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Obligations and guarantees in the sale and purchase of recreational boats

What guarantees should the seller of a second-hand boat offer me?

Buying from a private individual is not the same as buying from a company.

In the case of purchases of boats between private individuals, the regulations governing the relationship between buyer and seller, when neither acts as a professional or entrepreneur, is the Civil Code of 1889.

For such boats: used or colloquially referred to as "second-hand" boats, the guarantee between private individuals will have a maximum duration of one year, but subject to limitations from 6 months after the sale, as long as the contrary has not been agreed, i.e. that there is no guarantee, as this is permitted by the tenor of article 1485 of the Civil Code.

Otherwise, if a problem is detected after 6 months and up to 1 year maximum from the delivery of the boat, the buyer must prove that the defect already existed and that it is therefore a hidden defect whose repair must be paid by the seller. Otherwise, the buyer must take full responsibility for the problem and repair at his/her own expense.

In the case of a purchase made by an individual to a nautical company, the guarantee increases considerably, because legally it is regulated by the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users, where the rights that the consumer has are regulated when he/she makes this type of purchase. This guarantee can never be less than one year.

Therefore, all problems that arise during one year must be covered under warranty and the seller is responsible for proving that the origin of the damage is not due to a hidden defect and that it is due to misuse and therefore must take care of the necessary repair. For this reason, the buyer has much more legal protection with this type of purchase.

What is the minimum guarantee that a new boat must have?

In the case of a new boat, the legal guarantee period is since January 1,2022 currently 3 years, from the date of actual delivery of the boat, provided that the legal requirements necessary to maintain the guarantee in force are met, which are basically to comply with the maintenance conditions set by the manufacturer.

In such a case the handling of repairs and all the more specific details will depend on the shipyard that manufactures the particular unit. These conditions must be duly provided and explained by the dealer with whom you have made the whole purchase process.

In any case, this legal guarantee can never be valid for less than 3 years as stipulated in the new General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users.