How to buy a yacht, things to look out for, tips for new time buyers

When thinking about buying a yacht, there are a number of different factors that need to be taken into consideration before the actual purchase. Steps of how to actually purchase a yacht need to be considered, maintenance costs associated with ownershipsand then all the pleasantries of chartering are a number of different factors that need to be looked out for when deciding whether to go through with a purchase on a vessel that has been found.

How to buy a yacht

There is a widely used seven step process involved in purchasing a yacht and this would be a great starting point for someone buying their first every vessel, as it helps to highlight certain things that may not have been originally thought of.

The steps include the search and selection process of the yacht, making the offer, having the offer accepted, the survey (which is one of the most important things that a first-time buyer can do), the sea trial, acceptance of the agreement and then the closing stages of the transaction.

Using a specialist in this particular industry that knows all the finer details, such as, can certainly help make this process as easy and smooth as possible, especially for those that have no previous experience within this particular market.

So, what do each of those steps entail and what can a first-time buyer look out for and use to help them with the process?

Step 1: Search and selection

As mentioned, the first step of the process is to search for the right yacht and make your decision as to the one that you want to purchase. Rather straightforward, however making the wrong selection can set the buyee back and prolong the process even more.

Therefore, making the right inspections and reviewing the right documentation is vitally important at this stage of the process.

Step 2: Offer

The next step once the right yacht has been found is to make a formal offer to purchase the boat. The advisory company that has been selected will then draft up all the legal documents in the right manner and will outline all the terms needed to complete the entire transaction.

Things such as sea trials and surveys will be included in the contract, as these things are necessary components in the act of buying a yacht, especially for first-time buyers, as it is common practice to deposit 10% of the offer price with your broker.

Step 3: Offer accepted

The seller will accept, reject or counter your offer to buy. It can be rare for the first offer to be accepted, so there could be some time where each party is going back and forth with counter offers. Be patient throughout this process as a point will likely be met after a period of time.

Step 4: Survey

This is the most important step of the entire transaction process and one that first-time buyers must go through thoroughly. The point of a survey is to determine and provide an accurate reading into the health of the yacht and to highlight any potential problems that may arise in the future. Purchasing a yacht is already a costly exercise, so finding out all the potential issues before they arise is a must.

Unfortunately, this will come to the buyers’ cost, however it is a cost that should not be skipped as the benefits certainly outweigh the drawbacks of completing one.

Step 5: Sea Trial

Again, another important step in the process of buying a yacht is to take the boat out to sea and take it on a trial. In what is usually a four hour window, the buyer will be able to get an experience as to what it is like to have the vessel out on the sea and it will also allow for some further investigatory checks to be completed. Thankfully, this step is paid for out of the seller’s pocket and not by the buyer.

Step 6: Acceptance

Should the buyee be happy with what they have seen from the survey and experienced with the sea trial, the stage of acceptance comes into play. There are a number of different things that can happen here although the overall aim is to reach a written agreement for the acceptance of the yacht.

First-time buyers should note that they will be able to continue to negotiate with the seller if they feel something is not quite right, or if the survey has highlighted any work that needs to be completed. If an agreement can be reached, they can either knock the price of the work off the overall cost, or have the seller carry out the work. What is important here, though, is that once the written acceptance has been made, the 10% deposit that was made at the offer stage becomes at risk and could be lost if the sale falls through.

Step 7: Closing

Once everything has been completed, the final stage of purchasing a yacht is the closing part of the transaction. This works like any other transaction as all legal documents are signed and the asset is then handed over to the new owner.

There is plenty for first-time yacht buyers to think about when they look to purchase a vessel, however the steps are relatively straightforward and are easy to follow. Do this correctly, and owning the yacht could be a plain-sailing exercise.