What is yacht conveyancing?

The sale of a yacht is split into two very distinct stages. The first is the listing and marketing of the yacht with the end result of a buyer being found and an offer agreed upon. The second stage involves taking both buyer and seller through the process of contracts, surveys, sea trials, subsequent negotiations and, of course, the baffling paperwork in relation to title, registration, VAT and RCD.

The first stage can either be comparatively easy or frustrating and long-winded, while the second is almost always extremely difficult and fraught with risks and potential pitfalls. As a result, even if a seller is happy to deal with the first stage themselves, Grabau International offers a dedicated service to cater for the more complex and challenging second stage.


Dedicated yacht conveyancing services

Our bespoke & dedicated yacht conveyancing service offers a buyer or seller (or both) confidence that these aspects are being dealt with by a qualified professional yacht broker, operating to the strictest codes of practice outlined by ABYA. This includes:

  • Using ABYA-approved legal contracts for the Sale & Purchase process.
  • Holding any and all client monies in Client Accounts designated as such and identified at the Bank as such.
  • Full insurance for the purposes of the yacht conveyancing and the value of yachts being bought or sold through the business.
  • The ability to provide knowledge, guidance and administration services in respect of legal title, yacht registration, VAT and RCD matters.
  • Transfer of legal title.
  • Prompt transfer of net sale proceeds and provision of statements and invoices to support the sale and the services of the broker.
  • Working directly with marine finance houses in identifying the presence of, settling, or securing a marine mortgage.
  • Direct liaison with insurers to assist purchasers with securing cover for their new purchases.
  • Close working relationships with third party businesses within the industry to cover all the additional logistics involved in the sale of a yacht. This can include refit/repair, valeting, delivery, marina berthing, tuition and charter.

Who might use this service?

We can act on behalf of either buyer or seller in a conveyancing capacity. Sellers looking to find a buyer for their yacht privately can instruct us in advance to deal with any subsequent agreed offers. Alternatively a prospective buyer may instruct us to act on their behalf as soon as a suitable yacht is found and an offer is agreed. We are further able to act on behalf of a buyer in an instance where a yacht is found through a third party yacht broker.

Will a sale or purchase be warranted or indemnified by Grabau International?

We always act on behalf of the instructing party, whether this is the buyer or seller. We do however have a clear duty of care towards all parties involved in the sale and purchase.
Where a seller is a private individual or an entity not selling in the course of their business, no warranty will usually apply. It is important that a buyer should satisfy themselves as to the suitability and condition of the yacht through personal inspection, professional survey and/or sea trial. The costs associated with such checks will usually fall to the account of the buyer.

In respect of title, registration, VAT and RCD, again, the buyer must be satisfied that these are in order. Grabau International will request all supporting paperwork from the seller and make them available for inspection by the buyer.

For more formal advice on paperwork matters, a buyer should seek further advice from qualified sources such as the relevant customs authority or in the case of RCD, a notified body.

We have produced a basic guide to VAT & RCD which can be found here.

What do we charge?

Our charges are from 2%+VAT* of the gross sale/purchase price for a conveyancing service. This is approximately half of the cost associated with our full service brokerage on the logical basis that the service covers the second half of the complete yacht sales process.

We can also provide a more simple documentation checking service for buyers or where we will examine available title history, registration, VAT and RCD evidences and offer guidance on what we find. Charges for this service start at 270€+VAT.

Our charges are always payable by the party instructing the service. Where a buyer and seller decide to jointly instruct us for the purposes of conveyancing, they must do so within their own private agreement, with just one party formally instructing us to act on their behalf. We cannot be instructed by both parties.
*Minimum fee 1600€ +VAT applies.