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An expert guide to buying your first luxury yacht in 2022

Buying your first yacht isn’t something anyone should enter into lightly.

By LLM Reporters  |  April 4, 2022
Luxury white pleasure yacht anchored near rocky coast of Corsica island birds eye view

Some people opt for holidays, some prefer cars, some would rather adorn diamond-encrusted accessories – but what about something a little more extravagant to satisfy your luxury cravings? Consider the enjoyment you could experience from the deck of your very own luxury yacht; 33 to 600 feet of blissful ocean comfort – what more could you want?

When perusing for your dream ocean liner, 26 North yacht brokers has got you covered with a range of beautiful yachts catering to every taste and specification. Before you make your decision be sure to read our guide on buying a luxury yacht in 2022 which will provide you with a list of all the important aspects to consider before finally sealing the deal.

luxury yacht
Ensure your yacht has been reviewed and inspected by a reliable broker so all your needs and expectations are being met. Image credit: byvalet/Bigstock.com

Things to consider:

Many factors contribute to the selection of a yacht. At the root of any sound yacht purchase decision is the core performance factors that are essential to consider:

  • Do you want a motor-driven yacht, or are you one for handling the rigging and sails of a sailing yacht?
  • Are you looking for a high-speed performance, semi-displaced hull, or a slower full-displaced hull?
  • Are there size restrictions to your nearest dock? Will the dock permit access to a yacht with the draft, beam, length and height measurements of yours?
  • Does the yacht accommodate the number of guests you wish to cruise and sleep on board?
  • Where in the world do you wish to travel? If the destinations you aim to visit do not have ports that are serviced by a yacht transport service, then your yacht will need to have an ocean passage-making range and hull shape.
  • Have you considered the maintenance costs and issues? Are parts readily available in the intended cruising areas? Have you considered the pros and cons of chartering versus buying a yacht?
  • Will the yacht accommodate a suitable number of crew to match your service expectations?

After this, the decisions you make regarding interior and exterior layout and decoration are completely customisable. As they say: the world is your oyster (and what an appropriate time for that cliché!)

When it comes to the actual process of buying your yacht, there is a standard sequence of events that is accepted by the global yachting community, which may vary in some instances, although this is rare.

Step 1: Search and selection

Ensure your yacht has been reviewed and inspected by a reliable broker so all your needs and expectations are being met.

Luxury boat anchored in a bay, luxury yacht
When you want to buy a yacht, expertise and experience are paramount

Step 2: Offer

Once you find the perfect luxury yacht, you can make a formal offer which will be presented by your broker on an industry standard contract. This contract should outline the timing for the sea trial, survey, acceptance and closing. When you make your offer, it is customary to deposit 10 per cent of the offer price into escrow with your attorney or broker. It is essential that your offer includes an accurate inventory of the vessel.

Step 3: Offer accepted

The seller will accept, reject or counter your offer to buy. It is rare for the first offer to be accepted so expect a week or two before you receive an accepted offer.

Step 4: Survey

The survey can take from one to 14 days to complete, depending upon the size of your yacht, and the cost is paid by you (the buyer). All mechanical, electrical and electronics equipment is tested during the survey and the objective is to get an accurate understanding of the current condition of the vessel, as well as the projected maintenance costs for the next few years. It is often recommended to have your yacht removed from the water for this inspection.

Step 5: Sea trial

This step can actually take place before, during or after the survey and gives you the opportunity to take your dream boat for a spin to familiarise yourself with the way she feels, how she runs and whether she’s the right match for you. The sea trial is usually limited to a duration of four hours, costs are covered by the buyer, the engines are tested to verify cruising and maximum speed and it is the best time for you to experience and verify the motion of the vessel and noise levels throughout the interior whilst underway.

Luxury yachts in La Spezia harbor at night with reflection in water. Italy
Once you have made a decision to purchase a yacht, the next step is to determine exactly what type of yacht you are interested in buying

Step 6: Acceptance

If the survey and sea trial have proved your yacht to be worthy of an investment, you will submit a written acceptance for the vessel. At this point, your 10 per cent deposit is at risk if you do not close the sale at the agreed upon closing date. Any deficiencies that may have been found during the survey are usually included in a conditional acceptance which gives the seller time to make repairs or allow for a financial allowance for you to make repairs yourself after closing.

Step 7: Closing

The last and final step, and thankfully, it is the most straightforward part. A simple exchange of signatures on official documents; a set date, time and location for delivery; and a new registration and insurance–the final pieces to the puzzle before your luxury yacht is yours to sail away.