A new boat sales qualification, announced at Southampton, is designed to promote best practice within the industry and provide boat buyers with peace of mind

A joint venture between the Boat Retailers and Brokers Association (BRBA) and the Association of Brokers and Yacht Agents (ABYA) aims to ensure the highest standards in the sale of new and second-hand boats, as well as instill consumer confidence.

Under the scheme, which is supported by the British Marine Federation, there are two qualifications: the ‘grandfathers’ rights’ qualification and the ‘standard boat sales’ qualification.

Those that have worked in boat sales for over 10 years will be able to apply for the ‘grandfathers’ rights’ one, but they will still have to prove they have the appropriate knowledge and experience. In addition, brokers that have a year’s experience in brokerage and boat sales and have an RYA or equivalent certificate for boat handling can apply for the standard licence.

Dominic Smulders of Bray Marine Sales, who is also the chairman of the BRBA, was handed one of the first certificates. On accepting his certificate he said, “I hope it will encourage professionalism within the industry, encourage brokers and managers of brokers to get staff qualified and encourage more people into the industry as it will give them something to work towards.”

Jane Gentry, chief executive of ABYA, said, “We would love all brokers to do it and we would also love the boat-buying public to recognise and expect this qualification.

“As well as recognising the professionalism of brokers it will also benefit boat buyers as they can buy safe in the knowledge that their broker has a full understanding of the boat-buying process, helping them to avoid pitfalls such as buying a boat with outstanding debt – it offers them the comfort factor.”