Is it possible to safely buy a yacht at present? Purchasing a yacht is a hugely significant moment in the life of any owner. It is an investment that extends beyond the purely financial into emotional and managerial territory.
Seeing the boat first hand and being able to get to know every single aspect of it is most definitely the best way to connect with what may become your new “beach house”.
But what happens when a health crisis, such as the current one, forces most businesses to change course?
How is the yachting sector tackling the limits placed on it by travel restrictions and Covid-19-related fears? Is it possible to still purchase a yacht in complete safety whilst respecting social distancing rules? Are yacht brokerage companies equipped to provide all of the necessary services to clients wishing to either sell or purchase a yacht? Particularly now that the summer season is knocking on the door and people are becoming more and more eager to get travelling.
The answer to these questions is technology which, coupled with a reliable and professional broker, is allowing potential owners to virtually visit yachts so that they can choose the perfect one to suit their personal needs.
The warm human contact typical of traditional boat shows has been forcibly replaced by virtual boat shows, digital yacht marinas, immersive virtual tours, emotive videos and professional photographs.
Can these tech solutions entirely replace the traditional ways of visiting yachts? Probably not. But they most definitely are an excellent place to start to gather a lot of very useful information for your purchase and make well-informed, focused choices. There are many different initiatives on offer and each one has strong points that are extremely relevant to potential owners. Let’s take a look at them together.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Images play an absolutely pivotal role in purchasing a yacht. Seeing all the various spaces aboard a yacht and discovering their characteristics and details from professional photographs makes all the difference. Images play a dual role in that they not only provide a technical presentation of the boat, backed up by different perspectives, they also inspire the future owner. Oftentimes, all an owner needs to do is flick through some photos to realise that this might just be the perfect boat for them. But photographs aside, having a set of detailed technical specifications also helps the future owner to analyse every area of the boat in detail. It is the broker’s job to provide an absolutely thorough technical picture and assist the client as best they can. But let’s not forget about the layout: knowing the yacht’s configuration is absolutely essential too!
VIDEOS AND WALKTHROUGH VIDEOS
Let’s move from stills to moving images: videos are the new frontier in communications and that is as true for the yachting world as any other. An emotive video will show the boat underway from several different angles. Then if you want to come aboard and enjoy a genuine guided tour, there is always the Walkthrough Video. This is a video in which the viewer is guided through the yacht’s various areas by a professional who will give them a detailed, exhaustive description of the boat that they can consult at any time.
(Watch the walkthorugh video of Forty Love, 42 mt yacht for sale built by Westport)
Midway between photographs and video is the virtual tour, which provides a 360° view of the yacht, allowing future owners to analyse the craft from every angle.
This is an interactive experience – you don’t just passively watch images rolling by but can move around independently, to explore every area of the yacht. Although it is a virtual tour, it really is essentially as good as an in-person visit as you move around in exactly the same way as you would if you were actually there. Virtual tours allow the future purchaser to choose where to start their visit and to spend all the time they want looking at any details that interest them, moving away and then returning whenever they like.
The big advantage of a virtual tour is convenience: you can visit the yacht from the comfort of your own living room, just using your smartphone or laptop. You can also share the experience with friends and family members who otherwise would not be able to take part in the visit. And in doing so you will get to swap feelings, impressions and opinions in real time.
(Watch the Virtual Tour of Electa, classic sloop for sale of 125′, ideal for exploring the oceans.)
VIRTUAL BOAT SHOWS
Virtual boat shows offer a single platform through for actively interacting with all stakeholders interested in purchasing, to provide them with new and involving content. Virtual Boat Shows also often host conferences, webinars and live interviews so that interested owners can gather more information both on the yachts themselves and the brokers present.
(Interview to Corrado Di Majo, Ceo e Founder of EYI, at the Digital Boat Show.)
LIVE CALLS WITH BROKERS
Let’s imagine you have seen abthat has caught your eye and a video that has fired your enthusiasm… What is the next step? While technology does come to our rescue in this instance once again, human contact, the personal touch, is what will make the real difference, particularly when buying a yacht. This is where live calls or video calls from the boat between client and broker come into play.
The broker shows the yacht “remotely” and answers all the future owner’s questions: this is a live consultation in which the client can put to bed any doubts and get answers to any specific questions they may have about the boat and its history.
Vising a yacht online is without a doubt a convenient, practical and, in these Covid times, safe option. Despite this, actually getting to touch the boat you want to buy with your own hand is also very possible. As all the correct precautions and safety measures will be taken, all you have to do is pick a day to visit in person.
All of the spaces on the boat will be thoroughly sanitised and the crew will undergo Covid testing before your visit to ensure you get to inspect the yacht in complete safety.
If the boat is particularly far away from the client and the latter has to fly to get to it but would prefer to avoid commercial airlines, Equinoxe Yachts International also offers a range of private jet options. This really does ensure potential owners get to the boat of their choice in complete safety and comfort.