Expenses:
Mortgage Payment
Slip Rent
Live-Aboard Fee ($150-$350/month)
Bottom Cleaning (Est. $1.30/ft)
Misc. Services
Property Tax/12 (~1% of value annually, SD County 1.1113%)
Post-Purchase Maintenance and Repairs:
Bottom Paint ($35-$60/ft)
Engine Estimate
Rigging Estimate
Canvas Estimate
Electronics Estimate
Safety Equipment Estimate

First Time Buyers

Condo on the water? Weekend sailor? Maybe some fishing. Cruising around the bay. Just you or a family with kids. You don’t know for sure what you want; you just know that you want to enjoy boating. Let us help you. We know what questions to ask to help you decide. We’ll take the time to show you various styles and review the pros and cons of each one with you. And then we’ll guide you through the purchase process.

Seasoned Boat Owners

You probably have an idea of what you want for your next boat. We can help you with your online search as well as preview any boats that catch your interest.

Yes, you could go from broker to broker to view their listed boats that interest you. Yet if you let us help you, you gain the advantage of someone working with your interest in mind. Also, when we speak to other brokers about their listings, we can usually gain a more complete assessment about their listing than you might be able to achieve on your own.

We are confident that you will like working with our team of professional yacht brokers.

Boat Purchase Process

For those new to boating, the purchase process can seem a bit unusual. Yet the process is one our industry has followed for decades, is required by the California Yacht Broker Association and protects the seller and the buyer.

Prior to making an offer on a vessel, the buyer can look at the vessel all he/she wants, but cannot turn on any systems. The buyer cannot ask the seller to take the boat out for a spin to see how it handles.

Making An Offer

We work with the buyer to determine if a vessel is one that the buyer feels he/she would like to own “if all the systems check out okay.” Using the CYBA Purchase Agreement, the buyer makes a formal offer. A price is negotiated with the seller and the agreement is signed by both parties.

Within this agreement are contingencies that state that the buyer has the right to a sea trial, perform a marine survey and a mechanical survey. A financing contingency can be included as well. Furthermore, the buyer has the right to step out of the deal upon completion of any of these contingencies. If the buyer does feel the need to do that, the buyer receives his/her full deposit back.

During the sea trial, the buyer can test all systems and of course observe how the vessel handles underway. Upon completion of the sea trial, the buyer will have a good sense of whether the boat is what they expected it to be.

When the buyer decides to move forward with the purchase, you will move forward with a marine survey and a mechanical survey. We should point out that a marine survey will almost certainly be required by whomever you choose to finance your boat loan as well as the insurer.

The Marine Survey

A marine survey, in its simplest form, is an appraisal similar to that performed on real estate or other items. The survey normally provides a complete report on the subject vessel and references complete identification of the boat (including year, make, model, hull-identification numbers, engine information and so on).

The report also gives detailed information about the vessel including description of the superstructure, fittings, and equipment, electronics and safety equipment, galley (if applicable), engines, electrical system, firefighting equipment, and fuel systems.

Part of the marine survey is having the vessel hauled out of the water so the surveyor can survey the bottom of the boat.


An engine survey is a separate report that specifically reviews the boat’s power and analyzes such areas as general detailed description, filters (fuel and oil), fuel and oil lines, exhaust systems, cooling systems, fresh and raw-water systems, emergency stop and alarm systems, and transmission data. This report will also include compression testing.

We can provide you a list of surveyors who are accredited with either NAMS or SAMS. The insurer and the finance company will probably accept surveys performed by an accredited surveyor. The National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) are professional organizations that have instituted rigorous examination programs for their membership. We recommend using a surveyor who has received the designations “AMS” from SAMS or “NAMS-CMS” from NAMS.

Upon receiving your marine survey report, you will notice that the surveyor has provided a list of recommendations. We haven’t seen an instance where there haven’t been recommendations. This will provide you a good idea of what will need your attention once you own the vessel.


You’ve approved the sea trial and accepted the surveys. Your financing is complete. You’ve arranged for insurance and a slip in which to keep your new boat. You are ready to complete the boat purchase. Funds are transferred to the seller and you become the owner of your new boat.

What will you name her?