Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Boat In Spain

One of the most popular activities for tourists in Spain is taking a boat ride to explore the coast. After all, Spain does boast over 8,000km of coastline. So if you’re moving to Spain you may be considering buying a boat of your own.

But how much will it cost? What qualifications do you need? And what are the legal requirements of owning a boat in Spain?

To help you make an informed decision, here’s everything you need to know:

What Type of Boat Should You Choose?

Do you already know if you want a motor boat or a sailing boat? If not then this is the first decision you need to make.

Motorboats tend to be more popular and as a general rule they are also easier to sail. The term motor boat can cover everything from small power boats to huge luxury yachts. You can expect to pay from 10,000 euros for a small motor boat all the way up to several million euros for a yacht worthy of a celebrity.

If you’re looking for a boat on a smaller budget then you could consider buying a used boat. There is a huge market of house boats in Spain with used prices ranging from  €13,000 and €150,000. Spanish website topbarcos.com is the best place to look if this sounds appealing.

If you have the skills required to man a sailing boat then these tend to be both more affordable as well as more environmentally friendly. Prices vary from €5,000 to over a million, depending on what kind of size and quality you’re looking for.

Are There Any Legal Requirements For Buying A Boat In Spain?

Anyone can buy a boat. But to use that boat and take it on the water you will need to have the correct nautical qualifications for the type and size of the boat you want to buy.

Just as there are different driving licenses depending on whether you want to drive a motorcycle, car, or truck, there are also different types of nautical licenses to sail different boats in Spain.

Some of the most common options include the PNB (Basic Navigation Skipper), the PER (Recreational Boats Skipper), the PY (Yacht Skipper) or the CY (Yacht Captain).

It is also a legal requirement that you hold civil liability insurance for any damages that you may cause to third parties. This is mandatory.

Your boat will also have to essentially pass an MOT (in nautical terms this is known as a certificate of seaworthiness) as well as a navigation permit. And, of course, as with all things in Spain you will also be required to pay tax on your purchase.

What Else Do You Need To Consider Before Buying A Boat?

The main thing to keep in mind is your budget: it’s easy to get excited and carried away, but you need to ensure that you buy something you can afford. That means you need to be able to afford the upkeep as well as just the initial purchase price.

Take plenty of time over choosing your boat. Search and compare all of the models, brands and prices on the market rather than just picking the first boat you see.

And of course, don’t forget to try before you buy! Just because someone says a boat is seaworthy doesn’t mean it is. You need to test ride the boat (maybe more than once) to ensure you’re getting exactly what you think you’re getting.

New to the world of boat ownership? Don’t let that put you off, everyone has to start somewhere! But you might want to hire a professional to guide you though the purchasing process. This may cost a little, but it could help you avoid making a costly mistake. An expect will help you check the condition of the boat as well as talk you through any technical or mechanical concerns they might have.

Here is a list of Spain-based brokers if this is something that might be interesting to you.

Paying For Your Boat

Buying a boat is similar to buying a car. You may have the disposable cash available to pay for the boat in full or you may need to access a financing plan. There are 3 main types of financi   ng plans available for boat ownership. These are:

  • Nautical mortgage (hipoteca náutica). Just like a property mortgage you will need to have a substantial down payment and could lose your boat if you don’t keep up with monthly repayments.
  • Nautical credits (Créditos náuticos). This is similar to a conventional loan, with monthly repayments and fixed interest rates but fewer hoops to jump through on application than a nautical mortgage.
  • Nautical leasing. This is the system most similar to a conventional car or vehicle lease. A company rents you your boat for a certain period of time (between 4-15 years generally) and then you are given the option to buy the boat when the contract expires.

Are You Prepared For Maintenance Costs?

The cost of buying a boat involves so much more than just the boat’s purchase price. It’s important to be financially prepared for your boat’s maintenance costs too. Unless you have somewhere to moor your boat on your own property you’ll need to pay for mooring. Prices can range from around €100 per month to several thousand euros depending on the location you choose and the size of your boat.

You’ll also need to pay for technical checks, similar to an MOT, periodically. And of course if anything goes wrong with your boat then maintenance and repair fees can be expensive too. Finally, unless your prepared to do it yourself, the exterior of your boat will also need regular cleaning to keep it seaworthy.

There’s nothing quite like the freedom of owning your own boat. But that freedom definitely comes at a cost!

Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Would you like to live on a boat, or perhaps buy a house and a boat too? Whatever your dream, we can help. Why not get in touch with our team of local property experts today, to find out more about how we can help you.