Boating is a sport and lifestyle, which requires the right vessel in your fleet. As you seek out yachts for sale, keep these tips in mind for a successful purchase.

Buying a yacht is a major investment for any individual. This vessel reflects your personality, style and ultimate success in life. From my experience, I've seen many people make both poor and smart decisions when it comes to picking out a quality vessel. When you want to explore the world in style, you simply need to know these three things before putting down a first payment on that dream yacht.

Consider a Pre-Owned Model

Although your first reaction to buying a yacht is looking for a new model, don't overlook pre-owned motor yachts. These vessels can be found worldwide, and they often come at a steep discount. Buying a discounted vessel means you'll have extra funds available to remodel the boat as necessary. Pre-owned boats also come from various model years that may be coveted in the industry. Search for that vintage shipbuilding year where the best woods were used on the interior. You may be able to fix up a classic vessel that stands out above the newest models.

Carefully Evaluate the Construction

In my experience, I've noticed that any vessel can have some poor workmanship. From new to pre-owned boats, materials might degrade in only a few years on the water. As you narrow down your boating choices, carefully evaluate the exterior and interior components. Water damage shouldn't permeate the vessel, such as along the hull's sides. Although there will be minute damages from everyday wear-and-tear, your prospective boat investment can't be riddled with problems. Extensive damage points to low-quality materials and improper installation techniques. Ideally, move onto another boat suggestion if your first choice has questionable features.

Examine the Engine

I believe that the engine is just as important as the vessel's material quality. Ask a trusted mechanic to look at the engine and test it as necessary. If you're in the Fort Lauderdale area, you can always take the boat out for a test run. Although diesel engines used to be desirable, look for a gasoline-powered model. They'll require less maintenance over the years. Every engine will have some issues, but a well-maintained model will be reliable out on the water. Only bid on a vessel with a sound engine that's verified by professionals.

If your boat will be used mainly for slow cruising, a large vessel might suit your needs. When recreation is on your mind, seek out those smaller and more agile boats at the marina. Regardless of your final choice, you should be able to use your boat for many years without any major problems.

For more information, read our buying a yacht guide.