The more you plan ahead, the fewer change orders you have, says Bronstien. Change orders aren't good for the yard, though: They interrupt the workflow, require more approvals, etc. Eden explains that "The shipyard has to price change orders at two or three times what they'd cost if done up front." So write the specs carefully, and stick with them. Save "improvements" for your next yacht.
Thou Shalt Leave the Yard Alone
Once you choose a yard, let it do the work. It doesn't need boatbuilding lessons or your advice. Joyce advises: "Get a hobby while your boat's being built." This works to your benefit as much as the yard's. "Custom building is a lot like watching open-heart surgery," he relates. "Our happiest clients are the ones who never went to the yard. Our least happiest were the ones that went the most." Bring your surveyor to the sea trials, he adds, and have everything fixed before you leave.
Then enjoy your new yacht. If you follow these commandments, chances are using her will be a lot more fun than building her was.
This article originally appeared in the March 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.