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DBW Suggests Hiring a Licensed Broker Before Buying a Boat To Ensure Equitable, Legal Purchase

Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692
cell (916) 715-1657

September 29, 2009

SACRAMENTO –The Department of Boating & Waterways (DBW) reminds consumers to seek out a licensed yacht broker before buying a used boat. Brokers will negotiate an equitable transaction on the consumer’s behalf, ensure that the transaction is in accordance with state, federal and local laws and make certain individuals are treated fairly.

Befor selecting a yacht broker, consumers are advised to verify the license of a broker with DBW. Although the department cannot refer consumers or provide recommendations, a directory of licensed yacht brokers may be found on the department’s Web site, listed below. Consumers may also contact the department directly to get a complaint history on specific brokers.

Consumers are also advised to order DBW’s free guide titled “How to Buy A Used Boat.”. This booklet guides individuals in determining the type of boat that best suits their needs and interests, explains the procedures that go into buying a boat, and displays the services that a licensed yacht and ship broker can provide.

Another service that DBW provides is the investigations on questionable sales transactions. These transactions can be reported to the department. Investigators may begin an investigation based on allegations and evidence. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

For more information about licensing yacht brokers, or to order the “How to Buy A Used Boat” booklet, please call DBW’s Yacht and Ship Unit at (888) 326-2822 or visit www.dbw.ca.gov. The consumer guide may be directly downloaded at www.dbw.ca.gov/pubs/usedboat/index.htm.


DBW licenses and regulates yacht brokers and salespersons in California. Those selling used vessels 16’ or longer and less than 300 gross tons, for others, are required to be licensed. It also enforces the Harbors & Navigation Code to regulate the activities of licensees to ensure compliance and provide consumer protection.