Buying your first yacht is a veritable tornado of emotions, ranging from excitement (“We’re going to have so much fun!”) to shock (“Maintenance costs how much?”).
Whether you’re buying an existing yacht or having one built, this is a complex transaction with many legal pitfalls. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you start your journey:
Enlist a professional – it’s worth it
There are dozens, even hundreds, of options to consider when yacht shopping. Connect with a professional for guidance and protection from scams and price gouging.
As with all large purchases, you should enlist an attorney to protect your best interests.
Size matters, but don’t forget amenities
Many factors go into a yacht wish list. Among other questions, ask yourself how you will be using your yacht. How much time will you spend on the yacht? How many passengers will be on board at any given time? Answering these questions will help narrow your search.
As always, stick to a budget
Yacht envy is real. Enjoy the experience but remember this is also a business decision and you didn’t get to this stage in life by making bad business decisions. Steady guidance from a broker and attorney should be your anchor.
Presumably, you’ll want to sell this yacht someday, so keeping it in pristine condition is in your best interest.
Maintenance expenses vary wildly and don’t forget to factor in items like crew pay, insurance, inspections, fuel, taxes and marina slip fees.
Take a safety class
If you’re new to boating, set aside time to learn the intricacies of the sea and what to do in an emergency. Indeed, most states have mandatory education and licensing requirements and the last thing you want is legal trouble on your first yacht trip.
Patience is a virtue
The reality is that yacht shopping can sometimes take years. If you’re having your yacht built, the wait list alone can be five years or more.
Keep a level head and your dream yacht will eventually find you.