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Buying Your First Yacht

Here are some tips from our yacht insurance specialists to help you select the best yacht for your lifestyle:

  • Create a budget: In addition to determining what you’re willing to spend on the vessel, make sure you include costs for yacht insurance, fuel, maintenance, docking at a marina, storage, and a crew for voyages if applicable.

  • Research: Determine whether you’re in the market for new, pre-owned, or custom-built. (There are some exceptional high-end yachts on sale at a fraction of their cost brand new — however experts recommend you do your due diligence with a professional in-and out-of-water survey to mitigate any surprises.) Read about yacht manufacturers online, their reviews, and interview some yacht brokers.

  • Consider a charter first: Many experts recommend that you charter a few different yachts before you take the plunge into ownership. Taking a yacht out for a few days will give you a true sense of its style and performance.

  • Write a wish list: It’s very helpful to narrow down what you need and what you’d like so when you’re actually shopping you don’t get distracted by extras. Consider both your needs now and what you’ll want in a few years because you’ll want a yacht that suits your lifestyle for several years.

  • Get shopping: Hit some yacht shows (virtual are good too) and check out the variety of specifications and amenities available. Between vendor booths and yachts moored all in one location, you’ll save time and effort while you explore options. Here are some top-selling yachts you may be interested in.

  • Close the deal: Protect your interests. Take a sea trial. Consult a lawyer and hire a reputable surveyor (especially if you’re buying pre-owned) and review your yacht insurance coverage with a company that specializes in marine insurance. 

If you take a boating or sailing class, let your yacht insurance provider know as some certifications may earn you a discount on rates. 

When you’re shopping for a yacht and determining your budget, contact the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance for the most competitive quotes from the top-ranked marine insurance carriers. 

Boat & Yacht Sea Trials

If you are seriously considering buying a boat or yacht, our yacht insurance specialists strongly recommend you take it for a sea trial first. 

Why? Seeing a yacht where it’s docked or in a showroom is not the same as understanding performance. A sea trial is a perfect opportunity to feel how the vessel operates at cruising speed, check for vibrations, practice hard turns, and experience riding in rough waters.

Here’s how to get the most out of the experience:

  • Only ask a broker or dealer for a sea trial when you’ve pretty much made up your mind. In some cases, the seller may require a 10% deposit before a sea trial.
  • If you’re buying new, you might be taking a demonstration model out for the sea trial. In this case, be sure that you’re comparing apples to apples! Confirm that the engine has the same power and that other specifications match.
  • Remember that when you take a boat or yacht out, it may not be as loaded as when you’re heading out on a voyage. The weight of supplies, guests, and possibly crew can significantly impact performance.
  • When you’re taking the boat for a trial run, how is the speed? How does it handle under different conditions? Was the fuel economy as expected? Consult the owner’s manual for the recommended maximum rpm and then see how it compares to what you experience when you go top speed.
  • Take note of safety features (this is important to know when you check your yacht insurance coverage rates before you put in an offer). What is there and what’s missing?
  • Regarding speed, remember to check not only how FAST the vessel can go but also how she handles at a minimum planing speed. You’ll want to determine how well you can control it at variable speeds.
  • Check all the electronics on board, especially if it’s pre-owned. Not only should everything power on all right, but the screen visibility should also be adequate, whether it’s dark outside or there’s a lot of glare from sunshine. Does everything work as it should? Test it – don’t be shy.
  • Investigate other elements. What is the visibility like from the helm? Open and shut cupboards and storage areas to see if things stick or latch properly. Similarly, check how windows, doors, and skylights open and shut in case there are any issues. Take a look at the cabins while you’re out on the water and see if things are quiet and smooth or if passenger areas are comfortable.
MasterCraft boat running

Trust your instincts. If you’re not happy after the sea trial, keep looking. If you are happy with the experience determine if a vessel survey is appropriate. Only make an offer if you can see yourself enjoying many voyages without regrets.

If you’re ready to make an offer, check yacht insurance coverage rates before you buy. Contact the yacht insurance professionals at Global Marine Insurance for a boat or yacht insurance quote.

Other articles that may be of interest:

Boat Shopping During COVID-19

Pricing Your Yacht to Sell

Yacht Purchase Mistakes

Boat Auction Tips

Yacht Insurance Claims

If you submit a claim for damage to your yacht, your yacht insurance adjuster will determine if it is a total or partial loss claim.

Liability Coverage

Note: When your boat or yacht insurance policy coverage includes liability, sometimes called protection and indemnity, that’s what covers you if you injure or kill another person (the third party) or their property while operating your boat.

Hull Coverage

The hull coverage includes the physical components of the boat. It is helpful when there is damage to your boat, its hull, any contents, the engine, or other machinery.

If your yacht insurance policy offers “all-risk” coverage, then it doesn’t matter if the loss is due to a storm, fire, theft, vandalism, collision or other accident. Pay attention to any specific exclusions, for instance, if coverage continues while you store the vessel, transport it by land, or travel outside your region.