In this period of confinement, it is a perfect time for advice and reflection so I draw your attention to the guarantees that are offered when buying a boat built outside of North America.

The concept of warranty is a well-established principle for goods acquired here in North America, of course, including boats. It is recognized that when purchasing  a new product a minimum guarantee of 12 months is offered by the manufacturer of the product, but assumed by its local intermediary, the seller of the product.

Fortunately, major problems are not not the rule on a new boat, but should a problem arise, that is when you would rely on the warranty.

It should be noted that the usual 12-month warranty that applies to the vessel is not always given or assumed by the manufacturer, particularly for vessels offered in North America but built outside of North America.

Indeed, there are several European boat manufacturers that sell their boats to dealers established in North America with the concept: AS IS when it leaves the factory, without warranty.  Meaning, the manufacturers warranty (guarantee)  cover the components on board, such as engines, air conditioning and generator.  Other items (very important) will be assumed by the dealer who sells you the boat.

The hull and parts designed specifically for the boat will not be guaranteed by the manufacturer, but by the dealer himself.

For your information, here is the list of the 6 major European manufacturers who offer a guarantee sometimes up to 24 months through their sellers (wstablished dealers here in North America).  They are:

Azimut-Benetti (Atlantis) – Ferretti Group (Riva, Pershing, Ferretti, Custom Line) – SanLorenzo – Princess Yachts – Sunseeker Yachts and the Beneteau Group (and its divisions).

For example, the basic warranty on an Azimut for yachts up to 72 feet is 12 months (std), but you can purchase Azimut’s PEACE OF MIND warranty which covers 36 months. You can acquire it during the first 12 months.

There are other European manufacturers that give an excellent guarantee that are not in this list, those listed above are the most dominant in the industry.

In addition, some are well established here in North America, particularly the Azimut-Benetti Group, which has a large infrastructure in Fort Lauderdale including a parts warehouse and staff from the European parent company in place. here, as does the Ferretti Group.

For other manufacturers that are not mentioned above, ask your dealer and above all read attentatively your sales contract with regards to potential significant anomalies that can occur (of course hypothetical) as structural defects, osmosis, early delamination, fiberglass defects, generator with a lack of power, problems with tanks (fuel, black water, fresh water), toilets, hot plates, hydraulic mechanism (platform, roof, windows), patio door, internal plumbing, electrical boxes, in short with many components from Europe.

In fact, you may find out from your dealer if he is able to transfer the problem to the boat builder (subrogation right). In this way, at the end of the day, it is the manufacturer who is responsible for solving your problem. We are only referring to a major problem that would require a lot of resources to resolve.

Photo : Osmose problem

Rest assured engines are always solidly guaranteed by the engine manufacturers.  Examples include: Volvo, Caterpillar, Cummins, MAN, MTU, Yanmar, Mercruiser, Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, Evinrude, Seven … etc. to name but the most well-known.

There is no problem at this level, but there are also other important components on board a boat other than the engines.

For outboard motors, some manufacturers limit the warranties to specific countries, ask if for example, the motors are acquired in the United States but use in Canada permanently, are they still under warranty …

In my career, it is rare but I have seen the manufacturer replace a boat due to a major problem, fortunately, the European manufacturer was very solid, so the replacement was done to the satisfaction of the owner.

Fortunately when the manufacturer is financially solid and well established here in America, it is done in the proper way.  With a small manufacturer outside America, it could be a different story, especially when the dealer can’t fall back on the manufacturer.

Indeed, the price may be attractive, but the pleasure of owning can quickly turn into a nightmare with a major problem if the manufacturer is not directly involved in the repair process.

So pay attention to all aspects when making a major purchase, read all the clauses and do not hesitate to add clauses.  A professional broker with a code of ethics can advise you on the right choices, don’t hesitate, it is definitely worth it.  ItaYachtsCanada brokers are up to date on industry news about the policies put in place by the various manufacturers.

Photo : delamination problem

Photo : delamination of windows

Leave a Reply