buying a superyacht
buying a superyacht

Superyacht buying guide: new vs pre-Owned Yachts

With around 6,000 30m+ yachts in the world and hundreds of projects currently in production, the luxury yacht market is thriving. From traditional sailing yachts and motor yachts to explorer and high-performance yachts, the options are endless. On top of this, there’s the choice of new or pre-owned yachts. So, which is right for you?

“When embarking on the yacht buying journey there are many elements to consider and it can seem like a daunting process. Buying a yacht is a very special and expensive purchase, so it’s important to have the right advice along the way,” says Edmiston broker, Charles Carveles.

Four friends enjoying the deck of their recently purchased luxury pre-owned yacht.
Edmiston brokers showcasing Lady Beatrice, a beautiful pre-owned yacht featured in their yacht buying guide.

Buying a new superyacht: weighing up the pros and cons

Like anything new, there’s that special feeling that comes with buying a new luxury yacht that cannot be beaten. Aside from the ‘new’ factor, there are a number of deeper reasons as to why new build yachts are a standout option to consider.

“When building your own yacht, you can completely customise every aspect. From the layout and interior design to the selection of materials, fixtures fittings along with the inclusion of onboard amenities. This can be a very fun process, but the key is to ensure it is planned and managed properly with a broker by your side, always looking out for your best interests,” says Charles.

New superyachts are equipped with the latest technology and design innovations. This can offer enhanced performance capabilities, greater fuel efficiency, reduced environmental impact and state-of-the-art entertainment facilities to suit your cruising style.

They also typically come with comprehensive warranties and after-sales support from the shipyard. This gives you peace of mind through the initial years of ownership, protecting against any potential issues that may occur and ensures these problems are rectified without any additional costs being incurred to yourself.

A couple delights in the view from the lower deck of their yacht, bought with the help of a superyacht buying guide.
A customized superyacht pool deck, inspired by Edmiston's yacht buying guide.

A new yacht does mean the purchase price can be significantly higher than that of a pre-owned vessel. This higher price tag is reflective of costs associated with customisation along with any additions that are made to the build through the likes of amenities and newer technology.

On lead time, Charles says “it can be a three-to-five-year process if going fully custom, one to two years if semi-custom and potentially quicker if you are buying an off-the-shelf yacht.”

Buying a pre-owned superyacht: weighing up the pros and cons

“When buying a pre-owned yacht, you often benefit from a more attractive price compared to when the yacht is new, and you have the option of many different sizes and style. You can also take advantage of the fact that the yacht is most likely immediately available,” says Charles.

Pre-owned yachts come with a service history, providing insights into their performance and reliability. This track record can be reassuring for any concerns about the operational aspects of the yacht. However, while pre-owned yachts have a service history, there is always a risk of hidden issues or maintenance needs that have been missed.

“Brokers provide support and guidance when it comes to inspections and due diligence. Sea trials and surveys are essential to mitigate these risks,” Charles comments.

Buying a pre-owned superyacht means inheriting the previous owner’s design choices, which may not perfectly align with your preferences. While refits to interior and exterior spaces are possible, there are limitations with what can be achieved on the vessel, and of course significant costs incurred also.

Edmiston representatives ready to welcome potential buyers for stunning pre-owned yachts.
Aerial view of a luxury pool deck featured in the Edmiston superyacht buying guide.

Key considerations for choosing between a new vs pre-owned superyacht

Your budget will significantly influence your decision. New superyachts require a larger upfront investment, while pre-owned yachts offer savings, but may incur additional costs through maintenance, service and refit works.

“Consider the features and amenities that are most important to you. If the latest technology and the ability to customise internal and external areas are priorities, then a new yacht may be the better option for you. If you’re seeking a yacht for immediate use, then pre-owned is the likely the best option.”

New yachts generally have lower initial maintenance costs due to warranties, but over time, maintenance needs will increase. Pre-owned superyachts may have higher immediate maintenance requirements but can be more predictable with a known service history.

If you plan to charter your yacht, consider the preferences of potential charter clients. Newer yachts with modern and popular amenities such as beach clubs and sundecks may attract higher charter rates and volume of bookings. However, vessels that have been highly customised to a yacht owner’s personal preferences may not always appeal to the masses and can have implications for potential charter usage.

The rear deck of a beautiful pre-owned yacht purchased with the help of Edmiston's yacht buying guide.
The stunning modern interior of a pre-owned luxury superyacht, purchased with the guidance of Edmistons superyacht buying guide.

Yacht buying guide: expert tips

“There can be many twists and turns throughout the deal, and this is where having a trusted broker is essential. The key points being the contract negotiation and the pre-purchase survey, amongst others. This is a vital point where the broker plays a major role in taking the stress away from what is an exciting process, and ensures the deal stays on track.”

Consider all costs associated with yacht ownership, including maintenance, crew salaries, docking fees, insurance, and fuel. Variables such as crew size, engine types and yacht design can have a significant impact on operational costs. Having a thorough understanding of these costs will help you make an informed decision and will enable you to see which yachts will fit within your budget.


Deciding between a new and pre-owned superyacht involves weighing up many factors, including cost, customisation, technology, maintenance, and resale value. Both options offer unique advantages, therefore your decision requires significant thought.

For more information on buying a new superyacht or securing pre-owned luxury yacht, speak with the team today


26 June 2024

Written by:

Jack Hartley