Buying a yacht is a huge decision with many things to consider (what make to buy, where to buy it, what yacht insurance coverage will be required, your wish list of accessories). One of the biggest questions people wrestle with is whether to buy new or used.
Obviously, the benefits of buying a new yacht include reliability, quality (everything is showroom new), and a manufacturer’s warranty to safeguard against repairs in the first few years of ownership. But is paying full price always the best option?
Buying a pre-owned yacht can be a good decision, and not just because you’re not going to take a big hit in depreciation as soon as you take ownership.
Here are tips for buying a used yacht shared by our yacht insurance specialists:
It’s a buyers market right now: You can take your time to find a good, pre-owned yacht with the elements on your wish list and pay less than what you would for the same amenities new. There are many vessels in this economic climate with motivated sellers (just watch that they’ve been keeping up with maintenance).
The internet allows you to search for leads and research costs: It’s so easy these days to scour the web for used yachts and boats in your area and beyond. Researching on the web allows you to quickly compare prices and options for yachts and marinas, as well as inquire about insurance coverage requirements for different makes and models and determine common repairs and problems. You can even find yacht brokers online if you want some guidance through the process of finding a pre-owned vessel. It’s well worth putting in the time to research.
You’re usually past the growing pains stage: Used yachts, like homes or cars, usually have already shown any initial problems like leaky windows, faulty finishes or mechanical flaws. Look for a vessel has been used regularly and is well maintained and an owner willing to share records with you.
Fixer-uppers can be an even better deal: Yachts of a certain age need a little bit of refurbishing and usually have owners who don’t owe loans or payments. If you are handy enough to do repairs yourself – or if you have priced out the work required with reputable craftspeople and mechanics – you can negotiate attractive pricing (especially if the current owner owns the yacht free and clear). Be sure to do your due diligence so that you don’t discover any surprises.
Do your homework: If you find a yacht that interests you, ask questions before you go to see it in person and take good notes so you can double-check everything for yourself. Ask about the age and condition of the vessel, any enhancements or recent repairs or upgrades, and get some idea of the engine and rigging. And don’t forget to ask for photographs. Remember to ask about ownership in case the yacht is owned by a partnership or a company rather than an individual seller. You want to be prepared so when you go to see the yacht, you aren’t distracted from examining the important details like the condition of the sails, electronics, upholstery, and chrome. Make sure you know exactly what is included in a potential sale (first aid kits, life preservers, etc.).
The lower initial cost of buying used leaves more in the budget for essentials and fun: When you buy within your financial means, you’ll have the ability to pay for adequate yacht insurance to protect your investment and those great trips out on the water.