Whether you've loved sailing all your life or are more interested in the idea of sunning yourself in the Caribbean, there's something about a yacht that has a universal appeal. Representing the chance to travel the world in style and spend summers on the sea instead of just beside it, buying your first yacht can nonetheless be a daunting process. There are several considerations that you won't necessarily have encountered with other investments, so we've put together an E&V guide to helping you choose wisely when embarking on your search for a suitable yacht.
New or pre-owned?
The choice between purchasing a new or pre-owned yacht will affect not only the price, but impacts on the flexibility you'll have to customise the yacht to your own specifications and of course, how soon you'll actually be able to step on deck for the first time. Ordering a brand new vessel will offer you the freedom to customise extensively, but this will significantly extend the waiting period and puts you in the unenviable position of being unable to try - or even see - before you buy.
Advice from the experts
A yacht is a big investment, so turn to any yacht owners you know and take all of their advice on board. They may be able to offer valuable tips regarding brokers, manufacturers or crew, as well as ensuring you have realistic expectations of the possibilities. Although in theory the only limitation is your budget, some of the more ambitious ideas you have might be impractical and come at the cost of more important functionality.
Choosing your team
It's best to stick to semi-customisation if you really are determined to personalise your vessel. This way, you will still be buying a boat whose technology has already been tested and proven to excel by the experts. As with any project, it's essential to choose the right workmen. The safest bet is to follow that trusted friend or acquaintance's advice, as this also allows you to see their yacht for yourself and decide if it meets your standards. If this isn't possible, extensive research into the potential company or individual's reputation will be vital.
Once you've found a yacht that you think meets your requirements, you'll need to negotiate a mutually agreeable price. However, before any money changes hands it's important to take your potential purchase for a sea trial. This will be carried out at your own expense, but gives you a feel for how the vessel operates on the water. It’s also advisable to get a survey team to carry out an inspection to rule out any mechanical problems and establish why the boat is being sold. For example, if financial distress is the reason, this could have resulted in a lack of care and maintenance for the vessel, so it’s important to be aware of such issues.
If you decide to pursue your dream of yacht ownership, Engel & Völkers has years of experience in the provision of premium yachts. Whether you want to start by testing the waters with a charter boat, or have already decided to take the plunge with a purchase, we are here to help. For more information, just visit our E&V Yachting website.
For more information about the yacht on the picture visit the exposé of E&V Yachting Malta Frank Willems.