Buyer Beware | How to ensure your boat complies

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  • Trade-A-Boat

We've all heard of purchase horror stories, but compliance for brokers saves boat buyers from costly mistakes. ANDY HOWDEN and TONY ROSS from Ensign Ship Brokers explain why

Buyer Beware | How to ensure your boat complies
The team from Ensign Ship Brokers, (L-R) Ian Sherwood, Andrew 'Scotty' Scott, Andy Howden and Andrew Rofe.

Ensign Ship Brokers are one of Australia's leading boat brokerage businesses, exposed to the many, varied and interesting boat vendor and purchaser experiences. Ask us or anyone who’s been through a scary and costly purchase gone wrong, and it makes sense to buy from an accredited and licensed marine broker.

Some of the stories include boats being paid for in full by purchasers and then never delivered. Boats delivered without free title means for the unsuspecting that they have fixed and floating charges associated, and in many instances meaning those costs are transferred to the supposed new owner. In the worst case, if finance has any involvement in the transaction, a bank or finance company can take the vessel with, unfortunately, no recourse for the new owners. Left high and dry and without what they thought was their vehicle to deliver their ultimate lifestyle experiences.

Without a third party, such as a qualified broker, emotion is involved for buyers leading to emotive decisions and in some cases contracts that aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Qualified brokers will ensure all insurances are in place, to clearly outline clear ownership and title, and offer a backstop to potential sale issues for both parties. Plus in private sale experiences, there is minimal to no recourse, in many cases a purchaser is taking a massive financial gamble trusting the words and actions of an owner.

The key is selecting the right broker from the outset, and if you choose a BIA MBA Broker you know they have the protection of both the vendor and purchase as their focus. And, yes, there are brokers out there, BIA Marine Brokers Association members of course, that are solely focussed on finding the right boat for their clients and ensuring a smooth sale process for both buyers and vendors.

Ensign, for example, starts with offering more than 500 boats of various sizes, styles and makes to ensure the selection options are available for consumers in the first instance. Then, once a boat is selected by a purchaser, Ensign, and all accredited MBA brokerages, provide official sale documentation, all fully compliant with Australian Consumer Law and focussed on buyer protection, which in many cases is not covered in private or unlicensed broker sales.

Once the sale is complete the next steps for an accredited broker include:

* Ensure unencumbrance at settlement
* All registration documentation is available and present
* Support with insurance, finance and delivery requirements

These lead to a happy, hassle free and definitely not costly purchase experience.

The marine industry and the boat-buying process has changed incredibly over the past five, ten, even 15 years. But with the advent of the Internet there are so many more opportunities to seek out local and international opportunities.

For those experienced in importing boats, yes there can be minimal cost savings to find the right vessel for your needs, but many people don’t understand the complex and legal compliance requirements of importation. Once again, it’s something a qualified marine broker can outline for purchasers, that the potential cost savings they may make are vastly outweighed by the extensive costs involved when they aren't aware of all compliance requirements.

So in summary:
* Our local, fully-accredited brokers will in most cases list all available boats for sale, at very least the only ones worth considering.
* They act in a transparent manner for both vendors and purchasers, limiting emotive decisions.
* Once the sale is negotiated they then act as the "conveyance" to ensure all documentation and funds are handled according to legal requirements.
* They will ensure all compliant insurances, finance and delivery requirements are in place.
* And then ensure hassle-free transfer of funds and ownership, which then leads to providing the purchasers with all the tuition, support and guidance they need to guarantee the ultimate boating lifestyle.

Ensign Brokers are leading the way with providing the largest selection of brokerage boats across a national network, all supported by the BIA Marine Brokers Association.

PHOTO: The team from Ensign Ship Brokers, (L-R) Ian Sherwood, Andrew 'Scotty' Scott, Andy Howden and Andrew Rofe.

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 425, March to April, 2012


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