Production Yacht vs Semi-Custom Yacht: The Pros and Cons

A Semi-Custom Yacht or Production Yacht? Read this before you decide!


Production Yacht vs Semi-Custom Yacht: The Pros and Cons


Sailing the open seas with the wind at your back, discovering beautiful corners of the globe and making friends in every port is a lifestyle that so many people dream of. Now you are ready to take that dream to the next level – and start living it. And that includes the essential step of deciding which type of yacht is right for you. Is a custom yacht or production yacht for you ?

But deciding on which yacht to buy is not a decision to take lightly. For one, it is a huge financial investment, so it should be well researched before you make your decision. What’s more, with all the (often contradictory) information available online, it’s enough to make your head spin – there’s just so much of it!

Semi Custom Yacht vs Production Yacht

You might be wondering about things like yacht price, yacht design and the yacht interior of your soon-to-be-home on the water. Another common question is whether it is cheaper to build or buy a boat.

Yacht price is a massive consideration for prospective bluewater sailors. But, as with most things in life, going for the cheapest option is not always the wisest choice.




How much does a personal yacht cost? Well, that very much depends on the type of yacht. A fully custom vessel will be your most expensive option, and it will take quite a while to construct. But it will also allow you the most input into your yacht’s design, construction and interior.

A viable alternative to a fully custom yacht is a semi-custom yacht, which will still give you a lot of opportunities to add your personal touches and preferences, in the yacht interior design, for example. But a semi-custom yacht won’t be quite as costly as a fully custom yacht.

What’s more, unlike a production yacht that you buy “off the shelf”, you will be closely involved in every step of your semi-custom yacht’s construction, which is an exciting and exhilarating journey in itself.

Today, let’s compare the differences between a semi-custom yacht and a production yacht.



Semi-custom yachts usually come with a pre-designed, manufactured hull. Still, the cabin layout, interior appliances, trims and finishes are for you to select, so you can really add your own signature style to a semi-custom yacht.


Luxury yacht inside


With a semi-custom yacht, you will also be able to take part in the yacht-building process. Your personal preferences can be applied to your yacht’s appliances, yacht interior design and other finishes. A semi-custom yacht will take about 12 months to complete.

If you decide to go for a semi-custom yacht, you need to find and commission a reputable yacht builder who is an expert in their field, who will include you in your yacht’s building process every step of the way.

Going for a semi-custom yacht will also allow you to build a relationship with the team designing and building your boat. That relationship will usually last after the build is complete and turn into excellent after-sales service, with direct access to the experts that brought your boat into being. 


Docking a yacht


This can be a huge plus, compared to dealing with brokers or agents, who often just want to sell you something as quickly as possible.

Also, semi-custom or boutique boatyards often limit their production. This means lots of one-on-one time with the yacht construction team during the building process. And even during orientation, after the launch of your boat. Knysna Yacht Company is no exception.

Apart from being exciting and exhilarating, the post-launch yacht orientation experience will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you are well prepared and equipped for your ocean adventures ahead.



A production yacht is a mass-produced yacht that was designed to answer boat owners’ most common requirements. These “off-the-shelf” yachts have standard features and accessories and, while they may be yours quicker, there are some pitfalls to consider when going for this option.


Yachts sailing on the ocean


A production yacht will be yours within days. But it can be very costly to modify or upgrade such a vessel later. Sometimes the boat’s appealing aesthetics can hide design flaws or sloppy workmanship. This can be very expensive to fix and even result in safety hazards when you are out on the ocean.

If you are thinking of going for a mass-produced yacht, you will have to do extensive research to ensure that the boat is as safe as possible – and also that it performs as advertised.

Also keep in mind that mass-produced boats are often “heavily tooled” to achieve the required efficiency. Such a modular construction adds a lot of weight to a yacht. This can really have a negative impact on the yacht’s sailing performance when out on the water.




Pros of a semi-custom yacht


  •   You will be actively involved in the yacht-building process

  •   It is less costly than a fully custom yacht and, in the case of the semi-custom Knysna 500SE, also cheaper than most production yachts

  •   You can add your personal style and preferences to the yacht interior


Cons of a semi-custom yacht


  •   The yacht’s hull design and general layout is standard (non-customized)

  •   There is an extended waiting period for a semi-custom yacht




Pros of a production yacht 


  •   There is a very wide range available to choose from

  •   There is no construction waiting period

  •   It is designed to answer boat owners’ most common requirements


Cons of a production yacht


  •   It can be costly to modify or upgrade after purchase

  • The boat's aesthetics can conceal design flaws and safety hazards

  •   Extensive and careful research is required before purchase


rope on wood


Investing in a yacht is a complex process with many aspects beyond just yacht price to consider. That is why it is so critical to do all the necessary research before taking the leap and buying your yacht.

With this in mind, we here at Knysna Yacht Company have compiled The Ultimate Yacht-buying Guide for prospective yacht owners.

This useful guide covers all the relevant topics like Cost and Budget Considerations; Finding Out Which Yacht Is For You; Design and Customization Aspects; Boat Registration and much more.

Apart from being interesting reading, this free guide will also save you many hours of online research!

Simply click here to download your complimentary Ultimate Yacht-buying Guide and take that first step to unleash the voyager in you.

Yacht in sunset

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