The "purchase of a mooring" requires knowing that the period of enjoyment of the right on it is not permanent, as well as the terms of use of it which may vary from one seascape to another.

One of the issues which a yacht owner must solve is the place where to moor it. Clearly, this is an important issue given that sometimes it is not easy to find the adequate mooring in the adequate place. Once decided where to moor, depending on supply, it must be decided between the purchase of a preferential right of use or a lease. Leasing may be a good decision since it is not necessary to perform a down payment and it allows the flexibility to change of marina, if wished. If the final decision is the acquisition of a preferential right of use it is important to know exactly what we are purchasing because it can lead to disappointments. In this article, we will discuss some of the basic aspects which a buyer should know and which should be taken into consideration when taking the decision of purchasing a mooring.

What should be known?

What is acquired when purchasing a mooring?

When a "mooring is purchased", what is really being acquired is the "preferential right of use" of it. That is to say, what is obtained as a holder is the right to moor a yacht in the mooring for a period of time which will be fixed in the purchase contract. Generally, the right extends until the end of the "administrative grant" but it can also be for a shorter period. The conditions governing the right of usage are normally regulated in the assignment contract subscribed between the concessionaire and the right holder and in the regulation of exploitation and use of the marina. Both the assignment contract of preferential right of use and the exploitation regulation and use of the marina should comply with the assignment contract and the effective legislation on the subject.

What is an administrative grant?

Moorings are located in what is called "demanio marítimo terrestre", that is to say, in the sea shore. In Spain this area has public nature and is owned by the State. In order for an individual, for example, the management company of a marina, to be able to construct and operate a port, it is necessary that the State grants him a concession. Concessions are granted for a number of years and the marina manager has to pay a "fee" for it to the State. The port may be managed by a private company through a concession or directly by the Administration. The concessionaire can sell the use of the port moorings to different users through an assignment contract of preferential right of use on moorings.

How are the rights and duties of the mooring owner regulated?

Before purchase it is important to carefully analyze which are the rights and duties which involve the mooring tenure which will appear reflected in the assignment contract concluded between the concessionaire and the user and in the exploitation and use of the port regulation. Between the existing rights it is very important to know exactly if there is any possibility to lease or to lend to third parties the moorings, to sell them without limitations and the tolerances in length and beam of the vessel that occupies them. Within the duties, the most important one is without doubt the payment of the expenditure of maintenance and utilities. It is important to be able to have a certain control over them.

What happens when the grant ends?

As we said, administrative grants which the State gives to entities which exploit marinas are granted for a specified period of time. Once the concession period comes to an end, the facility reverts to the State without the preferential right of use holder preserving any right. That is to say, the right is strictly maintained until the concession ends. Some regional regulations allow the preferential right of use holder to acquire again the right of use paying a certain price.

Concluding remarks

Having established the foregoing considerations, bypassing the place where the marina is, which will affect the price without doubt, the determination of the price to pay will be conditioned by:

• Length and beam of the mooring. Note that although there is a certain tolerance in the length, with respect to the beam the tolerance is usually more restrictive.

• Period of concession remaining. As the end of the concession comes to an end the price is lower. Sometimes it may be interesting to purchase a mooring when the concession is close to end in order to ensure the possibility of opting for it when it is renewed.

• Maintenance and administrative expenses of the mooring. Normally the preferential right of use holder must face the expenses which the concessionaire attributes to him.

It is of vital importance that the buyer is aware of all of these aspects. It is also essential to know the rights which the mooring ownership confers to him regarding the permitted uses thereof. As we said, there are some marinas in which the preferential right of use holder has the possibility of leasing the mooring to third parties forbidden, so therefore if it is not occupied with their vessel, it may be occupied by one designated by the port without being entitled to any compensation.
Others, require that the mooring holder must be the same that the vessel which occupies it, which can be a problem when a same beneficiary acquires them with different entitlements.

March, 2015

Yamandú Rodríguez Caorsi
Abogado
Blas de Lezo Abogados
Calle 60 Zona Franca, 25, Edificio ZETA
08040 – Barcelona
Tel: 0034 934192489
Fax: 0034 934193611
Móvil: 0034 615320452


Barcelona, Marzo 2015

Yamandú Rodríguez Caorsi
Abogado
Blas de Lezo Abogados
Calle 60 Zona Franca, 25, Edificio ZETA
08040 – Barcelona
Tel: 0034 934192489
Fax: 0034 934193611
Móvil: 0034 615320452



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