Argo Yachting: Used Boat Buying Guide

Welcome to our used boat buying guide.

For many, a used boat can be just as satisfying as buying new. After all, the fact that you’re buying a boat that already exists means you don’t have to wait for the build process to run its course. It also means you can get great value for money – and that means you can expand your search to incorporate larger boats from more prestigious names than might otherwise be available to you. With advanced aftersales, there are now options to personalise your used boat to suit you and your needs, with refitting, upholstery and upgrades plus more available.

As we write this article, it’s important to recognise that the used market has changed somewhat over the last 18 months. The market is usually well stocked with a wide variety of boats and motor yachts of every shape, size and style, putting the buyer in a strong position, not just to find a specific boat model, but to invest some time in assessing its merits and negotiating a favourable price. But now, demand for both new and used boats has increased significantly, meaning available stock isn’t on the market for long. Although we are now seeing a steady increase in used boats, we would like to guide you to buying the boat you really want.

Used boats for sale: where to begin

Now, as ever, the first and most vital step for the used boat buyer is to understand what you need. This tends to be easier if you’re an experienced boater but either way, you need to be clear and honest in your assessment of what you and your family want to do with your boat. Do you want private sleeping, toilet and shower facilities? Do you want versatile wide-open decks for alfresco entertainment on sunny Mediterranean day trips? Do you favour refined long-distance passage making or do you prioritise speed, agility and performance?

Whether you’re into year-round boating, lounging in the sun, offshore fishing, towed watersports or a broad mix of everything, you need to talk to your loved ones at the outset and reach a clear consensus. You can then narrow down a shortlist of boat types and models that will excel for the lifestyle you have in mind – and if you reach a stage where the used boat market is not providing you with precisely the boat you want, your textured understanding of your favoured applications will enable you to be more flexible in your assessment of which other boats might serve as effective alternatives.

Used boats: buying through an approved yacht broker

If you choose to operate independently as a private buyer, there is a great deal to think about. Once you’ve found a boat that appears to match your needs, you need to gather sufficient evidence to satisfy yourself that it is indeed worth buying. Subject, as we are, to the guiding principles of Caveat Emptor (buyer beware), you need to protect yourself by asking the right questions about its condition, market price, history, finance and ownership status. Getting this process right and feeling fully confident about it can be a daunting and difficult task. More to the point, whilst running through the various processes outlined above, the likelihood in the current market is that another buyer will simply turn up and buy the boat before you get anywhere near completing the deal. In short, now more than ever, it pays to operate through a good broker. And that is where Argo Yachting can step in and help you on your journey.

At Argo Yachting, we do all the leg work for you. Our listings are approved by our experts, with rigorously high standards in quality, history and service, so you know you’re getting the very best. We also provide pre-purchase surveys and engineer’s reports so you can sail away safely and comfortably. As a one-stop shop, we can offer part-exchange, finance and insurance all in-house, plus our 5-star aftersales teams in the UK and Mallorca ensure your ownership is as smooth as the purchase.

Browse our brokerage listings here.

It can be tough to find a great used boat, but as the sister company to Princess Motor Yacht Sales, Argo Yachting has access to an extensive UK and European network of brokerage operations, encompassing Germany, Spain and the Balearics. We also have some of the industry’s most highly experienced brokers with extensive contacts and real-time knowledge of the global used boat market. Our brokerage listings routinely include a wide range of premium new and used yachts from the likes of Azimut, Chris Craft, Cranchi, Galeon, Fairline, Sunseeker and Windy. And as a long-standing member of the Association of Brokers & Yacht Agents (ABYA), we are also able to make the process of buying a yacht brilliantly simple. We take an open and transparent approach throughout the process, with comprehensive documentation and the reassuring backup of Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.

Used boat buyer: our top tips

  1. Be honest about exactly the kind of boating you and your family will most enjoy and then narrow down a list of effective models on that basis.
  2. If you’re a relative novice, visit boat shows and marinas, go out with boat-owning friends, charter a yacht or two and talk to existing owners about their experiences.
  3. Try to tailor your boat choice to destination as well as application – and whatever you decide to buy, make sure it is manageable for you and your family both in terms of size and budget.
  4. Expand your search options by using a professional broker with a proven track record who can give you valuable hands-on advice.
  5. The modern market is extremely competitive, so prepare yourself to act fast when the right boat comes your way.

Read more about boating for beginners, and when you’re ready contact our team to begin your journey:

+44 (0)1489 885656