If you love sailing on smooth ocean waters or watching a beautiful sunset from a private haven, you’re probably thinking about buying your own yacht. And if you’re a first-time yacht buyer, the process of finding the right boat for you might seem a little daunting. While finding an appealing vessel with the right amount of room can be easy, knowing the details and technicalities of a boat can be crucial to making a wise investment. To help you out, here are some essential things to look for when purchasing a yacht.
Learn the Sailing Terms
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a yacht is learning more about the sailing jargon. If you’re not up to speed on the sailing terms that are often used in the boating community, it’s best to learn a few keywords to make the process easier. Here are some of the most-used terms:
- Aspect Ratio – This is the boat’s ratio of height to length. A sail that is narrow and tall has a high aspect ratio. If a sail is short and wide, it has a low aspect ratio.
- Cabin – This refers to the rooms inside of a yacht.
- Centerline – This relates to the center of a boat, which is the mid-point between the stern and the bow.
- Cockpit or Bridge – This is the area from where you will steer the boat and is typically located in the rear or middle of the yacht. On larger ships, this is a room. On smaller yachts, the bridge is located outside.
Consider the Builder
Just like car manufacturers, not all yacht builders have the same techniques and execution when it comes to the structure of a boat. Whether you’re looking at buying a new or used yacht, make sure that you research who the builder is, if they’re still in business and if they are a well-regarded brand. Knowing this information is important because it will help determine whether or not you can trust the stability of a boat and if you can get replacement parts down the road. If the building company is no longer in business, getting replacement parts can be expensive and hard to come by.
Find Out Why the Boat Was Sold
If you’re looking at buying a used yacht, the answer to this question can tell you how well the yacht was maintained before it was placed on the market. For example, if an owner is selling a boat because of health or financial problems, there’s a chance that the boat was not cared for properly. Of course, not all sellers will be forthcoming with this type of information, so it’s crucial to find out if a yacht has a full maintenance log. A log will provide you with valuable information about any work that might have been done on a boat, including oil changes and any repairs.
Hold a Sea Trial
After you find a yacht that you like, have agreed on a price, and have signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement, it’s time to start your boat’s sea trial. Before this, you’ll typically be asked to place a deposit in escrow with a broker, which is usually 10-percent of the purchase price. A sea trial is a vital part of the buying process, as it gives you a chance to test out the yacht before spending your money, like the test drive of a vehicle. Whether the seller decides to captain the boat or has you find your own captain, be sure to inspect the vessel properly both before and after the trail.