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Old 03-04-2012
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Buing a used boat in Italy.

I want to share some knowledge that can be helpful for some of you.

Has you all know I bought recently a boat in Italy. Italy is right now a very good place to buy a used boat: New tax over property of boats, very expensive marinas and an economy going down makes a big offer and a very small demand on boats so prices are low and it is possible to get the boats for much less than the asking price.

Some tips:

1- Many times you can find the same boat advert on Italian and non Italian brokers (German and Dutch ones). You will tend to call the Italian one: Big mistake, while everybody charges the selling commission to the owner, Italian ones charge half the commission to the owner and half to the buyer, therefore the advertised price is only that one if the brooker is not Italian, on an Italian one you will pay that price plus 7.26% (Vat included).

2- The new Tax on boats will not apply to a foreigner even if the Italian flag is maintained.


3- I have dealt with Mediaship. I will describe the way they work and you will take your conclusions:

a) You contact them and they show the boat to you.

b) You want to make an offer on a boat to know if the owner accepts that and they will ask you a 10% caution over the boat value and make you sign a contract that says that if the owner accepts and if a survey (the surveyor is chosen by you) is positive you have to keep the boat or you will lose the 10%.

c ) - The Mediaship contract says regarding the Survey: “The expert will develop a technical assessment of the boat status in order to ensure the agreement stated in the technical record card and the possible existence of defects which could produce risks of safe navigation….The only cost of slipway and launch will be charged to the seller when the checks … have, objectively, a negative outcome”.

d) – When someone sings this is not aware of the implications, namely in what means a negative outcome in what regards a Survey. In Survey terminology A means: Excellent - Object is like new and functions correctly; B means: Good - Object presents slight signs of wear and tear, but functions correctly; C: Fair - Object shows signs of age but still functions; D – To be substituted Imminent breakage - worn and torn.

e) – A boat has to be really in very bad shape to have a D mark on the survey. If you are buying a 5 year old boat you would expect everything to have A and B marks. However if you have a boat with parts “that show signs of age but still function” it still will have a positive survey if the boat has C marks even if in a 5 year boat or newer it would not be normal to show any “signs of age”.

f) – The first boat that I have saw and made an offer with Mediaship was Sottovoce, a 2007 Comet 41s that revealed in the a hull “30% humidity, no blisters and humidity on the core”. The hull had a C mark and that will give an overall positive survey to the boat.

I had to make a lot of noise not to be forced to accept that boat ( that later show that it had not only humidity on the core, but water) but they could have forced me to accept it contractually, or to lose the 13 000€ that I had given them as caution.

g)- This is not to blame on the surveyor. Probably that hull was acceptable if it was a 30 year old boat and in fact the boat had no blisters and no delamination and would not constitute an imminent risk for safe navigation and it was not in need of immediate substitution or reparation (but later would delaminate and would need an expensive reparation). Probably the mark C was the correct one.

h) - So you get my drift. I will recommend the Surveyor but not Mediaship. You can make your own opinion.

4 - Regarding the many boats I saw in Italy and also the dealer, I found a nice one and in the end did not bought him the boat. Anyway, if someone is interested in an Epoxy Salona 2008 with rod rigging, great sails, an impeccable deck and cockpit and a not so impeccable interior, with one year of warranty given by Grand Soleil by a very good price (a bit more than 120 000€, Vat paid) send me a pm. I was almost to buy that boat. With that dealer no need of any written contract to make an offer and to know if the owner accepted that offer and no caution paid.


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Last edited by PCP; 03-04-2012 at 11:02 AM.
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