Whether you are looking to buy a brand new yacht or a pre owned vessel on brokerage there is a lot to consider before committing to what most people consider as the second largest purchase after their house.

Whilst there are no hard and fast rules and naturally everyones individual circumstances are slightly different. In our yacht buying guide we have highlighted some of the key areas you should consider when making your initial choices about which yacht is right for you.

Do your homework 

Factors affecting any purchasing decision are wide and varied and inevitably some compromise is necessary. For the first time buyer it is sometimes hard to know what features are important but whether this is your first yacht or not it is really important to understand how you want the yacht to work for you, both in terms of sailing as well as how you live on board.

There are hundreds of makes and models of yachts to choose from and narrowing down your options can be quite a minefield.

It is really important to never underestimate the real pleasure and emotion than can be created from owning a yacht.

It is really important to never underestimate the real pleasure and emotion than can be created from owning a yacht.

For most there is a real sense of pride and excitement when you walk down the docks towards your yacht.

Recognising the early signs of this emotion during your research will give you a really good indication when you have found the right boat.

Interesting Fact:

When questioned most purchasers cite the layout and living arrangements as the most important influencing factors in their decision making, over and cruising performance.

Top Tip

When looking around at various yachts make sure you take all the decision makers with you. It will save you a lot of time if you can gauge the reaction of anyone else involved straight away. You will quickly find out the key features that are important to all of you.


Boat Shows

Attending a Boat Show is a great way to see a large range of the most popular boats all in one place. There are numerous Boat Shows throughout the year around the world if you go to our Boat Shows page you will find out all the upcoming shows.

 As well as local boat shows, there a plenty of big name boat shows including the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which is know to be the largest boat show in the world. We go to this show every year, as well as the Miami and Westpalm Beach boat shows. We highly suggest anyone eager to see some of the nicest and finest boats around, should come join us in Fort Lauderdale during the next show! 

Yacht Brokers

They are a great source of information and will happily show you the boats that are for sale in your area, and what the different options you have between different makes and models. 

Pro Tip

Tell the broker where you are at in the buying process. If you are just at the beginning of your search then make this clear at the outset. Don’t pretend that you are just about to make a purchase if you are on a two year plan. A good broker will happily help you regardless and will appreciate your honesty.

Boat Reviews

There are plenty of great boat reviews available to read and videos to watch online.

Some are generated by the manufacturers themselves and others by yachting journalists.

Both will highlight the main features and benefits of any yacht and give you visual overview of layout and design.

Pro Tip

You will always appreciate the extra space so within reason buy a yacht that has capacity for you to grow into. You will soon get used to handling a larger boat and certainly in the long run you will be financially better off if you don’t have to buy and sell in a short period of time. Unless you are downsizing of course !!!

Choosing the size of yacht which is right for you is influenced by many things, we always believe that no matter the size you should always go for the better more suitable boat, as the joy of quality far exceeds the savings of a cheap boat.

– Number of people that you normally will have on board, and intend to sleep onboard. Most yachts between 34 and 60 feet have the same accommodation and can all sleep 8 people but clearly the living space offered differs dramatically.
– Consider how much time you plan to spend onboard. Is this a boat just for weekends or do you intend to carry out some longer distance cruising.
– Location, where will you store this vessel, do you want a boat house to properly maintain this vessel for years to come, or do you prefer being simply on the dock? Which dock? Which marina?
– Budget, in addition to the initial purchase price there is also the ongoing  maintenance costs to consider
– Technology & equipment options. With options including bow thrusters, stern thrusters, electric winches, watermakers, generators, fuel polishing systems...etc. 

Interior Layout

There are only so many layout options you can create out of the space available but here are a few to consider.

– Number of cabins, two, three maybe four? 

-Where is the galley located? Does it have adequate storage for your useage. Will anything need to be updated or replaced?

-If your doing long distance cruising, how are the beds layed down? Bow to stern or Starboard to Port. The roll while cruising when beds are facing starboard to port can sometimes irritate certain guests.

-How many heads / restrooms would you need / want?


There are an incredible amount equipment options to choose from, some of which are there to help short handed sailing become more manageable or that make a larger yacht easier to handle. Other options are there simply to reflect modern living and how we live at home.


There are an incredible amount equipment options to choose from

Boat Handling Options:

– Electric winches, halyard and / or genoa
– Electric windlass
– Single line reefing
– Self tacking jibs
– Full battened mainsails with stack packs
– In mast furling mainsails
– Bow Thrusters
– Stern Thrusters

yacht buying guide


Onboard Living Options:

– Fridges / Freezers
– Dishwashers / Washing Machines
– Generators
– Air Conditioning
– Inverters
– LCD Televisions
– Bose music systems
– Full heating systems


Build Quality & Reputation

This is very subjective and inevitably you can ask a hundred people their and get a hundred different responses.

Just like cars and many other products there is a perceived image or status associated with certain brands. It is important for you to decide what is important and whether you are prepared to pay a premium for one brand over another when in reality most will all do the same thing for you in their own way.

That said there is still a difference in build quality between yacht manufacturers that affects not only what you will pay for the boat initially, but also the resale value and importantly your own experience during ownership.

The key is to be as informed as you can possibly be. There is a boat for every budget and the old adage “you get what you pay for” holds in most cases. But it is often a case of compromise and it is important to choose the right boat that not only works for you but is also within your budget.


Budget / Price

As you narrow your search down you can expect to find manufacturers offering similar boats at seemingly quite different prices.

Just make sure you are comparing like for like in terms of spec and equipment levels

Remember special offers are designed to tempt you in a certain direction but don’t let the offer off a headline grabbing discount cause you to forget which yacht it is you really prefer. Long after any discount has been enjoyed you will still be owning that boat so first and foremost focus on which boat is right for you and then secure the best possible price.

There is always some room for negotiation on price but be wary of that “never to be repeated” offer, there is normally a reason behind it. Sometimes genuine, sometimes not.


Pro Tip

Talk to your broker about letting them use your boat for a boat show or perhaps the odd test sail. In return you may be offered a better price in return.

buying a yacht

Sea Trials

Whilst it may seem back to front it is important to iron out all the other factors that influence your decision before you embark on a sea trial.

So don’t necessarily expect to be offered a sea trial unless you are a long way down the buying process. Most yacht brokers will not agree to a sea trial unless there is some serious commitment to buy. Usually a deposit and a signed contract.

At the end of the day if you like the boat for every other reason then the chances are that she will perform well within your expectations. No main stream manufacturer will design a yacht that handles poorly, they have enough depth of experience to know what works. So whilst of course it is important to satisfy yourself that the boat performs as you imagine she will, there are many other aspects about the yacht that will influence your decision.

So now you have found the right boat for you, it is time to talk one of our helpful consultants and allow us to do a in-depth market search to find you the right boat for the right price.