Ethics Code


California was the first state to require brokers and sales personnel to be licensed and bonded. The efforts of the California Yacht Brokers Association goes beyond that which is required by law and offers further protection and services to the consumer. Examples that we are proud of include our Code of Ethics that is recognized nationwide as the cornerstone and standard for professional conduct, our Arbitration Process to settle disputes between consumers and brokers, and educational material such as our "Buying a Used Boat" page.


Section 1:

It is duty of the Broker to protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation practices in the yacht brokerage profession. Brokers should endeavor to eliminate any which could be damaging to the public or to the dignity and integrity of the profession, and assist the California Yacht Brokers Association in regulating brokers and salespersons in California.

Section 2:

In accepting employment as an agent. Broker pledges himself to protect the client. This obligation of absolute fidelity to the client's interest is paramount, but it does not relieve the Broker from obligation of dealing fairly with all parties to the transaction.

Section 3:

Since the Broker may be representing one or more parties to a transaction, he should not accept compensation from more than one party under any circumstances without the full knowledge of all parties to the transaction.

Section 4:

Broker, for the protection of all parties with whom he deals, should see that financial obligations and commitments regarding brokerage transactions are in writing and express the exact agreement of the parties. Copies of such agreements must be placed in the hands of all parties involved at the time the agreements are executed, or as soon thereafter as practicable.

Section 5:

Broker must segregate from his own funds all monies being held for other persons. Separate special bank trust accounts should be used for this purpose.

Section 6:

Broker should not be a party to the naming of a false consideration in any document. No offer should be submitted either to an owner or to a cooperating Broker, without an adequate cash deposit on hand from the offerer.

Section 7:

In the event that more than one formal written offer on a specific vessel is made prior the completion of the sale, the Broker must present or cause to be presented to the owner of the vessel, any offer presented to the Broker, whether by a prospective purchaser or another Broker.

Section 8:

Broker should neither acquire nor sell an interest in, or buy for himself, any member of his family, firm, or any entity in which he has substantial interest, vessels listed with him, or his firm, without making the true situation known to the listing owner or prospective purchaser.

Section 9:

Broker should use his best efforts to ascertain all pertinent facts concerning every vessel for which he accepts the agency so that he may fulfill his professional obligation to avoid error, exaggeration, misrepresentation or concealment of pertinent facts.

Section 10:

It is the duty of the Broker to be well informed on current market conditions in order to be in a position to advise clients as to the fair market value of vessels.

Section 11:

Broker should not undertake to make an appraisal or render an opinion of value on any vessel where he has a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all parties to the transaction. Broker should not undertake to make an appraisal that is outside the field of his experience unless he obtains the assistance of an authority on such types of vessels, or unless the facts are fully disclosed to the client. In such circumstances, the authority so engaged should be identified and his contribution to the appraisal should be clearly set forth.

Section 12:

Broker should always recommend the timely employment of an independent qualified marine surveyor as a condition precedent to the completion of a brokerage transaction.

Section 13:

Signs giving notice of any vessels for sale, rent, lease or exchange should not be placed on any vessel by more than one Broker, and then only if specifically authorized by the owner.

Section 14:

Broker should not submit or advertise vessels without authority, and in any offering, the price quoted should not be other than that agreed upon with the owner as the offering price.

Section 15:

Broker in his advertising should be especially careful to present a true picture and should neither advertise without disclosing his identity, nor permit others in his brokerage entity to use individual names or telephone numbers, unless the connection with the Broker is obvious in the advertisement.

Section 16:

Broker should not engage in activities that constitute the practice of law and should recommend that legal counsel be obtained when the tax liability or legal interest of either party requires it.

Section 17:

Broker should cooperate with other Brokers on vessels listed with him whenever it is in the interest of the client. Negotiations concerning a vessel listed exclusively with one broker should be carried on with the listing broker, not the owner, except with the express consent of the listing broker. All shared commission agreements should be negotiated prior to the submission of any Offer to Purchase.

Section 18:

The agency of a Broker who holds an exclusive or central listing should be respected. A Broker cooperating with the listing Broker should not invite the participation of a third Broker without the express consent of the listing Broker.

Section 19:

A Broker should not voluntarily disparage the business practice of a competitor, nor volunteer an opinion of a competitor's transaction. If his opinion is sought, it should be rendered with strict professional integrity and courtesy.

Section 20:

A Broker should seek no unfair advantage over his fellow Brokers and should willingly share with them the lessons of his experience and study.

Section 21:

In justice to those who place their interests in his care, the Broker should endeavor always to be informed regarding laws, proposed legislation, governmental orders, and other essential information and public policies which affect those interests.

Section 22:

Broker should keep himself informed as to movements affecting recreation and yachting in his community, state and the nation so that he will be better able to contribute to public thinking on matters of taxation, legislation, marine use, waterfront planning, and other issues affecting boating interests.

Section 23:

A Broker should so conduct his business as to avoid controversies with his fellow Brokers. In the event of a controversy between Brokers who are members of the California Yacht Brokers Association, such controversy should be arbitrated in accordance with the arbitration procedures of the association rather than litigated.

Section 24:

When a Broker is charged with unethical practice, he should place all pertinent facts before the proper tribunal of the Association for investigation and judgement.

Section 25:

Controversies between Brokers who are not members of the same local chapter should be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the arbitration rules of the California Yacht Brokers Association.

Section 26:

In the event a dispute involves both member brokers and non-member parties, CYBA will conduct an independent investigation if requested to do so by an interested party. All findings of fact and recommendation will be forwarded by the Association to the California Department of Boating and Waterways for appropriate action.

Section 27:

It is in the best interests of society, of his associates, and of his own business that the Broker be loyal to the California Yacht Brokers Association and be active in its work