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Cruising Yacht Buying Guide
What is a Cruising Yacht?
A cruising yacht is usually a vessel employed for extended cruises. A cruising yacht could be a fulltime liveaboard vessel or one used for either short or prolonged cruises. Some coastal cruisers are not as strongly constructed as those vessels specifically built for offshore cruising or oceangoing passages – but there are a variety of boats that have been used for cruising over the years, both motor or sail, so it may be more a matter of finding something that performs to your specifications. Your sail plan itinerary could also help dictate the best options for purchase – while a sailing yacht may be a more likely choice (especially for long distances, aided by twin wheel steering), some motor cruisers can make very comfortable cruisers, too. As a cruising yacht, most people will look for vessels with decent living space both above and below deck, so your options could be a monohull or multihull vessel of various sizes, or a motor vessel, which has the added benefit of being a bit speedier. A cabin cruiser, power cruiser, or a trawler could be comfy options as well.
What are Cruising Yachts Made of (Construction Material/Hull Design)?
A cruising yacht can include a range of vessel types, with the common denominator that it’s capable of cruising comfortably for long distances. So, the possibilities for construction materials may range from fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum, and composites, with varying options for hull designs depending on vessel type. A sailing yacht would offer a full displacement keel and more stability, while a motor yacht has options that include both displacement or semi-displacement hulls, which can also offer similar stability, depending on the hull type.
Depending on the boats for sale you are looking at, boat manufacturing will differ. If a sailing yacht is your preferred method of cruising, will you also require twin wheels? A self-tacking jib? How far you want to go or what you want to do with your yacht will help to determine the best type of yacht you need and the best construction to go with.
Why Should You Buy a Cruising Yacht?
You should buy a cruising yacht if your wanderlust has you adding new destinations to your bucket list daily, or if you can picture yourself watching the sun set over the crystalline blue waters of the Caribbean…or the Gulf of Mexico…or on the Intracoastal Waterway. There’s something special about dropping anchor in a secluded cove, eating dinner under the stars, and enjoying your morning coffee as the sun rises with no pressures apart from deciding your next destination. If this sounds heavenly, you might be perfectly suited for the cruiser’s lifestyle. Make of it what you will – if you’re a dedicated sailor, a sailing yacht could be your chance to combine those two loves, or you add a little more speed to your schedule and go the motor yacht route instead. Either way, you can be on your way to a more relaxing life on the water.
How Much Does a Cruising Yacht Cost?
A cruising yacht’s cost will depend on a few factors, just like any other yacht or boats for sale you are looking to buy. As soon as we use the term, “yacht” we are addressing yachts of 79ft or above in length. When considering which cruising yacht is the right one for you, please consider the following:
- Length – Typically the longer the yacht, the more expensive it will be.
- Yacht range – how far can the yacht go before need to refuel? If cruising is your top priority, you’ll want to look at a large yacht range on the specifications list.
- Builder – Who completed the boat manufacturing? Different builders will come with different price tags. As too will any extras. For motor yachts if you have a pool, helipad, or multiple water toys, the price will increase. Similar with sailing yachts – you can get increased technology for sailing such as self-tacking jibs, autopilot to help steering, and twin wheels to change position of where you steer from when alternating high sides.
- Condition – Are you looking at new or used boats for sale?
- Sail plan – Are you planning to cross the ocean with your yacht? Do you want a sailing yacht or a motor yacht? Note that sailing yachts usually have extended yacht range to yachts of similar length and power since they have the additional wind power thanks to a main sail, tacking jib and any other sails available.
What size yacht for ocean cruising?
While people have crossed the ocean in a wide variety of sizes, it’s highly recommended to cross in a yacht that is at least 35-40ft long. The larger the yacht, the more comfortable the journey. Different boat manufacturing capabilities and sail plans also make certain makes and models a safer bet for ocean cruising. If you want to go the motor yacht route, look for hulls that use quality boat manufacturing materials such as steel or fiberglass. However, if a sailing yacht is more your style, have a clear sail plan in mind so you know the best ocean cruising vessel for you. For example, self-tacking jibs can be great if you plan to do most of the sailing yourself (without a crew or other family or friends to help you); while twin wheels can help to improve sailability as you can control the boat from the high side and switch when needed.
When looking at boats for sale, if you know you need additional yacht range for longer periods spent cruising, your trusted yacht broker will be able to guide you.