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Should You Buy a New or Used Yacht? Jan 05

new yacht

Very few purchases are as exciting and nerve-wracking as a yacht. After all, this isn’t just some tugboat or canoe. A yacht is your own personal floating resort. Depending on the size of the craft, you can take it between ports and actually go find your slice of perfect sandy beach. But even a smaller yacht will give you countless days of enjoyment in bays and on the open waters. When you’re in the market for a high end vehicle like this you’ll face all sorts of decisions. What size and style are you looking for? What are the amenities you consider must-haves? How far-ranging do you want the yacht to travel at any given time? These are all important questions, but probably the question at the heart of everything is whether you should buy a new or used yacht? Here are just a few of the considerations.

Although one floats on water and the other speeds down the highway, a yacht is very much like a luxury automobile. It’s constructed to impeccable standards, and is considered a status symbol. Because of that, a great deal of the vehicle’s value is lost after it is driven off the lot. A brand-new Mercedes, for example, loses as much as 20% of the sticker price the second it enters your possession, from that very first mile driven. And the result is approximately the same with a yacht. You will never get that value back on resale, even if you put it up the very same year you purchase it. So buying new gives you all the status that comes with affording that price tag. But buying a gently-used yacht offers the same enjoyment, without having to take on that sort of depreciation.

Another major concern is design. Part of the excitement of buying a yacht is how customizable they are. Stock yachts are gorgeous pieces of engineering, but when you buy new you get to make all sorts of changes. You can pick and choose the patterns and colors used on all the upholstery and the curtains. You can upgrade the sound system and the motor, or pay for those extra gas tanks. The list of add-ons with most yachting companies is extensive. And when you buy new, you get to pick and choose and basically construct your ideal seacraft. There’s an added expense with that for sure, but for many people it is totally worth it. Buying used will require you to shop around until you find the yacht that most closely matches your desires. You’ll have to settle, and it will never be 100% exactly what you want. Some of those concessions you may be able to adjust later, but other things you’ll simply have to deal with.

When you buy a used yacht, you’re also buying the level of care the previous owner put into their vehicle. If you pick up a low-mileage vehicle the risk is minimized, but you’ll never know exactly how it was treated. Perhaps the previous owner was rough on the clutch, or consistently smacked into the dock when parking. Obvious mechanical issues will be repaired, and will have some sort of record. But there’s always the chance that something can go wrong a month after you bought the vehicle that has nothing to do with your treatment of the yacht. When you buy new, you know you’re getting a vehicle in perfect condition. You can also often get some sort of warranty from the manufacturer. This can bring some much needed peace of mind, especially when you’re thinking about something that floats in deep water.

Finally, the cost of insurance could be far different for a new vehicle versus a used one. If you compare discount online vehicle insurance, you’ll find far lower rates on insurance policies for used yachts. That may not be a concern of yours, but the rule of thumb is similar to any sort of high-end motor vehicle. At the other end of the spectrum, if the yacht is too old and in poor condition you may not be able to get an insurance policy at all. The middle of the road may offer the best answers on this point.

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