Luxury Yacht Buying Guide

Heesen 60m Steel - Project Ceres 2027 198' 2" HEESEN YACHTS Motor Yacht, luxury yacht buying guide

A luxury yacht is a privately owned yacht with a private crew and is usually furnished with luxurious furniture and décor. While the size of the yacht varies, some would say a luxury yacht starts at 79ft and increases from there. Read more in our luxury yacht buying guide below.

What Is a Luxury Yacht? 

A luxury yacht doesn’t technically have a formal size definition; however, most will agree that luxury yachts start at 79ft and can grow exponentially from there.

Luxury yachts will have meticulous designs and come furnished by high-end interior and exterior yacht design specialists. A luxury yacht is privately owned and will have a full-time crew that maintains and runs the backend. This includes a captain to do all navigation, and a private chef to prepare all of your meals, among other crew members. 

Search the largest mega yachts for sale in 2023 now.  

How To Purchase a Yacht

If you’re wondering exactly how to purchase a yacht, we’ve compiled a detailed and digestible list for you. 

  1. Research the yacht types that interest you – are you a sailing yacht lover, or more interested in a tri-deck superyacht
  2. Determine what size luxury yacht you want and need
  3. Keep your budget in mind when researching the above. Before you move onto the next step, a yacht broker will want to know your budget. 
  4. Contact a yacht broker near you to start the process with someone well versed in the yachting industry. 
  5. Consider a luxury yacht charter to get a taste of the yachting life. Yacht charters can be a great way to test the waters and see what it is like traveling by luxury yacht – the locations available, what it feels like to have a yacht crew, and even as a way to sample different yacht styles. Check out YATCO’s yacht rental guide and luxury yacht charter guides for more information. 
  6. Visit boat and yacht shows to get onboard as many yachts as possible and see different design options. Click here for a list of yachting events around the world and plan your visits
  7. Take your time. A luxury yacht is no small purchase, and as such, you’ll want to take your time and consider your options. Working with your trusted yacht broker is even more important as you narrow down your options since they know the yacht builders, the history of the yacht, even how each yacht compares to another. 
  8. Make your offer. Once you’ve selected the yacht that’s for you, it’s time to make an offer! Having a yacht broker in your corner will help ensure the negotiation process is smooth and you get the best yacht for your budget. 
  9. Go for a test ride. You now get to head out on a sea trial with your new yacht and make sure everything works and handles as expected. 
  10. Close the deal. Congratulations on your new luxury yacht! You will work with your broker and captain to decide how to get the yacht where it needs to go. 
  11. Considering offering your luxury yacht up for charter to help offset costs? Read YATCO’s yacht charter management guide here

For a full step by step guide on purchasing a yacht, please refer to this guide. 

What Is the Difference Between a Superyacht, a Giga Yacht and a Mega Yacht? 

Another grey area in yachting – there are no hard and fast rules on what qualifies a luxury yacht to be a superyacht, a mega yacht or a giga yacht.

However, most will agree that superyacht and mega yacht terms are interchangeable – sometimes the American market leans toward the mega yacht term, while Europeans prefer superyacht. Both describe yachts 79ft and up.

Although a small group of people also see mega yachts as starting at 100ft versus the 79ft superyacht threshold, but majority do agree that they are interchangeable terms for yachts 79ft or larger. 

A giga yacht on the other hand, usually refers to luxury yachts that are at least 220ft in length and are usually highly customized or fully custom built, and will come with swimming pools, helicopters, or even personal submarines.

Read more in our mega yacht guide. 

How Much Is a Luxury Yacht?  

Luxury yachts come in a number of sizes, styles and models, therefore the price tags will also vary from option to option. Some things that will impact the cost of your luxury yacht include: 

  • Age – Is it a new build yacht or an older model? 
  • Length – Are you looking at entry level 80ft superyachts, or 225ft giga yachts? 
  • Condition – How has the luxury yacht been maintained? If this is a newer model it should be in perfect condition; but for the used models, are you purchasing it from an owner who completed regular maintenance and refits on it, or is it in bad disrepair?  
  • Style – Certain models will come with higher price tags, while others may cost less. Whether you’re looking at motor yachts like classic yachts, flybridge yachts, mini yachts, explorer yachts, ocean going yachts, or even sailing yachts, there will be a wide range of budgets available. 

Yachts over 100ft usually follow the method of costing $1 million for every 3.3 feet in length; which would mean a 100ft luxury yacht will cost around $30 million. Of course, based on the above factors, this number could be smaller or larger. Start your search for luxury yachts for sale with YATCO. 

How Much Is a Small Luxury Yacht?  

Small luxury yachts are generally vessels that are between 35 – 79ft in length.

While the factors above can impact their price range (age, length, condition, etc.), you can usually find a small luxury yacht for sale from as low as $80,000 up to $8 million and above. 

How Much Is a Superyacht, Giga Yacht or Mega Yacht?  

Since we now know that the hierarchy of luxury yachts is: 

  • Small luxury yacht 
  • Superyacht or Mega Yacht 
  • Giga Yacht 

You can usually use this as a guide to discern which ones will be more expensive than others. Superyachts and mega yachts will generally cost the same since we know this term is used interchangeably.

You can use the method of 3.3ft x $1 million for most; however, with giga yachts, their prices will be over and above this since they are larger in grandeur, size, and opulence. 

Where Can I Buy a Luxury Yacht?  

If you are just starting the process, you might find it useful to start by speaking to a yacht broker. Click here to search for a yacht broker near you with YATCO. A yacht broker knows the market and has access to data intelligence to see trends in the market and purchase prices, or will be able to guide you on yacht types and models that could be a good fit based on your tastes.  

Depending on where you live, you can usually find luxury yachts for sale near you, or within a short drive. Depending on the size of the yacht, you may need to have it relocated to you, or your preferred cruising destination, by your captain. The beauty of having a yacht crew is that they can do this for you, without you needing to even think about the logistics!

To start your search for a luxury yacht for sale near you, click hereFor help buying your first boat or yacht, check out this guide.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Luxury Yacht?  

Much like the purchase price of a luxury yacht, the cost to rent or charter a luxury yacht will vary as well. Some things you will come across that can impact the price of your yacht rental include: 

  1. Location – Certain locations have bigger demand which can drive prices. 
  2. Time of year – Peak season will cost more than low season. 
  3. Size of yacht rental – Both the length and the party size. 
  4. Extras – Do you want top shelf liquors and Michelin starred meals? Extra water toys or hiring a special guide (ex. scuba diving instructor or surf guide, etc.) can also drive your price up. 

Click here for more information on what a yacht charter costs, or the tenders and toys you can expect to find onboard

To start your search for luxury yacht destinations around the world, please scroll through YATCO’s many yacht destination guides. From yacht charters in Turkey to luxury yacht rentals in the Caribbean and beyond, you’re sure to find the perfect destination for your next luxury yacht charter. 

How Long Are Luxury Yachts? 

Luxury yachts will range in length from 35ft to more than 500ft! This is why it’s so important to consider the length of yacht that you’ll need to achieve your goals, while also keeping your budget in mind. 

What Are the Best Luxury Yacht Brands?  

You will have no shortage of options when it comes to selecting the best luxury yacht brand for your needs. There are a wide range of reputable yacht builders located around the world, each with something to offer the discerning yacht buyer. A list of some of the top yacht builders you will come across include: 

Buying a luxury yacht is an exciting time in your life, but it isn’t without its questions and complex systems to navigate. By working with a trusted yacht broker and discussing your wants and needs, you’re sure to be cruising onboard your dream luxury yacht very soon!

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