How to Buy a Yacht The Smart Way

Posted on May 2, 2013 by Lee under Buying A Boat, Sailing 2 Comments

Sailing YachtA yacht obviously sits towards the upper-end of boating purchases. Not everyone can afford one, and not everyone would want one – but if a yacht is for you, we’re here to help.

Buying a sailing yacht requires a little more forethought than smaller boats – prices are often orders-of-magnitude higher, and vary widely according to size and capability of the vessel.

However, if you have the means and the desire, buying a yacht can be a fantastic purchase and a real investment.

First Port of Call – The RYA

The Royal Yachting Club is the obvious move for your initial research into yacht-buying. There’s a wealth of information on the RYA website, and they offer great advice on private deals, new boat purchases, and buying and selling through a yacht broker.

Second Hand or Not?

Many yachts are in fact not sold new. Classic older boats are often very desirable, especially if their maintenance and replacements have been kept up to date. As luxury vessels, boats don’t depreciate in the same way as cars.  Many even maintain their original purchase price in terms of pounds sterling (but they won’t keep up with inflation, of course).

If you do opt for a second hand vessel, be sure to browse through an established marketplace or database to get a taste of what’s out there and what it costs.

Yacht brokers in the UK are largely unregulated, although there are some minimum requirements that yachts for sale must meet, according to the Recreational Craft Regulations Act. If you’ve got your eye on a particular yacht, it’s worth making a call to the authorities to ensure everything is above board – they’ll be able to check the claimed owner’s paperwork, and should be aware of any boat thefts that may be relevant.


Yacht prices vary widely according to the size and power of the boat, and it can be hard to determine whether you’re getting a good deal. Smaller motor yachts may clock in at around six figures, while larger custom built crafts can stretch into the millions of pounds.

Because of this, it’s difficult to accurately value the price you’ve been offered. Try and shop around and compare your desired yacht’s price to boats of similar size and age. This is where membership to a sailing or yacht club can really pay dividends – you’re surrounded by boat owners, and the other members should be able to offer sage advice on whatever deal you have on the table.  If all else fails, internet forums can be a source of useful opinion from other owners and enthusiasts when you’re seeking to buy a yacht.

Don’t Forget All The Extras…

As with cars, the price tag is never really all you pay. Yachts can come with hefty additional and hidden costs, and it pays to be aware of what they might be.  Maintenance fees and equipment replacements may need to be done every year, and insurance and fuel costs can be high.

Mooring fees are another substantial cost to take into account. Yachts are fairly large, and as such, require permanent moorings. Marina fees for mooring can be quite substantial and come in at a few thousand pounds per year.

When considering a yacht purchase, talk to the owner or manufacturer and get a feel for how much the extras will clock in at.

Again, the advice of other experienced yacht owners here is invaluable.  Try and corner one at the bar of the yacht club, and pick their brains over all the hidden and ongoing costs.

…And Don’t Forget To Learn How To Sail The Thing!

This is where we come in. With an extensive range of sail and motor courses, we can connect you with the right training courses to build your skill and experience on the open waves, before or after your big purchase.



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