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

Spotted: explorer superyacht Olivia O on the French Riviera
The brand new superyacht Olivia O has been recently seen on the French Riviera. Planning and engineering work began on the boat in November 2016 and earlier in 2020 the superyacht was finally delivered to her experienced owner.One of the largest explorer yachts in the world was designed and built by Ulstein Verft, which is known for commercial vessels, ferries, and workboats. Well-known superyacht designer Espen Oeino was chosen by the owner to develop the exterior lines and the general arrangement of Olivia O. The 88.5 m motor yacht is not typical in style, she features a trademarked reverse-bow design called the X-Bow.She is owned by Eyal Ofer, a Monaco based billionaire, active in shipping and real estate. He is not the last man in shipping indeed since in 2014 Eyal was ranked number 7 in Lloyd’s List 100 People in Shipping. With the net worth, which is estimated at US$ 9.4 billion, he definitely can afford this US$ 200 million luxury superyacht. Eyal is Chairman of Ofer Global, Zodiac Group, and Global Holdings. His father Sammy Offer was Israel’s richest man.Some of her impressive highlights are a large swimming pool on the main deck aft and a helicopter deck with a D-value of 16. Olivia O offers accommodation up to 20 guests in 8 cabins, including Pullman bunks while crew accommodation is for 30 people.
New delivery: Feadship 99.95 m superyacht Moonrise
The 99.95 m superyacht Moonrise, the largest superyacht by waterline length built in the Netherlands to date, has been recently delivered after successful sea trials in the North Sea. Built by the Feadship yard in Makkum, she also has an impressive volume thanks to a 15.50-metre beam.The shipyard described the yacht's key features as “sleek, sensual lines” with a “modern masculine profile”. Some of the highlights of Moonrise are it's a large beach club, a gym, and the huge living space areas.Her stylish details, such as long hull windows, a glorious grey hull, and striking vertical bow add to the elegance of the design by Studio De Voogt. The interior of the boat was created by Remi Tessieir Design.Moonrise has a 15.5-meter beam and is equipped with a pair of MTU engines for a maximum speed of 19.5 knots and a cruising speed of 16 knots.Moonrise equipped with a pair of MTU engines for a top speed of 19.5 knots at top speed and she is designed to cruise comfortably at 16 knots. The dimensions of the yacht are impressive and can accommodate up to 16 guests in 8 staterooms. There are also exceptionally high-end crew accommodations for up to 32 crew members.
Lürssen launches 142m superyacht Opus
Lürssen's superyacht Opus, which was previously named Redwood, hit the sea for the first time. The 142m vessel featuring six decks was launched yesterday July 9th. The technical concept was launched in January 2019.The management of project Opus is done by Moran Yacht & Ship, overseeing the construction process. This project sets a new record as the largest project for the company to sell.Moran Yacht & Ship commented:She is feature-rich with high-end amenities to delight and cater to every imaginable whimThe motor yacht can accommodate 36 guests in 20 cabins. Opus was designed by Italian design studio Nuvolari & Lenard. After the sea trials are completed, Opus will be delivered to her owner later this year.
Spotted: 99m superyacht Madame Gu in Saint Tropez
Madame Gu is a 99.00 m luxury motor yacht. She was built by Feadship in 2013. This week this majestic superyacht has been seen in Saint Tropez. With a beam of 16.50m and a draft of 4.60m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 2900 tones.Madame Gu is powered by MTU 20V 4000 M73 engines of 4,828hp each, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 24 knots and cruise at 22 knots.She can accommodate 12 guests in 6 cabins including a master stateroom and five guest cabins. Both, an interior and exterior design by Andrew Winch make up one of Holland’s largest yachts ever built. The superyacht a fully enclosed helicopter hangar with a Eurocopter Dauphin AS 365N3, which costs around US$ 9 million. Also, there are two 11-metre tenders and scuba gear as well as a beach club, gym, and jacuzzi on deck.
The design secrets of the world’s largest superyacht Azzam
Lürssen shipyard delivered 180 metre superyacht Azzam in 2013. With such an impressive length, she is the largest privately owned superyacht in the world and held its title unchallenged for nearly seven years. With a beam of 20.8 m and a draft of 4.3 m, she has a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 13136 tons. Azzam is powered by engines of 23,500 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 30 knots.The all-white motor yacht can accommodate guests in cabins with an interior design by Christophe Leoni and an exterior design by Italian studio Nauta Design.Mario Pedol, co-founder of Nauta Design commented:Azzam features balanced, modern architecture composed of straight lines and proportional volumes, which are some of the main design principles of Nauta Design When we were called to participate in pitching for the exterior styling of this yacht we knew it would be the most demanding work of our career, defined by the strictest and most challenging requests in terms of dimensions, performances, and technology. What made us confident to be able to deal with such a challenge was the interpretation of the client’s brief. The best technology was required in order to obtain the highest performance possible.There is not much information about her interior design, but it’s not a secret that the interior layout includes an open-plan main saloon measuring 29 metres by 18 metres.Pedol said about it:We’ve had a lot of compliments for Azzam. They all talk about elegance and balance, that she doesn’t look as big as she is, and I think this is a good achievement.