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Why Use A Yacht Broker?

Why hire a yacht broker

Are you thinking about buying or selling a yacht or a boat? If so, you may be wondering if you should use a yacht broker to help you through the process.  Before you can adequately answer that question, you will need to know exactly what a yacht broker does and what they can do for you.  

What Is A Yacht Broker?

A Yacht Broker is essentially a real estate agent for boats, representing both buyers and/or sellers throughout the purchase/sale process. 

Should You Use A Yacht Broker?

At Sportfishtrader, we certainly believe using a broker can be extremely beneficial, and below are some of the biggest benefits to both buyer and seller of hiring a broker:

  • Legal Assistance:  A broker has extensive knowledge of the laws pertaining to the sale of a boat and can handle all necessary legal documentation on your behalf.
  • Insider information: A broker can get you access to professional data, like book valuations and sold boat data, that regular buyers do not have access to.
  • Accurately price your boat: Brokers can better determine what your boat/yacht is worth (One of the most difficult aspects of the process)
  • Handle inspections and surveys: Brokers can facilitate and represent you during a survey.
  • Financing & Insurance: A broker can suggest the appropriate Marine Financing and Insurance options and walk you through the process.

In addition to providing valuable information about boats, brokers can also save time by acting as a personal filter when buying or selling a boat

Rather than having to search through listings yourself, brokers can narrow down your search based on your preferences and budget.

Selling A Boat Through A Broker

Using an experienced broker is mainly about saving time and sparing yourself an incredible amount of hassle.  

Sure, brokers do make a commission, and I certainly won’t tell you that’s a small fee.  But what is your time worth to you?

For many people, the hassles of selling their own boat:

  • Properly detailing the boat
  • Fixing what needs to be fixed
  • Advertising on multiple websites
  • Dealing with the public
  • Price negotiations

…are what make professional brokers worth every single penny they charge.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every single boat and every situation demands a broker.  

As with anything in life, this comes down to personal choice. 

That being said, if I had to name the top 3 reasons (aside from saving time) that people use a broker to sell a boat, they would be:

  • Access to websites and networks only brokers can advertise in
  • Knowledge of exactly what your boat is worth
  • Legal expertise to avoid costly mistakes during the sale

Yacht Broker Commission (Broker Fees)

Similar to a real estate agent, a Veteran Yacht Broker Makes money almost exclusively through a commission.  The typical broker’s commission (When representing a seller) can be as high as 10%, but this can vary based on a number of factors as simple as:

  • They negotiated a lower rate with the owner of the boat
  • They make a sale with another broker involved, and there is a split

There are certain occasions where a broker might also be collecting a small salary from the brokerage they work under.

However, that is typically only found with newer brokers whose income hasn’t yet risen to a point where they can live solely off a commission.

Making Money Representing A Buyer:

Brokers don’t just get paid representing sellers; they also make money representing buyers. 

  • The seller has a broker: From my research, it would appear that a broker bringing the buyer to a sale (where the seller also has a broker) would make about 40% or less of the total available commission.  
  • Seller doesn’t have a broker: A broker bringing a buyer to a sale where the seller has no broker can certainly get a finders fee, but that is not guaranteed.  What is guaranteed is likely going to be a flat rate fee or a small commission from their client (Much smaller than when representing a seller).  

Bonus income:

Additionally, as with any sort of sales career, there are bonuses to be had throughout the year for meeting goals set by the brokerage.  

Those prizes and money pale in comparison to a good commission, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Using A Boker To Buy A Boat

Using a yacht broker to buy a boat might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually one of the smartest moves you can make.

With tens of thousands of used boats across countless websites, an experienced yacht broker can help you sift through all of that to find exactly what you’re looking to buy while avoiding the lemons!

Another plus of using a broker to purchase a boat is the wealth of information they are likely to have about the boat you’re interested in buying. 

Their expertise can often guide you when trying to decide between specific years and models of your boat, but it might also steer you away from a boat should you realize it’s not actually what you needed or would’ve enjoyed.

The top 3 reasons people would use a broker to purchase a boat would be:

  • Save time searching (Number 1 by far)
  • Having someone experienced in inspecting potential purchases properly 
  • Price negotiations


In conclusion, using a yacht broker can provide numerous benefits when it comes to buying a yacht.

From their extensive knowledge and experience in the yacht market to their ability to handle the search, viewings, and negotiations, a yacht broker can make the process of purchasing a yacht much smoother and more streamlined.

They can also provide valuable assistance in navigating the legal and financial aspects of yacht ownership and offer insights into different types of yachts and their features.

While it may be tempting to try to handle the yacht-buying process on your own, the expertise and professionalism of a yacht broker can be invaluable.

Ultimately, the decision to use a yacht broker will depend on your individual needs and circumstances, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re thinking about buying a yacht.


What qualifications should a good yacht broker have?

A good yacht broker should have extensive knowledge of the boating industry, strong negotiation skills, and a wide network of contacts. They should also be certified by a recognized boating association.

How can I verify the credibility of a yacht broker?

You can verify the credibility of a yacht broker by checking their certification, reading online reviews, and asking for references from previous clients.

What is the difference between a yacht broker and a yacht dealer?

A yacht broker facilitates the buying and selling of boats between individuals, while a yacht dealer typically sells new boats directly from manufacturers.

Can a yacht broker help with international yacht sales?

Yes, many yacht brokers have experience with international sales and can assist with the unique legal and logistical challenges involved.

Can a yacht broker help me find a yacht for charter instead of purchase?

While some yacht brokers may specialize in yacht sales, others may also offer charter services or have contacts in the industry who can assist with finding a yacht for charter.

How can a yacht broker help me if I’m looking to buy a custom-built yacht?

A yacht broker can connect you with reputable yacht builders, help you understand the process and costs involved, and assist with the contract and build specifications.

What happens if a deal falls through? Is the yacht broker still compensated?

Compensation structures can vary, but typically, a yacht broker only earns their commission once a sale is successfully completed.

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Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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