For many people, buying a yacht is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a costly purchase, and that means you want to make sure you get it right the first time. Ordering a bespoke yacht gives you the option to customize just about everything from the cabin to the keel. What should you know before you sign on the dotted line and put your new yacht in the water for the first time?How Are You Going to Use It?The first thing you need to determine is how you’ll use your yacht. Will it only be on the water a few weeks out of the year? Will you be heading out on the ocean and using it to deep-sea fish, or are you looking for something designed for speed and wakeboarding on the lake?Knowing what you’re going to use your yacht for plays an enormous role in aspects like shaping, surfacing, and materials. These materials will consist of everything you’ll need to build all components of the boat, from the hull to the seats. You may find your final design looks a little different than you imagined. That’s because your designer will create a yacht that will meet all of your needs and more.Choose Your Make and ModelOnce you know what you’re going to use your yacht for, start looking at currently available makes and models. Even if you’re not going to buy an “off-the-rack” yacht from the local showroom floor, these designs can help you better picture what you want your finished result to look like.Many yacht building companies now offer an online tool that allows you to customize your dream yacht virtually. This program lets you see it come to life in a fully rendered 3D model before you start talking to a company or sign on the dotted line.Pick a ColorYou wouldn’t buy a car without choosing the color, so why should you skip this step when you’re customizing your yacht? The nice thing about designing a bespoke yacht is that you can create the ship of your dreams — even if that means piloting a neon pink speedboat decorated with blue flames if that’s what makes your heart happy, more power to you. However, we don’t recommend anything too out-there, because extreme color patterns can negatively impact any potential resale value in the future.Industry experts recommend using natural and monochromatic color pallets and adding color through the use of accents and decorations. Color pallets that match the blues and greens of the ocean are usually trendy.Remember the AccessoriesAccessories enable you to truly make your custom yacht your own. Which ones will you use the most? This step will vary dramatically, depending on what you use your ship for. You’re not going to add a ski-pole to an enormous craft designed for sailing across the open ocean. Likewise, you won’t have the room to add a jacuzzi to a small yacht designed for speed.If you’re not sure what you’ll need, talk to other yacht owners or the salesperson at your local shipyard to help you make those decisions. When it comes down to it, the accessories you choose for your yacht will be entirely up to you.Make Up Your Mind and Stick to ItOnce you make up your mind, stick to your design. Don’t be that customer who insists on changing things every other week during construction. Doing this will slow down the construction process considerably. It won’t make you any friends, and it might end up costing you quite a bit of extra money. The company you choose to work with could charge additional fees for any changes requested after construction has begun.If you think you’ll need to make changes, sit on your design for a while and let it stew in the back of your mind. Don’t leap to place your order once you think you have a design figured out. Even waiting a couple of weeks can be enough to help you consider every possible variable before you reach the point of no return.Enjoy Your New YachtOnce you’ve gone through all the steps of customizing and designing your dream yacht, all that’s left to do is wait for it to be delivered. Once you have it in your possession, you can take it on the water. Owning a yacht is a unique experience, and you may find you want to spend more time on the water than you do on land.Make sure you’re covering all your bases, from use to accessories, before you sign on the dotted line. And don’t be the one who insists on micromanaging the entire construction process. While the project probably won’t sink out from under you, making the construction crew angry is never a good idea.