On the Market for Your First Yacht? Here are 10 Things to Ask Yourself
There are a lot of different types of yachts out there. Here’s how to narrow down the selection and find the right yacht for you.
While it’s tempting to go off things like looks and speed alone, there’s plenty more that goes into deciding on your first yacht. Check out our quick guide for first-time yacht buyers, designed to help you choose the best yacht for your needs.
Deciding on what type of yacht to buy starts with the answers to a few quick questions, such as:
1. Would you prefer a sailing yacht or a motor yacht?
Yachts are divided into two main categories: sailing yachts and motor yachts. A sailing yacht offers a quieter ride and a more economical method of powering your vessel (the wind!) while a motor yacht is faster, more intuitive to operate for many, and typically has more accommodation and entertaining space on board.
Determining if you want to buy a sailing yacht or a motor yacht helps you eliminate half the yachts on the market!
2. How will you be spending the majority of your time on your yacht?
Today’s yachts are built for many different purposes, such as fishing, watersports, cruising, entertaining, year-round living, or a combination of all of the above. If you’ll mainly be using your yacht for fishing, for example, look for a boat with a large self-draining cockpit, several storage bins for your tackle, and even rod holders.
Sporting yachts will have large swim platforms and lots of storage for equipment, while yachts built for long-range cruising and entertaining might have crew quarters or an extra bedroom. Yachts intended for year-round living will have extras like laundry machines, a dishwasher, and a larger power supply and water-holding capacity.
3. How far and how fast would you like to go?
The answer to this question dictates things like how much fuel and water-holding capacity you’ll need on board, as well as how powerful your motors ought to be. There are yachts intended specifically for long-range cruising that are quieter and have better fuel consumption, for example.
If you’ll be at sea for long durations of time, consider a model that provides plenty of protection from the elements beyond that just offered on the accommodation level, so you can still entertain and enjoy the views.
4. What is your budget?
When budgeting for a yacht, you must account for things like moorage fees, fuel fees, insurance fees, repair and maintenance fees, and add-ons like safety equipment, tenders, and anchors – these costs might factor into how much you should realistically be spending on your boat.
In general, the bigger the budget, the bigger and newer the yacht, but a larger budget doesn’t always equal a larger boat. For example, you might opt for something newer with more luxury features but sacrifice a bit in the size of the yacht. So, determine your budget first, then your priorities. If funds are limited, decide:
- new and luxurious, but smaller; or
- older and simpler, but larger?
5. Are you comfortable with an older model, or prefer brand-new?
The answer to this question goes hand in hand with the question regarding your budget. The pros and cons of buying a new vs. used yacht are the same as buying any used vehicle. If you decide to buy used, be sure to read our guide to Buying a Pre-Owned Yacht to understand what’s involved in the process.
6. How experienced are you operating a boat?
If you are a new boater and ease of operation is high on your list of wants and needs, look for a yacht model that touts features such as single-interface touchscreen technology and EJS joystick manoeuvrability that make navigation and docking a breeze. Likewise, you may want to skip some of the added features like side thrusters until you get a handle on the basics.
If you’ll be giving up the captain’s chair to other people from time to time, it becomes more important to look for a yacht that is simple and intuitive to operate.
7. Who will be spending the most time on your yacht?
Think about who you will be bringing on board your yacht. If you’ll be entertaining guests frequently, room for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves should be high on the priority list. Find this level of luxury on yachts with more than one entertainment zone. Open and enclosed flybridge models provide added entertaining space, as do the mezzanine areas of several luxury yacht models on the market right now.
If seniors and children will be on board, you’ll want enhanced safety features all around – things like lots of lighting, plenty of handrails, and wide side decks can help guests feel safe. Wheelchair accessibility is another thing to keep in mind.
8. Will you be spending a lot of overnights on your yacht?
Most yachts have at minimum a queen-sized berth that sleeps 2 comfortably. If you plan on yachting with friends and family overnight, you’ll want something with enough sleeping quarters for everyone – but this doesn’t always equate to a guest room. Sometimes a convertible day bed can meet everyone’s needs.
Yachts in the 45 to 65 foot range have up to four bedrooms and three bathrooms, with enough convertible lounges and daybeds to comfortably sleep 8-16 people.
9. How big of a boat do you realistically need?
Remember that the bigger the boat, the bigger the fuel consumption in many cases. Also in some cases, bigger boats are tougher to navigate, especially if you’ll be moored at a busy marina. And if you’ll be storing on dry land, you’ll need to consider storage options large enough for your yacht. If you’re new to boating, you might consider a small yacht first, then upgrade to a larger yacht.
10. Will you be wanting to re-sell your yacht down the road?
Ask your yacht broker for advice on the re-sale value of the models that have caught your eye. Some makes and models are in high demand but short supply due to limited numbers in production – meaning they will hold their value well into the future. If you plan on selling in a few years, consider re-sale value before buying.
Additional Tips for Choosing the Right Yacht
In some ways, buying a yacht is just like buying anything else – you’re going to feel better making such a large investment if you know you are making an informed, educated decision – so do your homework:
Read Boating Magazines and Blogs – These resources are gold mines of tips and tricks for yacht enthusiasts looking to make their first purchase.
Go to Boat Shows – Boat shows are your best chance to see hundreds of boats up close and personal. There is bound to be a few boats calling your name at each boat show you attend.
Ask Around – If you’re touring a marina and happen upon a boat owner tending to their vessel at the dock, strike up a conversation and learn more about their yacht and what they like about it. Most boaters will be happy to share.
Read Reviews – Whether they’re online or in those yachting magazines, read what other people are saying about their yachts.
Consult a Broker – Consult a yacht broker through your local marina who can connect you with owners of pre-owned yachts, review current stock with you, or present you with options that are not even on the market yet!
Take a look at Van Isle Marina’s boat and yachts for sale to start your search today! To learn more about any listed vessel, please contact us at 250.656.1138 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our experienced yacht brokers can help you choose the right yacht to fit your yachting lifestyle.