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Blog | Buying Your Luxury Motor Yacht: Where to Begin

September 20, 2016

Buying Your Luxury Motor Yacht: Where to Begin

We hope you enjoyed our last series of articles – Selling Your Yacht Fast. As professional yacht brokers, however, you know we work both sides of that equation. So, this week we start our new weekly series: Buying Your Luxury Yacht.

It’s been said that buying a home can be the most important and complex purchase of your life, but whoever said that, probably has never gone through the process of buying a luxury motor yacht!

Like any major purchase, new buyers thinking about their first yacht needs to sit down and ask themselves a few questions.

  • Where are you going to use the boat, and what will you use it for?
  • Who do you plan on using it with?
  • What kind of customer service do you anticipate/require from your seller?
  • And of course, what is your budget?

Where you plan on using the yacht makes a difference, because as you consider size, power and performance, you will look for something different in an ocean-going yacht than you would for something that you just intend to cruise down the rivers and inland waterways.

my first yacht

Furthermore, are you into water sports? Is that something you will be using your motor-yacht for, because designs of boats that can be used for scuba diving or fishing, can differ significantly from ones that you intend to just entertain friends or clients on.

Size and Other Matters

When it comes to buying a yacht, size does matter because there could be restrictions in certain ports based on length, draft or beam of your boat. And size is not the only thing you need to think about when considering the “where do I want to use her?” question. There may be other restrictions on where you can go, such as due to your choice of flag state, for example.

Take another look at that second question, “who do you plan on using it with?” You may wonder, “why is that important?” But how many people that you expect to share your yachting experiences with determines the number of staterooms you want on your boat. Most first time buyers are considering three to four staterooms. 3-stateroom boats are generally more difficult to sell than are 4-stateroom boats, but that creates an advantage on the buying side. If you are sure you will not need more than three staterooms, and are not really thinking about selling and replacing your yacht for a while, you really can find some high quality 3-stateroom yachts at very attractive price points. Burger Yachts, for example, has many boats that fit that description.

These questions are really where we encourage first time buyers to start, because most first time buyers make the mistake of buying strictly on looks or style, and not really taking these “how you plan on using your boat” concerns into proper consideration.

Next Considerations for Your Yacht Purchase Decision

Once you have given more thought to how and where you intend to use your boat, the number of staterooms you think you will need, and of course, always keeping your budget in mind, the next things you need to start to think about are:

  • Crew, dockage, and management costs
  • Will you want to offer charters?
  • Have you been on other boats, what did you like about their style and features?

Your power requirements are also an important thing to consider. There are different advantages and trade-offs for different engine sizes and types. What is more important to you – ease of maintenance, or speed and performance?

And of course, just like any other major purchase, you need to know how you plan on paying for your yacht. Will you need assistance in arranging financing?

Yacht being detailed

You want to make sure any yacht your consider is well maintained

This is only scratching the surface of the first few things you need to start thinking about before you start shopping around for your first motor yacht. If you haven’t already, you may want to go to a boat show, but if you are not that familiar with boats, be prepared to be overwhelmed, and likely leave with even more questions than you went in with!

However, a visit to a typical boat show can also help to get you to understand just how many sharks there are out there in those waters, and where the value of a good broker comes in.

Buying your first boat can be a wonderful experience, but buying the wrong boat, could be an expensive nightmare!

Next Week: We’ll explore the role of your broker when buying your yacht!



It’s not always easy to stay on top of what’s new in motor yachts. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Sales Specialists, or call us at 954-900-9988.

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