10% deposits are continuing to be demanded as the norm on most transactions, and few purchasers appear to be looking carefully at the wording of the purchase contract to ascertain who exactly they are paying the money to, where it is being held, and in what circumstances it is capable of being forfeited or refunded.
With the recent dramatic passing of Storm Imogen it was interesting to note at least two large cruisers firmly wedged against the high water springs point in Bosham Channel a couple of days back indicating either that their mooring had parted or that they had dragged their ground tackle such was the strength of the wind even in the comparative shelter of Chichester Harbour. Fortunately both were promptly retrieved on the next tide, hopefully without damage.
Nobody wants to contemplate their own demise, but the tax man benefits from a failure to do so, so let’s face the unpalatable reality that, unlike some Vikings and Egyptians, we are not going to be able to take our boats into the afterlife.
Sitting at my desk shuffling through the dog-eared bundle of bills of sale, invoices, out of date registration and warranty certificates and other detritus that normally represents the “Ships Papers” of most U.K pleasure vessels, I must inescapable conclude that purchasers of the smallest flats, or old bangers, receive more information and protection in such transactions, than any purchasers of pleasure vessels, irrespective of the crafts value or registration status!
More often than not Surveyors undertaking standard Pre-Purchase Condition Surveys are requested, almost sometimes as an afterthought, to advise as to value, particularly if the vessel is of an unusual type (and thus not capable of being readily valued by reference to sister-ships currently on the market).
The increased value of any harbour side property means that commensurate attention now has to be paid in all transactions to securing the entitlement to the use and enjoyment of the adjoining harbour, in circumstances where other competing organisations or authorities are increasingly looking to exercise sole control.
With many buyers already owning foreign property, the English yacht buying market is increasingly involved in foreign purchases, albeit of British Registered vessels kept abroad (principally the Mediterranean).
During recent purchases the status of certified documents has been raised. In particular, documents which are not original, but which have been certified by a Lawyer as a fair and true copy of the original (otherwise known as “certified copies”) have been proffered on the basis that they are for all practical purposes the same as the original documents.
There are all kinds of boats and all kinds of purchasers, and with cheap flights, google translate, and the reassurance of broadly similar commercial practices throughout Europe, there is no reason why it should not be relatively easy to buy a vessel overseas. There is however a number of key issues which need to be addressed to make the transaction a pleasant and relatively risk free one.
If you are selling (or buying) a business there are various facts that need to be on the table before a deal can be done. Gathering this information is known as Due Diligence.