Buying a new yacht is always an exciting and enjoyable moment. This is the start of a long and exciting adventure for the owner. However, there are a number of points in the introduction of a new boat into service that you need to know.
New yacht and start of preparation
A shiny new yacht that has just been taken out of the shipyard may not always be immediately ready to go to sea. Let's say more - very often it is not fully ready. The moment between the construction of the boat being completed and its handover to the new owner is called putting the yacht into service (or preparing the yacht).
In fact, this process can be quite stressful not only for the owner, but also for the dealer. It is necessary to prepare the boat for delivery, check all systems, set up equipment - this is not a complete list of what needs to be done. Moreover, the process of handing over the yacht must also meet the standards, because in addition to the technical part, there is also a psycho-emotional component. Handing over a boat can be both an exciting new experience for an owner and a frustrating start to a yacht.
So the beginning of preparation before buying a yacht is to study the processes associated with the transfer of the boat to the owner.
Putting the yacht into operation with further transfer to the owner
For those who are buying a yacht for the first time, the transfer of the boat will usually take longer than for experienced yachtsmen. This is because different shipyards approach the process of putting a yacht into service in different ways. Some shipyards do everything themselves, but many outsource some of the process to third parties. The third party may be a local dealer.
So Adrian Jones, director of a dealer company, prefers to communicate with clients throughout the entire process of creating a yacht - from laying the skeleton of the boat to launching it. Usually this communication begins long before the full transfer of the yacht to the new owner: “First of all, this process should be exciting for the owner himself.
In a good way, the owner should periodically visit the shipyard at different stages of the creation of the boat. Then, usually, no unpleasant surprises are expected, because the buyer literally sees the process of creating a boat.”
Many dealers themselves check the yacht for some time before handing it over to the owner. This check usually takes about a week. Adrian adds that the client should be given access to an engineer who specializes in the yacht being inspected for as long as it takes to solve all the client's questions.
The shipyard Spirit Yachts, for example, set up a commissioning system almost 30 years ago. Since then, the technology has hardly changed. Commissioning Manager, Alastair Sutherland, says: “From the moment the yachts are launched, our team begins all related debugging work. We check all the elements and mechanisms of the yacht. Once the build team is satisfied, all equipment is installed and the sails are set, then and only then does the real full commissioning begin. For the next two weeks, we sail every day, under the engine, checking all the systems on the go. And only then will there be introductory cruises with the owner.”
Sutherland goes on to go into detail about the commissioning process: “When we first go out on the water, we start everything the way we think the future owner would do. On the go, we adjust the devices, identify possible problems and solve them.
Ideally, before handing over the yacht to the owner, we will make an additional night crossing along a certain route. So we can conduct a more thorough check of all systems. After all the tests, we clean and wash the boat.
If we are talking about Spirit Yachts, then the process of handing over the yacht takes place over three days. On the first day, a general overview of the yacht is held in the dock with a demonstration of all systems. We put a lot of effort into making the process simple and fun. The reason for this is banal - you will remember the information easier if you not only tell it, but also physically give you the opportunity to touch everything that you see. Moreover, we provide the client with detailed boat management manuals. They include all practical documentation and system drawings. This makes it easier to learn how to operate/maintain the yacht safely and efficiently.
Our second day, as they say, is dedicated to sailing. We take the owner and demonstrate to him the capabilities of the boat under sail. Our task (of course, depending on the weather) is to show the client the operation of all sails and all systems on the water.
The third day is busy with checking the operation of navigation and communication systems. We are ready to listen, tell, show and help the client with all his questions. To be fair, we do this not only on the days we hand over the boat, but throughout the life of the yacht.”
The process of handing over a new yacht is almost always quite laborious, but pleasant. The dealer presents the result of long and hard work, and the client sees what he gave money for.
Sailing rig and its correct setting is of the utmost importance when buying a new sailing yacht.
Paul Austin of Dolphin Sails is responsible for helping many owners order sails for their new yachts: “On a recent order, I have been in contact with the future owner for over two years. I advised him on the type of rig for his future yacht. The owner is a serious sailor and it was very important for him to choose the right sails. I, and in general our entire team, hold separate meetings about sails and covers for them. There is really something to think about here.
I also noticed that it can be an invaluable experience to work with a new owner to set sail on a new boat. Our company strives to do this together with each client, we do not rush or push anyone. This way the client can get the most out of their yacht.”
It may seem to the owner that the list of things and equipment that is necessary for the first trip to the sea is simply exorbitant. Some shipyards even provide a list of additional options, including even cutlery. Alas, not all shipyards do this.
In order to make life easier for yachtsmen, there are many companies that specialize in yacht furnishing. Such companies will help speed up the introduction of the yacht into service.
Cédric Beaumont, a spokesman for one such company, says: “The process of beautifying a boat can be unexpectedly stressful for an owner, especially a newbie. Therefore, attracting such companies can be really useful. Especially if you want to go to sea as soon as possible.”
Most new yachts are delivered to the owner with a one year warranty. Interestingly, some parts of the design are given a longer warranty. Among such structural elements may be, for example, a housing. Warranty documentation allows you to track the warranty for a particular device, part of the yacht and third-party components. Such documentation must be handed over to you upon handover of the yacht.
Again, we all know perfectly well how a guarantee works. While some companies may be able to do the bare minimum, others may be able to take on the full cost of repairs, for example.
Learn more about the issue of warranty conditions and obligations with the company from which you buy a yacht.
Tips for owners
There are some universal tips for future yacht owners:
- The commissioning of a new yacht of a small 12-meter yacht takes from one to two weeks. Something larger, such as yachts over 20 meters long, will take longer. Take your time to get your hands on the boat as soon as possible - shipyard experts or dealers do not just eat their bread.
- The transfer of the yacht usually takes a whole day, and sometimes more. The dealer or shipyard representative should tell you all about the boat's systems and set sail with you. It is also very useful to make notes and videos - so you will definitely not forget anything.
- Check the terms of the warranty. Check them out and ask any related questions. This way you can avoid many potential problems in the future.
- Most dealers now (remember that the coronavirus has not gone away) are dealing with uncertain delivery dates for yachts. So keep that in mind before cutting off the dealer or shipyard phone line. Usually you should be warned in advance about what the situation is and when to expect the boat.
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