If you’re in the market for a luxurious yacht, then you may find that the purchasing process is overwhelming. When buying used, it’s tempting to focus more on size, but it’s vital to remember that quality really matters more. This makes buying new a challenge because it’s easy to be sidetracked by all the beautiful new features found in modern yachts. However, there are a few things you can look for to spot a quality boat and get the deal that you really want.
Start by taking a walk through a local boat yard. The hull number on the stern shows what year a boat was built, and you can examine at the finish to see how different brands look. You’ll be able to see if gel coatings are turning chalky and if graphics are actually just taped-on decals. This may give you a starting point for the brands that seem to be holding up better after a few years in the water.
A prime spot for reviewing the quality is the rub rails. Even after a few years of use, they should still be smooth and tight without noticeable damage at the hull-to-deck joint. While you’re inspecting the rails, take a closer look at the metal surfaces. Quality manufacturers will use marine-grade stainless steel that is better suited to the harsh conditions on the water. The windows should still have the clean trim that rolled out of the showroom. Windows that are smeared with caulking indicate that the manufacturer is using generic recreational windows rather than glass and frames that are designed for use on the open water.
When it comes to the interior of offshore yachtsit’s more important to go with quality than with a shiny finish. Inferior materials will break down over time and have to be replaced. However, the solid wood and quality materials that go into finer crafts will withstand the test of time and still look great in 20 years.
If you’re torn between going with a new vessel or a used one, then consider how long you plan on using the craft. A general rule of thumb is that you should buy new if you’re going to keep it for more than about four years. If you’re going to upgrade in a few years, then a used yacht will suit your purposes nicely and still have some value when you’re ready to sell.