Acceptance before a court officer

When leasing boats, all leased boats are delivered to the lessee personally in France. The handover and acceptance of the object of the lease agreement must be witnessed and certified in person by a French court officer by issuing a delivery confirmation. The back office teams at CGI Finance and SGB Finance in Nantes will organise a date and time for the court officer in consultation with the lessee and dealer/wharf. As stipulated in the lease agreement, there will be documentation costs for the lessee of approximately €500, which must be paid by the lessee in cash when accepting delivery.

Annual interest rate – calculate your interest

The annual interest rate shows you your total yearly costs, factoring in your total yacht or boat loan and the term you have selected. When financing a yacht or boat, the annual interest rate helps you compare different offers with each other and obtain the best loan for your desires and needs. Use our online finance calculator to calculate your individual annual interest rate when purchasing a yacht or boat.

Boat and yacht finance

Generally the word ‘finance’ refers to a boat loan. These loans are the classic option for financing boats and yachts. They are suited to private individuals (consumers) as well as entrepreneurs involved in chartering.

The way these loans are designed is straightforward: you pay off the loan progressively and your boat or yacht acts as security. In addition, we specialise in boat loans with long terms, which means that our loans are particularly helpful for preserving capital.

Using our enquiry form, you can find out how you can put together and request a yacht loan adapted optimally to you personally using the Go Boating finance calculator.

Boat and yacht leasing

Go Boating also makes use of French leases as a way of financing yachts. You can learn more about this under Legal Basis for French Leasing. We would be happy to create sample calculations with our online finance calculator for you and advise you accordingly by phone.

CGI Finance and SGB Finance representatives in Europe

CGI Finance and SGB Finance, the specialists for financing yachts and boats, new or used, are based in and operate from France. However, thanks to their official representatives, they are present in four additional European countries too. As a result, they can offer solutions for financing and leasing yachts and boats for international clients based in these countries.

Chartering out your boat

To finance your dream of having your own yacht, chartering offers itself as another way of funding your yacht or boat purchase. The charter company you select is particularly important for this. Does the charterer have sufficient experience? Do the booking and boat handover procedures work? Are the boats maintained in perfect condition?

Company clients can select a term of up to seven years while private clients can select up to twelve years.

If you, the person obtaining this financing arrangement, do not establish a GmbH company to charter your boat, you will continue to be considered a consumer even if you use it commercially. This entitles you to consumer rights and means you can benefit from the extended terms of our consumer loans, which have a positive effect on your annual financial figures thanks to the low payments required.

As a rule, Go Boating allows you to charter your yacht or boat. If you are financing your yacht with a French lease, it is only possible to charter your boat without a crew.

Commencement of agreement

Regardless of whether you decide on a consumer loan or a French lease, our agreement with you will take effect when you sign the financing application after a credit check and the finance company, SGB Finance or CGI Finance, accepts it in writing.

When signing an agreement to finance a yacht or boat, Go Boating guarantees you a cooling-off period of 14 days during which no funds are disbursed.

Compagnie Générale de Location d'Equipements

Compagnie Générale de Location d’Equipements (CGL), based in Marcq-en-Barœuel, France, is a financing specialist for boats and yachts. CGL is a subsidiary of the internationally active banking group Société Générale. The company has financed the purchase of yachts and boats for over 40 years and, under its CGI Finance brand, has been the official partner for Bavaria, Brunswick, Dufour, Fountaine Pajot, Hanse and Princess. Since being founded in 1999, SGB Finance – a joint venture between CGL and Bénéteau – has been in charge of yacht financing for all Bénéteau Group brands.

Cooling-off period

The consumer cooling-off period prescribed by law is 14 days from the date the agreement commences. During this period, you may cancel the financing agreement without giving reason. For this reason, SGB Finance and CGI Finance cannot disburse your loan until this period has ended. Section 355 of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB) governs this in detail.

Documents for disbursing a consumer loan

Normally Go Boating must have the original copy of the following documents at the time a consumer loan or boat loan is disbursed:

For boat loans: For leases:
  • The loan agreement
  • A SEPA direct debit agreement
  • Confirmation of down payment
  • Self-enquiry form
  • A yacht insurance policy
  • An invoice or purchase agreement
  • The request to disburse the loan
  • The dealer's request for payment
  • The lease agreement
  • A SEPA direct debit agreement
  • Confirmation of down payment
  • Self-enquiry form
  • A yacht insurance policy
  • An invoice or purchase agreement
  • The confirmation of delivery/acceptance (certified)

Depending on your file, there may be further documents required to disburse a consumer loan.

Documents for the credit check

When financing yacht or leasing a boat, Go Boating can only approve a purchase or lease agreement after conducting a successful credit check. However, we do not usually need to obtain credit records from SCHUFA for this. For our credit check we will normally need the following documents:

We will only ever view your personal documents and not act on them in any other way; they will be treated as absolutely confidential. You can therefore send your documents to us fully free of obligation or risk.

Down payment/minimum down payment for leases

At Go Boating, both lease agreements and loan agreements are characterised by extremely low minimum down payments of no more than 30 per cent of the purchase price. Using the Go Boating finance calculator, you can calculate online an annual interest rate based on your freely selected deposit and put together a plan to finance your yacht or boat that is optimal for you.

Normally you can choose a down payment between 30 and 50 per cent of the gross purchase price when leasing boats and yachts.

Enquiry form

To obtain an application package for a yacht loan or boat loan, please complete the enquiry form we provide or request a consumer loan that you have designed with our online finance calculator. Go Boating must first conduct a credit check for your loan application. You can see what documents are required for this under Documents for the Credit Check. If your check comes back as creditworthy, Go Boating will need some further information along with the purchase agreement for your yacht, new boat or used boat so that we can disburse your consumer loan. You can find a complete list of the documents required under Documents for Disbursing a Consumer Loan. As soon as Go Boating has all the information it needs, there will be nothing standing in the way of the financing plan for your sailing yacht or boat.

By signing the loan application, you will not yet be committing to borrowing funds. The agreement for your yacht loan or boat loan only takes effect when CGI Finance and SGB Finance accept the application in writing and thereby grant the loan. The team at Go Boating will be happy to help you at any step of the process.

Financing used boats

The models are still modern and the teething issues have been dealt with: young, used boats continue to grow in popularity.

Go Boating has products to reflect this trend too – we would be delighted to finance your used boat or yacht. However, there are a few limitations in place to keep everyone happy: the age of your boat plus the term of your loan, for example, cannot exceed 20 years. In addition, your credit provider may request a valuation, which also adds extra protection for our clients.

If you decide to finance a used boat, the nature of the purchase agreement for your used boat plays a key role – whether you have signed it with a dealer or a private individual. When you purchase a boat from a dealer, you benefit from professional advice and, moreover, a warranty period of at least one year, while if you agree to purchase a used boat from a private individual, you normally will not have any warranty at all.

Forms of finance

Go Boating generally offers two options for financing yachts, new boats and used boats: yacht/boat loans and yacht/boat leases. Go Boating can assist you in putting together a yacht loan that is adapted to your personal situation. Use our online finance calculator to calculate your monthly payments and annual interest rate.

In addition to purchasing a boat or yacht, Go Boating also gives you the option of a lease agreement. Go Boating uses the French leasing model, which means that you only need to pay 50 per cent of the usual French value added tax on your lease payments. You can read up on the requirements for French leasing under Legal Basis for French Leasing.

Under Down Payment/Minimum Down Payment and Term/Maximum Term you can find out the minimum down payments required to lease a boat or yacht or finance a yacht and see for how long you can have your financing arrangement in effect.

Hiring a charter boat

From a purely financial point of view, there are indeed arguments for chartering. However, we believe that this form of finance involves a great deal of effort for both the client and the lessor due to legal and bookkeeping considerations. Loans, on the other hand, are a considerably simpler option for financing yachts and boats. For this reason, we do not offer charters for hiring boats or yachts at Go Boating.

Legal basis for French Leasing

European Council Directive 2008/8/EC (delivery to lessee in France) + lessor registration in France = French VAT applied.

Council Directive 2006/112/EC, amended by 2008/8/EC, governs the value added tax that must be applied to services in the EU in relation to the place where they are rendered. Article 4 of Directive 2008/8/EC effectively provides the following: when EU consumers lease sport boats over the long term, the French value added tax rate will be charged on the lease payments specified in the lease agreement if the boat is supplied to the lessee in France, provided the lessor is registered as a company in France or has a permanent subsidiary there. This arrangement is also set out in the German Value Added Tax Act (Umsatzsteuergesetz, UStG; see sentences 2 and 4 of Section 3a(3) of the Act, in German). Consequently, as regards CGI Finance and SGB Finance, the French value added tax rate will be applied.

French tax law: Article 259A(1) and Annex 2 Article 172 = VAT is generally halved for lease payments

Under French tax law (see French General Tax Code (Code général des impôts, CGI) Article 259A(1) and Annex 2 Article 172, in French), the following is applicable: The amount of value added tax payable on lease payments depends on the length of time spent in EU waters. If the boat or yacht is seaworthy and can navigate to outside of EU waters, Official Tax Bulletin 3A-1-05 (in French) provides for charging value added tax at 50 per cent of the normal rate for boat leasing, with effect from 24 January 2005.

Mortgage lien as security

In legal terms, a ‘mortgage’ is technically a potential form of security that you pledge when taking out a consumer loan. You can learn more about this type of security for your loan and the form of security suitable for obtaining finance for your yacht or boot here.


CGI Finance and SGB Finance, the specialists for financing yachts and boats, new or used, maintain a number of cooperation agreements, some of them in effect for many years now, and each of them based on mutual trust and positive experience in working together. These partners include, among others, these groups of companies: Bavaria, Bénéteau, Brunswick, Dufour, Fountaine Pajot, Hanse und Princess Motor Yacht Sales.

Prepayment penalty

If you make unscheduled payments or repay your loan early, the lender will be entitled to request a reasonable prepayment penalty. For consumers with a boat loan or consumer loan where a security has been pledged, this penalty may not exceed one per cent of the amount repaid early. Sections 500(2) and 502(1) of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB) govern this in detail.

Purchase agreement

A purchase agreement generally provides written evidence of the sale of an object and the associated change in ownership. Regardless of whether it is an agreement to purchase a yacht or purchase a new or used boat, the purchase should always be recorded in writing so as to provide evidence of it. New owners of the boat or yacht can prove ownership with the purchase agreement, while the vendor can prove that he or she is not responsible in any way for any costs incurred as ownership has changed. However, it is important that the transfer of title is also governed in writing. You can take care of this by adding a clause to the purchase agreement or handover record.

Purchase Option

French lease agreements end with a purchase option, that is, once your lease agreement expires, you have the option of signing an agreement to purchase your boat. This means that when you purchase your boat or yacht, you only need to come up with the funds for the unpaid value remaining at the end of the lease arrangement. In turn, this makes the lessee the owner of the boat or yacht. The purchase option also exists throughout the term of the lease. However, if you exercise the purchase option prematurely, you will be charged full value added tax (VAT) for any unpaid lease instalments.

Ship certificate

Go Boating usually has yachts and boats recorded on the Hamburg Register of Maritime Vessels (Schiffsregister). Only new boats with a purchase price of less than €150,000 are exempt from the registration requirement. Yachts and boats should be registered immediately after purchase. You must pay for the costs associated with this, though note that there are no such costs for lease agreements.

A ship certificate entitles you to sail under the flag of your country. However, the purpose of ship registration is not only to identify the nationality of your ship, but also to provide evidence of boat and yacht ownership.

Ship registration

At the same time your boat loan is disbursed, your dealer will send all the documents required to record your boat on the ship register directly to our partner – the law firm Uhsadel Rechtsanwälte. If the documents for your boat or yacht are in order, the firm’s specialist, Dr Tietjen, will commence the process to register it with the Hamburg Register of Maritime Vessels (Seeschiffsregister). You will receive proof of the application in the form of a preliminary statement. On request you may also receive an allowance of use from the owner stating your right to use the vessel until the end of the financing contract. Please keep both these documents on board.

Société Générale

Founded in 1864, Société Générale enjoys a long corporate history. Today the banking group employs 146,000 people and looks after more than 30 million private and corporate clients around the world, including for yacht financing (figures current as at the end of 2018). Engagement, responsibility, team spirit and innovation are the values that shape both the internal and external work of Société Générale.

Term/maximum term

Extended terms for your loan in connection with flexible termination rights and modest prepayment penalties result in a low capital commitment for you. Go Boating generally ensures that you can decide on an individual term that suits your needs perfectly.

If you sign a French lease, you can freely select a term between five and twelve years. Furthermore, yacht and boat leases with a maximum term of 15 years are approved in exceptional situations.

For yacht loans, you can select a term between three and twelve years. Exceptions can be granted to extend the term of a yacht or boat loan to up to 15 years.  

The general effect of a long-term yacht lease or yacht loan is that you can keep your monthly payments very low. Using the Go Boating finance calculator, you can obtain an online, individual finance plan and calculate an annual interest rate based on your freely selected term and individual down payment. 

Used boats/yachts and French leasing

French leases require your yacht or boat to be delivered in France. Additionally, French leases are only beneficial when the value added tax for the boat can still be reported, as these leases come with a reduced value added tax rate. Due to these two conditions, French leases only rarely provide benefits for used boat and yachts.

Value added tax rate

The value added tax rate plays a key role when financing yachts, new boats and used boats. With purchase agreements for used boats, people frequently encounter a problem whereby they cannot provide proof of the applicable EU VAT ever being paid for the boat. However, Council Directive 92/111/EEA provides that all pleasure boats used within the European Union and commissioned after 1 January 1985 are required to display such evidence if requested by customs authorities.

You can submit various documents to prove that this tax was paid. One option, for example, is the original purchase agreement for your used boat including a note of the VAT paid. Another accepted option is confirmation from the tax office or other government bodies of having later paid tax on your used boat. Should you not possess these documents for your used boat, transport and customs documents as well as documentation from the suppliers and manufacturers of your used boat will also be accepted as long as they show that the applicable EU VAT has been paid.

The applicable VAT is also dependent on the mooring of your used boat. If your boat or yacht is located outside of the EU when you purchase it, EU VAT will not need to be paid for it until it is imported. When you have a French lease, the lessor will deduct VAT. However, only boats for which EU VAT has not yet been paid can be considered for a lease, which usually means that only new boats can be leased.

Ways to secure a loan: conditional bill of sale vs mortgage

There are two ways to secure a consumer loan or boat loan so that it can be disbursed.

If a conditional bill of sale (Sicherungsübereignung) is used to secure a loan, title is temporarily transferred so that the lender becomes the boat’s owner until the financing arrangement ends. This form of security is frequently used when purchasing movable goods as it is quick and does not cost much. This method still allows the borrower to effectively possess the yacht or boat directly and use it while repaying the loan for it. If a conditional bill of sale is used, the boat is recorded on the ship register under the lender’s name.

The second option for securing a boat loan is a mortgage, in the legal sense of the word. With this option, you, the borrower, will be the owner of the boat being financed right from the start. However, you will be required to pay for a notary public when you declare your submission to potential enforcement orders as part of this. This form of security involves the lender acting as a creditor with a lien (a ‘mortgage’) on the property (i.e. the boat) being financed. This claim is for the amount of the loan and recorded in the ship register. Ship mortgages are popular outside of Germany for large yachts and charter yachts with moorings.

What is the ship register?

Usually boats and yachts are recorded on the Hamburg Register of Maritime Vessels (Seeschiffsregister). This prevents boats and yachts being passed on to third parties who are not entitled to them. Registration is also valid for inland waters. The well-known, Hamburg-based law firm Uhsadel Wychodil Tietjen takes care of ship registration. The person drawing the loan must pay the expenses associated with ship registration. Registration is not necessary for new boats and yachts with a gross purchase price of up to €150,000. Ship registration is free of charge for lessees when leasing a boat.

In Germany, ship registers are maintained by the relevant local courts. The competent court is determined based on the ship’s home port. Where vessels have a hull longer than 15 metres, they must be registered if they are permitted or required to carry the German flag.

The ship registers perform multiple functions. Firstly, they show the country that boats and yachts belong to. Secondly, they act as proof of ownership, as any third-party claims to the vessel (resulting from a mortgage lien) are recorded in the registers.

Hamburg has three separate ship registers: the Seeschiffsregister, referred to here as the ‘Register of Maritime Vessels’; the Binnenschiffsregister (‘Inland Vessel Register’) and the Register für Schiffsbauwerke (‘Register of Vessels under Construction’). The ship certificate shows that a vessel has been recorded on a ship register.

The Ship Register Regulations (Schiffsregisterordnung, SCHRegO, in German) governs ship registration law in detail.

Yacht/boat/consumer loan

At Go Boating, you can finance your boats and yachts with what is called a ‘consumer loan’. Consumer loans are loans provided specially for private individuals. Regulators assume that banks and finance providers benefit from greater knowledge in comparison to private individuals. Because of this, they grant these consumers particularly strict protection and special rights when signing a boat loan. Our credit providers have taken these regulations as an opportunity to emphasise these rights even further, with early termination options, transparency, early repayments and low prepayment penalties standard for all Go Boating consumer loans.

Using our online loan calculator, you can find a yacht loan or boat loan that suits your personal desires and needs. You can choose a term between three and twelve years and monthly payments for your consumer loan calculated in relation to your invested capital of at least 30 per cent. Boat and yacht loan approval is always dependent on a prior credit check.

The terms and conditions of your consumer loan can be adapted to your changing needs at any time so that you can remain flexible even if you obtain finance or a consumer loan.

Yacht insurance

Every credit provider requires you to have insurance for your boat or yacht. After all, the vessel being financed acts as security for your loan, and your credit provider needs you to keep your yacht or boat in a faultless condition.

CGI Finance and SGB Finance have a successful partnership with Pantaenius, a yacht insurance specialist, though you can also choose your own insurance broker. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you have an individual offer prepared for you and that it matches your needs and requirements. To finance a yacht or boat or lease a boat, CGI Finance and SGB Finance only require that you obtain comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive insurance provides protection for any damage or danger that your yacht experiences. You should also make sure that your yacht insurance pays for appraisals, transport, storage etc. in addition to covering theft, mast damage, collision etc.

Comprehensive insurance also covers your liability for any damage you cause to other yacht owners with your yacht or boat.

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