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Buying a Boat Overseas Using an International Money Transfer

Information verified correct on January 21st, 2017

Buy your dream boat from overseas by sending a secure and affordable international money transfer.

Whether you love fishing, wakeboarding, cruising, or just exploring the many great oceans and waterways around the USA, you need the right boat to do it in. But from small runabouts to massive yachts, sometimes the right boat for you might only be available a long way from home.

Buying a boat from overseas can be the perfect way to track down a great bargain or get behind the wheel (or tiller) of your dream vessel. And thanks to the rise of specialist money transfer companies that offer cheap international money transfers, buying a boat from overseas is easier than ever before.

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Using a money transfer service to buy a boat from overseas

When you need to make any sort of payment, be it a utilities bill, a mortgage repayment or anything else, in most cases you do so via your bank. But if you need to send money overseas to buy a boat, there are far better options available to handle the transfer than your bank.

The exchange rates banks provide for international funds transfers are actually some of the lowest you can find on the market, while their fees (from $20 up) are quite high. The end result of these expenses is that an international money transfer can end up costing a whole lot more than it should, and a boat purchase that was once a bargain can start to look like something far too expensive.

But that’s where a specialist money transfer company can help. These companies, including USForex, WorldRemit, World First, and Payza, can offer better exchange rates and lower fees than the banks. International transfers represent their area of expertise, so they can help you enjoy big savings when you send funds overseas.

Case Study: Belle goes boating

Belle has found the boat of her dreams in the south of France, and she’s agreed upon a price of $5,000 with the private seller. All that remains now is for Belle to send the purchase price to the seller and take charge of her new vessel, but there’s no way Belle will be willing to accept the exchange rate on offer from her bank. She decides to compare two online money transfer companies to see who offers the cheapest transfers.

Money transfer company 1Money transfer company 2
Exchange rate1 USD = 0.8755 EUR1 USD = 0.8604 EUR
Transfer fee$0$12
Transfer methodBank account transferBank account transfer
Turnaround time3 business days2-4 business days
Amount received (in EUR)€4,377.50€4,302

As you can see, not only does the first company allow Belle to save $12 in transfer fees, but it also allows her to send an extra €75.50 to the seller.

What companies allow me to send money overseas?

The first option most people consider when sending money overseas is their bank. US Bank, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America, and any other major bank can send an international wire transfer with ease.

We’ve already touched on the fees and exchange rates offered  by banks, so a much better option may be to use an online money transfer company. Providers like Money2India, Payza, USForex, World First, WorldRemit and many more offer this service, providing secure and reliable online money transfers.

Alternatively, if you want to send cash overseas, Western Union, MoneyGram, and Ria run huge worldwide transfer networks. The funds you send can be collected in cash from your beneficiary’s nearest branch, with transfers often able to be sent within minutes.

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How can I compare money transfer services?

You’ll need to take the following issues into account when weighing up the benefits and drawbacks of money transfer providers:

  • Exchange rates. Compare a provider’s exchange rates with those of the banks and other transfer companies. The higher the rate, the more money your beneficiary will receive.
  • Fees. How much extra will you have to pay on top of the transfer amount to get your funds where they need to be? Can you avoid paying a transfer fee if you send a large amount?
  • Currencies. You’ll need to check to see whether the company you choose offers transfers in the currency you desire. Some companies support 50 or more currencies while others will only offer a select few major currencies.
  • Sending options. Can you place transfers online or over the phone? What about through a mobile app or by visiting a branch? Is the transfer process easy to understand from start to finish?
  • Flexible options. There may be certain circumstances where you need to take advantage of flexible transfer options, such as forward contracts or limit orders, to get the exchange rate you want. Other companies will also allow you to schedule regular payments in advance, such as if you are paying off your boat in instalments.
  • Transfer times. Compare the time each provider will take to deliver the funds you send into your beneficiary’s bank account or wallet.
  • Cash access. Will the funds be sent via bank transfer or cash pickup? If the latter, does the transfer company have convenient locations for you and your recipient?
  • Customer service. If you ever have an urgent question or a problem with a transaction, will customer service be available when you need it? Some providers will even offer 24/7 phone, email, and live chat support.
Considerations when buying a boat from overseas
  • Does it meet US specifications? You’ll need to make sure whether your boat will be legal to use in the United States. Will you need to make any modifications to ensure it meets all the relevant requirements? For example, will you need to modify its electrical systems to suit operation in the US?
  • Warranty. If the boat is new, check to see if there are any conditions attached to the warranty concerning servicing and country of operation. You don’t want to miss something in the fine print and accidentally void your warranty.
  • Shipping. How will the boat arrive in the United States: will you go over and sail it to the US or will it be sent on a cargo ship? Are there any customs and importation requirements you will have to meet?
  • Can you trust the seller? Buying anything sight-unseen from an overseas seller is always risky, so make sure you deal with someone you trust. Having someone on the ground in the country you’re purchasing from can also provide extra peace of mind.
  • Extra costs. What sort of duty costs will you incur when importing the boat into the States? How much will it cost to run day in day out, week in week out.

Frequently asked questions

How can I find a reputable money transfer provider?

Compare the features and benefits of the trusted transfer providers listed at finder.com to help find a cost-effective way to send funds overseas.

What personal details will I need to provide before I can send a transfer?

Most providers will need your full name, address, phone number and email address, as well as a valid form of photo ID. Details of your payment method, for example your bank account information, will also be required.

What information will I need to provide about my recipient in order to send a transfer?

You will need to tell your transfer company the beneficiary’s name, address, country of residence and contact information. If sending a bank account transfer, you’ll obviously also need to supply their bank account details.

How much is the transfer fee that I’ll have to pay?

This depends on the transfer provider you choose, how you pay for your transaction, where the money is being sent, how much money your transfer, and how your beneficiary accesses the funds.

Is it better to send one large transfer or several smaller transfers?

In most cases, the cheapest option is to send the funds in one large transfer and pay just one transfer fee. The fee is often smaller and the exchange rate often larger when you send a large amount of money.

Can I use PayPal to send money overseas?

Yes, PayPal can also be used to send international money transfers. However, as the transfer fee PayPal charges is calculated as a percentage of your total transaction amount, it is better suited when you are only sending small amounts.

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