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Old 03.08.2010, 16:56
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Buy a boat in switzerland

BUY A BOAT IN SWITZERLAND

I have been in Switzerland, Lugano for almost 3 years and I always wanted to get a boat here. What a fantastic place to have a boat.
I am a water sports enthusiast and I love the idea of having the lads on board for a bit of fun during the weekends.
Well, coming from an island myself and been in the yachting industry for some years I know that the pleasure comes with a price. Of course we are talking about a small boat here, nothing fancy, but still there are a lot of expenses that people like me are not aware when buying such a toy in Switzerland.
Parking, maintenance, insurance e.t.c
Specs: 7m, 7.5 Lt, 340hp, Motor boat.
Anyone bought a boat and later thought it was a bad idea?
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Old 03.08.2010, 16:58
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

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BUY A BOAT IN SWITZERLAND

I have been in Switzerland, Lugano for almost 3 years and I always wanted to get a boat here. What a fantastic place to have a boat.
I am a water sports enthusiast and I love the idea of having the lads on board for a bit of fun during the weekends.
Well, coming from an island myself and been in the yachting industry for some years I know that the pleasure comes with a price. Of course we are talking about a small boat here, nothing fancy, but still there are a lot of expenses that people like me are not aware when buying such a toy in Switzerland.
Parking, maintenance, insurance e.t.c
Specs: 7m, 7.5 Lt, 340hp, Motor boat.
Anyone bought a boat and later thought it was a bad idea?
Mail these guys and address mail to Benedict: www.maritime-academy.ch. They deal in all things sailing.
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Old 03.08.2010, 16:59
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

the 2 happiest days in a mans life are
1 when buying a boat
2 when selling it.

I used to work at a boat dealership and the cost that come with it are enormous. it is basically owning a second expensive car and then some
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:16
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

We have a small sailing yacht but we didn't actually buy it because then we would have lost the spot we have in the harbour. The spot would and could not be sold along with the boat. Why that is so is not entirely clear to me but the spot was not actually the owner's but he had traded it with someone else and so on... Very complicated.

The point is that, unless you plan on trailering your boat everytime you want to use it, the first thing you need to look into is where to put it. I know on the Lake of Zürich there are waiting lists of up to 8 years for a spot. It might also be necessary to join a local club in order to get a spot. If you speak the local lingo, the best thing would be to go chat up people at the nearest harbour. Start with complimenting their boat, of course, and then proceed to getting the info you need. Like many things in Switzerland, things work better when you know people.

Despite all the costs and the complications, I wouldn't give up the boat for the world. A day or two on it is almost as good as a two-week holiday!
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:19
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

I think the most difficult thing with having a boat in Switzerland is having somewhere to put it. The waiting list in/near Zürich is only for the VERY patient, think decades, I don't know what the situation in Ticino is like but I think that's the first thing you should check. You might decide not to do it right away. Also, with us having seasons here, you will probably need somewhere to put it in winter too, even in Ticino.

If you want a boat that is run by more than a little engine you steer by hand at the back, you will need a boat licence, which involves quite a lot of work and will cost you CHF 2000.- at the very least.
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:24
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

Bought the boat overseas, imported it, put a motor on it, sailed it, upgraded it, sailed it, negotiated with swiss and german boat builders, dealt with people from http://www.bootbauer.ch/de/home.html (aka swiss monopoly) and their scare tactics, managed to get a spot at the local dock, etc. etc.

PM me with questions.

Regards,
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:27
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

Thank you guys,
I am aware of the need for a license of course as it is a 340Hp motor boat and the parking problems, but this I can resolve as I live just next to the lake and I have a nice neighbor with two berths that I can work out a deal.
It is nice to hear though that you wouldn’t give up your boat Ziger, that makes me feel betterJ
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:28
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

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If you want a boat that is run by more than a little engine you steer by hand at the back, you will need a boat licence, which involves quite a lot of work and will cost you CHF 2000.- at the very least.
CHF 2000.-?!? My husband is getting his motorboat license at the moment and it will cost all of CHF 220.-, 40 for the theory test, 140 for the practical and 50 for the actual license. A few years ago I paid CHF 90.- for the sailing license. Here is a link to all the cantonal offices that deal with boating licenses: http://www.boatdriver.ch/de-schifffahrtaemter.htm
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:37
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

The test is quite strict - or so I am told from someone who failed last week

Get signed docs for somewhere to put the boat.

It will cost a lot to run - possibly requiring organ donation!! And boy can those things drink fuel.
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:39
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

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Thank you guys,
I am aware of the need for a license of course as it is a 340Hp motor boat and the parking problems, but this I can resolve as I live just next to the lake and I have a nice neighbor with two berths that I can work out a deal.
It is nice to hear though that you wouldn’t give up your boat Ziger, that makes me feel betterJ

Wow! If that is the case, what are you waiting for? Of course there are a lot of costs. It also costs a lot to smoke a pack a day or go to the pub every weekend. But imagine a beautiful summer's night and you zip out to the middle of the lake, kill the engine, lean back with a glass of wine and take in the whole beautiful atmosphere of the lake at night. Or a 35 degree day and the lake shore is packed with people, you zip out to the middle of the lake and jump off from your boat. On August 1st you can watch all the firecrackers from your boat. Or just sitting in your boat and listening to the water lap up against the sides of your boat. That alone must be the same as 15 visits to a psychiatrist and costs less. The way I see it, the expense is certainly worth it for the boost to your quality of life.
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Old 03.08.2010, 17:46
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

I can not see that is much fun having a boat in the lake Zürich or some other smal lakes in switzerland because of cold weater, expenses to store and maintain a boat.
This few sunny and warm days are in my opinion not worth the hassle, that is the reason why i skiped the idea of getting a boat and because of al those regulation.

But if living in Lugano i would get one too plus a truck to tow the boat to the lake maggiore and lake como and for having boating holidays at the dalmatin coast.
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Old 03.08.2010, 18:01
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

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I can not see that is much fun having a boat in the lake Zürich or some other smal lakes in switzerland because of cold weater, expenses to store and maintain a boat.
This few sunny and warm days are in my opinion not worth the hassle, that is the reason why i skiped the idea of getting a boat and because of al those regulation.

But if living in Lugano i would get one too plus a truck to tow the boat to the lake maggiore and lake como and for having boating holidays at the dalmatin coast.
cold? the lake of zurich has been very warm...
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Old 03.08.2010, 18:08
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

How much it cost to buy one boat
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Old 03.08.2010, 18:48
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

340 HP? And this is a trailerable boat?

In general, there are speed limits on Swiss lakes - 40Km/h. The rules may be slightly different for (part of) the lake(s) in the italian part of CH.

The boat has to be at least CE/6 certified ( including no bilge water into the lakes), and many others.

In addition, the boat engine has to have strict emissions and noise checks.

It is best to check with the lake authorities on all the requirements. They can and are required to provide you with full and complete information.

Since 2009, boating license in CH has been standardized. The same license is applicable to all lakes in CH. To get the license, one has to pass a written test and a driving/sailing test. The written test can be taken in English, German, French and Italian. Offices in major cities (Bern, Geneva, Basel, Zurich, etc) administer the test in english. There are a total of 60 questions. To pass, one has to correctly answer 56 questions. I recommend the CD at http://www.click-me.ch/en/produkte/theoriekurs.html . The english is not good (it is swinglish), but understandable. The webiste www.click-me.ch also has practice tests (with answers) on line and on CD. I strongly recommend this CD also.

The motor boat practical test will include man overboard skill, parallel parking skills on port and on starboard side, reverse parking skill, various types of knots, and your general knowledge of the boat. They also like to see that you know how to read a compass and local charts so you can read your current location manage to go to the nearest port (assuming it is foggy and/or sudden storm warning). But in general, this last part is on a very high level.

If you have
a) the docking/mooring area organized,
b) formal and original documentation from the manufacturers (boat and engine) that they are compliant with the relevant local and CH regulations
or
c) documentation from a CH boat builder certifying that the company has made the boat compliant with the specified CH and local regulations
d) documentation from a CH boat engine dealer/garage that the company has made the boat engine compliant with specified CH and local regulations,

then you should be able to get a temporary permit (2 letter and 4 numbers) to put the boat into the water. Then the lake police will come, test drive and certify the boat.

Be aware that not all engines can be made compliant with CH regulations. Many fuel injected engines can be, but not all.

They have some weird regulations etc around electrical connections, generators and relevant (electrical) fire supressing equipment. The lake police can also provide you with details of what is required. There are electricians who can provide you with, equipment, installation, and the certifications that the lake police will want to see.

The boat ID (2 letters and 4 numbers) has to be mounted on the port and starboard side of the bow. They have special requirements for visibility purposes. A local print shop can print them for you or find someone who can. Similar prints from co-op bauhobby etc is not acceptable.

You must have some emergency equipment and other things on the boat (like tool box, etc). The lake authorities can also provide you what you need to get. The medical emergency kit is the same as the one you are required to carry in a car - no need to get a one from a boat shop and pay the $$$.

You have to pay tax on the boat every year, just like a car. Once it is paid, you get a vegniette that needs to be applied on the port and starboard side of the bow.

Boats have to be inspected every 3 years by thelake authorities. This includes the boat and the engine (noise and emissions). I believe the electrical components need to be tested and certified every 10 years.

Good luck.

Regards,
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Old 03.08.2010, 19:05
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

Thank you so much nomad66

I guess you can always drive a boat with a RYA Powerboat 2 license that is internationally accepted.

I am planning to get a boat already in Switzerland so I will not have to go through the approvals, paperwork and hassle.

Very good advice and indications though.


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Old 03.08.2010, 19:10
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

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CHF 2000.-?!? My husband is getting his motorboat license at the moment and it will cost all of CHF 220.-, 40 for the theory test, 140 for the practical and 50 for the actual license. A few years ago I paid CHF 90.- for the sailing license. Here is a link to all the cantonal offices that deal with boating licenses: http://www.boatdriver.ch/de-schifffahrtaemter.htm
Well that's what it cost my friends on average but it was including taking lessons for the practical bit - if you learned to steer a boat abroad, then you probably don't need to do that bit.
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Old 03.08.2010, 19:23
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

Pascal,

Have you discussed your papers with the lake authorities? You know that trick of US driver's license and CH driver's license, where they gave me a CH one based on my US driver's license, without any questions asked? Well, I tried it with my American Sailing Association Certificates, along with my full ocean sailing certificates and experiences. Guess what? They said I live in CH, so I need a CH permit. They said that if I was only a visitor, they would have accepted the paperwork and given me a temporary CH sailing/motoring permit. My german neighbours could not sail with their german sailing license, even though they got it from the german authorities from the other side of the lake.

It is best to discuss things nicely with the lake authorities. You may be surprised how helpful they can be. Unlike regular Swiss cops, the lake police understand that this is something you want to do on a recreational basis, and they will work with you, and not always quote the rule book.

This is CH. My painful experience has been "to ask first and do it like they say. Never do it first and apologize later, in CH; it does not work very well."

Just my $0.02's worth.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Regards,
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Old 03.08.2010, 19:27
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

That is what i will do then, ask first and then do the rest
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Old 03.08.2010, 19:51
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

One last thing, I should mention =

If you get caught on the lake DWI/DUI/SWI/SUI, they will revoke *all* your vehicle/motor licenses, including but not limited to your car and boat driver's license.

Good luck.
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Old 03.08.2010, 20:02
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Re: Buy a boat in switzerland

Some guys I know share a 21ft , around 350hp wakeboarding boat parked on lake Zurich:

annual costs:
- insurance Fr.750
- tax Fr.750 per annum
- winter storage Fr.2000 (in a facility which is about 50km away). On lake Zurich it will cost double.
- Annual clean up and service, between Fr. 500 - 1000 which is done by the winter storage facility. Depends what actually needs to be done for that year.
- Boat parking Fr.800 (not bad after waiting 8 years)

- Variable cost is petrol. If they spend half a day wakeboarding, maybe around Fr.150. Remember that boat petrol is always about 10% more expensive than car petrol

- boat licence will set you back at least Fr.1500 if you have to take around 12 hours of lessons
- I don't think there is a speed limit on lake Zurich. THere is a limit on lakes on the borders eg. Bodensee, because it is 40km/h in Germany.

Finally, a boat is not an investment. It is an expense. I am sure you will enjoy the boat, and only you know if it is worth it or not. My friends split it 3 ways so they are quite happy with the costs, plus, you can't wakeboard all by yourself anyway!
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