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Buying a Yacht Internationally...the Process

Lets use buying an 84' Yacht in the Mediterranean as an example, which we have done many times in the last 15 is a description of the process:

1. You will decide which yacht you want to buy and we will negotiate the price with the selling broker or owner.

2. After you make an offer on a yacht, and 3 days after acceptance, you will deposit 10% of the yacht's price in our escrow trust account at the Bank of America in Florida. We are bonded brokers and your funds are protected and secured by our insurance policy mandated by the State of Florida.

3. After negotiations, and an accepted offer by the seller, you have the option to inspect the vessel personally, at which time you can reject your offer or move on to survey.

4. If there are problems that the surveyor finds, the seller has an option to fix those problems, if he wants to maintain the offer price. If he does not want to fix those problems, you have the right to cancel your offer, or else renegotiate the price. AS the buyer, you may also reject the vessel even if the surveyor tells you there are no deficiencies (which never happens).

5. If you decide to buy the yacht, you will send the balance of the yacht's price to the documentation company in Florida. They will hold all the funds until they have proof that the seller has all the documentation necessary to be able to sell the boat free of any liens.

6. The exchange of the vessel's title and money will take place on the vessel. We will exchange money for title, and we will drive off with the boat after the exchange to make sure we have possession.

7. We will hire a crew to drive the vessel to the port where it will be shipped to the United States and loaded aboard a transport ship.

8. When the transatlantic ship arrives in the USA, we will pick up your yacht and take it through customs. The documentation will already have been completed by your documentation agency, but there will be a 1.5% customs fee to pay. After customs we will take your yacht to a marina with which we have already negotiated a slip.

Other notes:

1. The seller always pays the brokers' commissions from the proceeds of the sale. You are not responsible for any commissions.

2. The buyer is responsible to pay for documentation, marine survey (expertise), transport to the USA and any import duties or taxes in the USA.

3. It is recommended to use an LLC in Delaware (or any other state without a sales tax on yachts) to purchase the yacht and ask your accountant for a sub-chapter S tax status on the LLC. If you are a Florida resident, we recommend that you pay the Florida Sales Tax which will be a maximum of $18,000. You also have an option to register your yacht off-shore to avoid duties and possibly save on crew expenses if your yacht's value is well in the 7 figures and the LOA requires crew.

Expenses you will need to cover (for an 84' Yacht):

Survey $4000 to $6000

Transport to US $50,000 to $70,000

Duties: 1.5% of sales price

Transport to shipping port: Captain plus fuel approximately $2000

Transport from arriving US port to your marina: Captain @ $350/day and fuel

We also recommend that if you buy a yacht in the Med that you fly to the closing and use the boat for a few weeks before you ship it back to the US. The Mediterranean is one of the greatest cruising grounds in the world!!

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