Buying a superyacht is no small decision. But it is an exciting one, and knowing exactly how to go about choosing and buying the perfect yacht for you is key to keeping it an enjoyable experience. Here we take a look at the steps and considerations involved in buying a yacht that is perfect for you and your needs.
Decide Why You Want a Yacht
It is likely that if you’re buying a yacht you will have chartered one before and fallen in love with the lifestyle and opportunities it provides. If you haven’t chartered a yacht before, then any good broker will advise you that this is the very first step you should take. Before heading down the route of purchasing, make sure cruising is for you!
Once you have your heart set on buying your own yacht, it’s time to sit down with your broker and get personal. Together you have to identify why you want the yacht, where you will cruise on it, and who will be coming onboard with you. Allow your broker to spend time with you, getting to know your tastes and lifestyle, your likes and dislikes, the type of cuisine you prefer, the budget you have. All of this goes towards helping them choose a selection of yachts which tick everything on your list, and ultimately narrowing it down to the perfect one.
Decide What Kind of Yacht Suits you and Your Needs
Your lifestyle will dictate what kind of yacht is best for you. And while that may seem like an obvious choice, let’s take a closer look. If you want a yacht which can cater to a family group including children then safety needs to be considered as much as the water toys and swimming pool, while a yacht which will host late night soirees might require a Jacuzzi, dance floor, bar area or even a helipad. Every detail needs to be considered, from accessibility, to the type of cuisine you’d like creating in the galley, to the leisure and fitness facilities.
Consider the Size and Style of the Yacht
When it comes to the type and size of yacht, then both budget and lifestyle play a part. The larger the yacht, the larger the crew and the more maintenance and berthing costs are, so a broker will help you calculate those costs so that they fit an annual budget you are comfortable with. It might be that you would prefer to have a smaller yacht which you use for day sailing near to your home, or a larger yacht which will allow for long-range cruising or more adventurous expeditions. Think about everything from how far you might want to travel, to how many people are likely to be onboard with you. Faster yachts tend to have more vibrations, so if your cruising grounds are ambitious then you will need a yacht with a larger and perhaps noisier engine. Likewise, ice class yachts, those capable of trans-Atlantic crossings or those equipped with helicopter storage facilities will all play a part in where you want to go.
Get the Most for Your Money
A brand new custom yacht will be the most expensive way of purchasing, however you get the luxury to choose exactly what you want, from the shape of the hull to the interior décor. Keep in mind that there is often a wait of several years for a custom yacht. A semi-custom yacht allows you the freedom to make several major choices based on a standard hull design, and saves you around 30% of the price of a custom yacht. To get the most for your money, and an immediate purchase, a second hand yacht has huge benefits. While surveys will need to be conducted, and there is the added consideration that it may require greater maintenance costs down the line, you can take it for a sea trial, get a real feel for the boat and be cruising around in it in just a few short weeks.
Calculate Annual Costs
The largest expenditure is likely to be for the yacht itself, but don’t underestimate the running costs. The larger the yacht the more crew it will need, and this is your second largest outgoing. Next is the management company fees, berthing, maintenance, insurance, fuel and food. Chartering your yacht is a good way to off-set a big proportion of these costs, and some yachts will be on the market with established charter bookings already in place.
A management company is an invaluable tool, especially on larger yachts. While it is an added expense, consider that they will arrange crew and their payroll, ensure maintenance schedules are kept, ensure safety compliances for all equipment, crew training, offer technical support, and issue you with monthly expenditures. All of this allows you to enjoy your yacht without it becoming a burden.
As a rough guide, a yacht depreciates by 10% per year, so even with a healthy charter schedule, you shouldn’t be looking at buying a yacht as a business venture. A good broker will give you realistic running costs, rather than glossing over the reality of yacht ownership. If you’re in doubt about whether maintaining a yacht of a certain size will be a stretch too far, then always opt for a smaller, or more economical one. Thankfully the market is now seeing more and more fuel-efficient eco and hybrid yachts which are cutting running costs considerably.
TJB Super Yachts have a team of highly experienced brokers who will go to the ultimate lengths to find you the perfect yacht. Please get in touch today and let us start this exciting journey together.