If you own a boat, you may have wondered how much money you would save by buying a marina berth rather than paying for your berthing annually. Plus whether there were any other benefits to owning your own marina berth.
We thought it’d be a good idea to start a list of frequently asked questions. These are questions that our clients ask on a regular basis, so we thought it would be a good starting point which may help you get the answers to help you make a decision.
If you have a question that isn’t covered, please get in touch and we’ll try our best to answer it. Then we may add it to our FAQ.
My question on first looking at buying a berth was how do you value it?
Thanks to Howard for this question.
Valuing a berth is dependant on multiple factors. These include location, lease size (both length and width), years left on the lease and variety of benefits which can be included in the lease. It is always best to get a professional opinion. Here at Triangle we’d always be happy to help in this regard. Please just get in touch. We will be able to look at the market, recent berth sales and demand when helping you consider this.
How long does it take to buy a marina berth?
The length of time it takes to buy a berth will depend on which country you are buying the berth in. Below are some examples from our experience.
If you are buying a berth in the UK the process is very similar to when you buy a property. In the majority of cases, allow between 6-10 weeks from payment of your deposit. Some Marina Berths bought and sold in the UK are held on Land Registry. Whilst others are not and operate under berthing licenses.
If you are buying a berth in Europe you will need to be using the services of a local notary. Some Marinas have to approve changes of ownership at board meetings. These can be held sporadically and may slow the process down.
If you are looking to move onto a berth for a certain date. Please let us know sooner than later so we can communicate with all parties involved. This so that exchange can happen in plenty of time to allow completion on the date you require.
Should I appoint a solicitor?
If you are buying a marina berth in the UK then we suggest that you do appoint a solicitor. Although any property solicitor will be able to help, we advise our clients to appoint a solicitor who has previous experience in buying and selling marina berths. We have found over the years that this both helps and speeds up the process, ultimately saving you money.
If you are buying in Europe then you will need to use a local notary to buy your berth. We can help and advise on this subject so please just ask.
What is it I am buying?
When you purchase a long lease marina berth you are buying the right to moor your vessel on the marina. In question mostly on a dedicated berth but sometimes just in the marine as a whole. This right is for a predetermined length of time.
What other benefits can I expect from my marina?
Marina benefits vary greatly from marina to marina and location to location. In some you will receive permits to park a vehicle, in others passes to enter the clubhouse. Some will include discounts on lift outs and certain amounts of time ashore included. Other marinas include water and electricity – they really do vary a lot.
I’m going travelling / selling my boat. What can I do with my berth?
This is a question we are asked regularly. We suggest you take a close look at your contact. Here you will be able to see whether you are entitled to sublet your berth.
At Triangle, we help a lot of owner’s who wish to sublet their berths. We work hard to find tenants who wish to rent their berths.
If you decide that you’d like to sell your berth we’d be happy to market the berth on your behalf.
What happens when my lease expires?
Over the next few years, marina leases, especially in Mediterranean Marinas, will expire, with a few expiring already. In the UK at MDL marinas, this will happen in 2034 or 2035 for example.
In Europe, many marinas are owned by the council in the municipality in which the marina is located. The council will have tendered a concession offering interested parties the option to operate and run the marina for a certain length of time.
Once awarded the concession holders sold long leases to berth holders. Offering them the ability to moor their vessel until X date.
When it gets close to the expiry date unless things have changed. The marina operator will be applying to the local council to run the concession again.
Once the concession has been re-awarded the marina operator will probably look to sell lease berths again to cover the length of their concession. These are often offered in the first instance to current lease berth holders and sometimes at a special rate first.
If a current lease berth holder chooses not to buy another berth. They will then either revert to paying annual fees if there is space remaining in the marina. They may also use this as an opportunity to move their vessel to another marina. Where they can either purchase another lease berth or rent the berth annually or monthly.
When we first considered buying a big boat we didn’t know whether to buy the boat and hope to get a mooring or buy the mooring and hope to get a boat.
Thanks to David for this question.
This is quite often a tricky question and in some circumstances does relate to location. In some sought after locations, it does pay to get the berth sorted first. So you are certain you have somewhere to put your vessel. You do of course need to know the size and beam of the vessel you are going to buy. As some marinas are very strict on the lease berth sizes. Very often vessels are not allowed to be over-length and very rarely over width.
Please get in touch and we will happily advise on this subject based on your specific location and vessel requirements.
A family member has died, what can we do with their berth?
In this instance, it is usual for the berth (property) to go through the usual probate process in that country. After which we can assist in selling the berth. If the executors require a formal valuation of the berth we can assist with providing a valuation for that purpose.