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Buying tips for the new boat buyer
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Buying tips for the new boat buyer
Buying tips for the new boat buyer
Buying tips for the new boat buyer

At a recent boat show, a potential buyer asked about prices of various models and as a comparison I gave him prices for base boats ex-factory...which he unfortunately thought were the prices of the boats in Southeast Asia.

When we got into more detailed and specific discussions, he learnt that to this price various options he required would be added as would the costs of freight to his nominated destination. A commissioning charge would also be added on, which is cost of the transition of the boat from its shipped configuration to being ready for use.

My personal view is that new boat buyers should look to purchase boats of a size that will adequately meet their use requirements but will not be so large as to be intimidating.

Once you have short-listed the boats that seem to meet your requirements, a detailed comparison of these with relative plus or minuses is required.

The boat's physical characteristics can be assessed using its specification sheet that will include measurement data, and usually the materials used in construction, and the equipment level of the standard boat.

Its performance and finish etc can either be assessed from sea-trials or, if that Buying for the proves difficult to undertake, boat tests or reviews which are abundant on the Internet. Once the decision is made on the boat, one must know how much it will cost to buy and how much will it cost to own.

Buying tips for the new boat buyer Pricing and Options

The factory price-list gives the boat's basic price in the standard specification and the price of options or additions.

Being a dealer for Hanse's range of boats, I'll use the structure of their pricelists as the basis of the point form items below to illustrate their price-list as these are the most likely place that the available options will be listed.
Each section normally shows both the standard provided and options available.

  • Hull - Hull colour and waterline markings
  • Keel (Sailing Yachts only) - Standard, performance, a cruising or a shallow drat keel
  • Interior Layout - Leading builders these days offer a variety of layouts within modules in the boats
  • Timber - Floorboards and Furniture
  • Upholstery, Curtains and Carpet - Standard and your choice of colours and materials
  • Packages - These are groups of equipment usually with a similar purpose and when purchased as a package, have some cost saving
  • Navigation Package - Performancen and Navigation Instruments
  • Cruising Package - Items to make cruising easier
  • Performance Package - Adds a performance orientation
  • Comfort Package - Window screens, Lighting, extra hatches etc
  • Entertainment Package - Music, TV etc
  • Deck and Outside Equipment - Winches, Wheels, Tables etc
  • Rig and Sails - Furling Masts, Sails and Materials, Ropes, Bimini's, Hoods.
  • Navigation & Instruments - Boat Performance, GPS, Radar, VHF
  • Propulsion - Engine, Propeller, Thrusters
  • Equipment - Gen Sets, Air-con, Fridges, Freezers, Washers
  • Entertainment - Music, TV
  • Accessories: Covers, Safe
  • Shipping - Cradle, Shrink Wrapping
Other Costs

Freight - The cost of shipping the boat from the factory to the commissioning yard, to which insurance coverage should be sought.

Commissioning - final assembly of the boat with warranty activation of the engine and instruments; then the dealer should complete the handover protocols to the new owner.

Safety Equipment - This includes life jackets and emergency equipment and largely depends on the likely maximum numbers of people on board and the area of intended operation.

Additional Equipment - Dinghy, outboard and other equipment you may want.

Most dealers will advise and assist you in all of the areas above as well as fulfilling their warranty and after-sales obligations.
Rob Williams is a Director of SEA Yacht Sales, dealers for Hanse, Moody, Dehler and Varianta Yachts, Sealine and Fjord Powerboats and Aventura Catamarans and is an internationally qualified sailing and power-boating instructor.