How to buy a yacht and sail around the world

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The world around us is going crazy so quickly that going out to sea and not mooring ashore for as long as possible is not such a bad idea. For the desperate, we'll tell you how to do it. The text came out quite monumental, but if you really decide to do this one day, you'll be able to arm yourself with it and you won't have any questions left.

Part 1. Around the world

What is a trip around the world on a yacht

A trip around the world on a yacht is a circle around the globe with a start and finish at approximately the same point.

Yachting differs from traveling around the world by land or by air in that it requires suitable conditions. Perhaps there are people who take the sea without pause or break, but I don't know about them — yachtsmen most often choose the “velvet round-the-world” format. Its principle is to wait for the right season and only cross seas and oceans when it can be done relatively safely and comfortably without getting caught in storms and storms.

Such a trip around the world usually lasts from two to three years. The first leg is always summery — let's say you start from Europe and reach the Canary Islands during the summer. Come to the Canaries in autumn or a little earlier, and cross the Atlantic Ocean in late autumn or early winter. Then you can base yourself in the Caribbean, Bahamas or Florida for a while until it's time to cross the Panama Canal and enter the Pacific Ocean. There is also an option to leave the boat and go about your business, returning to the right season.

After crossing the Pacific Ocean, you can stop at Fiji or Bora Bora, and then from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean, from the Indian Ocean through the Cape of Good Hope back to the Atlantic, and now you're almost where you started.

With all sorts of assumptions, the standard route looks something like this.

The route of the Oyster World Rally round-the-world project

From zero to hero — how to go from a beginner to a round-the-world traveler

In order to go around the world, you will need:

  • own yacht, you will not be able to use a charter boat for this purpose
  • ability to fly a boat
  • financial cushion
  • decent health

This list can be expanded endlessly, but globally these are our four pillars — without them, we won't be able to go around the world.

How to even start preparing for a trip around the world

If you've never driven a yacht, you should start with training. Any proven school that trains skippers from scratch to a basic level will do. You need to learn how to use a yacht, and then, if the goal is to travel around the world, you buy a yacht and get used to using not just an abstract charter boat, but your personal one. Perhaps in the process, you'll realize that this whole idea was only good in pictures. If not, then you can seriously prepare the boat and plan the trip.


You can talk about 20-25 thousand euros as a starting amount for which you can find an old but strong and reliable boat for going around the world. The higher the price, the bigger, newer and more sophisticated the boat will be.

A boat for this money will be a very small boat — for one/three people — where you will have to do almost everything by hand. It will not have complicated electronics or hydraulics — that is, nothing that makes life easier, but nothing that complicates it. Roughly speaking, this is nothing but true: a person on a sailing boat controls it with his own hands. It's good if you have a helmsman, GPS electronics and some basic things even on a small yacht, but you don't have to learn much here.

excellent Hallberg Rassy 312 for 27 thousand euros in Sweden

The amount of knowledge a skipper needs is directly proportional to the yacht's complexity and size. The longer the boat, the more gadgets and electronics it has, the more you need to know. And paradoxical as it may sound, it will be all the more difficult it will be on it to withstand really difficult weather. First, on a large boat, the crew is larger, and the skipper is responsible for more people: in difficult conditions, they are more difficult to monitor and manage.

Secondly, yes, a large boat lasts longer on one side, that is, it can withstand a large wave until there are any serious consequences. But on the other hand, when the weather gets really bad, that is, a hurricane or a strong cyclone with winds of 80 knots or more, then almost everything — a 60-foot boat or a 20-foot boat — is in the same circumstances. There are many positive experiences of completely fierce storming on small boats, and at the same time, enough negative experiences in driving large boats in the same situations.

Skipping skills on a 25-32 foot boat is not the most important thing on such a trip. Yes, of course, you need to learn how to fly a boat, understand how it goes, and how navigation works from basic to electronic, but this is not so long and difficult. If the future round-the-world traveler has some basic technical literacy and an understanding of the general laws of physics, then there will be no questions about that either. Any person who is more or less literate from the point of view of physics will master these simple things in 2-4 weeks, and then he just needs to develop his motor skills. But if, for example, you buy a boat in Europe, you'll earn everything while you're driving to the Canary Islands. The difficulty is different. When it comes to buying your own boat and taking a long trip on it, it's important not to be a skipper, it's important to be a jack of all trades. Electrician, diesel engineer, carpenter, locksmith, plumber and so on.

That is, if you are not ready at all — for example, you have been a cook all your life and do not understand anything about engines, water supply, sewers, or electricians, then training can take quite a long time. Because the very first boat breakdown that happens on the water will raise many questions, and this may even end tragically.


There is a paradox that in many parts of the world, de jure no license is required to travel on your own boat — you can just take it and go wherever you want.

There are two buts. Firstly, if you've never driven a boat, bought it and decided to learn a little on your own, and then embarking on a trip around the world is a fatal mistake, you can't do that. The second is insurance and parking. In order to enter any European marina, you must have third party liability, that is, insurance against damage to third parties. Without it, they simply won't let you go there in order to save yourself the situation when you went into the marina, drove into someone while mooring, and you have nothing to pay off the damage with.

So, an insurance company will most likely require a certificate before concluding this insurance contract. And here is the question of what kind of insurance policy it will be and what conditions it will have. But in general, if you only insure yourself against problems in marinas, then any basic license will do, for example, ICC or IYT Bareboat Skipper. It's just that this boat won't be insured the rest of the time. In other words, if an accident occurs 20 miles from the marina, that is, a boat hits, for example, a fisherman, no one will compensate for this damage.

In some ideal world, you need a license no lower than Yachtmaster Ocean, that is, without restrictions on water areas, but this is not necessary. You can live with a regular day skipper/bareboat skipper.

How do I know I'm ready?


There is no generally accepted standard, no “professional aptitude” test for people around the world. It is up to each person to decide for themselves at what point they are ready.

The best preparation for a trip around the world is not training, but what happens afterwards. Let's say you buy a yacht in Greece and then go on this yacht alone or with a crew, for example, across the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and then to the Canary Islands. This path is very good in terms of testing and competencies and, in general, the desire to go somewhere. In quiet mode, it will take about a month, and during this time, and in relative safety, you will catch different weather, different breakdowns, and various problems. As a result, it will become clear whether you need it at all, and whether yachting in this form brings any pleasure.

What do I mean when I talk about safety. Throughout this journey, you will have plus minus one day to the nearest land, as opposed to the moment when you set off to cross the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Because in addition to the fact that it will be very far from land there at some points, even when the coast is relatively close, this coast is mostly uncivilized, and you will not find help there.

Therefore, it is a mistake to buy your first boat in places close to the ocean: there will be no time to test yourself as a skipper, boats as a projectile for a long journey, and most importantly, your own desires for strength. So it is very good to buy a boat either in northern Europe, in Sweden, which we will later talk about as one of the best options for buying an inexpensive and reliable boat, or just somewhere in the southern or eastern Mediterranean, close to the Balkans: Turkey and Greece.

Because it would take weeks, sometimes months, to get to the ocean. And during this time, it will become very clear whether you are making a fatal mistake, and there will be time to change plans. It's not at all shameful to go to Gibraltar and put a yacht up for sale in Spain, for example, because it has become clear that this is not exactly what you would like.

Required skills

Before buying a boat, you should ask yourself if I ever liked assembling a designer, because a boat is an endless constructor: when one screw is screwed, the other two unscrewed. It will never be otherwise — neither in a boat for 15,000 euros, nor for a million dollars. Unless there's more in a boat worth a million propellers. In the case of a large boat, plus only one, it was probably not bought with the last money. Then the owner may still have the funds left to seek repairs from specialists. However, you should not underestimate the cost of such requests: if you pay for everything (and on a yacht, everything works at the same time), the costs will quickly exceed the cost of the yacht itself.

If we talk about a small and inexpensive yacht, then most often the owner of such a boat is unlikely to hand it over for permanent repairs to various services — this is expensive, and you will have to do everything yourself. In addition, most breakdowns can happen while you are on the high seas, and you can't wait to repair it ashore. In sum, all this means that regardless of what kind of yacht you own, you need to fully master the processes and understand how things work.

For an ordinary, overland person who did not have, say, experience in owning an old Muscovite (and even a Muscovite is just one hundredth of the surprises a yacht has in store for you), all this is new.

For example, you can compare the situation with latrines — toilets on a boat — and a home toilet. If your toilet is broken at home, you can dismantle it, throw it away and replace it with a new one, but most likely, you will call a plumber who will do the same thing for a couple of thousand rubles. You don't need any special knowledge for this. But if you unscrew the toilet on the boat, you'll sink pretty quickly. Because faucets are connected to the toilet, and the hoses are brought overboard to flush not with fresh water, but with sea water. And if you just open these faucets, the seawater will immediately pour in. Even in order to clean a clogged toilet, you need to understand how this system works so as not to accidentally sink into your own crap.

And there are a lot of such moments. When I bought my first boat, I also had to figure it all out myself.

For example, one day the motor simply stopped cooling, and it was necessary to change the impeller of the cooling pump, called the impeller. I'd never done it before and had no idea what it looked like. I went to the store and bought an impeller for my engine. And then we just had to look for it, because you see a diesel engine with 150 different propellers in front of you, and you have to figure out where the impeller that sucks the seawater could be. It took me about half an hour to do this, but at least I understood how the engine cooling system works, even if it was purely theoretical.

But at school, we met people who believed that diesel and gasoline are just two different types of fuel, and the engines themselves work exactly the same, which is fundamentally wrong. And if diesel is not associated with buying a boat, and you are unable to disassemble and assemble it at least with the instructions, then going to the ocean without preparation is a bad idea. For example, there are courses in Europe that are called “yacht diesel”. This is where you assemble and disassemble a diesel engine for a couple of days and find out what can even happen to it. Take these courses or organize private classes for yourself — it's quite easy to find a minder with whom you can buy an old engine at the dismantling plant and work on it. Or even ride your boat together and study the specific marine engine you'll be dealing with.

We focus on diesel because it is an independent unit that stands apart from everything else. All other systems: electricity, water supply, etc., also require knowledge from the boat owner, but everything is quite simple there. Boys (and more and more girls today) often know what a battery, inverter, charger, etc. are.

Theoretical training and route planning

There are real “round-the-world bibles” written by people who have traveled around the world many times. For example, Jimmy Cornell books. It lists routes, prevailing winds, and problems at the stages. It will be great if you read at least a few of them — this is the base from which you will work.

When planning a trip in detail, it is important to proceed from the current situation in the world, especially today (covid has still not ended everywhere) and especially with a Russian passport (explanations are hardly needed here). Keep an eye on the geopolitical situation, because you can expect to refuel somewhere with fresh water, but due to the coronavirus epidemic or because of a red passport, you will not be allowed there. Learn all about current wars, especially if you decide to take the shortcut and go from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. The Gulf of Aden, Somalia, the Red Sea, Yemen, Eritrea, Tunisia are all countries that don't really like sea tourists, where you can encounter both pirate activity and military activity.

It is convenient to monitor the situation in real time at each stage of the trip around the world on the website This is a huge forum owned by the organizers of the ARC Rally Flotilla. It is run by editors who create articles with useful excerpts from all posts, and here you can find first-hand information about cruise yachting around the world: what about covid, what about gas stations, where you can get up, and where better not to go. It also describes pirate precedents and zones that are best avoided.

How can I find a travel boat and does it make sense?

We've already talked about the ARC rally, which is a large annual flotilla you can join to overcome the first leg of the world and cross the Atlantic Ocean with other similar enthusiasts. The rally fleet consists of about 200 yachts — it won't be boring. But there are details. Firstly, participation in such a flotilla is quite expensive. Secondly, almost all participating boats are pretty big and fast, and if you're sailing, say, on a 32-35 foot yacht, you'll quickly fall behind and the whole idea will lose its meaning.

As for one or two fellow travelers, the benefits will be more psychological — it may be a little calmer to know that you are not alone in the ocean. It should be understood that boats, when they go out into the ocean, will quickly lose sight of each other; you won't be able to stay together for long. If you have a critical technical problem on board and there is someone within 50 miles of you to hear you, of course you will be rescued. But in case of bad weather, you will be in exactly the same conditions and will not help each other in any way.

How can you find such a travel companion? In addition to forums and some targeted agreements, casual acquaintances in marinas often help. It happens that you get up in the marina while you wait for the season or the weather, meet someone on the pier, chat, have a drink and find out who's going where. This is where you can find those who are along the way and agree to go together.


If you approach the issue wisely, prepare diligently, study the equipment, seriously prepare the yacht and don't worry about the details, make backups at all stages (take more than you need to eat water, stock up on electronics and rescue equipment), go in the right season, don't take risks, don't get into trouble, check the weather forecast and have minimal satellite equipment, then travel around the world pretty safe idea.

Contrary to beliefs, most of the risks around the world are not related to the weather at all. Inattention, poor preparation, inability to soberly assess your strength and the human factor (that is, pirates and wars) are the cause of most problems along the way.

Increasing the length and complexity of the journey will help identify most technical problems on the yacht. We bought a yacht — great, first take a walk on it to see if everything is in order with it and whether the mast will fall off on the very first day, contrary to the surveyor's assessment. Then you can add sea crossings — for example, we bought it in Sweden and went to Germany. This is already a decent journey, during which something will probably break down. You fix it and drive on, along Germany, cross Biscay, and something breaks down again. The main thing in this process is that while you're repairing it all, you're preparing the yacht for a trip around the world, repairing what's broken in simpler conditions.


Pirates are not heroes from fairy tales. They're there, they're taking yachts. Yes, for most pirates, a small and inexpensive yacht will not have much value, but with an average salary in Jamaica of $5 a month, even the owner of such a boat is already a millionaire. They understand that you have some cash, laptops, cell phones, walkie-talkie and clothes, and you're still nice loot.

It is impossible to protect yourself from this, but avoid a meeting by all means, that is, avoid openly dangerous areas.

Noonsite will help here again — search for waters along your route and see what attacks I've been attacking, especially in the past couple of years. It happens that a region was considered safe, like the Grenadines, and then there are two robberies per season.


Dealing with any health problem from anywhere in Barbados or in the ocean, worse, is not something you want to do. So take preparing yourself as seriously as preparing your boat.

Stock up on medicines to the very bottom: with everything, with everything, and with a huge supply. Buying the medicines you need on the other side of the world is a great success, don't try your luck.

Tidy your teeth — this is the weak link that tends to remind you of yourself at the most inconvenient moment. By the start of your trip, you shouldn't even have a hint of tooth decay, because if you pick a tooth 15 days from the shore, you'll know what hell on water is like.

The ideal is to make a full check-up and explain to the general practitioner what the examination is all about. Say bluntly that you are going on a long-term journey without access to normal medical care. The problem is that even if you are somewhere on the coast, a visit to the doctor can cost as much as 500 euros, and the doctor himself is not English-speaking and completely ridiculous.

It is important to be prepared for the fact that such a survey may reveal a problem that you should not go anywhere at all.

If you are traveling as a couple or as a team, everyone should take a first aid course; if one, they should take self-help courses, because you will only have to rely on yourself.

Part 2. Buying a boat

In an ideal world, it's great to start looking for a yacht by answering questions about how long and difficult your journey is, where you want to start from, and whether you have a crew. And based on this, determine what you are looking for.

In general terms, what kind of boat it can be and what the budget consists of

It all depends on your comfort requirements, the crew (the more people, the larger the yacht you need) and your capabilities.

Globally, the slice looks something like this:

From 15 to 50 thousand euros — these are quite old (30+ years old) and small (up to 32 feet) but reliable boats. Shipyards worth considering: Albin Marine, Malo, Comfort Yachts.

50 — 120 thousand — modestly comfortable yachts aged about 20-25 years. It could be Najad, Hallberg Rassy, Westerly, Moody, Dehler, Trintella, Rival, Sadler.

120 — 250 thousand euros — small (up to 36 feet) and relatively new (10 years) boats or yachts that are larger (up to 42 feet) and older (about 15 years). We are looking at the same Najad, Hallberg Rassy or the aluminum Garcia and Alubat.

Let me remind you that here we are talking about buying a sturdy boat that can whistle far and for a long time. Not pleasure options for weekly charters in the Mediterranean Sea, weekend yachts, superyachts or dozens of other yachts that just exist — and their prices can be very varied.

In general, you can name 15,000 euros as a starting point to start your search with.

but it also happens

Of course, the more money you can spend on a boat, the easier it becomes to find it: the range is wider, there are no restrictions on the region, and it is possible to hire a decent and efficient consultant who will do almost everything for you. Therefore, in this section I will pay more attention to finding budget yachts — the more a buyer has to do himself, the more knowledge he needs.

So, you have at least 15,000 euros, and you want to buy a yacht and cross the ocean on it or even go around the world. For this money, you will be able to find an old but reliable and pleasant yacht that will fully meet your tasks.

You should look towards the Dutch, English and Swedish shipyards. A detailed guide will be provided below, but in general, all these countries built excellent ocean boats in the 1970s and 1980s, which are still on the market today.

Further, even in the case of a small yacht, in addition to the money to buy it, you will need about 50 percent of the cost for this yacht to heal. The figure is approximate — sometimes you are lucky and the yacht was bought in a condition that does not require serious investments, but you still need to have access to at least 50 percent.

And don't forget that you should like the yacht. You're going to live on it for a long time, and if it's disgusting, it'll be hard to put up with it. Many people at this point spit in favor of more budgetary options, but you can't do that. After all, a yacht is far from the most necessary purchase for you, but a luxury item. And if you buy it, it'll be great if you put up with all the inconveniences that you will definitely have to put up with as a yacht owner with the idea of “but how beautiful she is”. Let you like it for its comfort, decoration and appearance.

More about money. There is a British saying “if something is made for a yacht, it is very expensive”. In other words, the very fact that something was produced for a yacht immediately increases the cost of that something significantly. Sometimes there is a fair link here: the yacht uses special grades of stainless steel that does not rust in seawater, plastic that is not afraid of ultraviolet radiation, special ropes, and so on. But often, the same parts will cost quite differently at a yacht store and at any other. Be ready for this.

Well, you can't neglect the financial cushion for the duration of the trip itself. On the one hand, it is needed in case something serious happens to the yacht and you have to pay for expensive repairs. On the other hand, you can break down — let's say you're fed up with everything and want to fly home urgently. You can't leave the boat just like that — you'll have to leave it somewhere, pay for parking, buy tickets from the end of the world. It's good, if you put off the stash in this case, you should not go to the last.

quite a decent Comfort 32 for about 20,000 euros or 1.2 million rubles

The layout of the future yacht

The first thing you need to do is decide on the composition and understand what conditions this composition needs. Everything will depend on the number of people.

If you are going to go alone or together with someone, you can start looking for a yacht with $15,000 on hand+search and purchase costs. And it will be an old, small, but decent boat that is quite suitable for you. But if the three of you go with the four of you, a 26-27 foot boat won't fit anymore. Just picture yourself in a tent where you've been living with two or three people for years. In this case, it is desirable that two people have 15,000 and the other two too — for this money you will have access to a fairly comfortable 32-34 foot yacht.

If you are going alone and your comfort requirements are not very high, then you need little: a bed and living conditions (for example, a toilet is not necessary at all in this case — you can always go overboard, and the toilet takes up a lot of space and reduces the boat's reliability, because there are holes and devices through).

There will be a lot of questions.

How many cabins do you need? If this is a small boat, then there are no cabins with doors as such, but just compartments with bunks. How big are these people? We once attended a boat viewing that didn't turn into a deal, where the yacht was large but with low ceilings — about 185 cm in the cabin, and the potential buyer was under 2 meters tall. He liked the boat but wasn't ready to walk hunched over. I thought for a long time, refused to buy it and did the right thing: if there is someone large in height or width on the yacht, it's important to understand that this boat is suitable.

If people are subtle, it's easier for them — any boat with any bunks and opening heights will do.

How much stuff do you all plan on taking with you? There are people who live very minimalistic lives, and if they always only go during the warm season, then they need the minimum of everything. And another yachtsman has a lot of stuff and will drag everything he uses at home around the world. Or there are those who try to protect themselves as much as possible, so they carry 42 flashlights, 55 walkie-talkies, 15 iPads and a bunch of binoculars. All of this dictates how many storage compartments you need on the boat. But in general, this is generally one of the most important criteria for the comfort and habitability of a boat — the number of compartments and lockers of all kinds. If the reader has ever been on a charter boat, he has seen that there are not many storage compartments there — much fewer than an ocean boat that uses any space.

the right number of cabinets

Sometimes people buy a boat with a small number of closets and then have to complete it to separate all the things they take with them as much as possible. Because large closets are always bad, everything disappears in them forever. It is important to have a large number of medium and small boxes.

Once you've decided how much money we have, how many people, what size they are and where they're going, you're here

Then we decide what the stages will be — that is, where and when you want to go. Because if a person decides to go around the world and this November he already wants to cross the Atlantic, and he only thought about it in July, then when buying a boat in Sweden, it means that you need to buy it urgently, work on it urgently and leave it urgently.

How long does it take to buy

It is important to understand that buying a boat in any budget is very difficult quickly. If a person is hyper-compromising, that is, he thinks according to the principle “I don't like this color, bed and ceiling, but I don't care”, then you can buy it faster, but this rarely happens. I think that the period to focus on when buying a boat is 6 months. If I start looking for a yacht today, I will (probably) buy one in about 6 months.

This is not only about searching, but also about registration, registration, etc. I know people who spent a year and a half or two looking because they were trying to find the only one — a boat that looked as much as possible to what they REALLY want. I've been looking for my first boat for about six months, confirming the general 6-month rule.

Searching budget

You can search for a boat yourself or hire a broker. Regardless of what you choose, you'll spend money looking for it, and, surprise, it's often cheaper to use brokerage services as a result. This is due to the fact that a professional will quickly identify what does not deserve attention, will not look too much and will definitely spend less on traveling.

If you are looking for a boat yourself, you first choose a place to search, for example, northern Europe. But then you'll have to fly there, you'll have to go there, rent cars and hotels, buy food, and all these costs will be borne by the cost of the boat and working on it. So if you've been looking for a boat for a year, you've been traveling all year.

But if you still have a permanent job, and you can't constantly travel around and see all the options, here you can't do without a broker. Here you can expect to pay him 10% of the final price plus expenses. But if we are talking about a yacht budget of 15,000 euros, there is one problem: it will be almost impossible to find a broker who wants to deal with such a small order. Therefore, it is better to look for yachts in such a budget with a conditional “senior friend” — a person who is at least a little familiar with the yacht market and is ready to help you.

How can I reduce search costs? Carry out painstaking preparatory work.

It looks like this. First you search for boats on the Internet, then you create a shortlist of what at first glance suits you, contact the sellers, ask them a bunch of questions and ask them to upload 500 photos. At some point in time, the list will contain 2-3 yachts that seem to suit you, unless someone else bought them during the time you have studied the issue.

But we can't be too excited. The chances that these boats will turn out to be dream boats are 50/50 at best. First, sellers often cheat, including European ones. And it turns out that you've already spent money and time on the trip, and then you look at the boat and see it crack half board. And you say, “buddy, you know I came from the end of the earth to see it,” and they say, “dude, it's JUST A CRACK.”

So you should not expect that you can immediately find a suitable option via the Internet. Anyway, it comes down to two paths. Or you hire a broker to fly for you and look for trash until they find something that fits. Or you yourself spend as long as possible in analytics, ask a lot of questions, and only go to the screening when you're convinced that this boat is really worth something. But even so, you keep in mind the risk that the yacht may not be what you need.


Anyone who is trying to buy a boat economically faces a tipping point when they need to either start slowing down or taking off now. That is, a person with a limited budget who has been looking for a boat for a long time and without success seems to find a yacht that he likes. And then he comes to the area and realizes that it's crap. But he was already so tired that he had almost forgotten what it was all for. And then he thinks “to hell with him.” And this is the very point when you need to start braking, and the pilot takes off and eventually falls down. You have to force yourself not to take risks.

Maybe we should earn some more money, maybe we should search a little longer. The fact is that a boat that does not meet the technical parameters will make you get all the money out of you cleaner than a casino. There is no other way. You will be investing in it again and again, cursing the day you decided to make this deal. If the yacht is uncomfortable (technically fine, but you're not comfortable in it — cramped, low, or something else), you won't love anything. You'll hate her from the first weeks when you smash your head against the ceiling, you'll have nowhere to put your food, and the fridge will be the size of a cookie box. To be honest, buying a yacht on a limited budget for ambitious tasks like going around the world is an uncompromising undertaking.

Write yourself a complete list of what you are willing to put up with and what you are not willing to put up with, do it at the very beginning and don't back down from it, no matter how tired you are. Because the longer you search, the more you're willing to turn a blind eye to.

beautiful Najad 331 for 80,000 euros

Search resources

If you still want to buy a boat, the world's main resource is your way Boats in all waters are laid out on it, where there are tens of thousands of them, both motor and sailing. Here you can estimate the overall temperature of the hospital, but remember that it is completely unrepresentative of small and inexpensive boats. Because there are no private ads there — all ads are published by agencies, each ad costs money, and if the price of the boat you want to sell is 5-7-10 thousand euros, then it is not very profitable for a broker to sell your yacht, because his commission will be negligible. Buying a boat on such a budget is always one way — private announcements. Private ads in an international format — there is no such site, so you need to look for a conditional avito in each individual country.

One of the world's largest brokers


If the yacht is plastic, then it is conditionally eternal, unless the hull has undergone any accidents, after which its resource has decreased or run out. That is, if the boat was not nailed to the cliffs so that it had to be radically restored, and the hull structure was lost, then it is fine. And then you need to look not at the boat's hull, but at everything around you — the hull itself should just be alive. In addition to him, the boat has an engine, rigging, winches, water supply systems, and all this has changed over the years. There are few boats in their 30s that still have their original engine. Most likely he will be 5, 7 or 10 years old, and you will also find newer appliances and a fresh toilet.

If the boat is plastic or aluminum, then it has no age limit. The most important thing is not to buy a wooden boat unless you are an expert. First of all, it will never be so cheap unless it's junk or a small sports boat. Secondly, a wooden yacht is just a factory for pumping money from its owner's pocket into the void.

Next, you need to study all the attachments. It happens that the building is in good condition, but everything but it is in terrible condition. Your task is to buy a boat not based on age, but based on when things changed there. You can buy a 40-year-old yacht that was well looked after and changed 5 years ago. Great, this boat will be no worse in terms of performance than a new one.

I'm exaggerating now, but in general, a high-quality unbroken yacht of almost any age with adequately replaced filling is normal, and there is no need to be afraid of age.

A yacht from 80 to 90 is a great option; you can find a boat on a budget in good condition. But boats over 40 years old should probably not be considered, simply because there is little chance — back then plastic was not mass-produced at shipyards.


The less money you have, the smaller the boat will be. If you see your little money as a bigger boat than the rest, then there's something wrong with it. It may have some problems that will result in you later: you bought it for a million, and then invested another 10 over the long run to prevent it from sinking.

The second rule to understand is that the price of a boat should be on the market. You open boats up to a million rubles in Sweden, and you get about a hundred options. And you're watching “25 foot, 26 foot, 24 foot, 27 foot” boats and suddenly a herak is 34 feet. You don't even have to open it. I would like to believe in a miracle, but it is extremely unlikely that this is just the case when a person urgently needs money and posted an offer for you to buy this boat. This is not true.

And if you want to go around the world alone and are thinking of hiring someone, it's very important to understand how many people there will be and what kind of people they will be. If, for example, it's a whole family: dad, mom and three children, then you shouldn't dream of a boat for 15,000 euros. Or it will be a very old and very cramped yacht, and it will take a very long time to get it into decent condition, but this will take a lot of time.

Who to buy from

There are boats that are sold through brokers, and there are private owners — it doesn't matter who to borrow from. As a rule, the seller pays a commission to the broker; as a result, this is included in the price of the yacht, but at a price of 15,000 euros, this effect is minimal. A broker does not guarantee you that the yacht is good; the only way he can help you is to find boats, view them, close a deal, register them, and put the yacht under the flag. In addition, if the boat is not purchased in an English-speaking country, the broker often speaks English and the seller does not necessarily speak English. This is convenient.

There is no point in trying to buy a boat through an intermediary.

Regions to search

To decide on the region where to choose a yacht, you need to understand where and when you want to start your trip around the world. So you know, for example, that Sweden has a lot of reliable and cheap boats, but we don't need a boat in Sweden, so we're throwing Sweden away. Or we know that boats in Greece are in poor condition and quite expensive, but if we want to end up based there or drive a boat from there, we have to look for it.

When it comes to buying a budget but sturdy yacht, you should look for a boat in Sweden or Norway. Both countries have their pros and cons.

There are a lot of yachts there and there. Sailing is popular, there are many cruisers, Swedish shipyards have built very good yachts. We are talking primarily about Swedish shipyard yachts, which were top yachts 30-40 years ago: the Swedes built the best boats in the world for trips around the world and large ocean crossings. These shipyards are Hallberg-Rassy, Najad, Comfort Yachts, Malo, etc. — high-quality boats designed for extensive tourism. Today, many of these shipyards are bankrupt, but their yachts from 30 to 40 years ago are perfectly acceptable, and it is easy to find them in good condition and within the budget we are talking about. There are 30-foot boats that you can buy for 10-12 thousand euros.

If you have time to search and sail, then in general it does not matter where to buy a yacht.


What is Sweden good about besides its own shipyards? Sweden has a short season, but the country is rich, people have enough money, and they often operate their boats for three months a year and keep them ashore the rest of the time. And a yacht on the shore practically does not age, especially if it is kept not just on the shore, but in some covered hangar, which is not uncommon in this region at all. They looked after her, prepared her for the season, and now she stood polished for 9 months, then they let her down for 3 months, looked a little bit like her and picked her up again. When estimating the age of a Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish boat, you can divide the Mediterranean age by 3. So if we compare a ten-year-old Greek boat with a thirty-year-old Swedish one, the condition will be about the same.

Fun fact: although Swedish shipyard boats are quite suitable for long-term ocean shipyards, most local shipowners don't go around the world; they fish on them, walk on them when the weather is nice and just have a good time.

Another advantage of Sweden is mainly the Gulf of Bothnia and the Baltic Sea, which is almost fresh, which also had the best effect on the boat's condition. Metal lives much longer in the Baltic Sea than in the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean.

In general, Sweden has a large selection, fairly low prices, very good producers, a short season, fresh water, fairly wealthy sellers, so there is a lower chance that they will stuff you in outright garbage for 5-7 thousand euros, because for them this is not the last money to sell by all they can.

Najad 34, Hallberg Rassy 352 are real top small-sized round-the-world riders that are worth paying attention to and can be purchased in the range from 50,000 to 80,000 euros.

A good Swedish boat is Comfortina. The Comfortina 32 yacht costs from 20,000 euros, but it is nice and sturdy enough to go on a long voyage.

Comfortina 32

The Albin Vega model is very popular among Russians among Swedish boats. These are seaworthy, small and very inexpensive and sturdy boats, the prices for which start from 3-4 thousand euros. For 10,000, you can already buy a decent yacht in decent condition for one two small people, which can generally be used to travel around the world. You just have to understand that this will be a pretty hippie option — a shell in the ocean, where you'll hang out like babies.

There were a lot of these boats in Sweden, but you don't have to go to Sweden to get to know such a boat; you can find them in St. Petersburg, Vyborg and even Moscow. And all over Northern Europe in general.

<img extreme option — Albin Vega for less than 2,000 euros

As a result, you can buy such a boat for an estimated 5-7 thousand euros, invest the same amount and get a modest but nice little yacht.


The situation in Norway is similar to Sweden. Plus, the bonus is that Norway is not a member of the European Union, so it is harder for Norwegians to sell yachts on the market, unlike the Swedes. This makes Norwegians more motivated salespeople. A Swede, laying out an average yacht under the Swedish flag, can sell it to a Finn, a Pole, a German, a Dane — anyone nearby. And they'll buy it and they won't have to pay tax again for this boat.

But a Norwegian won't be able to sell his yacht like that, because only Norwegian tax has been paid. And if a Swede wants to buy a boat in Norway, which is extremely unlikely, when he returns to his Sweden on this boat, he will pay another 25 percent VAT.

Therefore, Norwegians are, firstly, ready to bargain, and secondly, Russians are a tasty buyer for them, because Russians, unlike Europeans, will not have to pay this unfortunate VAT. Moreover, Russians in Russia usually do not use boats and most likely will not clear them at all. They will leave it under the Norwegian flag or get an offshore flag and that's it..

In general, prices in Norway are initially slightly higher, but they bargain well, and the older the boat, the higher the discount. But in the niche of small inexpensive yachts, there is much less choice here.

What else to look for when choosing

Given the small area, you need to remember that the yacht does not have much storage space, and when viewing it, it would be good to immediately think about where you will put what. Where will the water be stored and where the life raft will fit.

When choosing a boat, it doesn't matter if it has been around the world before or not. On the one hand, such a long trip means a lot of depreciation for the yacht. On the other hand, if everything was repaired, replaced and renovated after a trip around the world, it's much better than if it was used for 3 months a year but hasn't changed anything for the past 30 years. Going around the world is a good test for a boat, because everything that could break has already broken down and has been replaced. But that's if the seller actually worked on it. In order not to face a heap of unpleasant surprises, I recommend that you thoroughly learn the fate of the boat. The best option is if the boat seller shows a book that records everything he did with it during the entire period of ownership, such a diary of technical work. If something breaks, you'll be able to see when it was last serviced and be ready next time.

It's great if the yacht has a fresh engine and sails, because these are the most important consumables on a boat, despite the fact that they live a long time. Even if the sails are 20 years old, but they were hardly used and kept indoors, not under ultraviolet light, everything is fine.

Sails are expensive, and the more they come with, the better. But if you take two identical boats, one with two sails and the other with eight, then these boats will cost plus or minus the same. It's like tuning a car — no matter how much you invest in tuning your car, it won't cost more than an untuned one when sold. At the same time, a new set of basic sails for a 32-foot boat will cost from 2-3 thousand euros to 7-8.

To go around the world, you also need a storm set of sails: a trisel and a storm staysail. They are usually on a boat if that boat has been to the ocean before.

This is the time to tell you a little paradox. The more sails the better, but they have to be stored somewhere. Therefore, too many sails are bad, and few sails are also bad.

As powerful a consumable as sails are a motor. Ropes can be changed, it's not that much money, but a dead engine that requires major repairs costs a lot of money. Therefore, special attention should be paid to it. The story with electronics is about the same: they are expensive but easily fail. Look for a boat where all these details don't raise questions.

Portable desalination plant — a small boat has little storage space, and even if you're only traveling as a couple, on an ocean voyage you'll need plenty of water for washing and cooking, and you need to get it somewhere.

Equipment is generally important for a long-distance traveler with a limited budget, because everything important is expensive if bought separately, but it rarely increases the cost of a boat for sale.

Any boat is sure to have lots of parts, and the more the better — the higher the chances of repairing the boat in the field.

Dishes, all sorts of little things — it's good to buy a yacht that already has 10 pans, glasses and forks. And this should also be discussed — if you are looking at a yacht and it is equipped, it's important to ask if it will all be left after the sale?

Boat diagnostics

There is the concept of a survey — this is an official process of diagnosing the technical condition of a boat by a special person, with the issuance of an official opinion. It will indicate the status of the case and all systems, what problems there are, etc. A licensed surveyor will fiddle around for a day or two, turn the yacht upside down and then write a 30-40 page report stating what and how with this yacht. He will not recommend or recommend a deal; he will simply give a neutral assessment. Then it's up to you to decide what to do about it.

I don't recommend buying a boat without a surveyor. The surveyor is not Vasya, a peasant who “thinks”. This is a professional who knows how a yacht works. A good surveyor will see the tiny bubbles on the building die by the end of the year. And your familiar car mechanic can't be a surveyor.

The smaller the boat, the faster and cheaper the survey, but it's still quite expensive — from 400 euros to 1,000 for the smallest 26 feet.
Therefore, there is no point in hiring a surveyor until you are convinced that you want to buy and like the boat.

Where to find a surveyor

There is the British YDSA Association, which brings together hundreds of licensed surveyors. You can call through them, you can find someone local, as long as they have a license. If a seller advises a surveyor, this is normal, as long as there are no obvious doubts about his honesty.

It is best when the yacht is sold with surveys already made. For example, someone saw it, did a survey, and then for some reason didn't buy it — circumstances changed. Then he could leave this survey to the salesman. But there's a caveat: if there's something bad about this survey, the seller will never show it to you. He will expect you to save money on the surveyor and not notice something.

Yacht registration

I will write the next section for everyone, and I will amend the Russian passport below today.

At some point, when buying a boat, you must decide where to register it and what flag to put under. This is super important because in some cases, when flying under a particular flag, you need a specific survey. And it would be foolish to do one first and then pay for the other.

With the flag, everything is complicated and simple at the same time and depends on where you will operate this boat. If we are talking about a trip around the world, it can be any flag, but you should immediately think about where this boat will be after the trip and what you will do with it.

Will you sell it? Will you leave it where you live? If you buy a boat in Sweden and want to use it in St. Petersburg later, you will have to import it, clear it, pay taxes and put it under the Russian flag. If you want to leave it in the conventional Caribbean as a summer residence, you can use any offshore flag. Caribbean flags, the American flag of Delaware, the British flags of Jersey, Maine, etc. — these flags are good because you don't have to pay any taxes to register them, and this is done remotely, easily and inexpensively. But if you want to leave your yacht in Europe, it would be good to buy a yacht with European VAT paid right away so that you don't have to constantly re-register temporary imports or pay tax at the end of the trip. The flag is no longer so important in this case.

And now about the lucky holders of Russian passports. When the war broke out, the screws were tightened for us here too: in addition to the fact that almost no one would register a boat for a resident of the Russian Federation now, yachts owned by Russians are also prohibited from entering many countries around the world. And this applies to all yachts, not just those that are shown to us in investigations about oligarchs.

How can you get around this. You can look for some of the lowest level flags, for example, in the Caribbean. The easiest way is to find a partner with any other residence, register a boat for it and register for yourself in peace. If you yourself have, for example, a residence permit in Latvia, you can park your boat under the Latvian flag, as with a car. Well, the plan is more complicated, but also quite convenient: register a company where it is still possible, register a boat for it, and from there register it under the required flag.

Transaction processing and registration

The survey was completed and the flag was decided on. If the surveyor says that the yacht is sane and you really like it, you can buy it. Buying a boat will be the easiest process in this text. In European countries, in most cases, you only need to sign a handwritten contract called a bill of sale.

After purchase, you receive documents confirming that the yacht has been deregistered where it used to be and must register it. If you plan to do this in your own country, you can go there on an unregistered boat. Nobody really cares about you, but marinas and campguards might wonder why you don't carry any flag. Your documents will be checked, but that's okay. If the flag is offshore, it's better not to go anywhere and wait for everything to be done for you — it usually takes a couple of days. After that, you'll print out your registration document, buy a flag, and you can go anywhere you want.


Since 2014, a Russian citizen can insure a boat in Europe only if it is registered to a company. In Russia, it makes sense to contact Rosgosstrakh, and Ingosstrakh, for example, does not insure cheap and old yachts.

In the case of a boat for 15,000 euros, it can only be insured against damage to third parties — this is an analogue of car insurance. Because it will definitely be an old little yacht that costs a penny by the standards of the yacht market.

But civil liability insurance makes perfect sense: if you damage another yacht, believe me, you won't want to pay for it — the figures can be astronomical. Such insurance will cost about 100-150 euros per year for a small boat.

If you have no money at all, but you want a boat

If you really have “golden” hands, patience and a lot of free time, you can try to find a boat for recycling.

These are found, for example, in Scandinavian countries, where old yachts that can no longer be sold need to be recycled. Let's say someone has an old yacht that for some reason they can't or don't want to use anymore. It was put up for sale, but no one even asked. It is becoming clear that most likely there will be no more applicants. And all this time, the yacht itself does nothing but spend the owner's money: he pays for parking, some taxes, registration fees, and technical inspections. And even if they buy it in a couple of years for 10 euros, it eats 4,000 a year, and the owner goes into a deep red. It's more profitable to throw it away and forget it, but recycling in Scandinavia is harsh.

This is where you can try to intercept such a boat, for example, at local forums. We've seen such yachts for 100 euros ourselves on Swedish ad sites — the lowest price is needed to close a deal. The yachts were, of course, pretty sad. But there are people for whom owning a boat is a dream: there is no tangible money for it, but there is enough time. And it also happens that a person wants to assemble his custom yacht on a hull. Then you can buy this building, put it in your garage or on your personal plot and spend years doing it in your spare time. But it is important to understand that this will also be a rather expensive and, most importantly, very lengthy process.