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What are the main challenges in building a custom yacht

Building a large custom yacht takes around 4 years, from the keel laying to the delivery to her owner and the maiden voyage. Even today with decades of experience in yacht building, experienced yards have failed at delivering yachts up to the standards of their owners, leading to the yacht being refused. One of the main reasons for this is yards always trying to cut costs to beat the competition or increase their profit margin. Discover with us some of the main challenges in the process of building a yacht.

Even before the keel is laid, the future yacht owner needs to gather his team and find project managers, yacht designers & naval engineers. The project manager will draft the specifications of the yacht, interpreting the vision of the owner and transforming it into a design brief for the naval engineer and designers. The designer will draft the exterior lines and interior style, while the naval engineer will give extra attention to the technical aspect, the yacht’s systems and the hull design. Communication within this team is primordial to avoid failures such as on the Northern Marine 85 that sank upon launch.

The yard’s selection is one of the primary challenges to build the yacht. In today’s world, most yards are fully booked for the next few years, limiting the owner’s choices to yards in lesser demand and more inexperienced. Dutch yards are among the most expensive and deliver some of the very finest superyachts in the world, on time and on budget. Most of the Northern European yards will aim to match that quality. Italy builds more superyachts than any other region in the world, delivering almost 42% of the new yachts each year.

The build of the yacht and its management will be one of the most challenging parts, requiring almost complete attention from the owner and his team. That’s when the surveyors intervene, verifying the proper unrolling of the yacht’s construction. They will check that the paint job is properly done. That alone can save a few million dollars on large yachts. The surveyor will also inspect the layout of all-electric cables, and the proper installation of all systems from the main engines to the smallest pumps.

Building a yacht is a serious challenge that requires a large team, with multiple parties that do not have necessarily the same interests and hundreds of yard workers. A good yacht broker will assist you with your new construction, overseeing it directly and gathering the best team within an owner’s budget.

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