Yacht Ownership and Female Sailors!

Yacht ownership ...why own a yacht?  

For the same reason you own a car it gives you the freedom to travel near and far with a sense of independence. 

It gives you unlimited adventure!

Yacht ownership is not just for the wealthy, an increasing number of female sailors are finding that they can afford to own a mid sized yacht in the 28 to 40 foot range.

You need to decide just what type of yacht suits your needs and this will depend on whether you want to go harbor cruising with a few friends, partake in fun races or if you see yourself doing extended and blue water cruising.  You could try a sailing charter yacht to get the feel of the adventure you're in for.

And you will also need to look at if you are going to be with family, partner, friends or crew when you go sailing or if you need to look at the possibility of solo cruising when you look at yacht ownership.

What it's made of ... is that important to you I know one male sailor who is mad about Wooden Boat Building , Restoring and maintenance. As he said, "I would love to encourage more of you girls to get yourselves a proper (wooden) boat.

OK, I admit maintaining them does take up more time, but they’re worth it. And it’s so much easier and more pleasant to do repairs or alterations with wood, than with those nasty epoxies and chemicals." When looking at yacht ownership he has some good points to consider, and good humor!

The accommodation will depend on how many are likely to be on board and if that is just a day sail where the size of the cockpit matters or for cruising and the size of the interior and layout is important, how many bunks, comfort and galley facilities if you are anticipating longer or blue water cruises.

What is important to your needs in yacht ownership? Do you want a large sail wardrobe for fun racing with the yacht club or a furling system for easy cruising and single handed sailing?

What sort of motor an inboard or an outboard, and what HP is important for your needs?

Can you afford all the up to date gear like chart plotters or are you going to settle for a hand held GPS?

Does the yacht meet all the safety requirements with life jackets, flares and EPIRB, or will that be added expense?

The Cost to Buy and Maintain?

The main on going maintenance job for a yacht ownership is hauling her out the water for her yearly anti-foul, and this is a time to check and work on through hull fittings and other jobs that can’t be done in the water.

And don't forget to insure your precious possession!  This can be costly.

You can almost always say that what you are quoted as a cost for work to be done on your boat will double when the final bill comes in.

So what are the first steps you take when you decide to go for yacht ownership?

The more you are prepared to do yourself, or learn to do can cut down on the costs. Do your homework and research!

Yacht Ownership - Looking for Your Yacht!

Don’t dash in emotionally when looking at yacht ownership! Start looking at the boating magazines, boat yards and boatshows. Surf the internet within a radius of where you are prepared to travel. Check out yacht brokerage window displays, and get a real sense of value by comparing yachts that are alike. 

Look at heaps of yachts and their different lay outs, what they include and always keep in mind what your intentions are as far as sailing but don’t set it in concrete.

For example I started looking for a 25ft yacht for harbor cruising and ended up buying a 32ft yacht capable of off shore sailing, how thankful I am now in my final choice.

Are you going to be looking for a small trailer-sailor? If so have you considered the task of putting it in and out of the water?

If you are looking at a larger yacht have you checked out marinas and mooring in your locality and fees you’ll be paying on a regular basis?

You will find a broker that listens to you and is willing to put in the time to show you some of the yachts they have on their books.

I found as a female a lot of brokerages I walked into the sales staff seemed to ignore me, not take me as a serious buyer or if I had a male companion with me they would talk to him when as some where told ... ‘Tell her about it not me, ... she’s the one who’s buying a yacht!’  Yes below that's me and my yacht!

When it comes to female yacht ownership I know of countless cases of sexism ... like what I encountered when buying a yacht.

The best way to combat this is with knowledge both of what type of yacht you are looking for and seamanship.

A good accredited school or TAFE course in Australia will give you confidence and a foundation of knowledge and understanding.

The broker who sold me my yacht listened to what I said, showed me what I was telling him and then threw in a ‘wild card’ ... reading between the lines and listening to my emotion and that is the one I bought.

Found the Right Yacht?  Now What?

When you finally narrow it down to a yacht you like that fits your purpose, the hull and rigging seem sound and you’re happy with the lay out then anything else can be negotiated and purchased.

But wait … there is still more work to do! You will need to have a survey done which is required by most insurance companies and banks. This is done by a marine surveyor and is a comprehensive examination of the yacht.

The surveyor checks out every corner of the boat, the hull if fiberglass for osmosis and if timber for dry rot, he itemizes the equipment on board, and gives the buyer a written statement of the condition of the yacht as well as a list of recommendations. 

Get a marine mechanic to do a check on the motor and do a report for you. I loved everything about Levitation the yacht I bought except for her very tired old 12 HP motor, but it went and I was warned by the mechanic there would be a time I would have to replace it. Consider the environment too ... does it leak fuel or oil ... are there excessive fumes?

I had to think of the cost, and 14 years after the purchase of my yacht I replaced my old motor with a new  Volvo Penta 30HP motor at a total cost of $18,000A which included installation. 

It is also wise to do a sea trial to see how it motors and sails and that it lives up to your expectations, keep in mind there will always be compromises in used yacht ownership.

Be aware of the condition of the sails and if they are hank on sails, but you wanted a furler on the headsail to make for easier handling, check on the cost factor of making the change or are you prepared to accept them as they are?

  • What about the marine instruments?
  • Are you happy with them after the sea trial?
  • Chart Plotter may be you will want to purchase one! 
  • GPS or hand held one!
  • Depth Sounder you should have one! 
  • VHF radio does it work properly?
  • Life Jackets do you want to upgrading them? 

Safety equipment is one of those on going costs not only for your own peace of mind but it is required by Law. So have you checked what the boat has in line with requirements?

  • EPIRB does it need updating, test it!
  • Flares that are up to date!
  • Fire Extinguishers are these up to date?
  • First Aid Kit check it and update!

All these can be purchased at a local Chandlery or you may get a better deal and more choices on the internet. So now you have decided on a yacht, and you feel you are prepared for yacht ownership ... what now?

There is the usual offer/counter offer process with the broker negotiating for you just the same way it works in Real Estate until a deal is reached. And a term of contract until settlement date so if necessary you can organize finance, this is done in the same way you would for a car, a personal or special loan.

Don’t be put off by the whole process … the rewards of yacht ownership are great!!! In no time at all you will take possession of your yacht and when you do, have at least one capable sailor with you to sail her to your destination of choice while you learn and get used to your prize possession.

Congratulations .... Now the fun begins! ....

                       .....'cause girls just wanna have fun! 

               Yacht ownership is fun learn more about the boat! 

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