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Denison Yachting Logo | Michael Johnson Licensed Yacht Broker Tampa Bay

Why Use a Broker When Buying a Yacht


MJ Yacht Pro Logo _ Tampa Bay Yacht Broker
Michael Johnson Denison Yacht Broker Florida

Michael J. Johnson



Purchasing a yacht or boat can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be quite daunting and complex. That's why many people turn to yacht brokers to help them navigate the process.

A yacht broker is a licensed professional who specializes in buying and selling boats and yachts. They act as intermediaries between the buyer and seller, and can provide valuable assistance and guidance throughout the entire process.


At no cost to the buyer, a Yacht Broker is an extremely helpful resource when buying your next yacht or boat. A Yacht Broker's goal is to protect your interests throughout the purchasing process.


Representation services include initial consultation, identifying high-quality vessels for sale in the market, discussing boat buying pitfalls, negotiating the best price, assisting with mechanical inspection and sea trials, walking through the boat closing process, and final delivery. 

The Initial Consult – A professional Yacht Broker working on your behalf listens closely to your wants and needs, and addresses important questions to help you determine the right type of boat you, and if it represents good value.

The Search –  Following the consultation, a Yacht Broker will begin narrowing down the boats matching your criteria. Using industry resources, they can find out the history of the vessel, how long it has been on the market, and the motivation of the current owner all for no cost!

Arranging Marine Finance and Marine Insurance – If not paying cash, you may want to pre-qualify for a marine loan before you being shopping for yachts. This provides extra leverage when you’re negotiating prices. We offer a variety of trusted marine lenders for you to review and select from.

Making an Offer on a Pre-Owned Boat – A Yacht Broker can help you narrow down the right offer that increases the chances of buying a vessel at a fair and reasonable price.  Your broker prepares the offer at your approval, stating the terms of the sale and any obligations all parties, buyer and seller, have agreed to happen before and at closing.  A timeline for the most important stages of the sale is put into place including the time the seller has to accept the buyer's offer, the time to complete all inspections by the buyer, the date to accept the vessel, and the time to close (transfer) the boat.  Buyers then submit a good-faith earnest money deposit on the boat which is typically 10% of the boat sale price, which is placed in your broker’s client account, subject to a satisfactory sea trial and inspection surveys.


Paperwork – Yacht Brokers supply the right formal yacht purchasing paperwork, typically a standard boat industry contract template.  The buying process will include the need to check whether the yacht has a clean and unencumbered title, any paper trail to show payment of VAT might have been appropriate and will check that there are no outstanding liens on the boat.


Sea Trial and Survey – The buyer of any used yacht will request to have general, mechanical, and sea trial surveys carried out. The buyer pays for the survey and haul out of the boat (Removing the boat from the water to inspect the hull and proposing gear for the inspection.  Yacht Broker typically attends the sea trial and survey to help you determine how to address the surveyor’s recommendations.  Don't worry, your Yacht Broker will supply a list of recommended and certified surveyors a buyer can review, research, and hire.


Closing - The buyer's legal and closing team of the vessel are tasked with organizing the paperwork that will need signature, paying off any existing liens at closing on behalf of the seller, communicating with boatyards and other service vendors if needed, helping with the transfer of warranties and maintenance records, as well as remind the seller to cancel their insurance and take any personal items that are not listed in the sale off of the boat or bring any forgotten items that are stored in the basement or garage back to the boat for the new owner.

The transfer of Ownership -  This is complete when bills of sale and titles are signed and notarized, loans are in place or paid off, insurances are in place or canceled, and proceeds have been forwarded to the Seller.

After the Sale – Your broker can help you find moorings and maintenance specialists as well as recommend local training centers if you need to increase your boating knowledge.


Our services offer an expert in-house team specializing in Finance and Insurance. With over 30 years of experience, our finance team’s long-standing relationships with the best marine lending banks can provide you with the most competitive rates and flexible financing options.


We work with specialized marine insurance companies to help find a comprehensive, competitively-priced policy that best suits your needs.

If you want additional protection for your boat, ask about our extended warranties and boat protection options. With extended coverage programs for engines, electronics, generators, and more.  Denison Financial Services can assist you in selecting the best coverage for your boating lifestyle.


Typically, a Yacht Broker works on 100% commission paid by the selling party, which works similarly to a Real Estate agency's commissions.

When purchasing a yacht, it is the client's decision to select the right Yacht Broker to assist them with the entire process. Once selected, it is best practice to allow the broker to assist you throughout the entire buying process from the initial yacht search to the first day of possession.

Industry Tip: Let the Broker Work For You!  From calling on listings to researching yacht history. We are here to protect your interest.



Michael was an amazing boat broker to deal with. He was very professional and went above and beyond to meet all my needs in searching for a new boat. He is a very personable individual and I would highly recommend him for any of your boating needs!!

- Philip C.

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