We are often asked what is the difference between a marine mortgage and a personal loan and most of the time the answers are technical and may seem to offer little difference.
Well we have just seen a classic example where a customer coming to us via our website wanting to buy a £20k boat advertised for sale ebay. A personal loan would have been a simple choice, deal done no questions asked.
Our approach was rather more involved taking less than 24 hours and our customer has chosen to buy a different boat from a reputable broker.
On looking at the boat documentation with a well know marine surveyor, Nick Vass of Omega Yacht Services , we were not able to contact the company who had previously owned the boat which was a company from a tax haven, the person selling the boat was not the organisation that had purchased it and it is now registered in a different name again. Not as obvious as you may immediately think because there were connections and part viable explanations. But not 100% water tight.
VAT also needs to be considered because the boat had been sold from a company registered in a tax haven. Is the boat being sold VAT paid? There needs to be documentary evidence.
All in all a risk not worth taking and one which a reputable broker would not try to pass on. Hence an auction site might appear an attractive source for cheap boats. Boats are not so cheap if they are not as they appear and the VAT man later decides to take an interest.
Our customer is now speaking with one of our regular brokers, viewing the boat at the weekend with a survey scheduled shortly after. All being well they will have their new boat before Easter.