FAQ

We have been asked many questions many times about buying or renting a Mediterranean marina berth. Below are just some of the questions asked of us, but if you have another question you would like answered, by all means let us know.

“HOW MUCH DOES A MEDITERRANEAN MARINA BERTH COST TO RENT” ?

It all depends where in the Mediterranean or in which marina you wish to be, and also if the berth owners are allowed to rent their berth out to another boater, but a 15 metre in say Marina Duquesa on the Costa del Sol, would cost around 7,000 Euros per annum, but in Puerto Banus it could be upwards of 12,000 Euros or even more.

“HOW MUCH DOES A MEDITERRANEAN MARINA BERTH COST TO BUY” ?

This also depends on which part of the Mediterranean, which country, which area in that country and which marina. There are no set or standard prices, but they can be considerably different. For example, a 12 metre berth in a marina with say 10 years left on the concession, would cost upwards of 20,000 Euros, but much higher in a marina with 25 years left on the concession. In these cases a 12 metre berth could be upwards of 40,000 Euros.

“WHAT IS MEANT BY END CONCESSION DATE” ?

In the majority of marinas, each marina operator has come to agreement with the respective government to build/operate a marina for a set length of time. In the past, the length of the agreement (Concession) was left to the individual operator/Government to agree the length. That has since changed. In Spain for example, all new ports generally have a fixed 30 year concession.

“WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CONCESSION ENDS” ?

The respective governments have a couple of choices. They could negotiate a new concession with the existing marina operator, or go out to tender to a selection of other marina operators. Some Spanish marinas for example have recently come to the end of their concession period, but arrangements have been made to extend their particular end concession date.

“WHAT HAPPENS IF I OWNED A MARINA BERTH WHEN THE CONCESSION ENDED” ?

When you buy a berth, you are actually buying the right to use that berth until the end concession date. In Theory, you must then hand the berth back to the operator, but in reality, you are a sitting tenant, so it is natural for you to be given first choice to re-purchase the berth up to the next end concession date. In the marinas that have had their concession extended, existing berth owners have been given to opportunity to extend their end date, some by paying a nominal amount and others having nothing to pay

“WHAT OTHER COSTS SHOULD I ALLOW FOR IF I BUY A BERTH” ?

This does depend in which country the berth and marina is located, but generally there is tax or a transfer charge added to the process. It also depends on the type of marina. In some cases it is just a contract with the port, where in others it is a legal process involving local Notaries, in which case you would be given a deed of ownership, or in France shares in the marina. When buying a privately owned berth, an allowance of say 10% should be allowed to cover these and any solicitor’s charges, but if buying from a new marina, there is VAT to pay, which can be as high as 21%.

There are also annual community fees to pay, but again this is dependent on which marina the berth is located in. A typical 12 metre berth could range between 1,000 and 2,000 Euros.

“WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BUYING A BERTH INSTEAD OF RENTING ONE” ?

There are several reason why people buy their berths instead of renting. Firstly it works out cheaper to buy against renting. Secondly you have security of tenure by buying a berth, and thirdly you are not at the whim of the marina by having to meet increased rental charges each year. You can read more on this subject by clicking here

“CAN I SUB-LET MY BERTH IF I BUY ONE” ?

In a large number off marinas you can’t, although there are some where you can. In those that do allow it, you will be able to rent a private berth at a lower cost than the marina would charge, but in those that don’t, you have to book and pay for your berth direct with the marina.

“IS THERE ANY LEEWAY ON THE SIZE OF BOATS TO A PARTICULAR BERTH” ?

In the majority of marinas, your boat needs to be within the size of the berth, so for a 15.25 metre long boat for example, you would have to go in the next berth size up. In some marinas this would be a 16 metre berth, but in some it would mean being on an 18 metre berth. Just as important though, is the beam size of the vessel. A boat with a 4.75 beam would not generally be allowed on a 4.5 metre wide berth and in some marinas the overall beam of a boat might has to include fenders as well.

“WHY NOT JUST RENT A BERTH” ?

There are many boat owners renting their berths and some have been doing so for many years, but the longer the berth is rented, the more you will end up paying for the berth, as opposed to knowing the fixed costs by buying the berth. It is very similar to renting a house instead of buying one. By renting you are paying a landlord and at the end of the rental period you have nothing to show for it. When buying a berth, even keeping it until the end concession date, you will have paid perhaps half of what you would have paid for renting the exact same berth – And assuming you sell it at some stage, you will also be able to get back some of your initial investment, making your overall berthing costs even lower.

“WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET MY BOAT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN” ?

It all depends on where your boat would be coming from, and where in the Mediterranean you plan to stay. The smaller vessels can be taken by overland transport, or even by ship. Alternatively, you might want to bring her down yourself. In which case we could organise a RYA qualified skipper to accompany you and train you en-route.

 “WHAT OTHER COSTS ARE INVOLVED WHEN BUYING A BERTH” ?

It all depend on the chosen port. In some cases it would be a contract direct with the port, where in others it is like buying a property and you are issued with a deed of purchase. Either way it is best to allow 10% in addition to cover any taxes and if necessary a solicitor to handle the transaction for you.

“IS MY BOAT SAFE” ?

The majority of marinas are very safe places to keep a boat. Video surveillance is just part of the protection facilities used, along with constant monitoring by the marina staff. I have to say, I have had my boat in the Med for over 20 years, with absolutely no theft from my boats and no damage caused by third parties. My boat was broken into twice, when I had one in the UK.

“WHAT ARE THE FACILITIES LIKE IN THESE MARINAS” ?

The facilities are very good. No matter which marina you chose, all the normal facilities such as washrooms, laundry, WiFi and boat yard services all to hand. In some marinas there are swimming pools and in most there are local shops, restaurants etc, all within the confines of the marina.

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