There is a plethora of things to consider before you take the leap into yacht ownership.

Purchasing your very own yacht, is not a decision to take lightly, nor is it a process that you should rush.

Therefore, here are 10 fundamental considerations to help you on your way.


Time & Use

Whether you are looking to undertake an epic round-the-world trip or you are just looking for some winter sun, it is important to consider the amount of time you intend to spend on your yacht.

It is also important to decide on whether you want to operate your vessel commercially or to keep it for private use only. To operate commercially, the vessel will be required to meet additional technical and safety standards and regulations.


Know Your Limits

It is crucial to understand what type and size of vessel is right and meets your intended use and requirements. You do not want to end up building or buying a yacht that is not fit for purpose.

Furthermore, yacht ownership is not a cheap affair; it is a significant investment of both time and money. It is important to have a budget in mind, particularly with so many costs that go beyond that initial purchase price. Yacht management fees, supplies and goods, refit and repair costs, ongoing operation, berthing fees, crew salaries, insurance, registration, tender and toys are just some of the many other costs to consider.


Get a Broker

Engaging a yacht broker can offer a number of benefits. Not only do they eat and sleep yachts, they often have the knowledge and network required to find the yacht that is right for you –after all, it is their job. However, seek recommendations from other yacht owners or your advisors to ensure that you engage a professional and reputable broker.

Finding the right broker is like finding the right yacht – perhaps it is why they go hand in hand. Ensure your chosen broker understands you and your requirements, that they take the time to listen to what you want and need, and that they have the knowledge and experience to deliver it.


Attend Yacht Shows

Yachts come in all shapes, sizes, makes and models. Take time to visit a number of yacht shows so that you can look around the different yachts available and get a feel for the type of yacht you think you like that is within your budget.


Be open-minded

If you find the right yacht but it does not have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that you’re looking for, don’t let it put you off. The interior can be changed or updated to suit your desired style and functionality. Be open-minded to avoid missing out on a bargain.


Follow your vision

Do you have a specific vison for your yacht build/refit? It is important to ensure that the builders, naval architects and designers you engage understand that vision and work with you to achieve the desired result. It can often be beneficial to engage a project manager to oversee your build/refit, who will act as your point of contact in the process and will liaise with the various parties involved on your behalf.


Try Before you Buy

If you are about to jump into unchartered waters, it is often a good idea to try chartering a couple of different vessels in order to get a feel for the type of yacht you might like and whether or not it is likely to meet your expectations. What you think you want and like may change when you experience the reality of it.
Similarly, once you think you have found the right yacht, have the broker or shipyard arrange a sea trial on said vessel (or one that is the same model if looking for a new build) so that you can experience it first hand before parting with any money.


Yacht Ownership

Before you buy your own yacht, speak with other yacht owners, captains and managers to get a better understanding of what being a yacht owner is really like and what it entails. Understanding the basics is important.

You should also consider how to structure ownership of your yacht. Consideration needs to be given to how and where you plan to use your vessel in order to ascertain any tax or VAT exposure, and whether the asset is intended to generate income and subsequently whether tailored tax planning could offer any fiscal benefits and/or minimise any liabilities. For this reason, it is vital to engage an appropriate advisor and a professional service provider that can assist you in setting up an ownership structure that protects you and your vessel, is fit for purpose whilst still meeting your needs and requirements.


Insurance

As with any kind of insurance it is important to shop around and to use a reputable insurance broker with expertise in the yachting industry to ensure you get sufficient coverage. A vessels age, purchase price and size will all effect your insurance premium and if purchasing a used vessel, your insurer will likely request a copy of a recent survey to evidence the vessels current condition.


Be Patient

As the saying goes, ‘patience is a virtue’. Whether you are starting a new-build or buying second-hand, purchasing a yacht can take time. Good things come to those that wait – and this wait will definitely be worth it.

It is important to take your time, do the research and ensure that you have a team of professional advisors and service providers to guide and support you through what can be a complex process.


With a comprehensive understanding of the yachting industry, our professional team can assist owners and their representatives in understanding the diverse requirements associated with the ownership, registration and management of a range of vessels, whether being used on a commercial or private basis.

If you would like more information on our range of yachting services or would like to discuss any specific requirements further, please contact +44 1624 616544 or email info@sentientinternational.com

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