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Buying a second-hand luxury yacht? Here’s what you need to look for

By LLM Reporters  |  February 19, 2020

If sailing the Med or soaking up the sun in the Adriatic on-board your very own yacht sounds exactly where you’d like to be right now, then read on.

Perhaps you have your eye on a certain model or make, or the waiting lists for the latest release might be rather long, well perhaps it’s time to consider buying a second-hand yacht so that your dreams can be realised sooner. Acquiring a second-hand yacht is a fantastic way for you to own the premium boat of your dreams, it is a great option, but you need to make sure that you are getting your full money’s worth.

We’ve shortlisted the five most important elements to look for when purchasing your very own second-hand luxury yacht, so take it in and soon you could be sailing the seas.

No small purchase, a yacht is best bought from a trusted seller

A trusted seller

No small purchase, a yacht is best bought from a trusted seller. You need to make sure that you find a vendor that offers the finest luxury boats for sale on the market and, by mediating through a specialised boating website, you will have more assurance that they are serious about the purchase. Though some great offers can be occasionally found on more generalised websites, there is a stronger chance that it might be someone trying to scam you, so do your research first and it should be plain sailing from there.

The condition of the hull

The hull is one of the most important parts of the boat and it needs to be in tip top condition, so you’ll need to make sure that it is watertight and free from scrapes and other damage. When you go to view the boat, make sure that it is out of the water and available for inspection. Ensure you also go over the keel for any damage and inspect the boat from the inside – anything that looks like it is too worn will need to be inspected by a surveyor before you can make an offer.

The condition of the rigging, ropes, chains and the like

If the yacht you are interested in purchasing has rigging, you should check that it is all in working order, and the owner should not have any issue taking you through the rigging and how to adjust it. Make sure you ask about when it was last changed – a racing yacht will need to have its rigging changed every five years, while a cruising yacht can stretch to ten. If you do need to purchase any new items such as rope for your yacht, websites like Robes Direct are great place to start.

The hull is one of the most important parts of the boat and it needs to be in tip top condition

The condition of the fittings

How are the fittings below deck? Though you may have ideas to rip them out and replace them yourself, their current condition might dictate what you offer. Try to look past cosmetic wear and tear that are just signs of a well-loved boat, everything should still be functional and fit-for-purpose and if it’s not then consider this in your offer.


One of the most important aspects of any boat is the paperwork. The current owner should have a full set of paperwork that they are happy to show you – this will include a full purchase history, insurance, a service history and more. If they are reluctant to show you the paperwork, or they claim to have lost something key, there may be something about the boat’s history that they are trying to hide so perhaps it’s time to move on. Take the time to find the perfect yacht for you. The right seller will never push the sale through and will answer any and all questions you might have.