Buying a yacht is not such a complicated process as many would think, but there are a few steps that you should go through when deciding to become an owner of a vessel.
The first thing to do is to make it clear to yourself what kind of vessel you want to purchase. Is it a sailing yacht or motor, new one or used, what size and what features you are looking for.
Pending on the size of the boat you want to purchase. If you choose a new on: a new construction might take from a few months to a few years if the certain model is not in stock. When making the decision for the size of your future yacht, be honest with yourself and think again if you need those 2-3 meters more. Bigger size yachts need more maintenance, cost more and need a larger berthing area. It would be the same situation when choosing the extras you want her to have. Any extra increases the price, but at the same time makes the boat more valuable for future sale if the customization is not too weird.
Once you have answered the questions above, you should determine your budget. How much are you willing to spend? Make sure you calculate your estimated expenses after the purchase. Your budget would also decide on your future boat age if you decide to go for a used one.
Then you can start your search. It is a good idea to work with a broker. Working with a broker might lead to a better deal than searching by yourself. Plus you will make your purchasing process hassle-free. Whether you choose to work with a broker or not, it doesn’t hurt to check as many offers as possible online via MLS (Multiple Listing Service) websites such as YATCO.com. There are hundreds of boats listed every day and you never know when your dream boat will be offered on the market. Don’t rush when buying your yacht, visit as many boat shows as possible offering the type of vessel you are looking for and get on board as many boats as possible. There is a big difference between seeing a boat in a photo and getting on board and experiencing the vessel. Very often vessels which don’t look very attractive in photos have a very homey and pleasant feel when on board. Visiting a few yachts might change your mind for what you would like to purchase.
After searching, narrow your options and try to visit the particular boats you have liked. Then make an offer. Most times, buyers try their best by offering a lower price than what the boat costs. If you work with a broker, he/she would advise you what would be the best amount you could offer. However, although you want to try your luck if you like the boat and don’t want to waste time or miss the chance to get her, offer the amount you believe the vessel is worth.
If the offer is accepted, be ready to give a deposit kept by an independent third party in an escrow account and have a surveyor ready to check the vessel. The survey is usually paid by the buyer, and the sea trial during which the surveyor makes notes about boat’s performance is covered by the seller. After the survey is done, depending on its result, new negotiations might follow. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. And remember, the happier you look with the boat, the higher the price the seller would ask. Get emotional once you complete the deal.
When both parties agree with the price and conditions you have negotiated, find an insurance company for your yacht, and then close the deal. Make sure you check all the paperwork. As with property purchase, carefully check if there are any bills related to the vessel.
And if you have come to an end you should have already thought about how you will get your boat to the place where you will keep her, will you need to hire a crew or maybe send her to a refit center first to make some repairs and convert her into your desired yacht.