How to choose the right yacht – Our tips for a perfect fit

The magical world of luxury yachting awaits you – but how do you choose the right yacht? Every boat is different, with its own suite of exceptional features and a unique design focus.  In this article, we’ll delve into exactly what you need to think to make the best decision for an awesome life on the ocean wave. 

How to choose the right yacht – Sailing or motoring?  

Sail or motor? While most modern sailboats have engines to use in an emergency, a sailboat is always cheaper to run simply because you’ll use a lot less fuel. The sails themselves might cost a fortune but the wind doesn’t! It’s also a quieter way to travel, with no engine noise. 

Motor yachts are a whole lot easier to sail, power boating being a lot more like driving a car than sailing could ever be.  Motor yachts are faster and offer more space for fun and entertainment because they’re wider, with no call for the slim-line design required for sailing upwind and no space required for stashing the sails. 

Testing, testing…

You might have spent plenty of time on board a luxury yacht before, in which case you’ll know the score. If you’ve never set foot on one, it’ll be helpful to get some experience before deciding which yacht to choose. The more different models you can test-drive, the better. You’ll quickly gain an appreciation of just how different they can be in terms of looks, feel, personality, comfort, equipment, and performance. 

As a luxury yachting newbie, easy operation is an important factor. You might want to pick a model with relevant features, for example, a single-interface touch-screen and an EJS joystick for super-easy maneuverability, navigation, and docking. Maybe you’ll consider a model without side thrusters, which can take a bit of getting used to. 

If you can’t test, ask instead. Visit boat shows, talk to yacht brokers, chat with people who already own a yacht. Read Boating Magazines and blogs, tour some marinas here and abroad, and of course, check out the reviews. 

What will you most want to do on board? 

One of the most important things to think about is exactly what you want to do once you’re on board. Will you be partying every step of the way, entertaining loads of friends and family, or using it for high-level business meetings? Will you want to be fishing, doing a lot of water sports, or gently cruising around as a couple in a mellow sort of way? 

If you’ll be chilling out, think entertainment areas, seating, bars, and sea views. If it’s fishing, look out for a boat with a big enough self-draining cockpit and storage for your fishing kit. Some yachts are built for sports, complete with generous swim platforms and extensive storage for equipment: water skis, jet skis and so on. 

If you’re inspired by the thought of long-range cruising you might want enough berths to sleep a crew and even a captain, so all you’ll need to do is relax and enjoy the ride. If you’ll be spending a lot of time on board you’ll want your home comforts: washing machines, dishwashers, a well-equipped galley, great bathrooms and a long-lasting power supply. It’s mostly common sense. 

Who will be joining you? 

Next, think people. First, it’s all about the berths. You’ll want to know there are enough beds and heads for a comfortable on-board life. If your friends and family are used to spending time at sea your choice will be different from sailing with novices. If friends and family want to give it a go, sailing it themselves, that’s another excellent reason for choosing a boat that’s easy and intuitive to drive. 

While size matters, the layout of the interior is even more important. You might think you want huge rooms and loads of space but a really big boat can be harder to maneuver, especially when you’re in a tight spot. On the other hand, if you want enough room for everyone to spread out and enjoy themselves you might want a craft with more than one entertainment space. Maybe an open and enclosed flybridge yacht will suit you best, or one with extra entertainment space in the mezzanine area. 

Spending just a few days at a time on board might mean you need smaller bedrooms than you’d want if you intend to spend weeks at a time at sea. You’ll need more storage space for clothes and belongings for a start. Most yachts offer at least one minimum queen-sized berth to sleep two. Yachts measuring 45 – 65 feet have as many as four bedrooms and three heads, and many come with enough convertible daybeds to sleep as many as sixteen of you. 

Older and younger guests come with the need for the best possible safety.  Choose a vessel with excellent lighting, sturdy handrails in all the right places to stop the little ones falling overboard, plus nice, wide side decks – and even good wheelchair accessibility. 

How far and how fast will you explore? 

Yachts have different fuel and water capacities, and their engines come with different power levels. Some are intended specifically for long-range cruising, built to be extra-quiet with a large fuel capacity and economical fuel consumption. Longer voyages also demand better protection from the weather when you’re up on deck, making the whole craft useable whatever the conditions.

If fuel consumption is on your radar bear in mind that as a rule, the bigger the boat the more fuel it uses. A bigger boat will also cost you more in marina fees.

Will you choose a new or used yacht?  

Just like buying a used car, there are a lot of questions to ask before laying your cash on the line; the vessel’s history, maintenance, the number of previous owners,  where she’s been based, where she’s sailed, age, condition and more. Again, it’s common sense. But you’ll also need to factor in extras like mooring fees, fuel, insurance, repair and maintenance, plus safety equipment and tenders. 

Remember a big budget doesn’t always mean a bigger vessel. You might prefer something smaller, more luxurious and better equipped instead of a boat that’s older and bigger but simpler. 

Yacht re-sale values

 If you buy a yacht outright you’ll need to know the potential re-sale value. Some makes and models are in high demand and short supply because the maker didn’t build many in the first place or the current owners don’t want to sell. These tend to hold their value better than more common yachts in less demand. But there’s an intelligent way to avoid the pitfalls of re-sales, and it could make all the difference between having the yacht you want and not being able to afford the boat you’ve set your heart on. 

Share a yacht or buy your own? 

Now for the exciting bit. It’s vitally important to figure out a realistic annual budget for your yachting life. It’s also important to know that it isn’t cheap. Replacement electronics, safety equipment, and deck gear can blow your budget out of the water. You might ultimately need to replace the engine. Marina berthing and moorings can be costly. But you can cut these and your other costs right down by joining a luxury yacht syndicate and sharing your ideal vessel with just a few like-minded people. 

Yacht share comes with a huge list of advantages and cost-savings over buying your own, and the convenience and ease of it all make it a popular choice with people wanting to experience luxury yachting at its very best. 

Discover the magic of yacht share

Click here to know more about yacht share, and get in touch if you’d like to discuss the potential with passionate people who know their stuff.