Purchasing a yacht is a hugely significant moment in any owner’s life. Contrary to popular belief, it is not simply about wanting to own a luxury item. In fact, it has often more to do with the owner expressing themselves through something with which they feel a strong sense of harmony and chemistry. But what are the essential points you need to be clear upon before purchasing your future yacht?
Aldo Tomasina, an expert with 30 years’ experience in yacht consulting, tells all.
How much does emotion count in purchasing a yacht?
From a purely functional perspective, boats are a means of transportation that take their passengers offshore. It is important to keep this fact in mind because this is what influences all the technical components that ensure it functions as it should.
That said, we shouldn’t forget the emotional aspect: buying a boat is a very important moment in any owner’s life and their emotional involvement is what makes it unique and special.
How can you help a potential owner find the best boat for them?
There is no such thing as yachts that are better than others, just yachts that better meet the personal needs of individual owners. In the course of my career in the nautical industry, I have been involved in the purchases of many boats and it is a different story each and every time. Some owners are very experienced and know exactly what they want. Others have a dream that is a bit vague around the edges. Some focus more on the technical and functional aspects, while others are more sensitive to aesthetic details. It is very interesting to see how the two aspects carry different weights with each owner. Oftentimes, functionality and aesthetics are alternatives, and deciding which one to prioritise is a very personal choice.
(Toy 51 , a classic and elegant lobster boat built by Toy Marine, now for sale)
What would be your first piece of advice to any potential owner?
Be as clear in your mind as possible about your ideas before you start looking. Ask yourself what you want and what needs the boat you intend buying has to satisfy. It is essential to be clear about your goal before you start looking for the yacht rather than the other way around.
One fundamental factor in making a well thought-out choice that will ensure you have the best possible experience with your boat is to have a fairly clear and realistic idea of what you are going to do with her.
What questions should potential owners ask themselves before purchasing a yacht?
The first question any owner should ask themselves is how much time they will be able to spend living aboard and how they think they will use the boat. Are they more into long-distance cruising or just exploring the coastline to find the nicest bays to swim in?
Are they really passionate about the technical side?
Or are they simply buying a yacht to relax on and enjoy the wonderful peace of a day at sea?
Are they thinking of using the boat very privately or will it be more social – will they share their time aboard with family and friends?
Being clear about this aspect is very important, particularly in relation to the boat’s dimensions and the arrangement of the spaces aboard.
I have met potential owners that have considered many different solutions and so it was clear they hadn’t sat down and thought about what they actually wanted and what they were really looking for.
When do you make the move from theory to practice?
Once you have your ideas clear in your mind and have set your goals, the most interesting and fun part for the owner begins: actually looking for their perfect yacht! This is a crucial phase and you have to be ready to devote all the time you need to it. You can’t rush it. Analysing the various yachts on offer does help to reiterate your initial ideas and also hone your skills regarding the specifics.
Often when you find what you were looking for though, it is like a real thunderbolt: love at first sight.
What advice do you have for owners that want to be very confident about the choice they are making?
Sometimes it can be useful to try out a yacht for a season before actually purchasing it if possible. This means the owner really gets to understand its characteristics and how much it really fits what they need. Chartering can be useful in particular if you intend to customise a yacht, regardless of whether you are configuring a new craft or making changes as part of a major refit.
How much does personalisation count?
The personalisation process is when the owner really gets deeply involved. The yacht the owner had in mind gradually begins to take shape. You transition from the details to the fit-out. At this stage, the owner begins to feel like the yacht is theirs and really unique.
What role does the broker play in the phase before choosing the boat?
There are boats for every kind of owner and for every kind of use. The broker’s job is to listen to what the future owner wants, interpret their needs and expectations, and then flank them throughout the entire process, sometimes subtly and others guiding them more openly.