Should You Buy a Used or New Yacht?

If you love being on the water, you might like to buy a yacht. A luxury vessel furnishes the best of both worlds: a comfortable place to sleep and entertain as well as a lovely way to spend your days on the open sea.

But should you buy used or new? This is an age-old question. A used yacht will be cheaper, obviously, and it’s less costly to the environment to reuse rather than add to the supply and consumption.

But you also risk encountering problems, and are less likely to obtain a warranty to back up your purchase when you get a used yacht. The choice between new and used is personal. To help you make that decision, consider the following.

Advantages of a Used Yacht

  • Lower Price

When you look at used yachts for sale, the first thing you’re apt to notice is the price difference. You might pay $100 million for the current model, but one that’s two years old could be only three-quarters of that price. All vessels depreciate significantly after the initial sale, so you could find a like-new yacht for considerably less.

  • Higher Resale Value

Because new yachts depreciate most in the first few years, they hold their value better when you buy used. You can purchase a yacht for $10 million today and sell it for nearly the same a year later.

  • Tested Seaworthiness

Someone has been steadily operating your prospective purchase for some time, and he or she can tell you how it handles. You’ll have a firsthand report of its seaworthiness, which offers peace of mind for the buyer.

Disadvantages of a Used Yacht

  • Possible Lemon

Yachts are designed with the utmost care and top mechanical workmanship, but lemons – crafts that need constant maintenance and repairs – are not unheard of. If the previous owner(s) did not perform regular preventive maintenance, clean the vessel regularly, respond promptly with repairs, and generally provide good care, you could suffer.

  • Rust and Wear and Tear

General wear and tear and rust are inevitable on a used yacht, even if the previous owner was meticulous about upkeep. Such problems worsen once they’ve begun, but you can slow the damage with regular polishing and treatments.

  • No Warranty

If your boat breaks down or rust eats the hull, there’s no all-inclusive insurance package to cover such damage. You’ll have to pay for repairs from your own pocket.

In some cases, a used yacht dealership might offer warranties with purchase. They’re not typically as comprehensive as original warranties, but they’re better than nothing.

Advantages of a New Yacht

  • You’re the First Owner

Being the first and only owner of a yacht features many advantages, including knowing everything your boat has been through. You don’t have to worry about unreported damage or insufficient maintenance that might taint your ownership.

  • Warranty Included

All yachts come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Some get a dealership warranty, and you may be able to add an extended warranty as well.

Any wear and tear, malfunctions, and certain types of specified damage will be covered until the warranty expires. This provides peace of mind, which some buyers crave.

  • More Reliable

It goes without saying that a new yacht with a warranty will be much more reliable than a used vessel. If you worry about getting stranded in the middle of the ocean during a long cruise, this might be what would clinch the deal for you.

  • Fewer Repairs

You probably won’t have to make a single repair over the first several years (depending on how hard you push your vessel), but one day, the yacht will need fixing. Necessary repairs will be substantially fewer, however, if you’ve purchased the craft new and taken good care of it.

Disadvantages of a New Yacht

  • Higher Price

This is the most obvious drawback with a new boat. It’s one of the biggest deciding factors for owners who purchase used. Many simply don’t have the budget to acquire a brand-new yacht, which can range in price from $1.5 million to $600 million or more.

  • Lesser Quality

Since you’re paying a higher price for your new boat, you’re more likely to sacrifice quality. You have to stay within a budget, and that may mean buying a ship that lacks some of the extra features or durability you might otherwise have desired.

  • Fear of Damage

There’s an old adage that when you buy a Ferrari, all you can worry about is scratching it, which may kill the joy of driving it. When the vehicle finally picks up a scratch, it’s disheartening, but you may have an easier time enjoying the ride after that.

The same concept applies to a yacht, because most of them are worth significantly more than a Ferrari. You might be so worried about damaging the boat that you avoid the adventures you might otherwise have attempted. You’ll get over this eventually because your yacht will get scratched someday, but this could rob you of fun for a while.

The above list of pros and cons should help you determine whether used or new would be best for you. Write down your thoughts about each factor. By the time you’re done, you should know what you want to do.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.