Congratulations, you’re ready to buy your first yacht! For many, owning a yacht is a life goal; the day that goal is achieved is cause for celebration. Don’t pop the champagne just yet. Before you sign on the dotted line and officially become a yacht owner, it pays to do your research regarding what type of vessel suits your lifestyle and budget, how you’ll need to care for it, and the right yacht insurance policy you should have to protect it and yourself.
The word “yacht” conjures up Hollywood images of mega-vessels, but many smaller pleasure boats are actually considered yachts. Here’s a quick review of the types of yachts you may be considering.
One of the most traditional yacht types, these vessels are the quintessential choice for pleasure cruising. They take a fair amount of sailing experience, though, so this yacht may not be right for you if you’re not a confident sailing captain. For those who prefer a backup engine, hybrid options are available.
While sailing yachts evoke images of classic sea adventures, motor yachts are often associated with parties and special occasions. This category includes everything from smaller day sailing yachts to luxury mega yachts.
You can fish from just about any watercraft, but fishing yachts were made for fishing. They feature plenty of room for fishing gear and water access combined with all the luxury and comfort you’d expect from a yacht.
That distinctive two-hull catamaran design makes this yacht stand out among pleasure cruising brethren. Their spacious elegance is ideal for group events.
If you haven’t yet decided which yacht is right for you, try renting one for a day. Many charter companies offer yacht rentals. You’ll also need to decide if you’re purchasing a new vessel or a pre-owned yacht.
Purchasing a pre-owned yacht?
Here’s what you need to know about yacht inspections.
Caring for your yacht
Yachts are luxury items and their ticket prices reflect that status. They’re also an investment in fun and fulfillment. Care for your vessel and you’ll see the return on your investment for years to come.
Your home and car have alarm systems; yachts should be similarly protected. A security system deters thieves and vandals and can alert you to the presence of bilge water, power loss, fire, or other emergencies.
Protection from the elements
Florida sunshine and salty gulf waters can be harsh to your yacht. Protect your vessel’s gel coat by keeping it clean and waxed regularly. You can also use ceramic pro-coating to defend against UV damage, salt, and stains.
The mechanics and electronics of your yacht are even more important than the exterior, and they should be checked regularly to keep them in tiptop shape. Sailing yachts should have their sails and navigation systems inspected.
You wouldn’t take your car for a road trip without a quick tuneup, and you should treat your yacht with the same proactive attitude.
Caring for your yacht should begin the day you purchase it. Do so by selecting the right yacht insurance policy that keeps you and your vessel protected.
Choosing yacht insurance
Insuring a boat is slightly different than insuring a car. There are more options that you’ll want to consider. It’s good to start with the standard marine insurance coverages for pleasure boats, which include items like vessel liability, uninsured boater coverage, and on-water towing.
From there, you may want to consider additional yacht insurance coverage for theft of personal items on the boat, boat engine protection, and coverage for passengers you pull on waterskis or an inflatable device.