Process of Buying


10 May 2016
Visit site
I've found the yacht, know its usage and history over several years. It was in excellent condition 2 years ago and has hardly been sailed since. It's a private sale and is not advertised.
Clearly I'll view and inspect it, trial sail, and most likely get a survey done, but what is the process involved in buying ?

What's the best practice to follow ?


Well-known member
22 Jul 2006
Visit site
Once things are agreed verbally, get a Sale Agreement blank from the RYA and both parties sign it. SALE AND PURCHASE OF A SECOND HAND BOAT.pdf

Be aware that if you go ahead and buy it, this agreement is not a bill of sale. At completion you need to have the previous owners sign a bill of sale making over ownership of the boat to you. I've seen several owners who bought privately that think the "agreement" is their bill of sale. You can use a MCA one or the RYA one:


This is the horrible new 2018 5-page version, not the old 2-side version. You MUST use this if the boat is Part I registered and you want to retain this registry.

For a boat on the SSR you could use the simpler RYA version. Advice/Bill of Sale/BILL OF SALE.pdf

Sea Devil

Well-known member
19 Aug 2004
Boulogne sur mer & Marbella Spain
I have sold several boats privately and purchased a few privately over the years.

It is all down to trust and good will.

Talk to the owners and having seen the boat again make them an offer subject to sea trial and survey.

Having agreed a price they might want you to put down a refundable deposit which can be any amount you jointly agree.. a few hundred pounds or even a few pounds will do, if they are agreeable, whilst you do the sea trial and survey... Holds the boat for you and shows the owners you are serious... Or not if they agree...

Do the sea trial and survey... I do not think it is right to use either to re-negotiate the price unless there is something major wrong which was not apparent before.

Give them the money and receive a receipt.

If the boat is part 1 registered then you need to use the bill of sale form from the website so that you can part one register the boat to yourself.

For all the legalise that exists the above is perfectly legal