YachtBuyer Reviews: Scoring & Ratings Explained

With decades of collective yacht test experience, the YachtBuyer team travels the globe to deliver top-tier yacht reviews and sea trials.

Every yacht is carefully evaluated not only on its individual merits but also in the context of the broader market landscape. This thorough approach ensures that our reviews encompass not only the features and performance of each yacht but also how they stack up against their competitors.

When conducting YachtBuyer Reviews, we take into account that a yacht is a multifaceted entity, blending elements of transportation, accommodation, luxury, and more. To provide a comprehensive evaluation, we deconstruct the yacht into distinct components, assessing each one individually before delivering a final verdict.


In our testing process, we comprehensively evaluate every aspect of the yacht before rendering a final verdict. We prioritize assessing the boat's performance, interior comfort, deck lifestyle, and build quality, and, if possible, conduct a sea trial to evaluate its handling and seakeeping abilities.

Our ultimate goal is to identify a yacht that strikes a harmonious balance across all key areas. We consider factors such as interior comfort, deck layout and amenities, craftsmanship, and value for money. A yacht may excel in certain aspects, such as luxurious accommodation or exceptional handling, but if it comes with a high price tag, we take that into account when determining its overall score.

Our final assessment considers the yacht's performance in each section, ensuring that even if a yacht excels in one area but falls short in others, its overall score reflects a comprehensive evaluation of its features, design, and value proposition.

What Matters to You?

Certainly, individual priorities vary among buyers. While some prioritize interior accommodation, others may prioritize build quality and performance over interior space.

For this reason, we recommend focusing on the sections that are most important to you rather than solely relying on the final score. This approach allows you to assess the yacht based on your specific preferences and requirements.

Value for money is a crucial aspect for most buyers, which is why we reserve this section for the end of our evaluation process. By positioning and substantiating the yacht as an overall package, we ensure that its value is thoroughly considered and understood.

Review Sections

Design & Build

In our initial assessment of a yacht, we prioritize uncompromised design that is safe, practical, clever and serves the owner's needs effectively.

Both the deck and interior layouts should facilitate a delightful experience for guests, maximizing the available space with minimal compromise. We commend smaller yachts for efficient design and proportion, while larger vessels may receive lower marks if they do not utilize their space intelligently.

A yacht's build quality is paramount, with a focus on solid construction and meticulous finishing, visible both on the surface and in concealed areas. We prioritize the use of reliable, high-quality engineering and components, particularly in high-traffic areas. Marine-specific parts are preferred over domestic alternatives for enhanced durability and performance across the yacht's lifespan.

Interior Accommodation

Important aspects of interior design include maximizing space utilization, ensuring proportionality, incorporating finesse and attention to detail in finishes, and establishing a clever transition between interior and exterior spaces. Innovation is also highly valued, as it demonstrates novel approaches to enhancing the overall enjoyment of the yacht's interior dimensions.

In addition to aesthetics, functionality plays a crucial role in interior design. For instance, while ample glass can provide excellent natural light, it can also lead to heat buildup, highlighting the importance of incorporating shade and effective ventilation systems to maintain comfort onboard.

Helm Stations

Over the past decade, helm design has undergone significant advancements, evolving from basic setups to sophisticated automotive-inspired console layouts featuring supportive seats and expansive multi-function display screens.

Despite these technological and ergonomic improvements, visibility remains paramount, with an emphasis on providing clear sightlines not only forward but also to the side and aft, tailored to the size of the yacht.

Deck Lifestyle

The importance of decks should not be underestimated, as they serve two distinct purposes: social and practical.

From a social standpoint, decks are where the essence of yachting life is truly felt, whether at rest or underway. Ample seating, protection from wind and onlookers, shade, and amenities like wet bars and barbecues are essential for fostering a convivial atmosphere. Additionally, the integration between deck and interior spaces enhances overall usability, maximizing the enjoyment of the yacht's footprint.

For crew members, decks serve as their workplace, necessitating safety and practicality as top priorities. Clean, hazard-free decks with easy maneuverability and minimal obstacles are essential, ensuring crew members can move around safely and efficiently. Ample grabrails and dedicated storage areas further enhance functionality, facilitating the execution of duties while maintaining a tidy and organized workspace.

Value for Money

Value is the linchpin upon which the evaluation of a yacht ultimately rests. While minor imperfections may be overlooked if the yacht excels in fundamental aspects and offers exceptional value for its price, premium features, superior build quality, and comprehensive specifications naturally command a higher cost. A balance must be struck between meeting basic requirements and delivering added value through superior craftsmanship, innovation, and amenities, ensuring that buyers receive a yacht that justifies its investment.

We aim to steer clear of a mere focus on cost, where a yacht's initial value is overshadowed by the need for numerous add-ons, ultimately diluting its value.

Conversely, we also avoid endorsing yachts that, despite their merits, are priced beyond reasonable expectations. Striking the right balance ensures that buyers can confidently invest in a yacht that offers both initial affordability and long-term value, without compromising on quality or features.


Our scoring system remains consistent, typically ranging from one to five, but we reserve the option to award half-points as a discretionary measure.

If a yacht demonstrates exceptional effort or excels in a critical aspect, we may add half a point to its overall rating. For instance, if a yacht earns an average score of four, but displays outstanding performance in Build & Design or exceptional Value for Money, we may award an additional half point.

Overall Score

Our scoring system applies a rating out of five both to the yacht overall and to its individual sections. This approach allows for a comprehensive evaluation of the yacht's performance and features across various aspects, ensuring a thorough assessment of its strengths and weaknesses.


One of, if not the best example of its kind.


An exceptionally high level of quality, design, or ability.


Maintains a constantly impressive standard.


Functions as it should, with no serious faults or issues.


Falls below the standard we would expect in terms of quality, design, or function.

In Summary

Now equipped with an understanding of our yacht testing process, explore our Reviews section to access a variety of videos and written insights from the YachtBuyer team and other experts in the yachting industry.