How much does a marina berth cost?
How much does it really cost to own a marina berth? Did you know in some marinas you are able to do more than just rent a berth for your boat?. You are able to buy a lease and effectively own the marina berth or the right to berth, for the length of the lease.
If this is news to you, then we suggest you take a look at one of our previous articles.
The costs of owning a marina berth can vary depending on where in the world the berth is. Similarly to houses, berths can be bought on a freehold or a leasehold basis. That said Freehold berths are not at all common. We have one for sale on our books in the Caribbean. So for the remainder of this article, we will concentrate on the costs of owning a leasehold marina berth.
Leasehold marina berths
Leasehold berths are commonly found in marinas across Europe. There is also a smaller number on the South and East Coast of the UK, Wales and Inland Waterways. Leasehold berths offer the owner the opportunity to moor their vessel for a specified number of years.
In some marinas, when you buy a leasehold berth you are buying the right to moor within the marina. You can usually liaise with the marina team to find the ideal berth for you. At other marinas, you will be buying a fixed berth number or location. So for example pontoon A Berth 44 or D72.
The cost of buying the lease
You will generally be saving money in buying a lease berth vs renting. To calculate you have to look at how long is remaining on the lease vs renting over the same period. Don’t forget that rental prices usually rise year on year.
The only exception to saving money may happen when you are looking at buying in a full marina. As the only way to get a berth in a popular marina would be to buy one. It’s either that or sit on a long waiting list.
Taxes / VAT on buying the lease
Taxes on lease berths can vary depending on municipality and county. We can advise if there are any taxes to be paid on top of the purchase price shown.
In the UK there is no VAT or stamp duty due on top of the price shown.
Do I need to appoint a solicitor?
Again this can depend on where you are buying your marina berth. In a lot of areas of Europe, the process of buying a berth can be done through a public notary.
In the UK some berths are held by the land registry. So for these, we do suggest appointing a solicitor would be a wise investment. We have a list of solicitors that have bought and sold berths on behalf of our clients before. We tend to find they can help the deal close a little quicker than a general property solicitor.
Berths sold in the UK can take circa 8-10 weeks to close. In Europe, depending on the marina, we have had sales complete in a couple of weeks.
Annual service fees
At most marinas, lease berth holders will have to pay an annual service charge. At some, this is a nominal amount and in others, it can be in the thousands.
These fees will cover the provision of services, maintenance, staff, security and car parking. These can vary from marina to marina so if you aren’t sure, check.