Becoming a Yacht Broker

Becoming a Yacht Broker

Often I hbecoming_a_yacht_brokerave customers or friends say to me, “It must be a lot of fun being a Florida Yacht Broker; being on boats all day.  You’re on vacation all the time”. Sure, I do enjoy it but it is a lot of work if you want to be successful. Let me tell you what it takes to make it work.

If you think you have what it takes to becoming a yacht broker just let me know;  I am always looking to add sells people to the company.

The hard part

I am going to approach this article as if you wish to be a Florida sales person.  Other states do not have as strict regulation as we do.  To begin with, a becoming a yacht broker in Florida  one has to serve a two year apprenticeship as sales people before a full Florida Yacht Broker status can be achieved. Other states have different requirements. As a Florida Yacht Broker you may own the company or simply work as an Employing Broker for a parent company. As an owner/Broker as I am with Paradise Yachts, operation of a yacht sales business includes marketing, sales, accounting, banking, website design and building, search engine optimization, tax collecting, and bottle washing. I also maintain a blog on our own used trawler, the Patricia Ann.  You can visit it at MV Patricia Ann blog.  So I have to allocate my time based upon what needs to keep the business operating. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll just be assuming you will want to become a yacht sales person.

  • To begin with, the first thing to becoming a yacht broker is you have to like boats.  No, you have to live boats and boating. But there’s more. You must know used trawlers, used motor yachts and used sailboats like the back of your hand.  It’s got to be your life. You have to be able to discuss boats in detail.  Your customers will certainly be able to do so.
  • The next big thing in becoming a yacht broker is, do you own a boat; have you ever owned one?  What is your experience operating a yacht? Your customers will want to talk about how to work things while underway.  How to dock a twin screw boat, and how things aboard operate. Can you walk the talk?  Have you ever done it? Can you guide your customers based upon experience?
  • What’s your personality? Are you outgoing and able to reach out to customers? Most of the people you meet will be total strangers.becoming_a_yacht_broker
  • Are you a self-starter? Are you willing to make it happen?  If you don’t go to work, no one will be there to remind you.
  • Do you possess a basic sales perspective? Are you a customer service type of person?
  • Another big this in becoming a yacht broker; can you survive without a paycheck for 1, 2, 3 months? It does and can happen. Florida Yacht Brokers only get paid when we sell a yacht. Money management skills are critical.
  • Becoming a yacht broker will require you to work 7 days a week, every day including holidays if necessary? I work every day, usually 12 hour days. Customers look at boats everyday.  You must be willing to take the call or answer the email at any time, Sundays and holidays included. Yesterday I spent 16 hours on the job and did not make a penny for my efforts.
  • Becoming a yacht broker will require you to be computer literate? Can you manage your way around a website? You’ll need to own a powerful computer, printer, and scanner.  You must have internet access to upload listings online.
  • Becoming a yacht broker means you will need to be an accomplished photographer? Can you use a digital camera and use photographic software?  You’ll need to own at least a 8 mega pixel digital camera. They are not cheap!
  • Becoming a yacht broker in Florida will require you to survive a full background investigation? If you wish to work in Florida, it’s required to be conducted before you are issued a license. If you are in another state, you cannot even enter the State of Florida as a Broker if not licensed.
  • Are you willing to dish out $600.00 every two years for the privilege of having that license?
  • Do you have a smart phone?  They are indispensable.
  • Are you willing to work in the hot sun, sometimes in the pouring rain to show boats to customers?
  • Can you accept many no’s before getting a yes?  You must as it happens all the time.
  • Are you willing to put up with irritating customers that often want something for nothing?

The easy part

  • Do you wish to have an unlimited income? Yes, the money you make is up to you. You receive a percentage of the commission when you make a sale. Boat sales commissions are 10% of the selling price.  A yacht selling for $100,000.00 will net the company $10,000.00.
  • We work on a one third percentage basis; the listing broker gets a third,  the selling broker gets a third and the company gets a third.  So if you listed and sold that $100,000.00 boat, you would net $6,600.00.
  • Do you wish to have fun? Yes, it’s a lot of fun seeing a new, happy boat owner. And yes, you get a lot of boat rides.
  • Do you like meeting many new friends? Every stranger I meet is just a friend I haven’t yet made.
  • Do you like being your own boss? In the yacht business, you get to call the shots.

Visit our blog, MV Patricia Ann blog to experience the liveaboard lifestyle


  1. Pedro E. Castillo says

    Hello Mike Dickens,

    My name is Pedro E. Castillo and I am very interested in getting into the Yacht Broker Industry as an entry-level Yacht Sales/Broker professional. I just read your article and I am very inspired! I am a US Navy veteran with over 8 years of sailing experiences. I have been around boats, yachts, and large mega-yachts for many years. I am unemployed at the moment and trying to scrap up at least the $599 to register for the Yacht Broker online course and get certified. But first, I see it takes at least two years to be an apprentice in yacht sales with mentoring and lots of knowledge in the yacht/boating industry process. I don’t own a boat, my personality is out-going, I possess an attractive composure and demeanor, like to reach out to customers fact to face, self-starter with a hunter mentality, have a great sales perspective with outstanding customer service skills, I have been without income for now almost two months, able and willing to work 7 days a week, have experience doing so, computer literate, have an 8 mega pixil digital camera, able to shell-out $600 every two years for the licensing requirements, have a smart phone, wiling and able to work in the hot sun, experience with rejection, objection and dealing with conflict resolution, ethical negotiations, willing to put up with irritating customers that won’t something for nothing.
    On the good side, I love people who have great taste, I love boating and yachts, travel and adventure, don’t mind hard work and love to cook and barbeque!
    I am bilingual and speak fluent Spanish. Would this qualify me as entry-level yacht career?
    Would love to hear from you.


  2. Bernadette says

    Hi Mike,

    I read your hard part and easy part of becoming a Yacht Broker. I also read Pedro’s comments. He recapped and went down the list regarding your advice to those of us wishing a career as a Yacht Broker. I don’t have any experience at all selling Yachts, or for that matter, selling a boat. However, I have had four businesses of my own, from an Athletic Apparel Store, to a Vertical and Venetian Blind business, a Hummer Hot Dog Cart, and now an on line and face to face business selling Beach Wear. I owned a boat in the past. Don’t know much about boats but think they are fun and exciting to possess. I am a native from the US Virgin Islands, so I have spent half of my entire life growing up on an island surrounded by water…so I know what it’s like living around water and all that comes with it…fishing, swimming, boating competitions, working as a life guard, etc. I am going to in the next coulple of days begin a Boot Camp course as a Listing Sales Representative so I can learn as much as I can about listing vessels and RVs. I would like to one day soon transition and elevate to becoming a Yacht Broker and learn the in’s and out’s of what it takes to network and sell Yachts. I think you would be a great mentor or me and hope I can meet you one day soon. Send me a reply to my email so we can exchange contact information. I would love to learn more about you and what training suggestions you have available to achieve my goal of becoming a Yacht Broker.

    Kind Regards,

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