Repossessed Yachts and Distressed Boats for Sale – The Eurozone Crisis

17 October 2015


YACHTS INVEST develops its repossessed yachts and distressed boats program mainly in Europe and works with various European Banks and other Financial Institutions. For knowledgeable yachtsmen, these are often excellent deals to purchase a yacht.

Since 2008 Europe is submerged in a difficult economical downfall called the “Eurozone Crisis”, which has particularly affected the yachting industry. Our company has been in permanent contact with selected banks, leasing companies, law firms and private corporations or individuals who have become trustees of illiquid assets. These Sellers work with us in order to find the most effective way to sell seized, repossessed and distressed yachts.

Our program is not limited to bank repos, it also presents opportunities from leasing and other financial institutions, private owners urged to sell and boats in stock.

Bank repossessed yachts and distressed boats may frequently be neglected and in questionable aesthetic and technical condition. Indeed, when dealing with such inventory, you are generally negotiating with bankers, accountants or lawyers who don’t want to spend more money in the vessel(s) they’ve just seized or reclaimed.

Generally, this type of transaction also presents complex formalities, legal and tax implications which we’re very efficient in solving. In most cases, this is different from private sellers urged to sell or boats in stock, where you have someone who understands yachting in front of you. Normally, this type of purchase is “as-is; where-is”.

We receive quarterly lists of inventory which provide great opportunities to our clients as they’re informed first-hand about emerging deals.

How we Work

Our main objective at YACHTS INVEST is to benefit the buyer and the seller, seeking always the best deal for both parties, and mostly by assuring a safe transaction and managing all the appropriate paperwork and formalities involved in buying or selling a bank repo or distressed boat.

In short, a comprehensive program for the whole process of purchasing or selling a financially distressed vessel.

The Bidding and Purchasing Process

  • Help you identify and locate the yacht of interest.
  • Provide you with a preliminary report of the vessel in order to assess if it’s worth your time.
  • Objectively help you evaluate the condition of the boat.
  • Organize and attend your inspection.
  • Advise you on how to submit a bid in writing.
  • Await response patiently, indeed this sometimes takes a few days since it often involves a committee decision from the Seller(s).
  • If your bid is accepted, a contract is drawn up, including formalities, fiscal and legislative compliance requirements.
  • The boat will then be surveyed and sea-trialled by a qualified marine surveyor, as appointed and paid for by the buyer.
  • The surveyor(s) will then provide a written appraisal of the boat, engines, drives and other relevant components.
  • If the survey report is acceptable, the sale will be completed as per the agreed terms on the sales contract.


While we recommend the use of the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association Memorandum of Agreement (MYBA MoA), some institutions may ask their counsel to prepare and submit an alternative contract.

Safeguard of Funds in Escrow (Stakeholders)

YACHTS INVEST provides an escrow account for clients’ funds and ensures that at closing, as stakeholders, any existing loan or other encumbrances are paid off, as well as the fees of other parties involved in the transaction. This safeguard is of especially critical importance to the buyer and seller and can be a potentially serious hazard in a transaction like this.

Some financial institutions may prefer to use an independent Law Firm or Notary Public as an escrow agent.

Survey & Sea-Trial

The buyer is responsible for the appointment and payment of a qualified marine surveyor to inspect the boat.

A sea-trial, also borne by the buyer, is necessary as the yacht may have been immobilized for a significant period of time. The costs involved in survey and sea-trial are generally the manoeuvres of bringing the yacht ashore and back into the water, fuel, crew and sometimes careening, antifouling and anodes, so the boat performs adequately.

The surveyor’s report will generally be determining whether the sale proceeds or not.

Legal & Tax Advice

Most of this inventory is generally Ex-VAT and YACHTS INVEST can provide all the necessary tax and legal solutions to acquire this kind of marine inventory.


Many yacht Sellers may also decide to liquidate a marine inventory through boat auctions.

Whilst these auctions are open to the public and retail buyers as well as nautical professionals, they don’t happen very often.

Some auctions occur yearly on the French Riviera in Cannes and Antibes. Other auctions are also held in Italy, Spain and Great Britain.

Even if the nautical sector is picking up in Europe, contact YACHTS INVEST to have an update on repossessed yachts, distressed boats for sale and the following auctions!

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