Which boat to choose: new or used?

In this article we are going to consider the pluses and minuses of buying both new and used (preowned) boats, yachts and superyachts
As a rule, used boats tend to lose less value when resold

On the whole buying a new or a used boat may be compared to buying a new or a used car

But still choosing a powerboat, a yacht or a superyacht has some peculiarities that are worth mentioning.

New boats

The first and obvious advantage of buying a new boat is the warranty. Depending on the manufacturer it may last from one year to several, but just like with cars one has to pay attention to what a particular manufacturer implies and what exactly the warranty covers. For example, the hull warranty may be up to 10 years, but the one for the engine and other equipment – one year. Naturally, some not very conscientious manufacturers might claim a warranty period of 10 years.

Reputable shipyards on average give a one or two-year warranty. During this period the owners have time to check all the equipment and find out if there is anything wrong with it. There is an important moment of customer handover. Quite often it is a dealer or a surveyor, who does it instead of the customer, checks if everything is all right and makes a list of all the shortcomings that the shipyard fixes at their expense.

The undoubted plus of a new boat is that its history of ownership is clean and has no hidden pitfalls, and the boat is built to fit a particular owner who, depending on the shipyard, can choose the furniture, the layout, the materials and any extra options to his or her taste.

Another plus is that they install new equipment on new boats, which is likely to have no issues with maintenance, updates or repairs for a long time. 

Both options have their pluses and minuses
Both options have their pluses and minuses

One of the minuses that should be taken into account is the waiting time: the larger the boat is, the longer it will be. In case of smaller boats under 10 meters it may be insignificant and take a few months, but it sometimes takes a few years to build a custom superyacht.

High price is another significant minus of new boats. One has to pay for the right to be first, and a year later the boat may lose in value considerably. And then everything depends on the brand and the boat: for instance, a flybridge model from a well-known brand that is in demand will lose much less than a hardtop from a less known manufacturer.

On the whole, one can say that buying a new boat, a yacht or a superyacht is a good option mainly for those who don’t want to risk, to spend time on searching for a suitable variant and on different check-ups. As well as those who are not ready to compromise in terms of a model choice or want to build a custom boat.


  • Warranty
  • Opportunity to build a custom boat
  • New modern equipment
  • Delivery
  • Clean history
  • Variety of offers
  • Opportunity to preinstall extra options and equipment
  • Modern, up-to-date design


  • Waiting time
  • High price
  • Loss in value with time
  • Need to get serviced only in authorized service centres

Used boats

This is a good option if you are ready to spend time on searching and considering different variants. However, to purchase a used boat on one’s own one needs at least minimal experience and some idea of what you are looking for. And, of course, one has to be ready to compromise in terms of size, model, brand and even the vessel’s equipment. An important point here is that it is not advisable for first-timers to purchase a used boat on their own. It is better to pay and use the services of a tried and tested broker or surveyor.

Sometimes really attractive offers come up on the market and at a very good price, but one has to hunt for them and be able to go or send one’s representative there fast to take a look at them. One has to be ready for the fact that the boat may be in another country and it will have to be delivered, and there might also be a lot of paperwork that is not always quick and clear. 

As a rule, used boats tend to lose less value when resold
As a rule, used boats tend to lose less value when resold

Make sure you enlist a professional surveyor’s support who will help you reveal any issues with the boat, as well as a lawyer, who will check the legal purity of the deal and the vessel’s history. It’s not so rare when used yachts are sold with some problems that the owners prefer not to mention.

For many of those who have made up their mind to purchase a used yacht the obvious pluses are an opportunity to save a considerable amount of money, as well as to cut the waiting time. They are pluses, indeed, if the boat is sold in a good condition and without any hidden problems.

When buying a used boat, one should weigh up all the risks thoroughly and be ready to spend time on searching for the option that you want. One should also take into account the fact that it may take time and money to install necessary equipment and put up with the previous owner’s taste.


  • Warranty
  • Lower price compared to a new boat
  • Optional equipment is already installed
  • An opportunity to buy fast
  • It loses in value less compared to a new boat


  • Warranty
  • Good options take time to find
  • A thorough check upon purchase is essential
  • The boat may turn out to be in another country
  • The equipment may get outdated
  • The design may not suit your preferences
  • Making changes and repairs may take time
The interior design for new and particularly large boats is often created with the owner’s preferences in mind
The interior design for new and particularly large boats is often created with the owner’s preferences in mind