Ready to buy your first boat? Here are some tips by Dr Malav Shroff
You might be living in the heart of a bustling metropolis but have you ever thought of buying a boat? No seriously. It’s not impossible at all. Nor is it impractical. Like a sumptuous Bentley or a nifty Maserati, there is a boat to suit everybody’s needs and desires. And need we tell you that our oceans have enough…err…parking space.
It is a popular myth that boats are extremely expensive and sailing is a passion only the ultra-rich can afford! Thus the first question to ask yourself would be, why do you want to buy a boat? The reason could vary from you being an avid boating enthusiast, a love for the water or maybe because you need it as a medium of transport.
The answer will help you determine the next important step: the size of the boat. Boat models generally indicate the length in feet or meters. If you are looking at entertaining large number of people and the purpose of owning a boat is simply pleasure, you may want to consider a luxury boat builder for a larger yacht. If transport is a priority on your list, you would be better off opting for a speedboat!
Boats are broadly categorized into power and sail. Sail boats are suitable for individuals who enjoy sailing as a sport and are adventurous in nature. If you have penchant for adventure sports and enjoy the outdoors, learning to sail may augur well for you.
Power boats, on the other hand, are ideal for those individuals who love speed. Several certified training courses are available for those who wish to learn sailing or how to operate a power yacht.
For your purchase, you may consider buying a new boat or a pre-owned boat. When looking at a pre-owned boat, you would have to look at the condition of the boat, the year it was built and the engine hours. Along with a service check, these are the true indicators of what sort of life the boat has led. For new boats most manufactures offer a number of customizations, to suit your tastes and requirements.
“A benchmark for annual maintenance would be around 5-7% of the cost of the yacht,” Malav Shroff says.
Options for financing a boat and co-owning a boat are available. If you feel that the investment cost is high and your usage may not be enough, you can find a friend and go in for a co-ownership option. In this arrangement, all owners split not only the purchase price but also the operating costs in a pre-decided ratio and use the boat on a time share basis.
But ensure that you purchase the boat from a reputed dealer. This will take care of post-sales issues like maintenance and spares. It is also advisable to use the dealer’s expertise in terms of certified crew, fuelling and maintenance support for an annual fee.
Most dealers would be able to offer a sea trial of a yacht or a speedboat to give you a fair idea of what to expect from you boat. In case the yacht is manufactured internationally, one trip to the shipyard would be recommended.
“Ocean Blue has an annual maintenance service which looks after all preventive maintenance, as well as services such as, manpower/crew management, fresh water supply and fuelling among others. Routine daily-checks are performed and a weekly-maintenance log is,” Malav Shroff says.
Four steps to your first boat:
1) For people who live in cities that are not directly connected to the water, they can contact us and we can help them with buying a yacht that would be suitable for their requirement. Based on their reason for buying the boat, how much they would be using it, how many people they need it to accommodate, whether they want a sailing yacht or a power yacht and where they want it to be located, we can help determine the correct product and take things forward accordingly. We can also arrange a visit to the manufacturing yard of the yacht (most of our brands are based in Europe) in order to ensure that the customization is to their taste.
2) Once the boat is acquired, it can be kept at a city as per the owner’s preference, such as Mumbai, Goa, Kochi (Kochi is home to India’s first commercial marina, built and managed by Ocean Blue). Alternately, in the case of smaller boats, sometimes a lake or river closer to the city of residence could also be their preferred location for the boat.
3) Maintenance is very important. Ocean Blue has an annual maintenance service which looks after all preventive maintenance, as well as services such as, manpower/crew management, fresh water supply and fuelling among others. Routine daily-checks are performed and a weekly-maintenance log is. As and when the boat requires any replacement of spare parts or specific servicing, the owners are alerted. For boats that are kept in a different location, our technicians would travel to that location for monthly checks.
4) The price of a luxury yacht would start at roughly Rs 3 crore and there is no upper limit. A benchmark for annual maintenance would be around 5-7% of the cost of the yacht.
Malav Shroff is the founder and organizer of the Mumbai International Boat Show and managing director of Mumbai-based Mahindra Ocean Group.