The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Transporting Your First Yacht

The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Transporting Your First Yacht

Traveling by sea is a dream, particularly in a yacht: a home away from home, quenching your thirst for adventure. You can up and leave as you please, accommodate as many guests as possible or go on a solo adventure. Above all, you can experience the world on your own terms.

However, your wanderlust is tied to the kind of yacht you choose. The right one should fit your budget and your lifestyle, with features that make traveling the world stress-free. Lucky for you, this article will guide you into picking the ideal yacht and how to transport it to your location.

Decide on What You Need the Yacht For

Your reason for getting a yacht will determine a lot, from its size to the cost of ownership. For instance, if you will be traversing familiar waters with ports that are close by, then a small yacht will be ideal. Smaller vessels will also be easy to dock in marinas that have limited space.

How many people will you be accommodating? The more people you will have on board, the more amenities your yacht may need, from showers to lounge spaces. If you will be spending a lot of time on it, it will be vital to have more amenities and space to stock up food and store clothes. This includes hygienic equipment if you are traveling post-pandemic or during it.

Spend some time in your ideal yacht to know the kind of features you need in yours, whether it’s solely for travel and leisure, or multi-functional for fishing trips or multi-night scuba diving getaways.

Consider Your Budget

Buying a yacht is a huge financial decision and one that needs to be done with care. You wouldn’t want to invest in a vessel and come to regret it later. Remember, the initial cost of buying it is barely the end of your expenses. You need to pay for maintenance, storage, insurance, and fuel. Factoring all ongoing costs helps you make an informed decision. Here is a breakdown of some key operational expenses:

  • New vs. used: new yachts are alluring in that they have never had engine issues or even dents and come with a long warranty. But, they are expensive, though boat loans are an option. Used vessels are cheaper, but some could need some restoration to make them seaworthy. Since most first-time buyers often make mistakes on their first ship, buying used vessels might be a great idea.

  • Insurance: marine insurance is mandatory and crucial for protecting yourself, your passengers, and your boat in the event of an accident, particularly since your homeowner’s insurance will not extend to your yacht.

  • Docking/marina fees: you will have to factor in marina fees if you want to secure a docking space throughout the year.

  • Storage: when boating season ends, you will need somewhere to store your yacht away from elements of wear and tear. Finding reliable and affordable storage providers is essential.

  • Maintenance: your vessel is made of moving parts, which will need maintenance regularly. You could have to replace parts or even stock up other essentials like life jackets.

Where to Find Your Yacht

The first place to shop for your yacht is online. There are multiple yacht-selling sites on the internet where you can find brokers and owners selling their vessels. If you would rather see the boats in person, then opt for visiting showrooms. This is where knowing what you want out of a boat is essential to help avoid analysis paralysis.

Alternatively, your dream yacht may require a more custom path. Contact builders to design your yacht from scratch into a floating dream home.

Remember, some of the extras you choose could increase the cost of your yacht. Floating hydraulic hull shell doors and large pools will affect the final price. Custom-built yachts take more time but definitely add to the idyllic yacht lifestyle if that’s your goal.

What to do Before Closing the Deal

Arrange a professional survey of the yacht before you buy it. This helps with insurance since most insurance companies will not insure a vessel that hasn’t been professionally assessed. An assessment could also come in handy when negotiating the final price.

Drafting a contract is also part of the process. It will dictate the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the sale and could help solve future disputes if any.

Once you complete the survey and settle on a mutual agreement, you should get all the necessary documents as proof of ownership. Receiving the VAT paid invoice is essential, especially if you might want to sell the vessel in the future. Other essential documents include the Bill of Sales for the last five years and the Certificate of Registry. Be sure to keep these documents safe since replacing them can be a nightmare.

Transporting Your Yacht

You can either transport your yacht by sea or by land. As long as you work with an established yacht transport company, the rest will be easy. Here are a few tips:

  • Secure everything before beginning transport to minimize damage during transport.

  • Work with a transport company that offers voyage insurance to protect your vessel from unpredictable events.

  • Inform the transport company of your yacht’s specification in advance as they will use it to determine the optimal transport requirements: include its size, weight, and dimensions.

  • Inspect your vessel for damages and document them through pictures.

  • Ensure your ship is as light as possible before transportation. Empty the fuel tank while leaving enough fuel to get to and from the transport vehicle/vessel. Drain water from the bilge and remove anchors from the deck and drain plugs from the hull.

  • Bring all essential customs paperwork on the transport date if you are going on an international voyage.

Work with a Reliable Broker

Working with a broker to help with your yacht purchase and transport decision is a great idea. Brokers advise you on the best places to find a vessel, price negotiation tips and could help get necessary documentation post-purchase. Look for someone who understands the industry to make a great purchase decision.