How to choose a yacht
There are a great many factors to consider when attempting to pick the right yacht. Its size, its price and the number and variety of its cabins are all of course critical. In terms of length, draft, layout and deck arrangement, its suitability for the cruising location you have in mind is equally important. But whether you want a large and prestigious yacht that requires a professional crew or a more compact and manageable boat that can be crewed by your family and friends, the first and most vital stage is to decide how you intend to use it.
Princess Yachts for yachting lifestyles
In the world of yachts, application is everything and should be considered when choosing the right yacht. A fast, ultra-stylish open-decked day boat might be outstanding as a sunny-weather party platform for you and your friends, but may not suit other intentions. So you need to be absolutely clear (and honest!) about what you want from life on the water.
Do you really need 50-knot performance? Or would it make better sense for your lifestyle, your crew and your running costs if your boat delivered a frugal 25-knot cruise, a comfortable ride, some extra internal space and an extended range? Do you really need the prestige of a 100-foot yacht with six cabins or would it dovetail more neatly with your budget and your cruising habits if you took charge of a more compact and manageable size of yacht that can be operated without a crew and berthed in a greater variety of marinas?
If you need help pinning down the fundamental design parameters, it’s useful to understand that your idea of the perfect yachting lifestyle is generally tied up with a specific location, as well as a specific activity. For instance, for four-season boating in Norway, the warm, cosseting protection of a closed saloon is ideal. For fast day boating with a mixture of watersports and sightseeing in a more temperate part of the world, a coupe with an open cockpit and overhead shelter may be best. And for hot climates, where you might want to enjoy the open air but you also need climate-controlled respite and shelter from the sun, a versatile flybridge/F Class cruiser or a closed cockpit model with a large sunroof, sliding aft doors and an external aft dinette can be a very effective solution.
Decide which options matter when you choose the right yacht
It’s just as important to choose the right options as it is to choose the right yacht. Not only can it make your boat feel more personalised and unique, but it can also upgrade its capacity to service your needs and add solidity to its long-term residual values. Again, however, you need to be objective and disciplined. A sea trial on a high-spec demo boat can certainly help in defining which features are vital for you and your crew. The experienced team at Princess Motor Yacht Sales will be able to talk with you about how best to optimise a given model for the activities you have in mind.
In terms of layout, if you decide you might want to mitigate the costs of private ownership by offering your yacht for charter, it makes good sense to opt for a yacht that provides a range of living and entertaining spaces. It also makes sense to spec it with virtually every leisure-friendly feature on the options list and to select a deck arrangement that delivers general parity in terms of the size and calibre of the cabins.
As for your propulsive options, while they might once have involved a simple choice between twin or single and petrol or diesel, you can easily now find a 50-foot cruiser with a quad rig of outboard motors. As our ecological sensibilities continue to develop, there’s little doubt that your favoured cruising location will begin to dictate your propulsive options – but for the time being, your decision is again best made on the basis of your ambitions. Do you want speed or cruising efficiency? Throttle response or range? Sport or refinement? A sea trial will help you define the rig that will work best, but when you’re looking for the broadest possible range of leisure activities, it is generally wise to pick a relatively powerful engine option so you can help maximise your boat’s versatility.
The right Princess yacht for you
When it comes to choosing the right Princess yacht for you, your family and your cruising location, the best way to compare has to be at the boat shows. There is usually a large display by Princess Yachts covering the majority of the range at the renowned Southampton International Boat Show and Cannes Yachting Festival, both held in September.