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How to find the right boat in Europe?

How to find the right boat in Europe?

The dream of owning a boat starts with a series of questions that future owners must critically ask themselves, our checklist will help you. The intended use of the ship is just as important as the right berth and operating costs. Here are ten points that can be used to successfully find the right boat.

Point 1:

In what area should the boat be used?

River, inland, near the coast or on the high seas? With current or without? If you know where you mainly want to use your boat, you can make your initial selection and, above all, narrow down a bit the size and classification you are looking for. If you are looking for a motorboat, you should find out in advance what traffic restrictions apply in the area and whether you first need to apply for a license to operate an internal combustion engine or electric boat.

Motorboats drivers also need to decide if they are looking for something small and lively for a day trip on the water, or if they want to take their boat on a road trip. For a work bike on inland waterways, a small GRP glider with a maximum small cabin or an elegant small tender is suitable.

If the boat is also to be used as a towing vehicle for water skis or wakeboards, care must also be taken to produce a perfect wake. If you want to spend your holidays on a boat, you need a spacious displacement, which instead of a good speed potential offers above all the comfort of living.

Sailors have a wide variety of different classes and models to choose from nimble boats to small keelboats and large offshore yachts. In order to gain an overview and learn about the sailing characteristics of individual ships, it is worthwhile to test as many ships as possible. Boat shows, where many shipyards present their yachts, also provide a good overview of the various new models, their construction and equipment on board and below deck.

Point 2:

Does the boat need water or land mooring?

Often, the desire for a desired berth will take hold before you start looking for a boat that will fit exactly into that box. And even if the boat stays on a trailer or slip after use, it’s a good idea to know where you can permanently store it before you buy it.

While berths in many ports have been free in recent years, the situation has changed significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. With many water sports enthusiasts turning to the possibilities of spending their free time on their own doorstep, opting for their own yacht, this has led to a high utilization of mooring capacities.

Point 3:

Should it be a motor yacht or a sailing yacht?

If you choose a motorboat or a motoryacht, you are not dependent on the wind, you usually have a shallower draft and you can navigate inland areas and rivers very well – there are no bridges or currents to hinder your progress. Those who prefer a sporty, quiet and close to nature environment and would like to sail on longer trips on the sea should look for a suitable sailboat.

Point 4:

Who will use the ship in the future and who will come on board?

When buying such an important recreational property as your own boat, the family or partner must be involved. Not only because it is a very expensive hobby, but also because it takes a lot of time. Only those who do not know a better activity in their free time than being on the water will support the purchase of their own boat with true passion. Especially those who decide to own their own boat for the first time should first charter or taste the world of “yachting” in the owner’s association and see if they really want to fulfill their dream of owning their own boat.

Point 5:

Should the boat be used for day trips or long trips?

If you only want to be on the water during the day, you need a small cabin and not a lot of equipment. But the longer the time on board, the more each foot in length pays off. A larger size means more storage space, comfort and beds, and with it more options for leisure and holiday activities on the water.

Point 6:

How big should the boat be?

Each meter costs more, but also creates a plus in comfort. If you have a choice between a large and a small, very well-equipped yacht, when in doubt, you should choose the larger boat. The equipment and especially the electronics can be gradually renewed and improved, but rarely is the yacht structurally modified to be extended by a few feet.

Point 7:

How expensive can this investment be?

In addition to the investment amount when buying a boat, operating costs such as berthing, insurance, maintenance and travel costs must also be calculated. Anyone investing in a new yacht will quickly have a list of the many things they absolutely need to buy for their boat. And if you find a used yacht, you should expect a lot of equipment that is available and functional, but no longer current or to your personal taste. The basic rule is: A boat used purely as a recreational object must never become a financial burden in everyday life.

Point 8:

How much care should you give yourself?

This is also a significant cost factor: Does the boat come to the shipyard for overhaul in the winter months, or does the owner want to do everything himself and invest a lot of work and time – if he has the technical know-how. In addition, new owners have to wonder where the boat’s equipment is stored during the winter months. Is there a garage for sails and a dry cellar for boat upholstery? If not, winter storage in a heated hall is recommended to keep as many things on board undamaged as possible.

How much care a boat needs depends on the material of the hull. Wooden boats take a lot of time to sand and paint, but they are beautiful to look at. Modern GRP yachts require significantly less maintenance and can be restored to an extremely attractive condition with a thorough polish.

Ships made of steel or aluminum are particularly durable, although even here after several decades corrosion or electrolysis occurs, reducing the stability of the hull.

Point 9:

Used or new yacht?

If you are interested in a used yacht, you will find a large selection, but you need to be more precise about what search parameters are important to you. In addition to the size of the yacht, the age and previous use play a decisive role. Subsequent installations or changes are often possible, but above all expensive. The on-board electronics, mast, struts and undercarriage should be thoroughly examined and replaced if necessary when buying a vintage yacht.

Above all, anyone investing in a new yacht from a shipyard must have a little patience, most of the production yacht manufacturers are fully booked for the next few months. But if you are willing to wait for your dream boat, you can have it built very individually and tailored to your own needs. The individual configuration goes far beyond the choice of upholstery and number of berths, engine power can be changed as well as mast length and keel draft.

Point 10:

Could it be a ship with history?

There are also floating pearls with a great past. Sometimes lovingly cared for as marine jewels, but sometimes in a sorry state, just waiting to be comprehensively restored and kissed. If you choose a classic yacht, a collector’s model or a “vintage” boat, you are buying a boat with character. A ship that others look up to with admiration. About which many questions are asked and which sometimes also has a strong community of owners who have a ship of the same shipyard or design. Floating gems require more work than a new, comfortable boat off the shelf, but they reward their owners with a special flair that cannot be arbitrarily copied.

Conclusion: Everyone who has answered at least these ten questions knows what type of boat with what length is suitable for him and his preferred sailing area. Now the search begins. And a large comparison of types on many web portals and boat exchanges. An exciting phase of discovery that can be half-jokingly summed up with the wisdom: There are two happy days in the life of a yacht owner. The day you buy your own boat and on the day it is successfully sold to another lucky new owner.

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