It’s easy to imagine that buying a yacht is a very simple process involving the selection of your desired craft, the transfer of funds and your immediate immersion in an exclusive utopia of sunshine, smiles and blissful inlets. But while there’s an indisputable thrill involved in taking delivery of a new boat kitted out just the way you want it, the fact of the matter is that, in order to achieve that happy end state, your input is required.
Of course, in the event that you buy a stock craft from a showroom or a boat show, things are obviously a bit simpler but in just about every other case, the buyer becomes an active part of the process. In many instances, you will see the demo boat before rifling through the options list, speccing it to your needs and initiating the build process with a signature and a deposit. In other cases, where the boat in question is a semi-custom package, you will be required to go into greater depth, with input on propulsion, internal layout, fabrics and fit-out. And as you move up the scale from standard packages through increasingly involved customising options to authentic semi-custom builds, you eventually reach the point at which a boat is built as an entirely bespoke one-off, with your choice of interior and exterior designer.
But whatever your budget and your expectations might be, if you’re to end up with the right boat at the right price in the right time frame, it’s vital that you understand the process sufficiently to play an active and informed part in it.
Get your research done
The first step is to be absolutely explicit about what you want – and that necessitates research, both regarding your own preferences and the market’s capacity to satisfy those. Read magazines, visit boat shows and investigate owners’ clubs and local marinas. Try to isolate the model that matches your needs and, whether you plan to go boating with your family or your close friends, discuss those needs with your intended crew. Talk to existing owners about their own experiences and think carefully about the all-in cost of a given model, including safety features, additional equipment, training, mooring, fuel, servicing, insurance, running costs and loan repayments.
And also, while you’re thinking about a particular dealer, make sure you don’t overlook the value of simple convenience. In order to make ownership of your new boat as easy as possible, you’ll need to choose one with the infrastructure to provide servicing and warranty support in the region where you intend to go boating.
Be selective with the options
As the buyer of a new boat, it is fiendishly tempting to get overexcited with the options list. But while showroom boats tend to come with every conceivable add-on, you need to take a step back and consider the matter with discipline. Consider the items that genuinely upgrade the ability of the boat to cater for the lifestyle you intend to enjoy. A sea trial is a vital asset in helping you reach clarity on which of the demo model’s features are vital. Take your time choosing because picking well will give the boat a pleasantly bespoke feel, radically upgrade its capacity to service your needs and perhaps even help solidify residual values when the time cones to sell on.
Enlist the services of a professional
A premium boat yard like Princess will always try to operate with the utmost transparency, keeping you fully informed on progress and enabling you to get as close to the project during the build process as you like. If you’re buying a particularly large, complex or unique craft, it generally makes sense to appoint a specialist professional or a yacht management agency to act as your representative throughout the build. At the industry’s loftiest echelons, with highly bespoke vessels beyond the 30-metre mark, you can take charge of every element of the process, helping coordinate the activities of the designer and builder and ensuring that your vessel is built in accordance with the brief, the budget and the schedule. A modern integrated yacht management company can also then take charge of your yacht post-delivery, overseeing everything from maintenance, berthing, provisioning and crewing to charter, marketing and eventual sale or refit.
Visit a Boat Show!
There are plenty of routes available, but a visit to a boat show is probably the most effective way to help you choose the yacht of your dreams. If you visit one of the larger shows, you generally see a wide range lined up together, so you can compare features. You can also compare make as well as model! Keep an eye on our events pages for an up to date list of the upcoming events, and of course ensure you are signed up to the Princess Motor Yacht Sales newsletter, so you can hear about new models, boat shows and events hot off the press.