When one intends to buy a yacht, sooner or later they will come across yacht brokers. A bad broker would opt for selling their yachts by all means, while a good one could even dissuade a customer from buying a vessel instead. Yachts’ maintenance costs sometimes are so high, that it might be easier to confine to chartering. Still, in any case, it is important to first try several different yachts on charter before buying your own.

The largest international brokers such as Burgess, Fraser, Moran Yachts & Ship, Edmiston and several others act as central agents of the «best» yachts: they manage them, select the crew and sometimes oversee the construction. However, one can book a yacht even through a small company, if it has the appropriate certification. Below, you will find 9 significant steps to consider prior to buying a yacht.




#1. Define the goal

First of all, one has to define answers on such questions, as: why they need a yacht, where they are going to use it, whom they are planning to invite on-board, whether there will be children among the guests and many other issues. That is where the information about a customer, his or her tastes and lifestyle matters. 

A good broker would have a detailed conversation with a potential buyer, even asking some rather personal questions. Ideally, they should spend with a customer several days to understand how they dress, what kind of car they have, where they prefer to have dinner, how social they are etc. 

Those things are crucial as a yacht represents a continuation of her owner’s personality. Like your own home, it may or may not be suitable for parties, sports, the presence of children, it may be chamber or large-scale, high-speed or slow-moving, with or without a helipad. Dozens, if not hundreds of details, will affect the final choice, and the cost here is by no means the main criterion. After all, you can find a yacht at a comfortable price, but she may not suit you at all.




#2. Set the style

First, it is important to understand whether you need a sailing or motor yacht, since these are two fundamentally different styles of yachting. Usually, those who prefer to be closer to the water, lead an active lifestyle on the yacht, delve into the nuances of management, seek to obtain a captain's license and are interested in sails. Those people in the first place can be called yachtsmen. On the contrary, motor yachts, even the fastest ones, are floating boutique hotels, where the owners will be served at the highest level. As to sports racing yachts, they are not generally suitable for recreation.

It should be noted that in the sailing segment, not all yachts are the same. For example, superyachts above 40 metres, produced by such builders as Perini Navi, are not inferior to motor yachts either in design and comfort, or in high-technology equipment. They might even outperform motor yachts of the same size in price. 




#3. Consider your lifestyle

How and with whom do you want to spend time on a yacht? For parties, one would need large open spaces, and it would be nice to have a Jacuzzi or a pool with a backlight. Naturally, a yacht must come with built-in audio and video systems and wireless Internet. For gambling, you would need a special zone. If you like cooking, a yacht should have a specially equipped separate kitchen. If you plan to invite parents to the yacht, you need to make sure that there is a VIP suite on-board. If the yacht has three or more decks, older people will need an elevator. If you have children, the system of fences is crucial so that they do not fall overboard or on the lower deck, plus a cabin for the governess should be provided, etc.




#4. Think over your activity

There can be many different nuances, but there is something that almost everyone pays attention to: a garage with tenders and water toys on a yacht. You would need a tender in any case. Furthermore, it is good to have the yacht equipped with everything for diving, snorkelling, water skiing, "sea-beans", jet skis and other toys. Many yachts also come fitted with a fitness deck, which usually comprises a gym, massage room, hairdresser, sauna and hammam.



#5. Choose the right crew

Naturally, owners of yachts assemble the crew according to their own requirements, and the crew is not less important than the yacht itself. Not only should they be sociable people with an understanding of the service, but they should also meet special requirements. For instance, it is important to consider whether a cook is good on a yacht and what exactly he or she can cook. A professional broker would be aware of such things as if there is a massage therapist, yoga and diving instructor on-board and what languages the team speaks. A broker would either know the invited crew members personally, or do a decent research on them in advance. 




#6. Get directions

It is important to decide whether you are planning to live on-board during your vacation. For example, if one has a villa in Forte dei Marmi and wants to take a short trip to Corsica for a day, a small 50-60 foot open class yacht or a yacht with a flybridge, with a speed of 30-40 knots. 

At the same time, if you plan to go on a cruise from Saint-Tropez to Portofino, to Corsica, Sardinia or Sicily and back, then for a two-week trip you would need a comfortable yacht of at least 30–35 metres. If the group is big, the size has to be even larger. The speed of such yachts will make only 11-17 knots. However, low speeds save fuel: megayachts making 30 knots per hour require hundreds of thousands of EUR a year for fuel. In addition, high speeds even on the best yachts might not be comfortable: noise and vibrations increase, and it becomes difficult to talk and walk. 

If you plan to take the yacht from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean for the winter period, she should boast a transatlantic power reserve, to complete the journey without refuelling. And if you are thinking about traveling around the world, you need not only a large cruising range, but also an Explorer class yacht, which can operate under different weather conditions. To cruise to the Far South or North, you need an Ice-class yacht - although not an icebreaker, she would not be subject to collisions with small ice floes.



#7. Choose a hull

Yacht hulls are mainly built of steel, aluminium and composite. Almost all major European yachts builders rely on steel or aluminium, while in American and Asian yachts (except for the largest yachts) composite is used, since it is a lighter material that is easier to care of; it is not subject to corrosion. However, the composite is not suitable for all operating conditions. Owners of megayachts relate to it without reverence: a 50-metre composite yacht would already be an exceptional case. 



#8. Estimate expenses

A yacht should not be taken as an investment, it is a luxury item and not more than that. Moreover, her cost drops by 10% per year. About the same amount should be saved for yearly operating costs, such as parking and repairing expenses, crew salaries and taxes, not to mention fuelling. Meanwhile, if several years ago green yachting was considered uneconomic since environmental options increase the cost of the yacht, now yachting enthusiasts have concluded that eco-yachts save fuel, and, therefore, are cheaper to operate.



Step 9. Set the timeline

A fully-custom superyacht of above 35 metres, will take up to four years to be built with such yards as Lürssen, Abeking & Rasmussen, Feadship or Oceanco. A faster option is always a semi-custom-yacht of the same size, where a standard hull is used, and the interior is created on-spec for the owner’s needs. Such yachts take about 2.5 years to build and they are 30% cheaper. In that niche, the most famous shipyards are Dutch Amels and Heesen. 

Serial yachts of up to 100 feet in size would confine your choice to one of 3-5 typical interior options. However, there are many good yachts on the market that the owners sell after 2–4 years of operation, simply because they want a new one Such vessels with clear and proven seaworthy properties can be acquired immediately.

The difference in the price of yachts even for one niche is so great that it makes no sense to focus on it. Everything depends on the interior materials, technical options, the name of the designer, and the class of the shipyard. For example, the cost of a Feadship yacht might be twice as large as a Turkish yacht of the same size. Nevertheless, Feadship will far less fall in price over the years.

Latest News

Yachting industry companies going active on IPO
Last quarter of 2019 has brought several news from the stock exchange in the yachting industry. One of the leading Italian yacht builders, Sanlorenzo, has gone public on the Borsa Italiana on track with earlier plans. Their compatriot competitors, the Ferretti Group, meanwhile earlier abandoned the course. Yacht Harbour takes a closer look at the situation.Sanlorenzo entered the stock exchange on December 10 successfully and spent the first day of trading starting from €16 per share, according to the plans they had intended. The initial pricing meanwhile is set to bring total market capitalisation to €552 million, meaning the €72 million capital increase for Sanlorenzo.However, although the stock traded at or slightly above the IPO offer price for much of the week, it sank on Thursday to close at €15.42. According to GlobalCapital, liquidity was very low even by Thursday, with only 1.5% of the free float traded on the day. Nonetheless, in regards of the difficult market backdrop towards IPOs of the small and mid-size companies, the situation can be considered positive. Noteworthy, only one third of investors interested in 35% of the shipyard’ listed capitals, come from Italy.The offering consists of 4.5 million newly-issued shares resulting from a capital increase and 7.6 million shares offered for sale by Happy Life Srl. The latter is the company’s major shareholder, also controlled by Sanlorenzo executive chairman Massimo Perotti.Perrotti commented:Today we have reached an important objective, and we are very proud of this achievement. […] Listing on the stock exchange represents a fundamental step for Sanlorenzo, and a new starting point for growth and development on international markets.Another yachting industry representative, major US retailer OneWater Marine specialising in boats sale and maintenance of boats, filed for an IPO July 12 this year. The company owns and operates 60 stores in the United States.Founded in 2014, they reported $719 million in FY2019. On October 15, OneWater Marine announced the terms of its IPO. They were planning to raise $60 million by offering 3.2 million shares at prices ranging from $18 to $20. However, the group decided to postpone its IPO.Returning to the European market, another key player and competitor of Sanlorenzo, the Ferretti Group, not only postponed but even withdrew from the public listing 30% of the company’s shares due to insufficient valuation.Ferretti saw lowering of its indicative price range for shares from the initial target of €2.50 to €3.70 per share to only between €2.00 and €2.50. That said, it would have meant a market valuation of € 581 million instead of aimed €1.08 billion. Under the new prospective, Alberto Galassi, CEO of the company, said in 2020 a share of about 30% might be sold to some new investor from Europe, reported Reuters.
Baglietto sells the third 48m T-Line superyacht in South America
Italian yacht builder Baglietto has announced the sale of the 48-metre T-Line, hull no. 10233 to a South American Owner. Along with her sisterships Andiamo and Silver Fox, Project no. 10233 represents a flagship model of the Baglietto T-Line.Designer Francesco Paszkowski and the yacht’s experienced owner worked closely together on adding stylistic and functional improvements to the project.The vessel features a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. She offers spacious outside areas that include a vast 140-square-metre sun deck. The stern has a swimming pool with tanning beds, complementing the roll-bar and lunch area with a coffee-bar, barbecue grill, and refrigerator. The zone also connects directly to the galley thanks to a dumb waiter. Compared to her two sisterships, this model has a different layout on the upper deck, offering more space to the sky lounge and extending outside with a semi-circular window. This layout allows for a winter garden that houses a comfortable dining table for 12 guests. As per the Owner’s request meanwhile, a crystal lift connects the decks, including the sun deck.Large, full-height windows with no obstructions both on the upper deck and the main deck bring a lot of natural light inside. Another exciting feature is the lower deck’s layout, which includes two large double cabins that can be transformed into four doubles thanks to a sliding partition wall. Finally, the aft 46-square-meter beach area includes a relaxation space and a spa with fully-equipped gym and steam bath. The tenders and two jet skis are found at the bow.The yacht can easily cruise at a maximum speed of 15 knots and 12 knots of cruising speed.Currently under construction at the shipyard in La Spezia with the supervision of Camper & Nicholsons, the yacht is planned for summer 2021 delivery. Noteworthy, Baglietto has recently launched its current flagship superyacht, the 55-metre Severin°. The yard has also revealed the Francesco Paszkowski Design of its new 65-metre superyacht V-Line during the Monaco Yacht Show 2019.
48 Wallytender X demonstrates 55 knots ahead of debut in Miami
Wally has announced the forthcoming launch of a 48-foot (approx. 14.6-metre) high-performance open tender at Miami Yacht Show in February 2020. A modified sistership of 48 Wallytender model, the 48 Wallytender X has already demonstrated high speeds of 55 knots during preliminary sea trials.Stefano de Vivo, Managing Director of Wally, comments:As a hotspot for the outboard yachting lifestyle, Florida is the perfect place to unveil this exciting new model. With four 450hp outboard racing engines primed to unleash astounding speeds, the 48 Wallytender X will undoubtedly turn heads and be the perfect match for anyone who loves high-performance boats.In comparison to 48 Wallytender that made her international debut this autumn, Wally with Ferretti Group have reviewed a number of propulsion options for its new outboard model. They selected Mercury’s 450hp Verado R engines, with good power-to-weight ratio. The combination with a light carbon fibre construction designed in-house at Wally and Ferretti, allows for high top speeds and very low consumptions under extended range. Preliminary sea trials have indicated maximum speeds over 55 knots and a cruising speed of 40 knots with a range of 320 nautical miles.The builder hopes, that high performance would ‘ideally complement the fast-paced boating way of life favoured by many Florida-based selective owners’. Alongside the performance advantages of outboard engines, the 48 Wallytender X features reduced noise and vibration.In addition, with tilting outboards, the effective draft of the 48 Wallytender X can be reduced to 70cm at full load when the engines are lifted.The vessel comes with a spacious suite on the lower deck featuring carbon fibre decking with teak furniture and panels, conceived for cruising in comfort. The deck layout also comprises generous seating, sunbeds and alfresco dining catered to by the well-equipped galley unit and side-opening bulwarks.With the engines repositioned outside the hull, space is freed up for storage, allowing the 48 Wallytender X feature user-friendly joystick controls for easy docking.Another important feature of 48 Wallytender X is retractable hydraulic boarding passerelle/swim ladder. With the four engines split to the flanks of the boat enabling the ladder installation, it can provide direct and easy access to the water or the shore.Luca Bassani, Wally founder, expressed: We are very proud of what we have achieved in this new outboard version of the 48 Wallytender. We have been able to maintain its strong aesthetic identity and the many practical features found on the inboard model, perfectly packaged to serve the needs of clients who prefer the outboard experience in their boating lifestyle, including top speeds and high levels of performance.Founded in 1994 by passionate yachtsman Luca Bassani, Wally became part of Italian Ferretti Group in 2019. Recently, Ferretti Group abandoned the idea of trading on the stock exchange due to unsatisfactory results of the public offering period earlier this year.
77m superyacht Syzygy 818 renamed: is the latest Feadship sold?
The recently launched 77-metre Feadship Syzygy 818 has been renamed Pi. With her charter previously managed by KK Superyachts, it has not been revealed yet, whether the vessel has switched owners or has been listed for sale.The latest Feadship superyacht delivery, Pi made her international debut at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019, after successful sea trials in the North Sea. Still, little information has been revealed on the yard's second largest vessel. It is known, that she features naval architecture by Feadship De Voogt, exterior design by Jamsen and interiors by Sinot Yacht Design.With the yacht initially known as Project 818, the 818 in the name stood for"prosperous" in Chinese numerology, and mirrored the owner's birthday on August 18, revealed the yard. The word "syzygy" meanwhile came from astrology, referring to a rare event in which three or more celestial bodies line up, such as a new moon or lunar eclipse.With a beam of 11 metres, Pi boasts a steel hull and aluminium superstructure and boasts double-curvature glass windows drawing plenty of light inside. With impressive interior volume of 1,592 GT, the superyacht can sleep up to 12 guests and 18 crew members on-board.Techno wise, Pi is capable of a maximum speed of 18.4 knots, thanks to twin MTU 16V 4000 M63 engines.
VAT reduction on European charters to change in 2020
After the meeting between the President The European Committee for Professional Yachting and the Directorate of Tax Legislation, it has been confirmed that VAT reductions on charters earlier practiced in Italy, France, Malta, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia, would no longer apply in 2020.Earlier, it was possible to reduce VAT on charter services by means of a short-term charter in international waters. The European commission had to ask the above-listed countries to modify their tax practice starting from from January 1st, 2020. The policy aims at unifying conditions and terms for VAT benefits application throughout Europe. Up to now, Italy, France, Malta, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia have been practicing tax benefits upon going in international waters during charter period. Starting from 2020, VAT discounts will be applied only in proportion to the time or the distance a yacht would take outside the European waters.Noteworthy, in summer 2019, the EU Commission warned Italy and Cyprus that it would take further steps to end illegal tax breaks in the yacht industries on their territories, first brought to light in the Paradise Papers leaks.