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Yacht Buy in the BVI – Yacht Sales in Hurricane Season

Yacht Buy in the BVI - Yacht Sales in Hurricane Season - Photo by Brian Duff

BVI Yacht Sales in Hurricane Season

Every year here in ‘Natures Little Secrets’, we go through a season cycle. This is linked directly to the traditional origins spanning centuries where trade and travel were conducted by sail and sea;this is perhaps not so justified in today’s age of air travel, backup power generators, constant satellite communication as well as phenomenal weather forecasting technology. However, the fact is old habits die hard – therefore September—deep hurricane season—translates as ‘the slow season’.

Shops close and most private boats get hauled and put away during June or July. The majority of the charter fleets follow suit, putting away their boats in August with September often being the most likely month for actually seeing storm activity.

With so many boats to store away, the boatyards are literally packed full and few remain afloat. When boats are stored, they are stacked many rows deep into a yard, unable to be launched until the end of the season – traditionally November. This means boats that are hauled—whether for sale or not—are often stuck for the duration.

When considering buying a boat during this time of year, buyers have to be aware of this fact and prepared to make their purchase with a different process than might be employed during other times of the year.

A typical purchase process involves a complete survey inspection of a vessel—including launching if on land or hauling if in the water—to check the bottom, test the engines and other systems that require water to cool or operate effectively.

Many buyers are also concerned to have a chance to sail the boat—if she is a sailboat—feel the balance of the helm as well as how much or little she heels, and how it is to move around on the boat.

However, when all the boats are hauled and stored in such a way that they cannot be launched, this boat buying process cannot be done in its standard fashion. What we see instead is a few different tactics employed. Many experienced boat buyers will come at this time of year and make offers with aggressively low pricing, believing that few buyers purchase this month of hurricane season.

Coupled with the relatively low offer prices, will often be a very basic set of conditions, making the offer a bit ‘easier to swallow’ for sellers. Instead of the normal survey and sea-trial with results acceptable to the buyer’s conditions that constitute the normal procedure, these experienced boat owners or buyers will make an offer with the only term being ‘personal inspections only’ or even ‘no further conditions,’ which equates to a buy-it-now-offer.


Making offers with such basic demands—particularly the ‘no further conditions’ clause—will typically result in the lowest price possible for a boat accompanied with the highest risk to the buyer.

For those interested in making a steal of a purchase during the slow of summer, but without so much risk, the best method would be to make an offer with the terms being ‘survey and engine trials on land only.’ Then the smart boat buyer would proceed to arrange with a surveyor and a mechanic to visit the location on the big survey day, where the boat will be completely inspected by the surveyor, as well as the engine set up with a water reservoir for trials on land to prove its operation and condition.

When this is done, it’s important to understand that some aspects like autopilots and bow thrusters still cannot be checked, but the major items such as the hull, engine and rigging are accessible and can be inspected. Therefore, boats can be safely bought with a low level of risk, during this season.

It’s interesting to note (see graph below), based on the past 4 years of sales traffic, that although summer is traditionally slow, and September is typically the highest likely month for hurricane activity, it is actually still a good month for yacht sales BVI.

It would seem that savvy buyers, who are aware of the potential for great prices with the depth of experience to confidently take the risks associated, are able to make smart purchases. It is encouraged for visitors and residents alike to visit the boatyards in Road Town or Nanny Cay and have a look around. Even if you are not buying at yachtworld, it’s amazing to see so many yachts in such a tight space.

BVI yacht sales during hurricane season

Brian Duff, Broker - BVI Yacht Sales

Brian Duff, Broker - BVI Yacht Sales

With experience from owning a variety of yachts, sailing on almost every type of boat out there, and accumulating many thousands of miles on the race course or cruising, Brian has worked in the yacht industry for 18 years. He has an intricate knowledge of yachts and he applies this to help his clients fully understand the boats he sells.
Brian Duff, Broker - BVI Yacht Sales

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