With so many yachts for sale online and in-person, it isn’t easy to decide which one’s the perfect fit for you and your yachting needs.
There’s also the added pressure of finding a reputable broker with multiple listings you can browse.
Here are five yacht-buying tips to help you find the best yacht.
Get to Know the Anatomy of a Yacht
Before anything else, it’s essential to learn the critical parts of a yacht. This information will help you decide what designs to look for to suit your needs.
- Hull – This part of the boat has an internal framework made from materials like carbon fibre, Ferro-cement, and so on. It’s what you can see and touch. Most importantly, it’s the part that makes the boat float.
- Keel – It keeps the boat upright by providing counterbalance against wind and waves. There are many keel types, like a whole, retractable, deep fin, bilge, etc.
- Draft – Draft sizes determine how close a yacht can get to a shore. Some boats have as deep as 5-6 feet drafts, while others have 2-metre drafts.
- Bridge/Cockpit – It houses the yacht’s controls.
- Deck – It’s the walkable outside area on the boat.
- Berth – It is where you can sleep.
There are also a few types of yachts to choose from: the Trimaran, the Catamaran, and the Monohull. Most consider Trimarans as racing vessels due to their tri-hull design.
On the other hand, Catamarans and Monohulls are great for those who want to live aboard their vessels. They have ample living space, and their shallow drafts can help you get closer to various shores.
Consider Your Needs and Budget
Different yachts suit different needs. For example, those who want a Catamaran might use it to explore other islands. If you plan to sail the open seas, a different design might work for you.
It would help if you determined how often you’ll use the yacht and how you’ll use it. Where do you want to go with your new vessel?
Think about your kitchen and bathroom space. What activities or amenities do you require?
With these considerations in mind, prepare a realistic budget and stick to it. After all, cash outflow doesn’t end when you finally acquire your yacht.
You have to factor in your fuel, maintenance, fuel, and other fees that yachting incurs. That’s why it’s best to set a budget you can comfortably meet.
Design, Size, and Safety
Most seafarers recommend buying a boat from a reliable, well-known designer, as they are more durable and hold higher resale value.
If you’re buying a second-hand yacht, you should look for owners who take great care of their vessels. Sometimes, a well-maintained boat from the 70s can outlive a mass-manufactured boat from today.
Size is another consideration for yacht buying. Aside from budget, it would help to consider how many people will live on the yacht, your maintenance allowance, and how often you’ll use it.
Lastly, you must consider your and your loved ones’ safety when on the yacht. Here are some examples:
- Are the emergency systems intact?
- Are there enough handrails?
- Is the anchor chain accessible?
Any seafarer should ask themselves these safety questions before investing in a yacht.
Attend Yacht Shows and Read Yacht Reviews
Many yacht manufacturers organise shows for potential customers to view their available models. Like window shopping for clothes, yacht shows let you see the yacht yourself.
If you’re buying the yacht with your spouse or family, be sure to bring them with you to the show. This way, all decision-makers can choose based on their personal experience with the yacht. You can discuss your likes, dislikes, and other observations about the vessel on display.
Another way to gather information about a yacht model you’re interested in is through online reviews. Yachting journalists provide reviews about different types of boats.
However, purchasing a yacht is not ideal just because of a gleaming online review. It’s always best to get multiple perspectives about the model you’re interested in before investing.
Get a Professional Survey on the Yacht
A registered yacht surveyor can inspect the yacht you’re viewing. They’ll determine the condition of the yacht, engineering or mechanical issues, and other hidden pitfalls of the boat.
Surveyors can comprehensively assess the yacht and its ability to fare on the sea. They can also help you get a discounted price for the issues they find on the yacht.
If you’re looking for a brand-new yacht, you might think a professional survey is optional. However, this can be a great way to show your insurance company that the craft is in top condition.
Lastly, knowing that your yacht is in its best shape gives you peace of mind while sailing.
How Do You Buy a Yacht?
The process begins with the buyer researching and determining the type of yacht best suits his needs. During this time, you can read reviews on the internet, ask advice from fellow seafarers, and do other information-gathering steps.
Once you’ve decided on the yacht that suits your budget, design, safety, and size needs, look for a reputable broker to help you find your dream yacht.
You can try the yacht through a sea trial or charter. Some professional surveyors can spot issues on the ship. Sometimes, designers organise yacht shows for potential buyers.
Once you’ve closed the deal, remember to check all the documents. It includes VAT-paid invoices, registration certificates, and other paperwork.
It’s always a great idea to take a boating safety course. That’s it — you can now enjoy your new yacht!