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What to Look for When Purchasing a Yacht

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.

Take your time and be observant when picking out a sea-worthy yacht.

Be sure to take your time and look at details when searching for a sea-worthy yacht.

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.

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Basic Yachting Terms Every Beginner Should Know

For those of you who’ve just bought your first schooner or sea vessel, welcome to the exciting world of boating! Owning a boat or yacht can bring years of enjoyment on the seas, and joining the maritime community can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you’re a beginner on the waves and new to the naval lifestyle, there are many unfamiliar yachting terms that you’ll need to know. To help you learn some of the basics, here are a few terms to get you started and sailing away.


A vessel can be any type of water transportation or floating raft that can carry people or supplies. Some official abbreviations for a vessel include F/V (Fishing Vessel), M/V (Motor Vessel), S/V (Sailing Vessel), and R/V (Research Vessel). A small vessel usually refers to a boat, a large vessel is used to describe a ship, and yachts are considered any vessel that can be used for cruising or racing.

Bow and Forward

Once you’re aboard a vessel, look at the front part that cuts across the water and moves towards a direction or destination. This section of a vessel is called the bow. If you move towards the bow, you’re moving forward.

Stern and Aft

The back part of a vessel and the opposite end of a vessel’s bow is called the stern. If you move towards the stern, you’re moving aft (which can also be called astern or abaft).

A compass helps to navigate a vessel out at sea.

A compass helps to navigate a vessel out at sea.

Port and Starboard

There are no left or right directions when captaining a vessel, and the only guidance is given by a compass or is about the vessel’s structure. Therefore, everything to the left of a bow is referred to as the port side (port), while everything to the right of a bow is considered the starboard side (starboard).

Deck and Topside

Vessels have at least one surface where both passengers and crew can stand and walk, known as the deck. Levels underneath the deck are called below deck, while anything above it is referred to as topside.

Windward and Leeward

Sailing vessels can move in the direction that the wind takes them, which is called windward. The direction opposite of the wind is called leeward.

Windward and leeward are terms that are often used when sailing.

Windward and leeward are terms that are often used when sailing.

Underway and Adrift

When a vessel is boarded and successfully prepared to head out for fishing, cruising, racing, etc., it is considered to be underway. If a vessel has run out of power, is damaged, or is in danger without being anchored, it is called adrift.

Manifest and Shipboard Log

Before a vessel gets underway, someone on land needs to be aware of its manifest, which includes the number of people on board. A manifest usually includes identifying information, reasons for getting underway, and emergency contacts for each passenger. A shipboard log must also be produced and includes the date and time entries of each boating trip, the functions and voyages of the vessel, and all other essential information.

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Different Yachts to choose from