Are Sailboats Really Cheaper in Europe?

Looking to purchase a sailboat mate? Well, if you were looking for an idea of where to buy a sailboat and found some information that sailboats are cheaper to purchase in Europe, you’re in the right place. Today, before you begin your voyage across the seven seas, we’re going to let you know the truth regarding if sailboats are cheaper in Europe and whether or not it is a seaworthy investment.

So, are sailboats really cheaper in Europe?  Depending on the type of boat that you are looking to purchase, several factors determine the pricing of a vessel the same make and model as its American counterpart. These factors include:

  • Age of the boat
  • Location of where the sailboat
  • Time of year

In this article, we are going to give you the best locations for purchasing a sailboat and a few purchasing guidelines to follow if sailing is something that you truly want to do.  After reading this article, you will be able to decide whether to search for your boat here in the U.S. or head overseas.

How Location Affects Sailboat Prices, Especially in Europe

When it comes to purchasing a sailboat, it is essential to remember that there are a few factors that come into play. The most important thing that we are going to focus on is the location of the sailboat. In particular, we are going to discuss the boat coming from a country in Europe.

Where price is concerned, in regards to the sailboat coming from Europe, it is typically cheaper to purchase a boat from this area of the world. The countries that have the lowest costs for buying a sailboat on this continent are Croatia, Turkey, and Greece.

The reason why boats are cheaper on this side of the world, in particular, is due to their boat and yacht charter industry and the constant need to update their fleets.  To reduce their inventory, they are forced to sell boats at dramatically lower prices. 

What You Need to Know About European Sailboats

When you purchase a boat in Europe, you need to be aware that some conversions are going to be necessary for it to be used in American waters and be compatible with the electrical supplies that are available in America.

The cost of the conversion is dependent upon a few factors and the necessary expertise in conversions. The affecting factors are:

  • The age of the vessel
  • The installed systems and appliances
  • Having access to a conversion expert. The expert needs to a knowledgeable in converting European made ships to the appropriate American specifications.
  • The associated cost of the sailboat conversion

The Electrical Appliances of European Sailboats

Electrical appliances on board of the sailboats must have the ability to run at either 50 or 60 Hertz with the voltages ranging from 100 to 240. If they do not have dual-frequency or multi-voltage capabilities, you will need to have these parts replaced to support the conversion.

Thankfully today, the economy is mostly globalized. This allows for vessels that can handle dual frequencies and multiple voltages.  This is why the age of the boat is important. If the European vessel was constructed in the 1980s or earlier, the chances of the ship having dual-frequency or multi-voltage appliances are significantly lower.

European Sailboat Electrical Outlets and Shore- Power 

European sailboats are going to have electrical outlets that are designed to be used in the vessel’s country of origin. When you are getting a sailboat from Europe, the best way as a consumer to address this is to add convenience outlets throughout the boat and adding a separate smaller AC panel to the vessel.

Then a new service will also be needed to be included to the boat as well that will be solely dedicated to accepting the new electrical setup within the boat. If the boat’s original equipment is designed to be dual frequency and multi-voltage or if it has adjustable shower-power equipment, it can still be used.

Do not take a risk and assume that.  It is crucial to have an expert available to examine the ship and its electrical appliances prior to determining the conversion for yourself. It’s essential for safety purposes.

To learn more about the necessary conversions for your European sailboat, visit Yachtworld.

Guide to Follow When Buying a Sailboat

When it comes to purchasing a boat of any kind, you need to make sure that it is a good investment that you are actually going to get some use from. If you know that you are going to be using the boat on a regular basis, purchasing a vessel might be in your best interest.

However, there may be some things you may need to take some careful consideration before making such a purchase, as it may not be the best option for you.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Invest in a Sailboat

  • The amount of time per year that you are going to be using the boat. If you are only going to using the boat consistently for 2 months out of the year, purchasing a boat may not be the best investment.
  • Don’t purchase a boat to operate as a motivator to go on holiday and take more vacations. It is not going to assist with getting you to get out more. Not for very long, at least.

It is essential to realize that when you purchase a sailboat that you are going to be making a lot of repairs after some time passes. We’re not talking about one, two, or even three repairs. We’re talking about an endless cycle of repairs. When owning a boat and taking account of things like water, UV rays, and salt, you need to know that there is constant wear on your boat.

If this is not something that you can deal with, you should probably look into renting a boat as opposed to purchasing one.

Reasons You Should Look into Purchasing a Sailboat

It may seem like there are a lot of cons were purchasing a sailboat is involved.  If you don’t know what you are getting into, then you may end up spending ten thousand dollars or more on something that you aren’t going to be able to maintain or even use as you should.

On the other hand, purchasing a sailboat would be a wise investment:

  • If you are going to be on your vessel for three months or more out of the year, purchasing a sailboat may turn out to be an excellent investment for you. There’s no point in buying a sailboat if you are not going to be using it regularly.
  • You want to express your inner voyager. If you wish to sail long distances, investing in a sailboat would be an excellent option for you. Especially if you don’t mind the maintenance that comes with it.
  • If you enjoy racing, a sailboat is a great investment for you. It provides the opportunity to get out on the water and race every weekend!

How to Choose the Best Sailboat for You

Now that you have decided to purchase a sailboat, the cost itself shouldn’t really be a factor, even though that is what brought you here in the first place. Before taking that step to purchase a sailboat, you need to know what to look for. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing your sailboat.

1. Establish What You Plan on Using Your Sailboat for

The most important thing that you are going to need to establish is what you plan on doing with your sailboat. Why do you want one? Are you going to use it to race on the weekends? Do you want to take long trips in the ocean? Go fishing, maybe? Or are you one of those people who are tired of land dwellers and want to live like an Atlantean on the water?

Whatever you decide to do, it is crucial to establish this from the beginning after you make your decision to get a sailboat. They all aren’t created equal, and all have different uses, so make sure you know what you want to do to get the right sailboat for yourself.

2. Be Realistic With Your Budget and Establish a Timeline

Yes, I did say that the cost of the sailboat shouldn’t be a factor, but if you can determine how much you can or want to spend on your sailboat purchase, it can assist you in creating a timeline to make your investment.

Croatia, Turkey, and Greece have an excellent sailboat market because they need to update their fleets for sailing regularly. If you can establish a budget and a timeline, you can potentially get a great sailboat at a great deal if you do it at the right time.

3. Take Account of the Condition of the Sailboat

Ever been to a boatyard? It is a place that you can essentially purchase a boat for next to nothing, and the choices available are usually extensive. This is important to know.  Most experienced sailors prefer to purchase a used boat because they are able to get the most out of their dollar with a used one as opposed to a brand-new one.

 However, if you decide to go the boatyard route, you need to know what you’re getting into. First, you need to know that YOU ARE going to have to do some work on the sailboat that you choose. There is virtually no avoiding that, no matter what boat you select.

Besides the fact that you are going to have to work on whatever boat you decide to purchase, you need to make sure that the work is manageable for you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can I invest the time that is required to fix this boat?
  • Can I afford to invest the money that is required for repair and maintenance for this boat?
  • Even though I can do both of these, do I want to deal with this?

If you can say yes to the last question, you are good to go. Just make sure that it’s not a wasted investment.

In Conclusion

I hope this article gave you the answer that you were looking for and that you actually have a bit more information to make an educated decision in your boating endeavors. Happy sailing, mates!


I am the owner of sailoradvice. I live in Birmingham, UK and love to sail with my wife and three boys throughout the year.

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