A yacht is a certain kind of status symbol and, once you’re in the market for one it’s tempting to jump right in. The bigger, the more extravagant, the better! Show it off to all your friends and all those bystanders that want to be your friend! The only problem there – aside from coming across a little gauche – is that there are certain things to consider.
For one, there are the costs you don’t tend to think about. It’s not just the purchase price; there’s mooring, fuel, maintenance, crew, insurance and broker fees just to start. The mere act of owning a yacht is a costly one. If that doesn’t scare you off, there are two ways to go about buying a yacht. The first is to order new from a builder (you can check out some of the best in the next section), which is incredibly costly but has some serious upsides for the extra capital. For one, if you go to a proper yard you can get your yacht built from scratch, meaning bespoke.
From new, you can choose the layout, the finishing, everything. That’s if you don’t mind waiting between two and four years (depending on size) for it to launch. Most shipyards will ask for ten per cent up front plus various payments as the project develops. The other way to buy a yacht is second-hand. Yachts are not a good investment; like a supercar, you buy for passion and pleasure. This issue though does make it possible to get a good deal on a second-hand yacht.
If you find something you’re serious about – whether that’s through a broker such as Burgess, at a boat show or elsewhere – let the buyer know you’re genuinely interested. It’s standard for them to pay for a sea trial and it’s the perfect way to put your mind at ease about signing on the dotted line.
Typically an MOA is drawn up that lists everything included in the sale and that the yacht is debt free. Of course, many who can afford to buy a superyacht register them offshore for tax purposes, which may save you money, as Lewis Hamilton did with his private jet. Not that we’re saying you should of course. But you probably should.
Then once your bank account has been effectively drained, pick a country of registration and voila, you’re a yacht owner. Chuck the Champagne bottle at the side, name her inappropriately and head out into the open sea… or the nearest port with decent nightlife at least.
Some owners go for size; some go for prestige. Some even go for actual practical concerns, like efficiency and number of berths. Whatever way you look at yachts though, there are plenty out there to choose from.
Cruising Speed: 26.0
While at the kiddie-pool end in size, the new Ferretti 960 Yacht is 29 metres of advanced technological luxury and the largest planing boat built by the company. It can be piloted without a professional captain, as any boat with a hull under 24 metres does not need a Yacht Master certificate – a plus for those that like to be in the driving seat. Five luxury cabins in walnut and oak wood, plus three crew cabins and a floodable garage for easy tender access makes this a pretty serious proposition for those looking to join the superyacht club; ferretti-yachts.com; venturaeurope.com
PRINCESS SUPERFLY X95
Cruising Speed: 24 Knots
The new Princess Superfly X95 is a breakthrough in nautical design and the ultimate in modern living. Developed with Bernard Olesinski and Pininfarina – the design approach almost has more in common with cars than yachts – to deliver huge architectural living spaces with rear and forward flybridges. This yacht is a floating luxury palace, though you’ll have to wait until 2020 to get one; princess.co.uk
Cruising Speed: 35 knots
Builder: Ancona Group
Pershing recently launched the stylish Pershing 140, its first aluminium superyacht, designed by Fulvio De Simoni and built at Ancona. The main deck includes a lounge with bar and dining area as well as an ample private entertainment area. There are four suites below deck designed for privacy and comfort, including two VIPs with king-size bed and two twins with single beds. This looks the business; pershing-yacht.com; venturaeurope.com
Top Speed: 22 Knots
Builder: Palmer Johnson
The Silver Wave is a beautiful modern superyacht and comes in under €10m, a bargain. It has a top speed of 27 knots, a large sun deck area kitted out with a spa pool, sun beds and a dining area which are perfect for relaxing as you cruise around the world. The silver paint job and distinctive Palmer Johnson design make this yacht a real head-turner. This baby punches way above its budget in the superyacht world; edmiston.com
Cruise Speed: 15 Knots
The spectacular 85-metre Sunrays motor yacht was delivered in 2010 by the acclaimed Dutch shipyard Oceanco. Built to a Bjorn Johansson design, she is the 5th Hull of the impressive Y700 series and can accommodate 22 guests in opulence. With six decks, gym, lavish spa, large lounge, water sports and home cinema, you’ll never be short of friends; edmiston.com
RIVA 50 MT SUPERYACHT
Cruise Speed: 11 Knots
Now I admit a little bias here, I attended Carlo Riva’s 70th birthday party on Lake Iseo a few years back and was reconnected with the classic Riva yachts that I fell in love with in 1970’s St Tropez. My first choice would be a classic wooden hull Riva Super Aquarama, but the good news is that they now offer a superyacht. The first Riva 50 MT launched in March and was named Race. They will also be offering 60-, 70- and 90-metre versions. Inspired by the legendary Caravelle line created by Riva in 1964, it has four decks, five cabins and a jacuzzi on the sundeck. You can always get your hand on the classically styled Aquariva Super as a runabout. No matter the size, there’s always something special about a Riva; riva-yacht.com; venturaeurope.com