Thinking about buying your first yacht? The process can be as daunting as buying a home, but once you know what you’re looking for, the journey is smooth sailing.
Always Start With A Budget
As with every big-budget purchase, you should think about how much you can afford. You might look at the price tag of the yacht and think it’s in your budget, but in reality, there are additional costs you need to be aware of.
These costs could include insurance fees, surveying fees, maintenance costs, and mooring fees. In reality, it’s the insurance fees and mooring fees you should be focusing on. Browse through your local boating insurance companies and consider their monthly prices. Normally, the boats will be charged based on size, type, and model. Knowing this you can figure out how much you can afford every month.
Next, comes the mooring. Mooring is when you keep your boat on a moor or dock when you aren’t using it. You essentially pay for renting space, like a driveway. If you can’t afford a yacht outright, you can always opt for a loan or mortgage. This will turn the one-time purchase into a monthly payment. Consider all of these options and additional costs before realizing what your actual budget is. Once you know that, you can start looking at boats.
What Will You Use Your Yacht For?
Generally speaking, there are 7 different types of yachts. The sailing yacht is propelled by the sails and the wind. The motor yacht has at least one motor powering it, making sails unnecessary. The gulet yacht has a mixture of sails and motors.
From there the yacht gets more specialized, for example, the sports yacht is aimed at anglers or those who partake in sporting activities. They are fast, sleek, and steer well. Next is the catamaran yacht which is made of fiberglass so you can look at the fish beneath you for slow and relaxing sailing.
The next two are luxury yachts and cabin cruisers. Luxury yachts often have a lot of technology and space for parties and personalizations. Cabin cruisers are more standardized but have enough room for entertaining and sleeping.
Knowing the type of yacht you are after, can help you narrow down your search for the perfect boating trip.
Consider Purpose Over Aesthetics
If you are buying a boat for a party, you might think a small floor will create the best photos for a dancing montage. But instead of forcing a lot of people onto a packeted yacht, you should consider purpose over aesthetics. Too many people on a small boat can lead to crapped legs, no room for coolers, and definitely no place to crash out.
The above might seem like an obvious statement, but there are other purposes you need to consider too. Do you want food and drink to be served on the yacht? If so, that might take away from your lounging area. Want the boat to be fast? Then you’ll need to keep the appliances light.
Think about why you are getting this yacht, and what features you will need.
Match Your Yacht With Your Skills
You should get sailing lessons before purchasing your yacht. In some states, it is mandatory to pass a certification process before you can sail by yourself.
That being said, you can get boats that match your yachting skills. Knowing the color of a boats sternlight, and predicting how the winds can affect your sails require two different skill sets.
Once you know the type of boat you want, get the skills to match up.
Consider How Often You’ll Use The Yacht
Lastly, you should consider how often you will use the yacht. Remember that every day you don’t use it, you have to pay a mooring fee. If you’ll be riding the waves most weekends, then go ahead and buy your yacht.
But if sailing becomes a once-a-year activity, or the cost of mooring outweighs the time on the yacht, then you may want to consider renting instead.
You can also share yachts (depending on your area) as part of a “timeshare” loan. You pay less for the boat and can use it on specific days in the year allowing you to use the same yacht – like a second home without having to spend as much money.
Let’s go over our tips one last time. First, you should figure out how much you can afford, considering the price of the boat as well as the monthly fees. Next, consider the type of boat you will want. Make sure the type you pick matches your skillset. And lastly, consider renting if you won’t use the yacht often.