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Who is This Course Suitable For?

Whether you’re already an experienced broker or you’re looking to make the transition to this vibrant industry in a junior capacity, the Diploma in Yacht Brokerage is applicable to anyone working within a yacht or charter brokerage environment.

12 – 18 months

12 in total

Diploma: £2,950
Certificate: £2,150

Recognised by:
University of Portsmouth

About the Course

Over the years this course has been updated to reflect all aspects of the constantly evolving yacht brokerage industry. Module subjects include essential matters such as registration, title rules and regulations, yacht brokers and the law, business management and valuation along with other challenging subjects such as insurance, finance, sea trials and chartering.

Course Structure

The course consists of 12 modules. All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students will also be required to sit and pass a final examination.

1. An Introduction to the Yacht Brokerage Industry
  • Yachting safety
  • The purchase of a yacht
  • The law and yachts
  • Health and safety for the yacht broker
  • Customer relations & common courtesy
  • Brokerage companies and organisations
  • The essential resources for a yacht broker
2. Types of Vessels & Technical Descriptions
  • Basics of design
  • Definitions of the principal dimension
  • Multihulls
  • The shape of hulls
  • Types of vessels
  • Sailing boats
  • Sails and rigging
  • Motorsailers
  • Powerboats
  • Inland waterways vessels
  • Mechanical propulsion devices
  • Materials & their construction
  • Internal equipment
  • Electronic & navigation equipment
  • Technical standards
  • Basic operational knowledge
  • Weather and tides
3. Registration, Title Rules and Regulations
  • The role and function of registration
  • Registration and the certification of registry
  • Admiralty law and jurisdiction
  • International maritime law
  • Documentation
  • National and international standards
  • The Royal Yachting Association Training & Qualifications
  • Schedules
4. Boat Brokers and the Law

Legal concepts

  • English Law and the National Legal System
  • The law of contract
  • The law of tort (negligence)
  • Liability in contract and tort

Sale of goods

  • UK legislation
  • Trade descriptions

Business practice

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)
  • Title & registration
  • Marine insurance
5. Business Management
  • Starting a boat brokerage business
  • Chosen product
  • Money
  • Risks
  • Advice
  • Mechanics
  • Obtaining listings, photography, advertising and publicity
  • Go and see the vessel and crawl over it yourself
  • Responsibilities of the different brokerages (listings and selling)
  • Getting the vessel on your books
  • Marketing and selling
  • The sale process
  • Communications, ethics and client relations
  • The five big thoughts
6. The Surveyor in Practice
  • The surveyor
  • Organising and completing the survey
  • Types of surveyors
  • What makes a good surveyor?
  • Types of surveys
  • The role of the surveyor and the sale process
  • The broker/surveyor relationship
7. Sea Trials
  • Sea trial and the broker
  • The purpose of the sea trial
  • Engine tests
  • Steering tests
  • Other system trials
  • Information recording and reporting
8. Valuation
  • Valuations
  • Valuation methodology
9. Insurance
  • The legal side of marine insurance
  • The practical side of marine insurance
  • The marine trades policy
10. Finance
  • Sources of finance available to the broker and the decision criteria
  • Title registration and the influence on options for finance
  • Liens and encumbrances
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Corporate ownership and the rationale
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Client funds, trust, deposits and escrow accounts
  • Miscellaneous finance topics
11. Charter Yacht Brokerage
  • Why get into the charter yacht industry
  • Different types of charter
  • Structure of the yachting industry
  • Getting started
  • Finding yachts for your clients
  • Different types of charter yachts, toys, amenities and crew members
  • International chartering areas and their respective seasons
  • Itineraries
  • Finding clients
  • Sales training & closing the deal
  • Contracts
  • Financial transactions
  • Preference sheets
  • Clients & customer care
  • Niche marketing
  • Charter yacht booking
12. Yacht Sales
  • Sales and brokerage
  • Franchise / dealership
  • Introduction to superyacht brokerage
  • Role of the broker
  • Campaign – be prepared
  • Location
  • Purchasers profile & preferences
Career Pathway

Career path:
There is not one single defined career path. In larger yachts many professional yacht crew retrain as yacht brokers in order to be able to come ashore and yet remain in contact with the marine world.

Can be from a starting level of commission only up to huge sums (millions) for a successful few who sell superyachts. The average annual salary for a yacht and small craft broker in the United Kingdom is around £38,000.

Finding clients who wish for their yacht to be sold, checking all legal aspects of the right to sell the vessel, obtaining a detailed and accurate description of the vessel, and presenting it in the best possible manner (without misleading). Promoting the vessel to obtain interest and organising viewings. Acting as the intermediary between buyers and sellers and being the glue that holds a sale together through the difficult times.

Meet the Course Director

Toby Maclaurin

Director of SalesOcean Independence

Toby began his maritime career as a trainee shipwright with Coombes Boatyard in the UK restoring and maintaining mainly classic yachts. A chance meeting with a yacht broker led to a part-time brokerage role at Ancasta International Boat Sales while undertaking an HND in Maritime Leisure Management at the College of Maritime studies in Warsash. Full time employment with Ancasta followed along with senior sales, business development and marketing roles at yacht builder Premier Yachts and then for Opal Marine, before joining superyacht broker and yacht charter specialist Cavendish White in 2002.

Following the Ocean Independence acquisition of Cavendish White in 2008, Toby is now Director of Sales and Marketing in addition to being a Group Board Member and Shareholder of the leading superyacht group and primarily based at the Zürich office in Switzerland. The role as Director of Sales and Marketing is exceptionally varied and primarily involves Toby providing day to day business and troubleshooting support for the group’s 50+ sales and charter brokers across 13 international locations.

Toby has served on the council of ABYA (Association of British Yacht Agents) and was elected to the MYBA (The Worldwide Yachting Association) governing board in March 2008, he then completed 4 years as MYBA President followed by 4 years as Chairman of the association’s commercial company All Yachting SAS, that owns and operates Yachtfolio.com and the MYBA Charter Show.

He has spoken at a number of high profile events and meetings, including the Future of Superyachts Forum, The Superyacht Owners Summit, Rothschild Private Bank annual client meeting, Posidonia Sea Forum and a special meeting of EU tax officials.

As an enthusiastic yachtsman, he has sailed extensively in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, he also has also completed two Atlantic crossings in small sailing yachts.


On passing the Diploma, you will receive the above icon. Please use it on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and website(s)!

You can also use these letters after your name: MTA Dip YB


Online learning allows you to study in your own time, at your own pace from anywhere in the world. This saves on travel and classroom costs and allows you to fit your studies around your job and progress your career.


While the nature of distance learning is independent study, we recognise the importance of support. Students can contact us at any time during their course for assistance and our team of industry experts are always on hand for advice.


We have over 50 industry experts writing, developing and advising on our course material. We truly believe that allowing students to tap into their expertise and knowledge is of the utmost importance to fulfil your dream career.

If you would prefer to complete this as a classroom-based course, please contact us.


How long do the courses take to complete? What's the difference between a Diploma and a Certificate? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out the answer.

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