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« Does my butty look big in this? | Main | Height of boating cool »

Monday, 04 January 2010


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Maureen Wood

we are just buying a boat from Great Haywood boat sales and were thinking of keeping it there for the moment...maybe we should think again for the longterm.

Dominic Miles

As an independent broker I think the practice of restricting the boat owner's choice as to how they sell their boat is a restrictive practice. It is no longer permitted by the OFT on caravan parks for example.

It would be perfectly reasonable for a condition to be built into the mooring agreement requiring the boat owner to notify the marina of their intention to sell, and to agree that all viewings must be by appointment with the boat owner or their representative, but to dictate that the boat owner must use a specific brokerage is not reasonable. The argument that if a viewer injures themselves in the marina may leave them open to a litigious claim is pretty specious. It is the marina's duty to make sure the place is safe within reason anyway, not least for the moorers and any friends who may come to visit.

It may be argued that the moorer can move to another marina, but as most marinas now apply this restrictive term, that is a red herring of an argument.

On a private housing estate the estate owners cannot dictate the choice of selling agent, for example.

It would also make the brokerage market far more competitive - they would have to gain business by offering quality rather than coercion.

As for comparing estate agent percentages to boat brokers - a broker will, or should, ensure the proper paperwork is executed. An estate agent does not and the work is done by third party conveyancing solicitors. The average value of a narrowboat sale (for me) is around £43,000. The average UK house price at the moment is around £170,000. There are just 30,000 boats on British waterways throughout the UK. A medium sized town like Rugby has around 90,000 properties alone. The turnover is far higher. The demand is far greater. The estate agent's premises rental and other overheads are about the same, if not less.

Andrew Denny

Laura, many thanks!  I'm not sure of the issues behind Jim's request, and whether they are chasing him for money for selling his boat inside or outside the marina, but I see he's started a petition about the issue on the No. 10 Petition website.


I have just dug out the terms and conditions that were given to us when the marina first opened. Clause No 22 says "The sale of vessels within the marina will be undertaken by the marina brokerage company only." I guess this means that you can sell your boat on the tow path or by word of mouth but you cannot advertise it for sale whilst moored in the marina and would have to take it outside the marina for anyone interested to view. Great Haywood Boat Sales is independent of the Marina and lease a number of moorings from them so the free mooring is not given by the marina but by the brokerage company.


I have a copy of the contract at home in uk. I paid for a mooring at Tattenhall, which is owned by the same guy.. He used a GHM form as the new ones were not ready and it does clearly state that a boat should be traded through the Marina, so I left & went to Stourport.

Andrew Denny

Neal, I disagree. A mooring isn't costing them anything until they are full up.

Marinas pay BW according to how many mooring spaces they have, not according to how full they are. So long as the marina has an empty space, it's not costing them to have the boat there.  


>...offer free moorings for those boats
>which are for sale. But that's only
>effective if you think they are doing
>a good job promoting your boat and
>enticing buyers.

I would think it likely that a marina would put a lot more effort into selling a boat than an estate agent would pout into selling a house... if only because a boat sat on free moorings is costing them money.


If they do not have the original copy and his signature then i would say he can do whatever he likes!

They might say, it says he has to sell through them.
he could say that it said they should pay him 5% of his fees back when the NB leaves the marina!!

Capt Ahab

I would like to see this case put before the small claims court. Answer - case dismissed mi'lud!
Boaters have memories as long as their pockets are shallow. I suspect many readers will have the marina's card well and truly marked.

iain smith

No copy no proof of contract by either parties i would have thought as a judge would expect to see the original signed contract they could not enforce their policy[just an uneducated opinion] but then the law is often an Ass so who knows,hope it works out for him. Did they not outlaw this practice or at least controls this as regarding caravan sites?

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