Things to consider when buying a boat

If you’re buying a boat, there are a number of things you will need to consider:

  • what you plan on using the boat for
  • what type of boat you want
  • what size of boat you want
  • training
  • insurance
  • registration
  • where you will keep it

Boat use

There are generally two uses for boats:

  • inshore use (this usually refers to operating within clear sight of land)
  • offshore use (often refers to extended distances from shore where land may not be visible for several hours during passage)

Some boats are only suitable for one of the above uses, but many are suitable for both.

Type of boat

Depending on what you want to use the boat for, there are a number of boats you may want to consider:

  • open / day boat – for fishing, recreational and inshore use
  • sports boat / RIB – for water skiing, wakeboarding or diving
  • motorboat with cabin – for overnight or weekend trips away
  • sail boat / yacht – for learning to sail or racing

Courses and training

Highlands College offers a range of courses aimed at people who are thinking of buying a boat or those who already have boats and wish to increase their knowledge. For more information on these courses, contact Highlands College on +44 (0) 1534 608 608.

Registration and insurance

You must ensure you register your vessel and have valid insurance where necessary. To find out more information, visit the local vessel registration and travelling abroad pages of our website.


You must ensure arrangements have been made for where your boat will be stored before buying it.

Keeping your boat ashore

If you decide to keep your boat ashore, rather than on a mooring, you must keep it on private property. There are boat storage facilities available at La Collette Boat Park. For more information, visit the Marine Leisure Centre.

Keeping your boat on a trailer on private property

If you plan to keep the boat on a trailer stored on private property, then you only need to register your craft at the Marine Leisure Centre.  You will also need to ensure that the drivers of vehicles that tow the trailer have the correct category of driving licence.

Keeping your boat on a mooring

There are three types of mooring:

  1. drying mooring – for craft with bilge keels, legs or flat bottomed hulls
  2. wet mooring – a deep water mooring, where the craft will stay afloat at all states of tide
  3. marina mooring – the craft will remain afloat permanently, however most marinas have restricted times of access due to the retaining sill gates that keep a minimum water depth at all times.

For more information about the different harbours and marinas we can offer, visit our berth and moorings page.

Berths and moorings in St Helier

Berths and moorings in outlying harbours

For more information, you can contact the Marine Leisure Centre.

Tel: +44 (0) 1534 447730

Email the Marine Leisure Centre

Travelling abroad on your vessel

You must ensure that you have the relevant documentation required when sailing your vessel outside of Jersey. More information about what is required can be found within the local vessel registration and travelling abroad page of our website.