Buying a yacht is quite a challenge, especially for someone who is not proficient in this area. Each vessel should be inspected very carefully before purchase, paying particular attention to its structural components.
However, before the inspection, you need to answer the question of what kind of yacht you are looking for, how you envision your dream boat and where you intend to sail it.
Which yacht to choose?
There are many criteria for dividing yachts. First of all, you have to decide whether you want to own a sailboat or a powerboat. Both the first and the second have their pros and cons. The second, no less important parameter, is of course the price. For those who do not have too much money, the best option will be to buy a used yacht.
Yachts are divided by the number of hulls: you can choose between a monohull, a catamaran or even a trimaran. Another important parameter is draft. The draught of a yacht determines in which waters you can sail. If you intend to sail in shallow waters, choose a yacht with a small draught, and if you dream of sailing in deep water, choose one with a greater draught.
Sailboat or powerboat?
Many professional sailors don’t understand why speedboats have become so popular in recent years. After all, their owners have deprived themselves of the pleasure of classic relaxation under sail and the romance of professional and amateur sailing races.
Maneuvering a sailing yacht is a real art, requiring special skills and quite a lot of free time. Motor yachts are faster, easier to handle, but also more expensive to operate (just think how much you will spend on fuel and ongoing maintenance of the yacht). Also consider that by choosing a powerboat, you are polluting the environment.
Used or new?
This depends on the amount of money you are willing to spend. You can buy a used yacht for as little as 20-25 thousand zlotys, but you are depriving yourself of a new equipment that is less prone to faults. A yacht is a piece of equipment that wears out quickly because of constant contact with moisture, its structural elements are susceptible to corrosion and mold growth.
On the other hand, a used boat has stood the test of time and its current owner, as long as you don’t run into a scammer, can give you detailed instructions on how to use it.
What to look for when buying a used yacht?
If it’s your first purchase or you haven’t sailed for several seasons, it’s essential to seek the help of a boatbuilder who will detect all defects (even those not visible at first glance) and inspect the yacht coolly and factually before you sign the contract. Generally, when buying a used yacht we look at a number of elements, including:
1. Hull and laminate condition
Inspect the hull carefully and force the seller to look at the underside of the hull. It is better to pay a crane operator to lift the boat than to find out later on the high seas that it is leaking. It is also worth to tap the hull and look for differences in sound. A deafening sound indicates delamination of the laminate caused by osmosis.
Don’t let the owner ventilate the boat – as soon as he opens the hatch, check the smell right away. This will tell you a lot about possible problems with the boat. Sour is a sign of osmosis – look to see if there are any signs of leaks anywhere. A musty smell is a sign of moisture, gas is a sign of a gas leak, and oil is a sign of engine problems.
3. Rails, rigging
Carefully inspect the shrouds for signs of rust and abrasion. Check the stability of the rigging and how it is attached to the deck.
Check overall condition of mast. It should be straight or slightly bent back. Check for cracks and signs of repairs.
5. Centerboard and centerboard box
First, check that the centerboard box is securely fastened to the hull. The centerboard itself should float easily, with no wedging indicating that the fin is bent.
These are just a few structural elements you should pay attention to when buying a yacht. It’s worth knowing a little about the subject, even if you’ll be inspecting in the company of a boatbuilder.
Main Photo: Ivan Ragozin/Unsplash