Buying a boat from TMS

  ABYA’s advice is that you should always use a professional to ensure you have all the correct documentation for legal ownership of your new boat. See our strict ABYA Code of Practice by clicking…



ABYA’s advice is that you should always use a professional to ensure you have all the correct documentation for legal ownership of your new boat.

See our strict ABYA Code of Practice by clicking here.


Welcome to Tailored Marine Services


We are a friendly ABYA approved Broker, with a vast network of buyers to tap into.



Basically, decide what you want your boat for before you start looking. Family cruising/water sports/racing? Do you have a young family? Are you just sailing inland waters, crossing the Solent or crossing the Atlantic? Perhaps you are going to charter? Or talk to us, we can help.



Review your budget BUT don’t forget mooring fees, fuel, slipping and winter storage fees, maintenance (servicing) and even equipment or training. Or, if you are thinking of chartering, the cost of setting up a company and having the boat ‘coded’ to the MCA requirements. We can help here.



Do your research. Take your time. Think about where you want to moor your boat, maybe talk to boating friends, people at the sailing club about the types of boats you are considering. Read reviews from the magazines – a number of magazines have libraries of reviews (on-line). We can help here too.



When arranging viewings with us, consider attending with those you will be sailing/buying with. If the decision is a consensus then it makes sense to do this.



When you find one of our boats you like, talk it through with us, we will provide a Sale & Purchase Agreement that both parties sign. Any amendments must be agreed by both parties. This is a binding contract so be sure before you sign. (NB As a broker, as opposed to a dealer, we are not a party to the contract – we are acting as the vendor’s agent.)



£££ You will need to place a deposit – usually 10%.

We will put in our secure Client Account (not our usual business trading account). This is your money held by us as stakeholder.



£££ Please note, as the buyer, you will be responsible for lifting fees and the surveyor’s fees.

Arrange a survey: as an ABYA approved Broker, we may not recommend a surveyor but we do have a list of local surveyors. In addition, Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA), the sister association to ABYA, have surveyors that are assessed rigorously before being elected into their membership. See the YDSA website for a list of surveyors.


Read the survey report through carefully and discuss any queries with the surveyor. Advise us of any important defects. If they are substantial you may consider withdrawing under the terms of the contract, revising the price to complete the sale, or negotiate that the vendor provides a repair or piece of equipment.

The contract will have a time frame for actions to be taken and we will help you here.


Surveyors are typically associated with or trained by the bodies below. Most surveyors will be members of several professional bodies and should be industry qualified. Here are the key bodies:-


  • YDSA – Yacht Designers & Surveyors Association – Yacht small craft specialists (20-80ft)
  • MCA – Marine Coastguard Agency –
  • RYA – Royal Yachting Association – Certifying Authority Surveyors & Coding
  • MECAL – International consultancy surveying & certifying authority –
  • RINA – Royal Institute of Naval Architects –
  • IIMS – International Institute of Marine Surveying



If you require finance ensure you contact a finance house in good time, as the money needs to be available when you reach completion.



£££ Please note, you will be responsible for any slipping or skipper’s fees.

If you want a trial sail, we will help you here and obviously allow for changes, due to weather, for instance. To remain neutral, we won’t skipper the vessel, that will be your chosen skipper or the Vendor but we will be delighted to participate.



Decision made, excellent, so it’s time to check the inventory. We will have the title documentation lodged with us to save any problems later, including the VAT documentation, if appropriate.



£££ Set up the electronic transfer to our Client Account in good time.

Once the funds have cleared, completion can take place. We will give you the documentation, including the Bill of Sale transferring title from the vendor to you, and the keys to the boat. Happy days.



£££ Don’t forget to insure the boat before you take possession.

It is common to need a survey for this, so don’t be tempted to skip the pre-purchase survey, which can be used for this purpose too.



Have you sailed or driven a powerboat before? Our advice is to get some training before heading off. Safety is the heart beat of TMS. We can help you & your crew if needed. Knowing how the craft handles, how to operate its equipment, the marine ‘Rules of the Road’, have you got valid & in date adequate safety equipment, do you know how to use the safety equipment are all essential.


TMS, The RYA or other Sea Schools all have a wide range of services or courses to assist you to maximise your boating pleasure SAFELY.


Happy days & safe sailing

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