The Caribbean is a boat lover’s paradise where many good deals on quality yachts can be found. While many local brokers can help you out with your search of the best quality yachts in the Caribbean, you should also have some basic knowledge of yachts and where you want to sail to. If you are just starting to look for a yacht for a vacation, here are some things to consider.
Type of boat
The type of boat to look for would depend on the kind of boating you want to do. Will you be doing a lot of tropical island hopping, deep-sea fishing, long-distance offshore sailing or coastal day-sailing? Will you be living aboard? How many people will be on-board? For a romantic getaway, a 38- to 42-foot sailboat would be good for a couple and won’t cost as much as larger yachts.
If you want to cruise along the Caribbean at a laid-back pace, a sailboat can be just the thing, but if you value speed, you’ll get to more places in a shorter amount of time with a power boat.
New or used?
This would depend on your budget—new boats of course will cost more than pre-owned. With used boats, you’ll have more room to do some negotiating with the price; however as with buying used cars, you should be aware of some downsides to pre-owned boats. Some engines may need an overhaul, the interiors may seem dated and require some refurbishing or the mast may be in dire need of repair. Factor in the costs of repair into the price to see if the boat is worth your money—if it isn’t, move on—there are plenty of other options in the used boat market.
Like cars, boats have various specs and materials used. Many boats are built with carbon fibre, some with fibreglass, while others can be made of wood and steel. Sailboats can be a catamaran or a monohull. Power boats can be a fishing boat or a trawler, and vary depending on the number of engines.
Before buying a boat, read up on these various types as well as the benefits of each. For instance, catamarans are boats with two hulls, making them more stable in water. However, they may cost more in terms of building, maintenance and docking because they’re wider and therefore have a larger surface area compared with monohull boats.
After your research, make a list of features that you want according to your needs. This will help you have a clear idea of the boat you’re looking for and narrow down your search.
Where to look
Online listings are great resources for quality yachts for sale in the Caribbean. Of course, nothing beats seeing boats for sale and talking to dealers and brokers in person, and for this you would have to make your way to see the boat yourself. You can also visit boat shows where you can go aboard to check the interiors and cockpit. Make sure you bring a knowledgeable friend along!
You can also head over to marinas to get a better idea of the different types of boats. If the owner of a yacht you fancy is on board, you can also ask for tips on features and what to look for. Kind owners would let you check out the cockpit and the galley to help you refine what you want to have in your own boat. So do your research and be prepared to shop around!