Boat Buying Guide – Used

Boats have been our business for many years so let us help you with yours.

Bates Wharf are part of the British Marine Federation.

It may be your first purchase, or if you are looking to upgrade, it could feel a little overwhelming so let us take the stress away with our experienced staff and help guide you through the buying process.

We can help with all aspects of the process, including:

  • Initial viewing bookings
  • Surveys
  • Boat finance
  • Boat insurance
  • RYA tuition
  • Marina options
  • River license
  • Boat safety certificate (where required)
  • Boat delivery / transport
  • Full boat handover provided by our experienced Bates Wharf Team
  • Further training can be provided


From the first initial contact through to our extensive handover, we are here to help, start to finish.


There are a few key questions which will assist with your boat buying:

  • Where do you plan to use your boat? River or sea?
  • Who will use the boat? Is it a day out for two or for all the family and friends?
  • What will the boat be used for? Just overnight or weekends away?


Boat purchasing – Used

Once you have chosen the used boat you wish to purchase, the next steps are:

  • Agreement of sales price with the purchaser and vendor
  • Holding deposit subject to survey
  • Craning of boat where required
  • Engine survey
  • Hull survey
  • Discussion of survey findings / Check status of Boat Safety Certificate (river only)
  • Discussion of direction of purchase relative to the survey findings
  • Balance of purchase due
  • Any requested works quoted and settled on completion
  • Full boat handover provided by our experienced Bates Wharf Team

“…We were amazed and delighted how smoothly and quickly the purchase went through: from you first telling us about the boat to us sailing her home was less than two weeks…” Jill & Michael, Beneteau Oceanis 311


Brokerage sales, how does it work?

A brokerage boat is a used boat for sale by a company on behalf of a private vendor. Purchasing a boat could be the second largest financial decision you are ever likely to make so we feel it is very important for our customers to understand all aspects of the purchase to ensure you have a safe and happy experience.

What are the risks of buying a boat privately? How could Bates Wharf help you?
There is no organisation like the DVLA for the marine industry and therefore paperwork can be very lapse. Private sales often lack bills of sales and title paperwork which can cause problems later on with your ownership, if you try to sell and if you try and move the boat overseas. Most of the boats we sell on brokerage we have sold from new or they have been known by us through the marina or servicing works for a long period of time. As such, we ensure the boats have : traceable title with continuous bills of sales, CE certification & proof of original VAT payment.
Are you able to gain an official contract with valid contact information? We use forms produced by the British Marine Federation and we are also a member.
What is agreed in the sale? Do you know a reputable surveyor? Can you trial the boat? Using the contracts detailed above, all aspects of the sale are documented. We are able to advise survey options and arrange accompanied trials.
Is my money safe? Sending money can always be worrying. We have specific client accounts in place and advise all monies received in writing.
Have you checked the finance history of the boat? There is no governing body like the DVLA for the boating world. We can endeavour to ensure all the correct paperwork is in place.
What if I have no boating experience or qualifications, I take it out, I panic and damage the boat? We pride ourselves on the complete service from purchasing, to advising insurance options, official RYA qualifications, personal handovers of the entire boat and a comprehensive on site repair and servicing workshop. We can also offer further boat handling training where required.


For any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.