Frequently Asked Questions about Boats and Buying boats

What boat should I buy if it is my first time to buy a boat in Hong Kong?

There are different choices available depending on the purpose and budget. We are however talking more on motor boat / motor yacht here rather than sailing yachts. If you don’t want to spend too much and you are looking for a safe comfortable boat that you can drive yourself with a small family and children and enjoy the waters in Hong Kong and go to different islands, then a boat around 28 footer is quite good, A new Karnic speed boat which is a 28 footer costs around HKD 500,000 over all. The reason for this specific size is because this is the smallest size that can have a marine toilet which is of course small but usable. If you are a lady or like to have your wife or any ladies to accompany you on the boat then a toilet is very necessary. Storage and parking of boats this size is also easy and they can be lifted up easily for dry dock storage, maintenance is also very simple and not expensive if the boat has outboard engine. With inboard engine boats for first timers, you could get stuck with a engine if something goes wrong and needs a lot of repairs.
If you are looking for a larger motor yacht that you can use personally and also as a corporate entertainment, then you can go for a 40 to 45 footer boat, which normally can be a good for a family to stay for a weekend. The boats are also used normally for day trip and office parties where people can go on a island or a swimming spot and spend the day eating and drinking on the boat. People normally hire a captain to drive such boats. Berthing and mooring space can be a little bit of a challenge to find as the size of your boat gets bigger but it is possible nowadays in Hong Kong. But if you are looking for a marina club membership and berths, then be ready to hear ridiculous prices from Marina clubs who think they are monopoly in Hong Kong.

What is the procedure of buying a used boat?

The following procedure is to buy a used boat in Hong Kong.

1) When a buyer contacts us, we can show the boat to the buyer first.

2) After the buyer sees and likes the boat, he/she would like to proceed further, and then we try to look at the boat in more details and find out as much info as we can.

3) After buyer decides that he/she wants to go ahead, then we negotiate the price and sign a safe agreement which is good for boat buyer and the seller.

4) The buyer places deposit normally 10% on the boat, this deposit is refundable if the buyer finds the boat to be non-seaworthy or showing many problems in the survey.

5) All boat sales require a professional independent surveyor to do a full survey and inspection of the boat, the amount for the surveyor is paid by the buyer, and so is the lifting costs in a shipyard and any cost that may require cleaning the bottom of the boat so the surveyor can have a clear look at the boat’s bottom. In turn, the seller has to make a crew/captain available to test the boat and the fuel costs required.

6) Upon satisfactory survey report, the buyer can decide to make a final payment, re-negotiate the deal or back out depending on the survey report. Point to note is that, normal wear and tear are usually not points to negotiate on. The negotiation or rejection of the deal is taken place when there are lot of problems or any major problem that deem the boat un-seaworthy or incur lot of expense on the buyer to make the boat in a acceptable condition.

7) Asia Boating Ltd or your yacht broker should prepare all documents, check for any debts on the boat, ensure the items that are included are kept on the boat, all documents that the buyer may need in the future are available. The preparation for closing and all documents are signed by Buyer and Seller and are held by the Seller until the final payment is made.

8) Buyer requires to prepare cashier’s order which is normally exchanged for final documents in the Marine Dept of Hong Kong. Immediately after giving the cashier’s order and getting the documents, we give the documents to the Marine Dept to carry out the transfer of ownership of the vessel from the seller to the buyer. This procedure takes approximately 1 or 2 hours in the marine department of Hong Kong.

9) After the certificate of ownership has been issued to the buyer who is not the new owner of the boat, the buyer arranges to take the boat to his/her mooring place and takes the physical delivery of the boat.



What is the commission rate we have to pay to the broker when buying a boat?

Our commission rates vary a bit, depending on the size of the boat, usually when buying a used boat, the commission rate is 3% to 8%.

The rate depends on some factors like, price of the boat, if the boat is an expensive boat, then the commission is lower and if it is a very low priced boat then the commission is higher. As there is a lot of effort and marketing, sale and administrative expenses that occur in order to sell a boat.

Normally the commission is only paid by one party, that is the Seller. Because the price of the boat is including commission.

A trustworthy and good broker will always have transparent agreement that both parties signing knows how much commission the broker is getting, there are supposed to be no other hidden charges what so ever, and this has to be made very clear by the broker. No surprise charges to the broker or agents shall prop up once the agreement is signed by the buyer and seller for the sale of the boat.

What are the expenses in maintaining a small boat or a large motor yacht?

Yearly maintenance cost of a boat depends on the size, for a big motor yacht the requirements are more and for a speed boat the requirements are lesser.

For the ease of calculation, We will try to give round up figures and slightly on the higher end of expense.

Boat is very much like your home and car, you will require to fix normal wear and tear, plus some things that you must do to ensure it is running well. Those things are.
1)  Twice a year lifting the boat up, cleaning bottom and painting it with antifouling paint, and replacing zinc anodes. This is done every six months.
For a 20-30 ft speed boat : HK$ 12,000 – 15,000
For a 40-50 ft motor yacht : HK$ 25,000 to 30,000
For a 50-70 ft motor yacht : HK$ 30,000 to 50,000

2) Once a year engine servicing, such as oil change, filters change etc.
For outboard motors : HK$ 5,000 to 8,000 (from official dealers) Can be cheaper from other local mechanics.
For Twin Inboard diesels 2 x 200hp to 2 x 600 hp : HK$ 35,000 to 45,000 (From official dealers) Can be cheaper from local mechanics.
For Bigger Inboard Diesel Engines : HK$ 45,000 to 60,000 (from official dealers) can be cheaper from local mechanics.
From non-dealers or local mechanics the price is usually around 15 % to sometimes 40% cheaper.

When the engines are under warranty, normally people use official dealers because it will be more safer in case the boat owner has to claim any warranty services later. Many owners still use official dealers because mainly they provide more accountability if things go wrong. Some also use other professional engineering companies who hire experienced mechanics. Many times we see for older boats, when getting spare parts from local dealers the prices are very high, compared to other mechanics who order online spare parts for fraction of the price.

3) Mooring Berthing Costs.
Dry storage for speed boats, from 15 ft to 35 ft : Yacht club charges HK$ 2000 to 4000 monthly (but requires to have membership and waiting list), Local shipyards cost 6000 to 7000 monthly.
Swing mooring on the sea, unofficial renting for boats around 30-40 ft : HK$ 4,000 to 6000 monthly
Swing mooring on the sea, for bigger boats such as 50 to 80 ft : HK$ 8000 to 20,000 monthly
for walking berths in Marina club and yacht club, the yacht owners require memberships fees and the clubs usually put customers on waiting list. Prices for membership range from few hundred thousand to few million HK dollars and monthly walkway berth rental is around 7,000 to 20,000 monthly depending on size of your boat.

4) Captain and boat boys.
Mostly yacht owners hire one full time captain and part time boat boys as needed for boats which are larger than 50 ft.
Full time captain salary starts at : HK$ 25,000 to HK$ 35,000 Depending on how qualified and suitable etc.
Boat boys full time salary : HK$ 15,000 to 25,000 Depends on suitability and requirements of job.
Part time Boat boys to help captain on a trip will charge, HK$ 1000 per day of boating trip, approximately.

5) Teak floor maintenance.
Teak on outer deck area, on side decks sometimes on flybridge is an expensive option, when not maintained it makes the boat look horrible, and when maintained it adds to the beauty of the boat.
Teak requires yearly painting with teak oil.
Your full time boat boy or captains can do it for free, by just buying over the counter teak oils.
Or else part time labor charges around HK$ 3,000 to HK$ 5,000  for a job which requires to be once every year, for a boat of 50 ft size to teak oil the cockpit and swim platform. More if the boat is bigger.

6) Buffing and Polishing of the hull : This is not normally required for boats that are maintained reasonably well, but some old boats can require polishing and buffing maybe every couple of years or so. The cost of re-buffing a boat varies from different shipyards or even free lance labor, a 40-50 ft boat rebuffing and polishing can cost around HK$ 10,000 to 20,000 approximately.
More for bigger boats.

These costs are just general estimates, that can change from time to time, and different shipyards have different charges for different sort of works, so it is not be used contractually but only for purpose of understanding estimated cost of yacht maintenance.