Choosing A Broker To Locate An Acceptable Existing Yacht

Although you may know exactly what attributes your next yacht should have, finding the right vessel at the right price takes time and effort. For smaller yachts - let’s say those under 100 feet - which frequently are production yachts, it’s fairly easy to find out what is available. Check the various yachting publications, both in your home country, and in the yachting centers around the world. Many magazines have web sites as do many of the world’s larger brokerage houses. If you use a search engine such as Google or Yacht World ( and search for “Hatteras 75 For Sale” or “Broward 100’ For Sale” you’ll usually find several depending upon the day you look.

When you begin to look for larger, either more customized semi-production yachts or full custom yachts, the search becomes more difficult and you’ll likely appreciate the services of a knowledgeable megayacht broker. The broker will not only be more familiar with the current listings available, he will probably be more familiar with the various naval architects that designed the yachts and the custom shipyards that built them. It’s more realistic to have a familiarity with a few hundred custom yachts than the thousands of production or semi-custom yachts.

As brokers specializing in megayachts frequently travel to major boat shows and shipyards throughout the world, it’s possible that they have personally inspected the vessel either in service or while under construction.

For example, I have personally inspected shipyards around the world including the Feadship facilities of Devries and Van Lent in Holland, Lurssen’s shipyard in Bremen, Germany, both Benetti and Codecasa Shipyards based in Viareggio, Italy, Christensen Shipyard, Westport Yachts and Delta Marine in Washington, Palmer Johnson in Sturgeon Bay, WI, Derecktor Shipyard in New York, and Trinity Shipyards in New Orleans, LA and Gulfport, MS as well as the yards of many other less familiar, but high quality facilities. Additionally, mybrokerage office was located in the Broward Marine shipyard for many years. Several vessels on the market today were under construction and availablefor inspection during my visits.

Just as important as knowing what megayachts are available, and the characteristics of many, is the broker’s knowledge about what you really want in your next yacht. For a broker to locate an existing yacht that meets all, or even most of your requirements, he or she will need your co-operation, and frankly, your candor. To narrow the field down to truly qualified offerings the broker must know how you plan on using the vessel, and what attributes you consider important.

Some owners prefer a semi-formal lifestyle when on board including dressing for dinner. Others are more casual, and live in shorts and T-shirts just like their kids and crew while aboard. Many owners prefer short day trips from port to port; others enjoy long passages to out of the way anchorages. Provisions, fuel and supply storage capabilities are more important for this type of use.

Some of the questions I ask are: Where would you like to travel? With how many people? For what period of time?

The answers to these questions will help your broker determine a vessel that will meet your needs. In short, until the broker knows how you really plan to use the vessel, he can’t make intelligent or informed decisions on which vessels to recommend you inspect to determine whether they meet your needs. To determine whether a yacht broker has the right knowledge to competently advise you and locate your next pre-owned, or existing yacht, following are questions I would ask:

  1. How many yachts over 100 feet have you and your brokerage house sold in the past year or two?
  2. What was the pedigree (builder) of the yachts?
  3. What boat shows have you attended and what megayachts and megayacht shipyards have you inspected in the past several years?
  4. What do you need to know about my yachting requirements, lifestyle and plans to make appropriate recommendation