Yachts are the ultimate toy for the uber-rich. They can boast everything from a Jacuzzi to a helipad.But what does it take to own a mega yacht, other than wads of cash?
We tracked down yacht brokers to find out what you need to know before purchasing your dream vessel.
Rupert Connor, president of the Luxury Yacht Group in Ft. Lauderdale, told us that, among other things, future yacht owners should seek the advice of friends who own yachts and they need to remember to keep their emotions in check.
And keep in mind, you can either buy a brand-new yacht and design it yourself, or you can save some dough and buy a pre-owned vessel.
While you can completely customise your yacht and build it from the ground up, Connor recommends going the semi-custom route.
The ship yard will already have a construction plan in mind and then you can customise from there.
With the semi-customisation route, the base engineering of the boat has already been built by a proven ship yard, meaning there will likely be fewer operational concerns.
'Personally for us, we like to go for something that has a proven track record,' Connor said of his brokerage firm.
Be aware of what Connor calls 'the design spiral' when buying a new yacht.
If you decide you want a boat that can travel 20 knots, make sure you know it will burn about four times more fuel than a 12-knot boat.
And, the faster boat will have less room for all your fancy toys.
If you choose to buy a brokerage, or pre-owned boat, you won't get as many customisation options.
However, the lead time, the time it takes for you to take possession of the vessel, will be much shorter.
When buying a used yacht, there are a few more steps involved.
First you negotiate the price with the seller.
After negotiating, you take the vessel out for a sea trial, usually at your expense, to get a feel for how it works in the water.
Be sure you also have a survey team inspect the boat for any mechanical or engineering issues.
Whichever type you buy, Connor advises that you follow five basic guidelines.
First, make sure you do your research. That might include chartering a boat to get a feel for what you like.
Once you've done your research, seek the advice of every yacht owner you know and trust.
They can prove invaluable when it comes to selecting a broker, shipyard, or crew, Connor said.
It's important to be flexible when designing a yacht, Connor advised.
For example, you might really want a spot to store your Harley Davidson, but in the end, that could cost you a ton of space and be an impractical cost.
And whatever you do, 'try to reduce the emotional attachment,' Connor stressed.
It's a business decision and you have to treat it as such.
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