Your dream yacht for this season may only be a phone call away, but how do you know what to look for when buying a superyacht? Mike Edwardson has the best advice from the world’s top superyacht brokers.

Click here for our gallery of the top superyachts for sale.

On buying a sailing yacht:

James MunnJames Munn, Fraser Yachts Monaco

The most important difference between a sailing yacht and a motor yacht is that on a sailing yacht, the range is much greater. So before you start looking, you need to decide: what will be this boat’s ultimate function? Do you want it to go round the world, race it, take it to small regattas? A sailing yacht needs to suit all the people who will be using it – these yachts can be extremely wet or extremely comfortable! If it’s just the father, it could be equipped for performance, but for a family, you’ll want to look at aspects like the galley, the flybridge and the toys on board.

Infinity has the most recreational features I’ve seen on a yacht of her size and price. She’s absolutely covered with toys and outdoor space and has a hot-tub and a four-deck beach club. This makes her very appealing to families, but having said that, I don’t think her owner will mind me saying she could also be the ultimate party boat!

On buying a proven charter yacht:

Rytis BabraviciusRytis Babravicius, Camper & Nicholsons

It makes a lot of financial sense to purchase a yacht that has a proven charter career. When you are choosing, go for a yacht that has a strong record and also has a charter management team behind it – a successful charter yacht is the result of teamwork between the crew, the owner and the management team.

Look for a yacht that has been maintained meticulously by an owner who is prepared to spend to keep it at the top of its game. You will be able to see that everything is fully certified. Oxygen is a good example of such a yacht and she was in the yard for December, where she was thoroughly prepared for the new charter season.

Potential buyers should always talk to the captain. It’s good to have a captain and engineer who have been with the yacht a long time. They will be able to give you the feedback that will help your decision- making process.

Oxygen ticks all of these boxes. She has great record, with nine weeks already booked for 2012, and all of these are repeat clients from across the world. Her hull shape may be unusual, but charter guests have responed positively to the wonderful levels of service and her great interior.

On buying an explorer yacht:

Robert MoranRobert Moran, Moran Yacht & Ship

The one key piece of advice to any client who is considering building or purchasing a yacht to sail around the world is to build or purchase a quality yacht from a proven yard. Countless times I have observed owners attempt to convert an old, beaten up commercial vessel into an explorer- style vessel, only to be ultimately disappointed to finally discover that what they have ended up with has cost them more than building a brand-new yacht of greatly superior quality. You cannot make a silk purse from a pig’s ear, so your aim should be to buy a silk purse in the first place. Northern Star is the perfect example of what to expect if you choose a yacht that comes from a top-quality yard. This is a yacht not only with that DNA, but also an outstanding cruising history – she was in Greenland last year, transporting guests past transparent turquoise ice flows and 90-metre-high icebergs so they could enjoy close encounters with whales. The adventure starts here!

On buying a larger yacht:

Dominic Millman Dominic Millman, Burgess

In this highly specialised sector of the market, with largely custom built vessels of widely varying build quality, volume and specification, a buyer needs to compare each project very closely. It has therefore never been more important to get timely, professional and trustworthy advice from a company such as Burgess, with the in-house management, technical and new construction experience combined with the market knowledge of a leading brokerage house. In a length- overall-conscious market, it’s volume you should be assessing. Today, when it comes to buying a larger yacht already in existence, value is foremost, and it is vital to compare like with like (although this is true for most sizes of yacht, it is perhaps truer for larger ones). Buyers need to compare the luxury guest areas – a small change in the length of the beam can mean a large change here: one 70-metre can have 25% more volume than another.