At the Southampton Boat Show last year, Boatshed, together with the Marine Inspection Association of leading marine surveyors, introduced the use of IPAs when selling used sail and motor boats. An IPA is a further tool to increase the transparency of a used boat offered for sale. Boats we sell can be physically inspected, assessed and reported upon by an experienced, independent, marine surveyor before, or whilst they are listed. Up to 55 critical areas of a second-hand boat are assessed and the IPA report can be viewed by an interested buyer alongside the boat’s details.

This transparent approach to selling boats has many benefits: it can make a good vessel more marketable and improve the prospect of an early sale; owners have an opportunity to carry out any minor repairs before advertising their boats for sale, or to price boats reflecting their actual condition - thereby avoiding potentially long delays finding buyers. Buyers can have real confidence in the condition of boats with IPAs marketed for sale by Boatshed.

Whereas others brokers are, perhaps, afraid to market boats so transparently, in our experience this approach, from the very start of the sales process, makes boats on our system stand-out from the crowd, attracting well informed, serious minded buyers, which reduces, significantly, the time it takes a seller to find a buyer and a buyer to find the right boat.

By utilising Boatshed’s IPA service, a seller greatly reduces the risk of a buyer being put-off a boat after the full pre-sale condition survey has been carried out, and a buyer can avoid the wasted costs and inconvenience of travelling to view boats, which, on inspection, turn out to be a disappointment, or in poorer condition than expected.

10 months on and IPAs are proving extremely successful as part of the Boatshed selling and buying process. More and more or our sellers are asking for IPAs and buyers are closely referring to them as part of their selection process. Where IPAs are used, the buying process is considerably accelerated. For example, we recently sold a Beneteau First only 27 days after advertising her for sale with a new IPA; she had been languishing for sale for 14 months without much interest before the owner decided to remarket her with an IPA! We also recently sold a steel river cruiser just 13 days after advertising her for sale with a new IPA. In both cases, the buyer's interest in the boats was stimulated by the IPA - with successful outcomes for everyone involved.

IPAs remain keenly priced:

  • Up to 40 feet: £149 plus VAT
  • 40 to 60 feet: £199 plus VAT
  • 60+ feet: £249 plus VAT
  • Mileage maybe charged

We anticipate IPAs increasing in popularity across most types of boats we sell. As Neil Chapman, Boatshed’s founding broker, explains: “The reason why most of our boats sell after just one viewing, and why we sell boats twice as quickly as other brokers, is that we have learned over the years how to effectively connect boats to buyers. One word best sums up how we achieve that: Transparency”. IPAs take that extremely successful philosophy to the next step, benefitting sellers and buyers.

All Boatshed brokers are members of the MIA and have access to MIA local surveyors. If you are interested in an IPA, just contact your Boatshed broker who will be able to make all of the arrangements on your behalf; the vessel inspection and reporting process is quick and efficient, with IPA reports appearing alongside a boat’s details usually within 48 hours of an inspection.

View a boat for sale with an IPA - CLICK HERE

For more information about IPAs and the MIA, please visit:

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