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Want to Buy a Superyacht?

Words by Emerson Frasier

Of course you do. Boat experts Henry Craven-Smith and Jonathan Hind from Burgess tell EDGAR how to go about purchasing a superboat to call your own.

Setting sail in your very own superyacht is a a far-flung dream for many. But there’s always a way. There are some top tips that will help you achieve this Bucket List fantasy and add a superyacht to your list of (impressive) assets.

TRUST THE EXPERTS

Find a broker you can trust. “A sales broker should be working for you, not just for any ‘deal’ that comes along,” says Henry Craven-Smith. “They should provide you with expertise, real market insight, and ultimately should give you honest, unbiased advice that will help you settle on the yacht that’s right for you.”

REVIEW THE MARKET

Set a realistic budget and think about what you want to do with your yacht: where do you want to cruise and where will you base the yacht? Are speed and/or fuel efficiency important to you? Do you want to offer your yacht for charter? And what kind of operating budget are you comfortable with? Maybe you’re interested in building your own yacht?

Answering questions like these will help your broker put the right yachts and projects in front of you. Review those selections carefully, keep an open mind, and plan some visits. The more visits, the better. “The more you see, the more you will learn, not only about the yachts themselves, but also about your requirements,” says Hind.

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TAKE YOUR TIME

The only sure bet when working in this industry is that no two deals are ever the same. The process of buying a yacht can be quick when everything lines up perfectly, but it doesn’t happen often. “Don’t rush,” says Craven-Smith. “Study the options – then when an opportunity arises you’ll understand the inherent value and be able to jump quickly.”

GO TO A BOAT SHOW

Navigating your way around an international boat show can be challenging but a knowledgeable broker will help you cut through the hustle and bustle. “The best brokers have the inside track on what’s going on and when, as well as the hottest deals,” explains Hind. “We can arrange access to those yachts that are usually only available to a handful of select clients.”

Monaco and Cannes host the world’s finest yacht shows in September. Hind says, “With 600+ boats spread over the two Cannes ports this show really is a must for the semi-custom, sub-50m market sector.” Set in the glittering bay of Cannes, the designer boutiques and luxurious hotels of the city provide ample distraction, rest and recuperation when you tire of walking the docks.

Around 10 days later, it’s Monaco’s turn. More than 500 boatbuilders show off their finest work, including 125+ superyachts with another 100+ yachts lying at anchor in the bay. Dinners, parties, supercars and brand new product launches make Monaco a must.

Hind advises, “Talk to your broker beforehand and make a plan that takes in the yachts you want to see, but also gives you the chance to go back for second visits.” He adds, “Wear comfortable shoes for walking the docks and make some restaurant reservations to help the boat show experience run smoothly.”

THE BOAT BUYING PROCESS

You’ve settled on a yacht and agreed a price with the seller, so now the purchase process begins. “If you build a pragmatic team around you and work with a level-headed broker who has sound transactional experience, buying and selling a yacht can be a smooth process for both buyer and seller,” says Craven-Smith. “Keep focussed on the endgame, listen to your broker and be willing to compromise a little to get a deal done.”

SET-UP

The deal is done, but before you start cruising, there are a few things to take care of such as registering the yacht under its new ownership with the relevant authorities, employing captain and crew, and finding insurance. Use a good yacht management company to do everything in-house for you simultaneously. It takes a lot of experience to find the right captain who fits with you as owner. “We work with clients whose captain has stayed with them as they’ve bought and sold and bought yachts time and time again because they have such a strong relationship,” says advises Craven-Smith. “Rely on the specialists who know their field, it will pay off in the long-run.”

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