Impulse buys might work for the wardrobe, but when it comes to the most expensive toy you’re likely ever to buy, there’s much more to consider. Ahead of the Monaco Yacht show (25 -28 September) Dominique Afacan, editor-in-chief of Superyacht Life, raises a few timely questions.

Are you in the sailing camp or the motor camp?

Before you start your buying journey, you’ll need to make the most fundamental decision; sailing yacht or motor yacht? The former typically appeal to those keen to get involved in races and regattas, and with a genuine passion for sailing. Motor yachts – the more popular of the two – tend to appeal to those more concerned with space, relaxation, and luxury. Can’t make up your mind? Follow the example of some owners, and opt for one of each.

Will you choose custom or opt for production?

How quickly do you want to be lounging on the deck of your new superyacht? The answer to that question will likely influence your decision between a custom yacht and a production yacht. The former takes much longer to build but will be tailored to your tastes, whereas the latter can be ready to set sail quicker than you can get your swimming costume on. Arguably, there are more kudos from a custom yacht, but who needs kudos when you’re already halfway to St Barths?

Would you consider buying a boat for refit?

If you don’t want custom and you’re not keen on any of the yachts currently in production, there’s another option: buying second-hand. It’s ubiquitous in the superyachting world, and if you see a superyacht that catches your eye, it certainly makes sense to enquire. A thriving refit industry means that you can tweak everything to suit – from overhauling cabin layouts to ripping out the interiors and starting all over again.

Which designers share your vision?

A superyacht is likely the most expensive toy you’ll ever buy, so you need to make sure it lives up to your vision both inside and out. Enter the yacht designer. There are hundreds to choose from, and a few star players whose work is highly in demand the world over. Do some window-shopping and start to work out whose style you admire. From high glam interiors to barefoot-luxe, there’s a designer to suit every taste.

Where are you planning to travel with your yacht?

Are you an intrepid explorer, desperate to take your yacht to the Antarctic and beyond? Or will you be hanging out at anchor in the Med, sleepily moving from one port to the next through the summer months? It’s important to decide before you buy that boat. Many of the newly popular remote destinations require yachts with particular classification and capabilities, so you need to factor that into your plans before you head off towards the poles.

Will you charter your yacht?

Chartering your yacht out when you aren’t using it will help offset the monumental cost of ownership. If you’re planning to do this, there are certain things to consider when you’re buying your yacht that will make it a more popular choice. Convertible cabins (allowing guests to switch between doubles and twin beds), water toy selections (we’re talking inflatable slides, Seabobs, and jet skis) and other stand-out features such as outdoor cinemas, onboard spas, and swimming pools will all help your yacht stand out in the charter crowd.


For tickets to the Monaco Yacht Show or assistance in sourcing your own superyacht, contact Quintessentially’s seasoned luxury lifestyle managers.