When you engage with BananaBelt Boats & Yachts to buy your next motor yacht, you can relax—you'll have an advocate who is a passionate boater and 100% on your side. At BananaBelt Boats & Yachts, you are not just buying a yacht FROM us, you are buying a yacht WITH us. BananaBelt is here for you every step of your yachting journey and dedicated to helping you evaluate your needs and wants and find the perfect yacht, keep that yacht in top condition and be here when you are ready to move up or move on.
If you are a new buyer or even a seasoned yacht owner we believe that understanding all of the steps to buying a motor yacht is the best place to begin our relationship.
Here are our eight steps to buying with BananaBelt Boats & Yachts:
BananaBelt is a Certified Professional Yacht Brokerage (CPYB) and we have undergone significant industry training and have years of yachting experience. We have access to yacht information that isn’t readily available to the yachting community. Our brokers are experts on making the complexities of the yacht buying process easy to understand. You are buying a complex machine with many different parts and systems so we help you get to know your dream yacht inside and out, and we are familiar with the world-wide yacht inventory available, and we are skilled negotiators for you!
For recommendations on moorage, marine lenders, boat surveyors and insurance, ask your BananaBelt Broker for a list of trusted service providers. Often our contacts will save you time and money and aggravation, we are here to help you in every stage of your yachting ownership and adventures. Just ask!
BananaBelt has represented buyers around the world. If you see a yacht that you would like more information about or are interested in seeing - in Seattle, Vancouver or anywhere else – we can bring our experience and expertise to you and assist you in buying that yacht. Just call BananaBelt first and let’s discuss your interests and we will make contact with the boat’s representative on your behalf to get the “Broker’s Inside Info” on the vessel. Or, if you’re already working with another yacht broker and you see a vessel in our inventory that you want to make an offer on, have your broker call us to set up an appointment to view that yacht in our Yard, and we will work with you and your broker. But just a heads up – once you have experienced the difference, ease and fun of working with BananaBelt - you’ll never want to work with another broker again!
As with everything in life and especially in a Motor Yacht – you get what you pay for. Yes, you should initially determine how much you can afford and want to spend on your yacht. However often a lower price point for yachts often means a trade out for equipment or condition (usually both). After seeing a number boats in an established price point, many of the buyers that work with us often find that the better yachts may come with a bigger price point, but a bigger price point doesn’t always indicate a better boat. It’s complicated and can be overwhelming. And that’s why we’re here, to help simplify the buying process and make sure you understand and have good guidance along the way.
Beyond the purchase price of the yacht, remember to include the “buying costs” like Hull and Deck Survey, Mechanical Inspection and oil samples and haul and launch for demonstration. Plus, there’s the ongoing costs like moorage, fuel, insurance, maintenance, repairs, equipment, upgrades and toys. BananaBelt will help you with some rule-of-thumb cost guidelines and tips to help you match your dreams with financial realities. And the reality is that owning a yacht can be expensive. We are here to help guide you and make sure you are always getting your money’s worth .
BananaBelt Broker Tip
Many boat owners finance all or a portion of their boat purchase. BananaBelt can help connect you with finance professionals who specialize in Vessel loans. BananaBelt receives no financial compensation from these referrals – but we know the ones who get things done and at the best rates and terms for the yacht you want.
Make sure you know your down payment
If you are financing, your down payment is typically going to be 20% of the boat’s purchase price with sales tax. Because boats depreciate, lenders that secure the loan with the boat as collateral will expect at least a 20% down payment to ensure the loan does not exceed the value of the boat. This is a good guide but speak with your lender to understand your options and determine the best loan terms for you.
Don’t forget about "buying” costs
These costs include an 8.8% Washington State Sales Tax (as of July, 2020 in Anacortes). The Sales tax rate is determined by where the broker you use is located when you purchase your vessel – so buying with BananaBelt in Anacortes, rather than with another broker in Seattle, will save you significantly in sales tax! If you plan to take the boat to another state, like Oregon where there is no sales tax, so long as you can take the vessel from Washington within 45 days you are not subject to sales tax. There are a number of vessel use permits that BananaBelt can assist you with if you want to stay in Washington with the boat to cruise for up to 1 year, ask us which permit would be right for you.
All vessels we broker will close with a professional marine title company of your choice (and of course we know and have worked with them all!). There are several in the Anacortes and Seattle areas, and we will guide you to use the best title company for your vessel closing. Plan to spend between $400 to $800 for title services. Their services include title checks, liens and encumbrances checks and for creating bills of sale and for closing the sale in their offices via exchange of moneys and titles and registrations and bills of sale.
Additionally, you will need to pay a use tax to the State of Washington equal to ½ of 1% (0.5% ) of the final purchase price. This is a yearly tax that pays for you to register the vessel and get your vessel registration tags to display on your yacht for use in Washington waters. However, you don’t need to display this registration if the vessel is a US Coast Guard Documented Vessel. Ask BananaBelt or your title company the benefits of a Documented vessel other than not displaying the registration on the front of the boat.
If you’re like most boat buyers, you’re browsing boats for sale day and night online at sites like BananaBeltBoats.com. BananaBelt updates our web search tools directly from the www.YachtWorld.com multiple listing service, or MLS as well as boats.com and boattrader.com. You’ll see most every boat for sale in brokerages around the world, including some for sale by owner.
But the very best way to see a boat is to get aboard. To see the layout, smell the inside, see the bilges and engine room and touch the outsides – the bottom paint and the gel coat – this will really tell you a lot about if that boat is right for you and there is no place like BananaBelt Boat’s unique On Land Marina where we display over 60 boats side-by-side and connected by walk-ways. You can see the entire boat at our facility in Anacortes where we are open 7 days a week to show you boats!
Narrow down your search
Now that you’ve got your financing in place and you have met your BananaBelt Broker and seen different style of boats, it’s a good time to narrow down your search. Spend some time with your broker sharing your boating experiences and dreams for the future.
If you’re having a tough time narrowing down your choices, speak with BananaBelt about what is realistic for your price range. Your BananaBelt Broker can help you identify the ideal style, condition and brand of boat to meet your needs. Make a list of must-haves vs. nice-to-haves to clarify your search.
Where it’s a boat show every day!®
How long does it take to buy a yacht? It takes as much time as you have tour as many boats as you need to find the right one. At our Show Yard in Anacortes, we have more boats on display than any other broker in the Pacific Northwest. So, how long does it take to buy a boat at BananaBelt? A lot less time than anywhere else.
Make an appointment with your BananaBelt Broker to meet at our facility or just show up during business hours to walk aboard as many boats as you want (However during COVID-19 restrictions we are open by appointment only, so just give us a call!). View our entire inventory on-line before you arrive, and we’ll point the way and show you everything we know about the boats that interest you most.
If you can’t visit us in person, contact us to set up a time for one of our BananaBelt Buyers Brokers to share a live stream video walkthrough of any boat in our Show Yard.
BananaBelt Broker Tip
Bring your second mate and deck hands with you on boat tours. You’ll want a second set of eyes and to envision the entire crew onboard. Make sure the cabin and deck spaces meet your needs.
A major consideration in a boat 28’ to 70’ is that they are not usually trailer-able. They need moorage, and unfortunately as the Puget Sound is such a popular cruising destination, there can be long, long waiting lists for in-water slips (up to 5 or even 10 year waits are not uncommon).
Here is where working with BananaBelt is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than working with other brokers. WE HAVE MOORAGE FOR YOUR NEXT BOAT!
As we own over 6 acres of on land marina storage, we have an on land moorage space available for you! Complete with shore power and water at your boat. This is a huge advantage to work with us, as you won’t need to wait to buy your boat for you to have a slip to put it in – we’ve got them and they are often Much, Much less in cost than in water moorage. Ask us about the benefits and costs – you will be surprised at how much money you can save a year and how easy and convenient it is to use your boat when it’s moored with BananaBelt!
Sellers are typically more willing to accept offers from pre-approved buyers, because it shows that the buyer has the financial resources available to honor their offer.
Engage a marine finance broker to find the best loan for you and go with someone reliable. Read online reviews of each lender and consider their responsiveness, transparency, and estimated closing timeline. Ask your BananaBelt Broker for a list of trusted lenders and brokers to contact.
Apply for pre-approval
Once you select a lender, apply for pre-approval. Your lender will check your credit and ask for all of your financial documents—tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, student and auto loans, etc.—to accurately assess your financial situation.
Keep in mind that just because you’re pre-approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you can actually afford that amount. Prepare your own monthly budget to figure out what you’ll be comfortable paying.
BananaBelt Broker Tip
Once you’re pre-approved, don't make any big purchases or life changes, such as quitting your job or buying a car that could negatively affect your credit score.
When you’re ready BananaBelt Boats & Yachts will help you determine how much to offer and which contingencies to include, such as due diligence items and if financing is needed. To determine your initial offer price, we can provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) from our broker only resource soldboats.com. A CMA will include a list and final sale prices for similar boats that recently sold in our area, the equipment and often broker comments about condition of the vessel when it sold.
BananaBelt Broker Tip
Be sure to ask your broker how long the boat has been on the market and why they think it is still on the market. BananaBelt will always give you honest information and knowledgeable feedback, and if we don’t know, we’ll find out.
Once you submit your offer, the seller will review it and either accept, decline to counter, or submit to you a counteroffer. If your offer is declined, BananaBelt Boats will explain why so you can learn from each offer and if it is worthwhile making another offer that might appeal to the seller.
Negotiate intelligently and as needed
Counter-offers are common and should even be expected. If you end up in a counter-offer situation, BananaBelt will discuss the pros and cons of the counter and will help you negotiate the best deal possible to work with your situation. When negotiating, don’t focus only on your final offer price. Instead, look at the whole picture and consider if raising your offer is in your best interest, as perhaps there is another yacht that would be better in your price range. You might also consider instead a reduction in selling price for potential repairs that would be needed, or waiving contingencies, or proposing a faster closing date.
You make an offer on a yacht based on the outcome of the due diligence you perform on the vessel. Each of these items is extremely important to you understanding and effectively evaluating the yacht condition and maintenance history. Usually this includes:
- A Hull and Deck survey by an accredited marine surveyor who will give you a thorough inspection report of the vessel, it’s equipment and they will provide you with a determined condition, from “Poor” to "Bristol Excellent.” The survey will also provide you with a market value and replacement value to be used for your marine insurance and financing. It also provides you with a detailed inventory of the items found aboard and their condition. A Hull and Deck survey is required for financing and insurance.
- A mechanical inspection by a seasoned marine technician or mechanic. This is ESPECIALLY important in buying a pre-owned vessel as the engines are often as valuable as the entire yacht purchase price. A mechanical inspection will provide you with the overall condition and performance of the vessel and also oil samples should be taken on all mechanical equipment, engines, transmissions and generator engine to establish a baseline of engine oil condition – which is a reflection of the internal operation of the mechanical gear – and also will call out any substantial issues, if any, in the internal operation such as high wear metals, water intrusion, exhaust leaks and coolant leaks, which can all be expensive to repair.
- A test ride, sometimes referred to as a “sea trial” needs to be conducted to make sure you like the performance of the vessel and the ride and comfort while underway. Usually this is done at the same time as the mechanical and hull and deck inspections as these inspectors will also want to see the performance of the yacht as well.
There are multiple professional surveyors available for you to consider and BananaBelt Boats & Yachts can provide you with a list after your offer has been accepted.
Once you and the seller agree on the terms, you’ll enter the closing process, which usually takes 7 to 14 days. You’ll likely be in very close communication with your broker, closing company, lender, and insurance agency during this time.
During closing your BananaBelt Broker will be available to answer any questions along the way.
Once the bills of sale are signed and notarized and the money has been wire transferred to the marine title company and all paperwork is complete Congratulations! You are the owner of a Motor Yacht!
Welcome aboard your new boat! Before you cruise off into the sunset, we’ll help you get your boat completely outfitted with the appropriate safety gear and cruise provisions. As part of our commissioning process, we’ll walk you through all the systems and help familiarize you with all of the many systems and nuances unique to your new vessel. And, while each boat is unique – BananaBelt has sold more than any other broker, so chances are good we’ve seen just about it all – and if we don’t know, we can find out to assist in your education.
If you need more education or hands-on operating training, we have access to fantastic Captains for hire who by the hour or day can instruct you on how to operate, dock, maneuver and even anchor.
Before you set out on your first cruise, it’s important to ensure your vessel complies with local and Coast Guard safety regulations, and loaded up with food and fuel and ready to go.
We have access to fuel to be delivered on land to your boat and its usually less than at the marina in price. Also, with our unique stairs and walkway layout it’s just a short walk up the steps to put on groceries and bags - instead of multiple trips down a dock pushing a heavy dock cart.
Retail stores like West Marine or Fisheries Supply can help you and they have created a good guide to this process it’s found here.
When you’re ready, BananaBelt Boats will use our KMI Sea-Lift to gently launch your boat right into Fidalgo Bay. Ask your BananaBelt Broker about some of the available Captains for hire to help you in getting acquainted with your new purchase. We can also help you plan your maiden voyage into the San Juan Islands or beyond – we know what to see and what guide books to use to get the most out of your explorations.
BananaBelt Broker Tip
We love to hear from you, read about your adventures and see photos from your favorite destinations. Keep in touch and we’ll see you on the water.