A yacht broker typically provides a variety of services relating to the buying and selling of recreational boats. This term is usually used in reference to pleasure craft of lengths between eight and 120 meters (about 26 to 390 feet), while larger vessels belong to the super and mega yacht classifications, and smaller powerboats are often referred to as cabin cruisers. A yacht broker may deal only with vessels that technically qualify as yachts, or may work with smaller and larger watercraft as well. Some brokers act as seller's or buyer's agents exclusively, while others will perform both functions. A seller's agent may provide mooring and advertising services, and a buyer's agent often locates desirable vessels and may also arrange for inspections.
Yachts are often a significant monetary investment, so locating the best buyer and seller for each boat can be important. An owner may lack the resources, time, or desire to properly market his boat, while a potential buyer often does not have the necessary contacts to locate his ideal vessel. Yacht brokers may work individually or as employees of large brokerage companies to bring together these two groups of people. A buyer's agent will typically seek to locate a yacht that meets his client's specifications, while a seller's agent attempts to get the best selling price for his client. Regardless of which side of the transaction they are on, the yacht broker will typically take a percentage of the selling price as a fee.
When an individual desires to become a boat owner, he may do significant amounts of research to determine the type of vessel he wants. A yacht broker can assist in this process by providing knowledge and expertise that the buyer may lack. Brokers may be able to steer a potential buyer towards the best make or model of yacht for the buyer's particular needs, or offer advice regarding taxes, other expenses, and pitfalls associated with boat ownership. A yacht broker may also have extensive contacts to look for the best boat and deal for a particular buyer.
The process of selling a yacht can also be time consuming and fraught with complications or annoyances. Mooring can be very expensive for large yachts, and making arrangements to show the vessel may be an investment of time that a potential seller is not interested in making. Some yacht brokers provide centralized mooring services where they can show the boat to a wide variety of potential buyers. A yacht broker may also be able to use his contacts or the advertising reach of his brokerage to draw in more potential buyers in a shorter amount of time.