The Top 5 Websites to find used Boats in US

Some decades ago, you would need to spend many months driving all around the countryside, to boatyards to look for used boats. As with all other shopping today, it is virtually a walk in the park to get used boats on sale.

Before you get started, you need to be clear about the kind of boat you want. This is wiser than facing the risk of getting a boat that does not fulfill your needs. You have to be particular about the type and the size of the boat you are looking for. You have to consider your budget and work out your finances before you look for surveys and other important steps in the process of buying used boats in the United States of America.

There are certain considerations before you go out looking for used boats in the United States of America. You will have to select between centerboard or dagger board boats versus fixed-keel boats. Boats over twenty feet in length have fixed keels generally. Boats that are less than fifteen feet in length have centerboards. There is a vast range of boats available between twelve and twenty five feet in length with wither centerboards or fixed keels. All large cruising and racing boats have fixed keels. There is also a choice between an in-board and an outboard engine.

To get started, here are five top websites where you can find used boats in the United States:-

  1. Marine Max – These are more than just boat dealers. They are a big resource besides sellers of new and used boats. Their clients get an access to their vast experience of matching individual customers with ideal boats for them from their expansive brand diversity and the boat models. They also provide service that is of international standards; they also offer insurance and financing and educational programs for avid boaters. The boat brands they offer are of varied size and for all types of use. Besides used boats, you can also take their assistance on leisure activities such as water sports, fishing and luxury vacations.
  2. Boat Export USA – They are located in the South East region of Florida and have been recognized for many years now as one of the best boat dealers in the boating capital of the world. They are known for their low price deals for used boats. It becomes very lucrative for people importing boats from the United States of America to buy used boats from here than from anywhere else in this country. For example, in the Western part of the United States, labor unions manage most of the ports and boating companies; hence, the prices are about ten to twenty per cent higher in these parts.
  3. Yacht World – This is another good place to look for used boats in the U.S. This dealer has more than a hundred thousand boats on offer with plenty of information and images on all the boats.  You can get data on the type of boats like power, super sports or sail along with the model and the name of the manufacturer, both new and used. You can also get information on the range and length of the boat. This site will be very helpful to learn about particular boat models and the range of equipment and options offered.
  4. Boat Trader – This website also lists down a large number of used boats for the buyers and allows search options by means of multiple criteria. It includes fixer-uppers from the liquidators. You can get a listing of used boats by dealers and brokers. These boats are larger and slightly more expensive than other places.
  5. Top Notch Marine – This is another popular used boat dealer based in Florida. It is known for selling the top brands in the country such as Bennington, Seahawk, Sea Fox, Wellcraft and South Bay Pontoons. They have millions of dollars’ worth of inventory on order and in stock. You can look for dual consoles, center consoles, decks, pontoon boats and walk around cabins. They also specialize in ensuring that you get what you are looking for because of the variety that they stock. Besides the sale of used boats, they also offer scheduled maintenance and repair services for the boats. Insurance options, easy financing and boat consignments are also made available for the convenience of buyers. They have a retail stores that provides parts and accessories for the boats.

Key Changes in the new Recreational Craft Directive

The Recreational Craft Directive has been revised and the key effects will be applicable from 18th January 2016. The existing directive will stay in effect for the next eleven months and will be repealed from next January. A further period of one year has been slated as a transitional one for the new revised directive. The transition period will come to an end on 18th January 2017. Three more years will be allowed for both small and medium sized businesses to comply with the initial stage of this new directive.

Small and medium-sized manufacturers of boat engines with power that is equal to or less than fifteen kW can comply with the First Stage for the exhaust emissions and they can continue to place engines of such output on the European Union market prior to 18th January 2020.

The revised Recreational Craft Directive is likely to reduce the overall emission levels considerably from both the diesel and the petrol powered crafts. This new directive will align the European Union’s exhaust emissions with the EPA levels of United States of America. Some other changes will include revised obligations for manufacturers, distributors and commercial importers who are operating economically along with notified bodies. Environmental and safety requirements that were established in the First Annex of the existing directive have also been revised. Now, it is made mandatory to fit holding tanks or systems for treatment for black water and of various safety mechanisms on PWC and the outboard engines. Strict levels for exhaust emissions are going to apply to the engines in the future. The revised proposal will also take into account the European Boating Industry’s suggestion of fitting holding tanks or water treatment systems on-board to avoid sewage discharge at sea.

The key changes to the existing Recreational Craft Directive have been created for those distributors, manufacturers and importers (both commercial and private) who would like to place the recreational crafts, components and marine engines along with personal watercrafts on the market in European Union and that will include Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

Other Key Changes to the Directive

One of the major changes in the requirements of the revised Recreational Craft Directive is the signed Declaration of Conformity which has to accompany the boat, engine or its component when it is presented in the market in European Union. This declaration is needed to prove that the boat is in compliance with all Essential Requirements (ER) of the new directive and this has to be shown along with the Owner’s Manual and Technical Documentation.

The manufacturer has to submit the Craft Identification Number and the Builder’s Plate with particular details on how the boat has to be marked with formal text. With effect from 18th January 2017, the manufacturers will also have to add contact address to the Builder’s Plate and this information has to be a single contact point and it need not necessarily be the location where the manufacturer is originally established or within the European Union; it need not be a website address, also.


ISO Technical Committee 188 has been made responsible for the standardization of construction details and equipment of the recreational boat and other small crafts using material up to twenty four meters across the length of the hull. One of the ways to conform to the Essential Requirements is by employing Harmonized Standards. These standards are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The Design and the Construction of the boat has to be verified by the sub-committee that is made up of DE or design equipment and FP or fire protection along with Fishing Vessel Safety and Stability and Load Lines. The key changes are focused on the building of on-board life saving appliances.

The sub-committee for pollution prevention and response has been made up of Bulk Liquids and Gases and the key revisions are focused on Ballast Water Management and the impact on the polar waters of black carbon emissions.

What is Recreational Craft Directive?

RCD or the Recreational Craft Directive is a dictate that enables trade in Europe with a new approach. It sets up minimum requirements for the manufacture and purchase of boats based on the guarantee of sale and their use within the European Union. The current version of the Recreational Craft Directive will be replaced on optional basis from 18th January 2106 and will become mandatory with effect from 18th January 2017. The current directive concerns the CE certification of boats.

The requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive are referred to as the Essential Requirements or ER. These requirements will cover all the aspects of boats ranging from the construction strength to the identification marks and from owner’s documentation to handling and stability. It also covers the installation of the fuel and electric systems on the boats.

CE Certification

Boats that are manufactured to comply with the Recreational Craft Directive are always CE-marked and they have to carry an identity spot which is known as CIN or the Craft Identification Number along with a Builder’s Plate that displays the CE-mark and all other essential information concerning the boat’s design, particularly its category towards which it was exclusively built. For your understanding, there are four categories – A, B, C and D. These categories are defined as the per the wave and wind conditions that will be experienced by the boat that is being built and accordingly the category will cover Sheltered Waters, Coastal, Offshore or Ocean waters.

The manufacturer of the boats can comply with the Essential Requirements (ERs) in several ways based on the category of design and the size of a boat. Boats that are manufactured for categories A and B and the large sized boats for Category C are always made with a third party involvement. This notified third party will check and monitor the construction and design of the boat.  All boats made under Category D can be certified by the manufacturer itself. In all these categories involved, industry standards and codes will apply.

RCD made easy

Some handbooks and guides have been published exclusively by organizations like the British Marine Federation along with some short courses on the Recreational Craft Directive to both its members and non-members.

Manufacturers of boats, particularly for export to the European Union, have to keep an eye on the standard revisions to the industry requirements. They have to keep themselves up to date with the latest list of ISO standards.

Super Boat USA has the required expertise in leisure marine industry. It manages the Manufacturer’s Identity Codes, often on behalf of BIS (Innovation and Skills) and the Department for Business so that all international standards’ requirements are met in the marine sector.

The Recreational Craft Directive lays out safety requirements at a uniform level in the designing and manufacturing of recreational craft across the European Economic region. It covers all super boats meant for recreational and sports purposes that have hull lengths ranging from two and a half to twenty four meters. The compliance to this directive is compulsory for all the new boats that have been placed on the European Union market since 1998.

The Recreational Craft Directive does not apply to boats that are meant only for racing, kayaks, canoes and gondolas. It also excludes all sailboards and surfboards and hydrofoils and hovercrafts.

Administrative Requirements

The Recreational Craft Directive has requirements on both the protection and administrative fronts. The protection requirements have about thirty safety provisions that include fire protection, engine protection, gas equipment, stability and marking.

The administrative requirements look for the CE-marking and that the manufacturers have compiled a database of technical information. The file has to include calculations and test trial reports displaying information that the craft has sufficient stability in the respective categorized sea conditions. The manufacturers also have to submit a Declaration of Conformity. The administrative requirements also go on to expect self-certification by the craft manufacturer or a third party certification with all procedures covering quality control. These have to be presented in modules with a basis on the craft size and the sea conditions for which it is intended to be used in.

How to import a boat from United States?

There are many reasons for importing a boat from the United States of America. Buyers from Europe, United Kingdom and Australia will consider importing a boat as an excellent option against buying one locally.

The main reason is that there is a vast range of boats available in the United States when it comes to both early and latest models. The second and a very strong reason is the favourable rate of exchange when Euro or Great British Pound is pitted against the U.S. Dollar. Price is certainly one of the strongest reasons for importing boats from the U.S. Another good reason is that boats that are pre-owned in the United States are equipped with plenty of extra accessories like air-conditioning, radar and satellite. Most of these boats may have cruised only in dams and fresh water lakes.

Super Boat USA is your import solution for boats from USA

Super Boat USA is your solution when you want to import a boat from the United States of America with years of experience behind it in international boat business. It is primarily in the business of assisting professional boat importers and individual buyers from around the world when they want to buy boats from USA and use or re-export to any other place globally. We display both new and pre-owned boats, yachts and personal watercraft.

There is a huge demand from the importers for arranging boats for them from the South East Florida area as this region has come to be regarded as one of the prime boating capitals in the world where they can avail of most super boats at very economical prices. Majority of the boat manufacturers are located in the eastern coast of the United States of America. The boat rates are ten per cent less when compared to regions like California where ports are mostly run by labour unions, making the costs of maintaining higher. This reflects on the prices of the boats at the time of export.

Import Procedure for Boats from the United States

Boats and yachts, when being imported from the United States to Australia for example, are subject to a 5% duty which is based on customs value and 10% General Sales Tax on that customs value with additional insurance and transportation costs. All new and second-hand boats that are imported privately are usually valued based on the transaction method. An alternative means of valuation applies when the boat was manufactured by the owner and if the boat has been modified extensively after it was manufactured. In case of second-hand boats, valuation will vary if the vendor and the importer are related parties and if that relationship affects the import price. In such cases, a marine surveyor will value the boat. The pricing will be done based on the value existing in the market and will include all elements such as customs duties and GST. These elements will have to be deducted along with the transportation costs from the local evaluation.

The sailing and transportation cost will include the cost of light and radio lists, charts books for the pilot and the cost of maps. It will also include the wages of the crew or the forage allowance besides the victualling or food expenses which does not allow alcohol and tobacco use. Other costs are for fuel and bunkering.

Process of Export

From the time Super Boat USA receives your acknowledgment of the import quote, it locates the boat you desire, verifies the selling channels and prepares the purchase and sales agreement, arranges surveys, conducts sea trials and checks bank lines, if any, to get the export documents ready. The Bill of Sale, Title and Certificate of Origin along with parts and equipment installations are made available to the importer before the boat is exported. Super Boat USA specializes in international boat export, boat transport and delivery and CE Certification. It uses trained, certified and experienced marine technicians who make sure that the boats for export are prepared properly. These technicians are committed to offering quality service for boat exports at reasonable cost.

It is definitely a smart move to import a boat from the United States of America. The internet has opened up limitless opportunities of comparing prices and spotting excellent boat deals. The variety of boats available in the United States is large and as the supply increases, the prices also tend to go down when compared with the boats in the United Kingdom, Europe or Australia. The boats in the United States will be available for anywhere between 10% -25% less than what the local boats would cost in these places.

What is CE Marking?

We are in the business of dealing in super boats not only in the United States of America but also in Europe and the rest of the world.

Businesses who want to import recreational craft such as a luxury super boat or those who want to build such craft for the purpose of sale need to know about the CE marking. CE is Conformite Europeanne. This is a required mark conveying compliance proof with the Recreational Craft Directive.

You need to know that all the super boats which are built for the purpose of leisure and sports with the length of their hull being between two and a half and twenty four meters are under the requirement by the RCD or the Recreational Craft Directive. These boats have to be CE marked by law before they are sent out into the European waters.

Features of CE Marking

CE marking is a demanding and a highly complicated procedure and it cannot be under-estimated by businesses related with super boats. This process needs technical knowledge and a good deal of skill and preparation. Builders who are responsible for the CE marking are required to present support documentation to prove that they are original builders or importers. A sports boat requires a great deal of evidence that has to be collected and documented.

How will this certification help?

People who are in the business of building boats or contemplating on importing boats for their use from overseas need help and guidance to make sure that they comply with all legal requirements. There are companies like ours who offer professional services that cover many aspects of CE marking and certification. Our comprehensive services will include everything, ranging from systems testing to preparation of complex calculations in relation to the boats’ structure as well as stability. We have plenty of experience in handling the Recreational Craft Directive. We take care of the CE markings for all types of vessels.

What does CE marking involve?

The Recreational Craft Directive needs the importers and the builders to confirm how they have complied with all the necessary safety requirements and international standards that have been laid down. To give you an example, they are required to make sure that the vessel is strong enough structurally to operate in conditions laid down by ISO 12215. Documentary evidence and the required calculations have to be explained to prove the compliance. We ensure that we stick to these instructions by using the ISO standards that apply. This is completed in a technical construction file which gives all evidence and information.

The vessel has to accompany its Owner’s Manual. This manual has to include all the necessary information that is required by the RCD and other international standards. A DoC (Declaration of Conformity) has to be presented and signed by the person responsible and authorized. This is needed for the inspection by the port and harbour authorities, brokers, surveyors and insurance companies.

The boat should have a Builder’s Plate which is displayed clearly along with the CE marking and relevant information. This information has to include the capacity (number of persons that can be carried by the boat), the additional weight that is allowed and maximum power allowed along with the category of design.

The boat also has to carry a Hull Identification Number (HIN) that shows the code of the country and the builder. The information has to include the model year and the year of make. A serial number has to be included which identifies the boat. Some boats have to submit a Notified Body to get approved.

Advantages of Certification

We have the necessary experience as consultants for importers in Europe and the United Kingdom. We will offer solutions if there is any redesigning necessary in case of the boats not meeting with the certification requirements. The Recreational Craft Directive has added a recent amendment to its requirements which needs the sound of the boat to be tested. The sound has to be checked for the sonic boom.

Business of importing boats is big in Europe. Boats that are made in the United States of America have been cheaper than those made in Europe. With dollar falling against Euro, more boats are being imported and the majority of these boats are second-hand sports boats.

When companies require CE marking of more than one boat model, the paperwork and the workload gets educed and the cost becomes economical as the subsequent boats of similar model will be certified at a reduced price, regardless of whether they are available for inspection at one time or not.

This interesting video tells you all about CE marking and why it is necessary for the business of buying and selling boats,