Buying A Yacht | The Process Of Purchasing A Luxury Yacht

How To Buy A Yacht

When it comes to buying a yacht, hiring the right yacht broker who has the experience, trustworthiness, and support team is essential to a successful transaction. Yachts are expensive, but are a true investment in your lifestyle and happiness. The right yacht can bring countless, joyful memories to you and your family by providing a safe, luxurious experience on the ocean.

Since 1964, our team has been assisting both new and experienced yacht buyers find the perfect vessel for their boating needs and budget. With access to over 4,000 yachts for sale on the MLS, as well as a database of yachts that aren't on the open market, we can eliminate the painstaking process of searching through hundreds of boats.

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1-Selecting The Right Yacht Broker To Help

The first step in your yacht buying journey is to select the right person to assist you in the process. Hiring the right yacht broker can not only save you money when it comes to negotiating the price of your yacht, but they can help you avoid disastrous situations by keeping you away from problematic brands or models. If you plan to purchase a new yacht, we have both available and on order inventory from top shipyards like Viking, Princess, Prestige, Absolute, Pardo, and Valhalla Boatworks. Here are some questions to ask any potential sales agent you engage:

  • How many years have you been selling yachts?
  • How long has your dealership or brokerage firm been in business?
  • Does your company take trade-ins?
  • What are the most recent 5 yachts you have sold?
  • Do you have customer references I can contact?

2-How Will You Purchase A Yacht?

Before you can even get into the discussion of what type of yacht you want to purchase, how you will pay for it is the next biggest question. Either before or shortly after you begin your engagement with a yacht sales professional, you're going to want to speak to your financial advisor about what you can afford. If you plan to finance, there are marine lending companies that can help you through the process. As of February 2024, below are the most recent boat loan rates.

Loan amount
$500,000 - $1,999,999
$150,000 - $499,999
Fixed rate as low as
Call Finance Broker Directly
20 Years
20 Years

3-Selecting What Type Of Yacht You Want To Buy

After determining what you can afford, it's now important to look at the type of yacht you want to buy. This should be determined by how you plan to use your yacht. Will you primarily be fishing offshore and entering tournaments? Or is formally entertaining friends and cruising to dinner more your style? Do you plan to spend more than a few nights on board?

Certain characteristics of your yacht such as how much fuel it holds, how shallow it can get, how many cabins are in the layout, engine power, whether you want a flybridge or not, or want it enclosed, and so much more. Below are several different types of yachts that your sales professional can review with you in detail. Another important decision is whether you want to buy a new yacht or a pre-owned one.

4-Selecting The Right Yacht Brand To Purchase

Like with most motor-powered toys you buy today, the builder can make all the difference. Your SI Yachts Sales professional can walk you through the varying reputations of the shipyards and of the boats they build. Whether you are interested in a fully-custom yacht or a semi-custom boat built at a more production-style shipyard will help narrow your choices. Things to consider when selecting a yacht from a specific builder include how long the company has been building boats, do they the latest in construction techniques, what engine brands do they offer, do they tank test each boat, just to name a few. Below are the premium new boat brands carried at SI Yachts:

5-Search Available Yachts For Sale

Below are just a selection of the yachts that are available on today's market. There are over 4,000 yachts for sale on of all different types, sizes, and prices.


6-Making An Offer On A Luxury Yacht

Whether you are buying a brand new yacht or selecting a brokerage boat on the market, the price is always negotiable. Long-standing, reputable companies like SI Yachts often have the financial strength to take your current boat in on trade towards the purchase of a new one. SI Yachts can even facilitate a trade for a pre-owned yacht as well. This can help facilitate to a deal when two parties may be too far apart on the price.

When you hire a SI Yachts Sales Professional, we work on your behalf and negotiate with your best interests in mind. We can represent you and your needs whether negotiating on a brokerage boat or with a shipyard building you a custom yacht. It helps to have a knowledgeable, experienced broker on your side. Best of all, the seller or selling shipyard pays our commission. Let us help you today!

7-Conducting A Survey & Sea Trial

Every yacht purchased should undergo a survey and insurance companies require one more often than not. Scheduling your survey, having it done, and getting the results may take several weeks, so some patience during this part of the process is needed. SI Yachts can recommend surveyors or you are free to choose your own. The reason for the survey is to give everyone a clear understanding of the condition of the vessel and all of its systems on board. During this process, the yacht is hauled out of the water for inspection. The cost of the survey is almost always paid for by the buying party. Your sales professional can use the results of the survey to further negotiate on your behalf.

8-Has Your Yacht Paid Its U.S. Taxes?

When buying a brokerage yacht in the United States, often the vessel is flagged (or registered) in another county. This is done as a tax loophole for yacht owners. By keeping it registered under another country, they avoid paying sales tax in the U.S. This also means that you will need to pay those taxes should you close on the yacht in the United States, otherwise you and your broker will need to conduct an offshore closing. The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Marshall Islands, and others are just a few of the countries that are havens for yacht owners looking to save.

Yacht on the water at night.

9-Insuring Your Yacht

Getting insurance for your yacht can sometimes be a difficult thing because of the recent devastating hurricanes in Florida that damaged many boats. SI Yachts can assist you by connecting you with a reputable marine insurance company or you are free to find your own. Ben Belyea, an Underwriting Manager for Global Marine Insurance had this to say about the insurance market for yachts:

"Leading up to Ian the marine insurance market was hardening, post Ian it's a new world. A few years ago it was easy to predict premiums for an experienced owner solely based on vessel size, value & mooring location. Often times a percent or two of the vessels vessel, now it's a much more complex conversation. Owners keeping their vessels in Florida full time now must be proactive in their insurance search, fully engaging their insurance agent and providing a complete picture of their plans for the vessel along. If hurricane coverage is available, underwriters are often times requiring a hauled storm plan and only offering high named storm deductibles. With reinsurance (insurance for insurance companies) becoming increasingly expensive and in some cases unavailable, boat owners will need to take on more risk themselves. When coverage is not available owners will need to alter their plans or be willing to accept a policy that may not provide full coverage on their vessel.

Global Marine Insurance Agency has been in the marine insurance market for over 30 years and has seen hard markets like this in the past. It's important boat owners work with a specialty agency and fully engage in the process. With this hard market, underwriters are seeing hundreds of submissions and with limited capacity only offering coverage to the very best applicants. Being proactive by securing CAT4 plus hurricane rated storage or moving the vessel North during hurricane season may be a necessity in securing reasonable coverage. "

10-Your Vessel Acceptance & Closing

Once the two parties have come to terms on the price and condition of the vessel, the buyer will submit an offer of acceptance along with an agreed upon deposit, along with a closing date. SI Yachts has an experienced closing department that is well-versed on all different types of closings and know the potential issues to avoid. Most closings are easy and straightforward – even the offshore ones. We will ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is done and you, as the buyer, are well-informed.

11-Storing Your Yacht

In your beginning conversations with your SI Yachts Sales Professional, all of the after-sale expenses and costs were explained so that you should be fully aware of what's next. "As a rule of thumb, most yachts cost around 10% - 12% per year to enjoy and maintain," said Jay Hendrix, Vice President of SI Yachts. "Storing your yacht can be one of the most significant costs. If you don't have a dock behind your home capable of storing your vessel, you will need to find a marina or another private dock to store it." Docking at a major marina in Florida could cost anywhere from $15 to $30 per foot or more, plus utilities fees, per month. Your yacht broker can often help advise you what marinas might suit your needs.

12-After-Market Equipment For Your Yacht

Once your yacht has been delivered, it's time to start looking at what after-market products you need. If your yacht was delivered in the Northeast, SI Yachts has an industry leading service team that can do everything from canvas work, electrical, carpentry, transmission repairs, installations, and so much more. Whether you are adding SAT TV to your boat, or want to completely refinish your teak deck, we have expert, tenured service professionals at our marina, as well as part of a mobile service team. We look forward to assisting you throughout the life of your new boat, and your next one.