Expensive Extras that are worth paying for
My top ten list of optional extras will add value to a yacht on the used market; here are tips you need to know before you buy a yacht. Some upgrades are expensive but not generally considered essential to a used yacht buyer. See my post before buying a yacht three for expensive factory-fit extras with little value in the used yacht market.
As solar and electronic boating equipment becomes more efficient, enhancing the sun’s power when at sea enables more freedom. Sailors love freedom, so solar panels are undoubtedly close to the top of my list of things that enhance the value of a used yacht.
Acquiring manoeuvering skills for a good size yacht, especially around a tiny harbour or marina, takes time. Even a well-practised skipper is glad of a button to press in a time of need. The reality is that unless you move boats regularly, even professional skippers can have difficulties.
A modern-quality autopilot is worth its weight in gold (as they say). If you are sailing short-handed, then it is almost essential on a reasonable-size fin keel yacht. I can argue an exception if you sail a long-keel yacht. It is possible to set sails, add a little weather helm and keep on trucking(as they say). Locking the helm will require navigational input over time, but it’s great fun!
Chart Plotter Combined Radar
Once upon a time, as plotters became more graphic, skippers would have two plotters, one at the nav table and one on deck. The reality is that little from most leisure sailing is spent below in the chart table. Plotters have become more prominent, brighter and weather resistant, so using them as a glorified sat-nav makes sense. When approaching an unfamiliar harbour, it is very reassuring to glance at the plotter and see your position from a different perspective. Unfortunately, navigation equipment is updated so fast that I would only buy a plotter catered to my needs. I would not spend additional money buying anything electronic because I thought it would enhance the value of my yacht. Next season, a new owner will want to update the latest gadgets.
One electric winch on the coachroof is enough for most people. It will save you lots of work grinding up or pulling both the main. You can also use it to hoist a buddy, rig up a pully, and recover a dingy or person. One can find all manner of uses for an electric winch on the coach roof. I do not see a need for an electric winch on any yacht smaller than 13 metres.
I selected reverse when sailing for years to save wear and tear on my yacht gearbox. They said that the components inside the gearbox are fixed and wearing (sounds reasonable) because the prop stops spinning. They also say that a fixed propellor creates less drag than a free-spinning prop (no idea about that). Then I met some people who sailed the Atlantic having to replace a gearbox on a reasonably modern yacht. Selecting reverse to lock the propellor over long periods puts a strain on the gearbox clutch that can cause It to wear out (wow, I never knew that). The solution, if you are concerned, is a folding propellor. It’s a lovely thing to have, and a buyer for your yacht will be happy you invested money in one.
Fresh Water-cooled Engine
This one is worth another post. If I had a choice, I would pay a little more for a new water-cooled engine. Link to a post on the subject to follow
Boats in northern climates can be damp smelly places. A boat heater will not only keep you toasty warm in the evenings. It will drive out dampness and protect your investment.
Perhaps the Dyson fan will work well in smaller boats, but Air conditioning with a reverse cycle heat setting will transform the pleasure of sailing when you can hook up to shore supply. Lots of Mediterranean Marinas do not charge for electricity. They see it as part of a package deal. So from the moment you arrive until you depart, you can keep the yacht chilled to a perfect temperature if you are in a marina. Just like heating, Air conditioning will transform your boating experience.
Factory Fitted Generator
Before you buy a yacht, you must know that ff you plan to spend a lot of time at anchor and are spicing up a new 15-metre-plus yacht, then a factory fit generator might be on your list of extras. It only made my list because I wanted to comment on the difference between fitting a low-cost aftersales unit and a proper factory-integrated unit. A Lot of research is needed if you are going down the generator installation route. In my experience, few companies can save money on a factory-installed unit.