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The definitive guide to living and working in the Cayman Islands
Apr 17, 2014 

Buying and Maintaining a Boat

Last updated: 3rd September 2013

In this section we provide information on buying a boat in Cayman and also the companies that can help you maintain and repair a boat. We also talk about repairing boat upholstery, Cayman Island's Government boat licensing fees and boat insurance.

Buying a Boat
If you would like to buy your own boat, here are a few things to consider:
Once you have decided on the type, size and price range, the next thing to decide is whether you want a new or used boat. You get more boat for your money with a used boat, but you sacrifice the warranty. There are several brokers specialising in used boat sales but they can also help you with the process of buying a new one, whether in Cayman or overseas. A good broker will help you determine what you need in a boat and scour the market with you as your ally, steering you away from potential problems and boats that might be considered poor value. New vessels may not be trouble-free, but if you purchase from a local dealer, you have the benefit of warranty service on-Island. There are several new boat dealers in Cayman selling a wide range of quality vessels. Pricing is competitive and the sales staff are quite knowledgeable.

Companies that Sell & Maintain Boats & Outboard Engines

Automotive Art & Yamaha Power Sports
Tel: (345) 949 7102
Authorised sales, service and support for Yamaha outboards. They also offer Deka marine batteries and all Meguiar's premium marine products. 

Avalon Marine
Tel: (345) 945 5103
Mobile boat maintenance, repair and management services for all vessels and watercraft. Brokerage for new and used boats, locally and internationally. Extensive experience working within the US market to find, survey, inspect, purchase and deliver boats to Cayman. Mooring installations; captain services, lessons and deliveries. Storage - dry and moorage. Exclusive dealers for WorldCat and exclusive broker for new Intrepid Powerboats.

Cayman Power Sports & Marine
Tel: (345) 943 2005
CPSM is Cayman's certified Suzuki Marine dealer. They service and sell Suzuki Outboard Motors and parts. They also sell Zodiac RIBS.

Compass Marine
Tel: (345) 916 0660 or (345) 945 0660
Dealers for all Hall spars, Quantum sails, Mack sails, Hobie and Laser Performance boats, equipment and parts. 

Harbour House Marina (HHM)
Tel: (345) 947 1307
A full service marina with a 70 tonne marine travel-lift and a forklift/crane support. They are the authorised distributors for Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Angler and Honda Marine outboards. HHM has the largest marine retail store in the western Caribbean, stocking all key brands of marine equipment, and they have a fuel dock stocking diesel and premium gas. They are located on the North Sound waterfront at the end of Marina Drive in Prospect. They also have a brand new indoor marine repair facility, the largest in Cayman, where they can carry out specialist work on boats, engines, and marine electronics.

Kirk Marine
Tel: (345) 946 3575
Kirk Marine has one of Grand Cayman's largest fishing and tackle stores. They carry well known fishing brands such as Penn, Shimano and Shakespeare. They stock items for all ages and have introduced clothing and swim lines such as Salt Life and Ipanema. They have a full service boat yard, providing boat repair and rigging services, and are the authorised dealers for Evinrude, Johnson, SeaDoo, Eduardono Panga, Triton and Continental Trailers.

Scott's Marine
Tel: (345) 949 4186
Located at Barcadere Marina on North Sound Road, Scott's Marine is a full service marine centre, featuring a boat yard with a 110 tonne haul-out capacity and a new 15,000sq ft showroom, chandlery and service centre. They are Cayman's only authorised Mercury Marine dealer, as well as being authorised dealers for Yamaha, Volvo Penta and Yanmar engines; providing manufacturer backed warranty and a factory trained and certified service team. They are also dealers for Bertram and Tiara yachts, as well as Pursuit, Grady-White,  Cobalt, Starcraft and Bayliner boats. In addition, they offer a full line of marine batteries, parts, accessories, electronics, safety equipment, fishing supplies, apparel and more.

Superior Auto
Tel: (345) 949 9570
Their machine shop can repair or rebuild boat props, shafts, engines and steps. 

Maintaining a Boat
If you buy a boat you might want to bear in mind that salt and sun mixed together are a perfect cocktail for rust and for making your boat age very quickly! After a lovely long day out on the North Sound and lunching over at Kaibo, the last thing you probably want to consider is washing, cleaning and maintaining your boat. However, just taking a few minutes to hose down the boat with a little fresh water is probably one of the best maintenance procedures you can do. This will cut down the chance of corrosion on your engines, Biminis tops, snaps and other metal parts. It is also recommended that you flush your outboard motors each and every time you take out the boat. It is recommended that you do the following:
  • Give your boat a soapy wash using a premium marine "boat wash". This will ensure that you are getting rid of any contaminants from the sea, while keeping all your waxes on. Never use a household detergent on your boat! 
  • It is recommended that you wax your boat using a premium marine wax once every 6-12 months. This will revive the look of the boat considerably and protect the boat from salt and sun. The wax can be applied by hand, but it's easier with a good dual action polisher to get the job done quickly.
  • If your boat is starting to show its age then it could use a polish. Use a premium marine polish, wipe with a microfiber cloth and then wax (as above).
All washing, waxing, polishing and compounding can be applied on all painted or gel coated, fibreglass or urethane surfaces including the engines and engine covers, interior floors and gunnels to keep them all shining like new. Invest in good covers for your boat and engine to prolong their life. Blocking out the sun is by far the best solution to keeping everything in pristine shape. Don't forget to give your trailer a fresh-water wash down every time you launch your boat. To keep it in tip top shape remember to: use a non-slip floor cleaner for your boat floors;  marine aluminium cleaner for the aluminium top; detailing spray; premium marine vinyl cleaner and protector for all vinyl, and to prevent those snaps from freezing up, get a jar of petroleum jelly and a small hard bristle paint brush and apply liberally.

You can help protect the underside of your boat by coating it in an anti-fouling paint at least once a year, which will protect it from barnacles and algae. When you do need to clean the bottom of your boat, be extra cautious when using caustic products to remove biological growth (which grows as a result of the boat being in the water too long). They will get the job done in a hurry but make sure you get the appropriate safety gear for your hands, eyes and a good face mask with filters. A marine detailing product will fix plastic that has a cloudy finish. And, most importantly, make certain that the products used don't degrade our waters or endanger aquatic life.

Marine cleaning products can be picked up at Automotive Art, Harbour House Marina, Kirk Marine and Scott's Marine.

Repairing Boat Upholstery

AllMarine Upholstery

Tel: (345) 945 7767
Suppliers of custom-fitted boat covers, boat seats, cushions and bolsters, boat enclosures and Bimini tops, as well as marine carpets and more. 

Government Boat Licensing Fees
The Government imposes an annual fee on vessels in Cayman which is collected by the Port Authority. It is the duty of a boat owner to complete a licensing form and let the Port Authority know of any changes. Boats under 21ft are free, 21-30ft CI$200 p.a., 31-40ft CI$1000 p.a., 41-50ft CI$2000 p.a., 51-60ft CI$3000 p.a., 61-70ft CI$4000 p.a., 71-80ft CI$5000 p.a., 81-90ft CI$6000 p.a., 91-100ft CI$7000 p.a. and all boats over 100ft CI$10,000 p.a. Commercial boats also need to be licensed but the process is a little more complicated. Jet skis for private use are free. Jet skis for commercial use are CI$150 p.a. To download a form visit All license fees are renewable in January. 

Boating Insurance
Boat insurance is not compulsory in Cayman, although your bank will probably require it if you have taken out a loan to finance your dream. Boat insurance can be hard to get and some companies will only consider it if you have other coverage, such as house insurance, with them. Before deciding to become self insured, you should appreciate the costs involved should you be involved in an accident causing injury or death.

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