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Big, bold, beautiful: there’s more to buying a boat than the ‘three B’s’

Wayne Shepherd
Wayne Shepherd
October 13 2013 – Dubai, Qatar: When purchasing a yacht many first-time buyers give in to the allure of the ‘three B’s’: as big as budget allows, a bold engine and beautiful bodywork. But more often than not, first-time buyers overlook the finer detail essential to making sure a purchase is a sound investment.

What first seems like a good deal can actually end up costing more in the long-run. Wayne Shepherd, General Manager of Mourjan Marinas – the region’s leading marina management company – shares his top tips to making a successful purchase:

“Buying a boat is one of the best purchases you will ever make – if done correctly. Buying a boat introduces you to a whole new lifestyle with so many benefits that you can’t put a price on, like spending more quality family-time together,” comments Wayne.

“Shop around and monitor the market for a few months. We recommend buying new to avoid any hidden pitfalls that may come with buying second-hand, if budget permits. A bit like buying a car, if purchasing second-hand, buyers should thoroughly check its history before committing to a purchase and, importantly, don’t be afraid to ask to take it for a test drive.

“For larger purchases, consider working with a professional broker, one who will help with identifying potential boats in line with your requirements as well as assessing its value for money. Brokers are experts at knowing the market, and will be able to advise precisely to your needs. They are also highly-adept negotiators.”

A check-list is essential and can help you avoid overlooking the basics: “Build a checklist of things to look for, or if in doubt, hire a professional surveyor who can give your vessel a thorough assessment. Corrosion to the bodywork, shabby interior finishing and broken equipment are basic indicators of poor upkeep and maintenance. Expect its engine to look just as bad,” advises Wayne.

“Insurance is a must. Buying a boat is a big investment so, like your car, adequate, comprehensive insurance is essential.”

Wayne also encourages prospective buyers to consider not only what the boat will be used for at the time of purchase, but its future use: “Think long-term. Your boat will require maintenance, but think about the long-term aspect of owning a boat. Are you looking for a smaller yacht for you and your partner on the weekends? Or should you be thinking about purchasing something larger for your future family vacations?

“Of course, maintenance is essential to preserving your boat’s lifespan. Consider storage carefully - marina or dry storage. There are many benefits to marina storage, such as speed of access to go boating, and it’s also a fantastic place to go and relax on your boat.

The Gulf is well-endowed with marinas located just a short distance away from picturesque cruising destinations. Mourjan Marinas - Almouj Marina is a popular berthing spot situated in the heart of The Wave, Muscat. Less than 20 nautical miles away lies the uninhibited Damaniyat Islands. The islands are home to marine life including more than 100 species of tropical fish, dolphins and the rare Hawksbill turtle. Secluded bays fringed by white sandy beaches and glittering waters, the islands offer boaters the chance to unwind in complete tranquility.

Mourjan Marinas - Lusail Marina, located in Doha, Qatar, provides another ideal berthing spot. Located close to the Corniche Bay waterfront promenade and a series of small islands, Lusail Marina offers boaters the opportunity to discover and explore a wealth of cruising and water-sport activities.

Wayne adds: “Here in the Gulf, trade boat shows provide an excellent platform for assessing what is available and for how much. Even if you decide to buy second-hand, shop around for new vessels first to understand what’s available in the marketplace.”

The first edition of the Qatar International Boat Show (QIBS) 2013 will take place from the 12-16 November at the Mourjan Marinas - Lusail Marina, located within Lusail City. For details visit:

Another one to bear in mind is the increasingly popular Dubai Pre-Owned Boat Show, taking place from the 21-23 November at the Dubai Creek Marina, located at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. For more details visit:

Wayne’s checklist for buying a boat:

-         Ask around. Speak to other boat-owners, marina management staff, surveyors and brokers wherever possible. Where possible, get a second opinion.

-         Think ‘new’ even if budget doesn’t permit. Looking at new models will help you to identify the key factors and considerations to look out for if buying second-hand.

-         Identify your needs. Are you ‘buying for the now’ or thinking long-term? Maintenance costs can build and replacement costs can be expensive.

-         Buy something that you like. As with any investment, you will gain the most from your purchase if you genuinely like the vessel you are purchasing.

-         Buy accordingly. Take into account what your boat will be used for, as whether you plan on fishing, doing water-sports or leisurely cruising, there are different qualities to look out for to ensure optimum performance from your vessel.




Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad & Sons Holding