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Industry Insight

Your Time to Choose: Should you Buy a Motor or Sailing Yacht?

Do you long for the luxury of a motor yacht or the thrill of a true sailing experience? These are just some of the factors to consider when deciding what type of yacht to buy.

With so many yachts for sale on the market today, it can be hard to decide which is the perfect yacht for you. When buying a yacht, the starting point is usually choosing between motor yacht or sailing yacht. Whilst for some that decision can be straightforward, for others it is a more difficult choice. 

So, what are the differences to consider when deciding whether to buy a motor or sailing yacht?

Buying a Motor Yacht 

Motor yachts are synonymous with speed and power and are often what first comes to mind for many when imagining a superyacht. Sleek and stylish, without the restriction of sails and rigging, motor yachts often offer more spacious living accommodation. Depending on the size, motor yachts also have the capacity to house a huge range of amenities such as beach clubs, gyms and elevators, creating the total luxury yachting lifestyle experience.

motor yacht for sale

Buying a motor yacht is a great option for those wanting to welcome large groups of family and friends on board, due to more expansive staterooms, flexible layouts and spacious decks. Plus, they often deliver a drier cruising experience than sailing yachts due to their elevated level from the water and a smoother ride due to the addition of stabilizers. Because of their steady cruising capacities and ability to reach high speeds, luxury motor yachts are great for those who want to explore more cruising areas within a shorter timescale. With wind being less of a factor, they also offer greater flexibility as there is less requirement to plan ahead. 

Due to their easier handling abilities, motor yachts are often a popular choice for those new to, or less experienced with yachting. They are also an excellent choice for those looking for a more adventurous yachting experience and unlimited world cruising. With larger volume than a sailing yacht, there is typically more storage room for tenders and water toys, and many modern explorer yachts even feature helipads and research facilities. Ask your yacht broker for advice on which options will be suitable for long-range expeditions, or best equipped to access shallower waters with ease. 

Buying a Sailing Yacht

A sailing yacht caters more to the romantic notion of traditional yachtsmanship than a motor yacht does, with the feeling of the wind in your hair, salt spray on your face and sun on your skin offering a wonderfully liberating experience where unforgettable moments with family and friends are created. Although sailing yachts traditionally have a reputation for being less spacious than motor yachts, this isn’t always the case. There are many sailing yachts on the market which benefit from surprisingly expansive accommodation. 

sailing yacht for sale

Though luxury sailing yachts are usually equipped with engines, for the large part they are reliant on the wind. From sloops and schooners to catamarans and gulets, the lack of engine noise makes for the ultimate sense of peace and privacy, with the only sound being the water lapping gently against the sides. On the other hand, this reliance on wind power can sometimes throw up logistical challenges and so advanced planning is recommended for all voyages. 

Ideal for relaxed travels across a multitude of cruising grounds, sailing yachts generally offer luxurious, if slightly more practical, amenities than motor yachts. Water toys, whilst certainly featuring on board, tend to be less extensive than on a motor yacht and tenders are sometimes towed due to storage constraints. It should be noted that handling rigging and sails can be physically demanding and time consuming, so sailing yachts often require a more specialised crew. 

Many sailing yachts feature a shallow draught, allowing access into more remote bays and an enhanced up-close experience. While the yachting industry as a whole offers a great sense of community, perhaps one of the biggest draws of buying a sailing yacht is being part of the sailing “family”, including attendance at regattas and other traditional yachting events. 

Buying a Motor Sailer

Falling somewhere in between, a motor sailer yacht is the perfect combination for some – effectively 100% sailing and 100% motor yacht, and able to perform to uncompromising standards for either purpose. Offering the sheer fun of sailing with the efficiency of motor propulsion and often the bonus of roll reduction for a smoother ride, motor sailers are a highly attractive option for some yacht owners. Enjoy the simplicity and silence of using the sails with the peace of mind that essential mechanical assistance is always available if the wind is not in your favour. Many of these yachts also feature outdoor space, large indoor areas and state-of-the-art amenities that could rival any motor yacht of a similar size. 

motor sailer yacht MEIRA for sale

There are a multitude of additional factors that should be considered when choosing between buying a motor yacht or a sailing yacht, from berthing to running costs and crewing to charter potential. Engaging an experienced yacht broker will provide you with a balanced and informed view, ensuring that you buy a yacht which perfectly suits your requirements for the best possible price and that you enjoy a successful launch into new yacht ownership. 

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