A tailored guide to yacht ownership. Everything you need to know.

Yacht ownership marks the beginning of one of the most exciting chapters of your life. This opens the door to a highly celebrated industry and community of like-minded people, all wanting to break away from normal day-to-day life, and enjoy the finer pleasures that luxury yacht ownership affords.

Ready to take the next step? Check out our guide to yacht ownership, giving you an insight into all the considerations and processes you to need to make when purchasing a luxury superyacht.

Dealing with the right broker

A critical first step. You need to find a broker who you connect with, and most importantly, trust. They’re the one who will be searching for your dream vessel, negotiating on your behalf, and supporting you throughout the entire process, therefore this relationship is key. In this industry it’s quite common and certainly a goal of every one of our brokers to serve their client throughout their entire time as a yacht owner. Some of our longest standing clients have been with us for 30-40 years, often starting as a charter client and then taking the next step into ownership.

Edmiston has a longstanding pool of excellent brokers, each with decades of experience and with that comes a well-established network – both with other yachting brokerages and owners from around the world. This allows our brokers to reach owners of yachts that aren’t publicly advertised, or even for sale for that matter. Brokers live by the mantra that ‘everything is for sale, for the right price’.


Finding your dream yacht

Once you’ve found your broker, the exciting part begins. Finding your dream yacht. First and foremost, you need a budget for the broker to work with. There are a couple of factors within that magic number that you need to consider – the purchase price and operational costs. Please note, this will vary largely depending on the frequency of use, fuel consumption, crew size, berthing location, and its maintenance schedule.

The next thing our brokers need to understand is the purpose of the yacht. Who will you be travelling with? Where do you want to travel? What activities are you interested in? What onboard features are important to you? Your answers to these questions will act as a guide to the types of yachts that are appropriate for your needs; here are four types of yachts you should explore.

Displacement/Semi-displacement cruising yacht

These types of yachts are ideal for family holidays, cruising the hotspots of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. With a larger Gross Tonnage figure (GT – the internal volume of a yacht), they provide plenty of space for multiple cabins, along with accommodation for a large team of crew. Due to their increased internal volume compared to other yacht types in the same size segment, displacement/semi-displacement cruising yachts often feature desirable amenities, such as an abundance of deck space for sun lounging and al-fresco dining as well as ample storage space for water toys and equipment. Thanks to their lower cruising speed, displacement yachts also have the added benefit of more economical fuel consumption.

Planing Yacht

With their sleek and sporty design, planing yachts are ideal for fast-paced cruising, allowing you to reach further destinations in a shorter amount of time —perfect for up and down the Côte d’Azur or around the Greek islands. Generally, these yachts have a shallow draft which allows you to get into more secluded anchorages such as in and around the Bahamas.

Explorer Yacht

Built with larger fuel tanks and a more stable hull design, these yachts are ideal if you want to have true world cruising capabilities or reach the more off-the-beaten-track destinations. For those wanting to reach the Arctic, they can have a slightly different construction such as an ice class hull to allow it to go to these more difficult to reach destinations. Generally, these have slightly higher GT which offers more internal space for cabins and other amenities such as carrying a more expansive tender and toys collection.

Sailing Yacht

Entirely in its own class – sailing yachts offer you a completely different experience from motor yachts. Having a sailing yacht allows you to cruise without any engines running, offering an incomparable experience of being totally powered by the wind. This comes with the added benefit of massively reducing the longer-term fuel consumption and in turn the carbon footprint of the yacht. Sailing yachts come in multiple forms similar to motor yachts including more displacement hull types for cruising as well as more sporty hull forms for increased performance. These also give you access to unparalleled events such as the St Barths bucket and many other highly regarded and elite events worldwide.

Next steps

Once our brokers have taken onboard all your requirements, they’ll narrow down your search to ensure each option reflects your needs or has the capability to through a custom refit (provided it keeps within budget). You will then go through all the yachts, and further narrow them down to a selection that you would like to visit for a tour.

If you struggle to find a yacht that meets your requirements, then new construction is another option to explore. This gives you the greatest level of freedom and choice when it comes to design, guaranteeing a completely unique yacht that is expertly tailored to your exact needs and desires.  The lead time on these projects varies greatly depending on yard location, design, and the builder’s capacity to take on the project. For more information, visit our new construction (add hyperlink) page.

With many of our clients, we recommend chartering first. This is the greatest way to truly understand exactly what you’re searching for in terms of style, capabilities, and amenities. A lot of the time, the yachts for sale are also available for charter, giving you a great opportunity to try-before-you-buy, without committing long term first.

Getting the deal over the line

You’re now at the negotiation phase. As always, your broker will work with you to navigate the sale process, liaising with lawyers to ensure you achieve the best deal.

Once your broker has reached the maximum commercial potential out of the negotiation and a price agreement is found, a sale and purchase agreement can be drafted between the parties. This process too will benefit from an experienced broker’s input. Once the contract is signed, the next step will be to conduct the sea trial and survey. The surveying process gives you a chance to verify that the yacht presents and performs as it has been advertised, as well as ensuring there are no unexpected mechanical issues, and the general condition is up to standard. This acts as an insurance policy for the deal, preventing the sale from going through or any liability falling on you, should the vessel not meet these requirements.

Crew & yacht management

For ownership made simple, yacht management through Edmiston is the only option to consider. We manage the risks, paperwork and legalities that come with modern yachting and ensure the robust financial management on your behalf. From yacht operations, crew management, technical support, and accounting, to insurance, registration and regulatory compliance. For more information on this, visit our yacht management page.

Becoming a yacht owner is an incredibly exciting time, but there is a lot to consider. By teaming up with Edmiston, we’re able to ease any of those stresses, ensuring you find your dream yacht and that every aspect of owning your yacht is a breeze. For more information on any aspect of yachting, get in touch with our brokers today.


13 March 2024

Written by:

Jack Hartley