Do you dream of sailing through beautiful blue waters on a luxury yacht? Is it time to make that fantasy a reality?

The yacht industry is poised for growth, making now the perfect time to become a yacht owner.

But even if you’ve owned smaller boats in the past, making the jump to owning a yacht is no simple task. The bigger the yacht, the bigger the commitment in terms of time, expense, and upkeep.

Think you’re ready for the challenge? Here are 4 things to consider before taking the plunge and buying a yacht of your own.

1. Consider Your Budget

Before you rush out and fall in love with the first yacht you find, you need to know how much yacht you can afford. If you’re unsure, consult with your bank or accountant or a loan service like Bonsai Finance.

The purchase price will be a large chunk, but that’s not the only factor to consider. What about insurance, maintenance costs, and mooring fees? What about salaries for your crew?

Experts estimate that you’ll spend 10% of the purchase price each year to maintain and operate your yacht. If you drop $10 million to buy the yacht, expect to pay another $1 million each year you own it.

2. Match the Yacht to the Voyage

Most yachts fall into one of three categories: cruising, fishing, or watersports.

Is your goal primarily to entertain and enjoy short cruises in your local area? Are you interested in racing or deepsea fishing? Or do you have major travel plans in mind, like cruising around the world?

Before you start shopping, identify exactly what you hope to do with your yacht. A smaller yacht makes more sense for local use, as it’s easier to maneuver and dock in any marina.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to cruise to exotic ports on the other side of the world, you’ll need a bigger yacht with plenty of power and storage space.

3. Educate Yourself

How much time have you actually spent on a yacht? Do you keep up with the latest industry news?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to dive into the world of yachting (and all it involves). Educate yourself about regulations, safety concerns, and maintenance matters. Take sailing lessons for the type and size of yacht you’re considering.

Attend boat shows to see yachts up close and get a better idea of what you want—and what you don’t. Look at used yachts as well as new ones to better understand their design features and what’s involved in maintaining them.

4. Consult a Yacht Broker

Our final tip for first-time yacht buyers is to enlist the help of an experienced yacht broker.

Just like a realtor guides you through the home-buying process, a yacht broker will help you navigate the yachting industry.

This includes searching for a yacht to shipyard inspections to the actual buying and closing process. This small investment will ensure you make the best “big” investment in your new yacht.

Buying a Yacht: Are You Ready?

What do you think? Do you have what it takes to become a yacht owner?

Buying a yacht is a huge decision—one you shouldn’t take lightly.

But when you’re financially ready to make the commitment, there are few things in life that will bring you as much joy.

If you’re ready to begin your search for the perfect yacht, what are you waiting for? Your dream vessel is out there waiting for you!