Motorboat Expert

Independent Yachting Magazine

15 best tips for a yacht buyer

Tips for a yacht buyer

Updated on May 31st, 2024

1. Decide on the type of yacht hull.

Depending on your goals and life philosophy, the choice is mainly between two types of hulls: planing and displacement. In short, planing boats are very fast, but they burn more fuel and don’t like bad weather. Displacement yachts are much more economical, cope well with rough seas, but are slower.

2. The purchase budget should be 50% more than you expect.

In addition, regardless of the amount of personal capital, people often buy boats that they cannot afford. But this becomes clear only after some time, when the real cost of owning a yacht becomes obvious.

3. Look for a place in the marina in advance.

You may indeed have some difficulty finding a place to moor your boat if you live in the epicenter of sailing and yachting. Or, conversely, if yachting in your area is completely undeveloped.

Sometimes you can buy a place in the marina for decades to come, but in some privileged places you need to be a member of the local yacht club to do this. And sometimes it’s completely impossible.

4. Don’t chase new yacht models. Buy boats that have been proven over the years.

In popular yacht models, good manufacturers have been strengthening all weak points over the years, eliminating deficiencies and modernizing equipment. In addition, you can always find any information about your boat on the Internet and count on quick troubleshooting by professionals.

5. A yacht you fall in love with at first sight is less likely to bring you the frustrations of breakdowns and maintenance, and will give you more happiness from ownership.

This is true with any major purchase, but we believe that yachts, being the most depreciable asset, should have the highest possible emotional value for owners.

6. Not only the Italians and the Dutch build excellent boats.

There are many family-owned shipyards around the world that build incredibly reliable motor yachts. At the same time, don’t chase the price. As a rule, along with a well-known name of the shipyard, you acquire quality guarantees.

7. The material of a yacht’s hull is an eternal dilemma, and perhaps your preferences will change over the years and with experience.

If you don’t have specific requirements or don’t know what you need, then choose fiberglass, it has the least problems. Well, except for environmental problems, of course. Even without maintenance, GRP lasts a very long time and boats made from this material are in highest demand in the secondary market.

Never buy wooden yachts unless you are a collector, an art lover with a big budget, a restorer, or just need wood for the fireplace.

8. Motor catamarans are efficient and have a number of advantages, but they are usually terribly ugly and rarely enjoyable to own.

We don’t want to say that this is true for all yachtsmen, but those owners of motor and even sailing cats with whom we had the opportunity to communicate seemed eternally sad. Some of them secretly said that they try not to look at their boat from the outside.

However, recently exceptions have begun to appear on the catamaran market. Some shipyards are now trying to hire good designers and build catamarans that can be approached without a blindfold.

9. Don’t look for a universal boat, they don’t exist.

Every yacht is a set of compromises. Better look for that boat that you suddenly want to own. Don’t rationalize too much, a yacht is an emotional purchase.

10. Searching for a yacht to buy on your own is a very exciting and enjoyable experience, but you may not want to waste your time. Then trust the brokers.

Choose a reputable brokerage company, describe your requirements for a yacht, and your broker will regularly send you the best offers on the market.

11. Attend the biggest boat shows.

Boat shows are the easiest way to navigate today’s boat market.

12. Unless you are buying a small motorboat, a professional surveyor is essential when purchasing.

However, you won’t have any headaches if you work with a reputable broker. In any case, you will purchase or sell large yachts only through yacht companies, which will take care of all legal and technical issues.

13. Don’t be afraid of impulse buying.

Moreover, as practice shows, it is impulsive or intuitive purchases of yachts at the behest of the heart that become the most successful.

14. Custom yachts are the best solution, with parameters and design most precisely adapted to the owner’s lifestyle.

However, you are unlikely to know what you really need without sufficient boating experience. Therefore, do not rush to order an individual yacht construction. Serial boats from leading shipyards are also excellent and take into account all the wishes of modern owners.

15. Don’t buy into unique designs.

Many yacht designs may look unusual and even outrageous, attracting the attention of observers, but we hope that this is not your goal.

Provocative yacht designs are always ugly and never effective in operation. These poseur boats attract attention not because of admiration, but only because people wonder, “How could anyone buy something so tasteless?”