How to buy a Yacht
Tips on buying a right motor yacht (how to buy a yacht)
Whether its your first boat or not, its never a straight forward process to find yourself the right motor yacht. There are loads of choices online and many boats for sale in Hong Kong. There is also an over supply of information, some of it is useful and most of it is biased. All brands claim to be better than each other. So what should you be really looking for? Here are some tips to help you find the right boat.
Step 1) Understand your purpose for having a boat. Do you want a boat to cruise the local waters for fishing with your family? Do you want a boat to take you from one place to another on a regular basis? Do you want it as a corporate entertainer? Do you want something that defines your status and is a luxury getaway for weekends? Do you want a leisure boat to hop around the islands and explore your ocean? Do you want it for Water sports? Or a little bit of all?
For example : Cruiser is a boat that have more accommodation for overnighting you can take a cruiser for longer runs from one city to another, the boat will generally have cabins, a toilet, a galley (kitchen area) for cooking etc.
is a boat generally with bigger outer deck and cockpit (back of the boat) area and sometimes is equipped with tanks to store fish, the large deck space creates a smaller accommodation inside for overnighting, unless you buy a bigger boat.
is a fast jet boat or specially designed for water skiing or a specific sport. It is normally small as it requires to be fast and is normally not suitable for long cruises or over night stays.
is just a simple day cruiser, which you can use for island hopping and exploring things near by. Not for long cruises as speedboats have smaller fuel tanks and can run out of fuel quickly.
Sailing yachts are for sailing enthusiasts who love the sport, they come in all sizes and price range. They are not motor yachts because they don’t use a motor to run, but nevertheless are great fun.
Step 2) Consider what size of boat do you want. Larger boats those that are over 40 ft long in size are considered as motor yachts and they have many features, such as nice cabins, toilets, galley, deck area for sunbathing. They cost much more than smaller boats to buy, to keep and to maintain. They carry more passengers, in Hong Kong generally boats over 40 foot can carry 14 passengers, unless the factory provides a certificate that it can carry more. Smaller boats such as 20 ft long boats, can carry around 6 to 8 people. For first time buyers we recommend them to buy a boat of around 20 to 30 foot in length because they are easier to handle. Moorings (parking space) for small boats are also cheaper than bigger ones.
New or used yacht
: There is large number of boats for sale in Hong Kong and depending on your budget you can choose between a new or a used boat. If you can find a honest dealer you can get new boats
for a very good value, and if you find a dishonest broker, you can easily overpay for a used boat. New boats of course are in mint condition and come without any trouble. Make sure you are in contact with a good agent who will also handle your warranty issues and it helps to choose a brand of a boat which has a known quality classification.
The downside of buying a new boat is that it costs more than a used boat.
To buy used boats, you should see a fair amount of boats before you decide to purchase. If you are an engineer you can understand the machinery well. But if you are not, we recommend you to hire service dealers of the specific brand of engine and generators and do a thorough inspection. Additionally you should also hire a marine surveyor to do the survey. The difference between the marine surveyor and engine dealer’s inspection is that. Marine surveyor will lift the boat up and check the hull, and interior, and almost everything such as nuts and bolts connections, hoses, water pumps, electrical systems, wood works and all systems to find any damages that need to be repaired. The engine dealer inspection is specifically to check the engines, they will normally hook up the engine to a computer and take it out for a sea-trail and record the condition of the engine. This should give you a good idea about the condition of the engines.
You should be ready to accept a fair amount of wear and tear according to the age of the boat. However, we recommend to stay away from boats with serious engine issues or any past history of serious hull accidents.
Step 4) Once you have chosen a size and model for the new boat, you should also take it for a ride or you can even hire a marine surveyor to check it for you. It will be of additional assurance for you. If you are buying a used boat, then you should follow all instructions in step 3. If you are ordering a new boat from a factory, then its recommended you visit the factory and test the boat. Understand the warranty package and note that many yacht manufacturers will not cover damages such as corrosion, rust, gelcoat discoloration etc as these are classified under natural wear and tear. Also, you may need to pay for commissioning your engines locally to start the engine warranty. Engine dealers can also deny warranty service if they find that you have not serviced the engines as recommended or used the boat recklessly. It is important you ask the engine dealer about how you break-in the engine. meaning, how many hours you can use the engine in a low RPM before you can take it to maximum speed etc. Some engines may have these conditions stated.
Step 5) Buy it with right procedure & Insure it right : Get your boat insured by a known marine insurance agent, especially with one who has history of giving claims fairly. Also understand the buying procedure, Normally when you order a motor yacht you pay 20% deposits and 30% second stage payment and balance when the boat is ready in the factory (ex-factory). Lot of new customers like to ask if they can pay for the boat after the boat arrives. This is not accepted by any sensible dealer anywhere, because the amount is normally very high and dealers do not make high enough margin to cover any risk of rejection or being made to do silly things to get their final payment.
Step 6) Pay right and get the right benefits : Lot of buyers are interested in squeezing the dealers to their last dollar, this many times can actually cost you money. Because many times when the dealers are paid right, they will fix minor problems on your boat even when they do not come under warranty. As we all want to have a good relationship with the customer. That money as a matter of fact is used for your boat. The owner will also need the dealer to be honest about any problems they find, and the dealer’s advise to do small works to avoid potential problems or increase the value. But if you are the owner, who refuses to pay for anything and in turn complain and ask the dealer to pay for the recommended works. Then nobody is going to give you any information to make your boat better and problem free. In fact, then the dealers start to disassociate themselves and dig up the agreements and secure themselves from any future claims.
Step 7) Hiring a crew : Depending on the size of your boat, you have an option to hire a crew or not. We recommend if you are new to boating then you should hire a full time captain if your boat is over 40 feet in length. A good captain will clean the boat, run the engines and systems regularly and ensure smooth operation. Including waxing your boat periodically to protect your gel coat. A professional captain also can avoid accidents by maintaining things right and knows the waters well enough so you can relax and enjoy the time.
If you are interested in doing things yourself but are not experienced enough. You should either join a boating course or hire a professional who can teach you maintenance and operation.
Step 8) Enjoy boating !
Tip : It may be a good idea if you involve as less people as possible when you are out there to buy a boat. Its not always a good idea to like ask your friend or his boat boy to help, or a club employee or a shipyard worker or your past crew etc. Because lot of times they approach the agents and secure a commission for themselves. They can also stop the right information from getting to you, or give you biased information to serve their interest. People are out there to make a living and not for helping you to buy a luxury product without charging any fees. So do your own research, approach as many agents and dealers as you can directly, even a professional marine surveyor can be of assistance. Because a professional well known surveyor’s standards and ethics do not allow them to take commissions to accommodate sales. They are strictly there to do independent work. Its always better that a customer directly contacts a trustworthy agent and does a sensible research to compare various products before making a final decision.