Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment in a series on MegayachtNews.com for first-time buyers (see “Introducing the Superyacht 101 Series”). Who better to provide advice than someone who’s gone through the process? For this article, we spoke with Buddy Darby (above), who has owned a few sailing yachts. His current superyacht is a 154-footer (54-meter), acquired on the brokerage market. Here, he relates what he underestimated in the purchase process, plus what went right straight from day one.
MegayachtNews.com: How long ago did you purchase your first superyacht?
Buddy Darby: We purchased the beautiful and classic sailing yacht Andromeda La Dea by Perini Navi in 2008. It was a brokerage buy.
MegayachtNews.com: What convinced you to buy?
Buddy Darby: I had a 70-foot sailboat, Luna Danns, for a number of years, and as my family grew, so did our need for space on the boat. I’d also just started developing Christophe Harbour and knew we’d be spending more time in both the Caribbean and in the Med in support of our marina operations, so I wanted a boat that could accommodate those needs as well.
MegayachtNews.com: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you embarked on buying your first yacht?
Buddy Darby: We wanted a classic yacht, which is bound to come with its own challenges, so I can’t say that was a surprise! But we self-managed most of the business aspects of the boat, so we were fairly nimble in making decisions quickly, if needed. I did underestimate how much time we’d actually be able to spend aboard throughout the year. With everyone’s busy lives and development of Christophe Harbour keeping me close to shore, we just don’t get aboard as often as we’d hoped.
MegayachtNews.com: What are the most frustrating aspects of buying a yacht?
Buddy Darby: For me, it was quite complicated buying a boat that crossed the ocean regularly and operated in different parts of the world. It was quite frustrating trying to wrap my head around all the various aspects involved with that.
MegayachtNews.com: If you were to give one piece of advice to a first-time superyacht buyer, what would it be?
Buddy Darby: As it relates to the above, which was my biggest frustration, I found that there are some really good maritime lawyers out there to help navigate the process. So, my advice would be to (1) find a good maritime lawyer, and (2) hire them immediately!