Buying a boat overseas is EASY and FUN.
There are a few things to consider when thinking of buying a boat abroad:
Are you planning on sailing the boat home (and having the ultimate adventure), or do you want to keep it overseas? Read more about the International Cruising Dream.
Do you want to cover your costs/re-coup your money? What will you do with the boat at the end of the adventure? Will you stay in a region for a season or will you move from point to point? Will you sell the boat overseas or will you sell it in Australia? Read more about Selling your boat in Australia.
Where will you buy the boat from? The Pacific, SE Asia, Europe or the Caribbean? When people are looking to buy a boat overseas they are often concerned about the distances and the time that they have. They tend to buy closer as it seems easier for them, but we tend to encourage people to buy further away. We know that it is the ultimate adventure. We know that it is easy. We know that it is only an extra 5 weeks in real sailing time.
There are also significant savings when buying in Europe. We tend to direct people to the better adventure and the better buy. Better buying is tied to exchange rates. For Australians the exchange rates are in our favour for buying in Europe and the US. There are a lot more boats for sale in Europe and less space for boats over there, that’s why boats become available. The local market has become quite depressed in Europe, but in Australia it is buoyant, so it is in an Australians favour.
Buying in Europe is a more cultural & historical experience, it’s more interesting. Buying in the Caribbean is more laid back, relaxed and more social. It depends on your situation, what kind of experience you want and your family circumstances. We try to encourage people to buy boats further upwind. The route from Europe to Australia is down wind and is an easy run. A milk run. Australia is the ultimate destination. Read more about why to choose Australia.
The other option buying closer to home is in the Pacific especially if you are time poor. Places like Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia. There are boats available there on a regular basis. The problem there is that the boats there tend to be more expensive and fairly quickly you will realise that you probably should have bought the boat further up wind, because you are enjoying the experience and you wish you had done something more.
Our biggest recommendation if the boats are sailing home out of Europe or the Pacific is to get involved in the rallies – they have been set up to help people achieve their sailing dreams and to provide you with information, benefits and support through your journey. Read more about Cruising Rallies.
In choosing a boat, the one thing we have found is that there is no right or wrong category of boats. Successfully circling the world right now are the heavy displacement boats, which traditional cruisers used to sail and recommend, but now it’s heavily weighted towards production boats, just through sheer volume and value for money, these boats are victoriously sailing the globe and they achieve a good safety record and good re-sale value. A good, safe, fast passage with good resale – production boats are a good option. A good trend (if you have the budget) is towards multihulls. The multihulls have progressed through the dark ages where they did break up and capsize, but now with better production methods, they are safe, spacious and successful and popular with the new generation.
Buying and Reselling Overseas
Many customers are happy to buy the boat in a destination of choice…use their boat and maybe after several years of enjoying the location, reselling. This is a great option as living aboard your own boat is a low cost way of enjoying the area.
Being on a boat you have some control of expense. Depending on where you are, you can live on the cheap, e.g. lots of anchoring out, or you can live the high life in marinas…all options are available.
Moving around this region by boat is still quite free and unregulated. It is important that you research all requirements, visas etc. before hand to be aware of tax situations depending on where you are and for how long. This is particularly the case in Europe and especially if you are Med based. Within easy sailing range are the iconic cruising grounds of Croatia, Greece, Turkey, South of France and Spain.
We recommend taking out Australian or New Zealand registration or better still, buying a boat already Australian or New Zealand registered. This may add a small premium to the price but gives comfort on ownership and is popular with authorities.
If buying and then reselling you can expect some depreciation but due to good buying rates in offshore areas the losses are often quite small especially if reselling to another Australian or New Zealander.
Be aware that the net result is heavily dependent on currency fluctuations, having watched rates swing backwards and forwards 20-30% over the years.
We love spending time with people and listing to their dreams. Come and have a coffee with us and let us help you find the boat that you want and fulfill your ultimate adventure.