When Is The Best Time To Order My Catamaran?

Business Yacht Ownership®Client ExperienceFountaine-Pajot

When Do You Want Your Yacht?

The lead time depends on the model. In terms of delivery – you need to talk to us when you’re about 18-24 months from wanting to take delivery (some of our models may be even further out!). If you’re placing your boat under fleet management, potential tax advantages start from the date you title the boat; typically this is the ex-factory date, which is the day your boat exits the factory doors.

Here’s what happens before, during, and after your order:

Who Should You Trust For Reliable Information?

The internet is full of chatter, noise, and inaccurate information. Yet, it all comes through with at the same volume. As you do your research, you’ll find a trusted source within the industry knowledge who will have your best interested in mind. At ACY Yachts, our Yacht Consultants are much more than a yacht broker. Each one takes the time to learn their clients’ needs and provide useful and reliable information so that they can make their own informed decision.

The only agenda that’s important is yours, not mine. We will lean on our extensive experience and trusted feedback from owners, charterers, delivery captains, designers, and builders.

What Does The Overall Timeline Look Like?

Let’s look at Fountaine Pajot as an example. Fountaine Pajot has an on-going manufacturer production schedule during which they’ll build about 350 boats or so a year.

They allow dealers, such as Atlantic Cruising Yachts, to block out certain production slots for their clients. So if the Fountaine Pajot “next available” says 24 months out, that might not be the case if you’re working with us. Atlantic Cruising Yachts, as the largest Fountaine Pajot dealer in the world, has a number of earlier slots available to us. Fountaine Pajot limits how many reservations we can make for unassigned slots. So if, for example, their next slot is 24 months out, we might have one that is only 18 months out. In addition, because we have so many boats on order, and most are so far out, people’s plans may change. Thus an earlier position might become available.

Fountaine Pajot is very straightforward and honest about maintaining their schedule. The delivery dates we establish at the time of order are generally very accurate.

Because of the nature of the industry, everything is in flux so you may hear different stories from different dealers or people that have come into contact with various dealers – it’s a very dynamic situation.

New models are continuously introduced. Furthermore, the information may be confidential and not yet sharable with the public. Often, these models will come out before some existing models can be assigned, so be sure to ask us for the latest information. Model changes often include layout and equipment updates to the main saloon and galley—making these vessels even more appropriate for living aboard.

What Happens After My Boat is ex-Factory?

As a reminder, ex-factory is the day the boat rolls out the door onto the staging parking lot. From there, it takes approximately three months to accomplish the following:

  • Schedule and deliver the boat to the commissioning yard in La Rochelle where she is checked over, bottom painted, rigged, and last minute adjustments are made. Our full-time team member in La Rochelle does the final checks to ensure all is working and that the equipment matches our order.
  • A delivery crew we arrange is welcomed aboard and they do their own check. They then either ocean deliver the boat or take it to be shipped, based on your preference.
  • We track the boat as it makes its way to the U.S. where it will typically arrive, usually near Annapolis, MD at the port of Baltimore or near Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Upon arrival:
    • Our commissioning team debriefs the delivery crew and reviews any issues or punch-lists created by them.
    • We meet with you to walk through the boat. You’ll decide where the fans go and review equipment that we will install locally, such as solar cells (cheaper and higher output for the same cost in America), additional electrical and USB outlets, installation of live-aboard equipment (like washer-dryers, watermaker, dive compressors, custom cabinetry, lights etc.
    • Then we go to work finishing up commissioning—typically another 3-6 weeks.
  • After completion, we schedule check out and sea-trials with our commissioning manager. Typically, this lasts two days. One day is spent explaining and reviewing your boat and equipment. The second day, we go sailing, again with a rigging/sail expert and commissioning manager to test and explain everything under load, at sea.

All of this is typically planned and scheduled by ACY Yachts – the costs for all of this will be included in your itemized quote. Additionally, we will have commissioning meetings throughout the timeline, and explain all of the options.

What Happens Before The ex-Factory Date?

While your boat is on order we will most likely:

  1. Set up commissioning meetings with the ACY Yachts team. Expect 1-3 commissioning meetings to review, explain, and suggest the right equipment for your boat. We typically hold these meetings at one of our service centers or online. Ken Krasko, our Commissioning Director, will take the lead on these meetings and an electrical engineer may join as well. We have files with option pictures and technical drawings of virtually any option you might imagine—already installed. We will provide you with both the knowledge and follow up materials. Following this meeting, any change orders are submitted to the factory to reflect your choices. Final specifications are generally due at the time of your order or within approximately six months of your ex-factory date.
  2. Facilitate introductions with financial planners or legal counsel: these experts may assist with your business plan and the creation of your boat business (if you opted for the Business Yacht Ownership® approach).
  3. Arrange financing and insurance. This step includes the USCG documentation which is finalized at the time of your settlement (immediately prior to the completion date of your boat).
  4. At your request, we may arrange sailing lessons, or a charter experience so you can actually experience the boat you’re considering at any of one of our Waypoints® locations.

Contact us for reliable timelines and realistic pricing.


Eric  Smith, Senior Sales Consultant, Partner410-703-5655
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