Shipyard worker walking next to yacht at dry dock | Yacht for Sale | N&J

Build a Yacht: New Yacht Construction

Building a custom yacht from inception to delivery

Northrop & Johnson is proud to be affiliated with some of the world’s most innovative and award-winning yacht builders, refit yards, designers, naval architects and suppliers. Our reliable brokers can mediate between future owners and yards to help design the perfect custom yacht to suit the owner’s exact needs while maintaining a stress-free environment and seamless build experience. Northrop & Johnson brokers will help new-build owners facilitate every aspect of the process, from choosing the right shipyard and designer to advising on legal issues and project management. By drawing on our established relationships with the world’s industry leaders in these sectors, Northrop & Johnson can promise a flawless new-build process from inception to delivery.

The Northrop & Johnson Advantage

  1. Why work with us

    Building a custom yacht is an exciting and rewarding experience but can also be daunting. At Northrop & Johnson, we understand the intricacies and complexities of the yacht-building process and have the expertise and resources to guide you through every step of the way. Here are just a few reasons why you should choose Northrop & Johnson to build your dream yacht:

    Market Leader in Building, Selling and Managing Superyachts

    Northrop & Johnson has been a market leader in building, selling, and managing superyachts since its inception. Our track record speaks for itself: in 2022, we signed seven new builds worth $153 million, more than any other brokerage firm, according to Superyacht Times’ 2022 market report. Our team has completed more than 129 new builds, giving us unparalleled experience and expertise in yacht building.

    Deep Knowledge of the Entire Yacht Building Process

    Many of our Northrop & Johnson brokers and team members began their careers in the shipyards, giving them a deep knowledge of the entire process from start to finish. This means they have a fundamental understanding of the language of shipyards and the in-depth industry knowledge required to oversee the whole project. From regulations and market trends to design and tech innovations, our team has the expertise to ensure your dream yacht is future-proofed and built to the highest possible standards.

    Specialist Industry Insight and Regular Shipyard Tours

    Because we’re so active in the industry, we know what the shipyards are doing, which ones have open build slots and the strengths and specializations of each yard. Several of our expert brokers have extensive executive experience at these yards, and our culture of family and collaboration means they are only too happy to step in to help. With regular tours of yards worldwide, our team of yacht brokers is perfectly positioned to advise which builders suit your unique vision.

    These tours allow us to stay current on the latest trends, innovations, and developments in yacht construction. We observe first-hand how different shipyards approach construction and the new techniques and technologies they use to design and build yachts. This knowledge is then passed on to our clients, allowing you to benefit from the latest advancements. It is also an opportunity for us to assess the quality of different shipyards’ work, ensuring our clients’ yachts are built to the highest possible standards.

    Greater Flexibility and Choice

    With our extensive, active network of shipyards, we can offer you greater flexibility regarding scheduling and availability. When one shipyard is fully booked or unavailable, we can quickly pivot to another without compromising quality or timelines. Your dedicated broker will only be to happy to arrange for you tours of shipyards, allowing you to see firsthand the quality and craftsmanship of different shipyards.

    Behind the Scenes

    To aid you in your decision-making process, we have partnered with renowned YouTuber David Seal, a respected figure in the yachting industry. His YouTube channels, Yachts for Sale and Yacht Builders, offer an inside look into shipyards and their construction process and techniques, providing a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes.

    Post-Delivery Services

    Once your vision has come to life, we can cover all your yachting needs with our network of established and experienced companies under the trusted MarineMax umbrella. From ongoing yacht management, berthing, insurance and recruitment to charter management, brokerage and even bespoke luxury experiences you won’t find anywhere else, we offer a complete 360-degree in-house service.

  2. How do we manage new build projects?

    There’s only one way to get the yacht you really want: to build it from the keel up. Building a superyacht can be a complicated, long-haul project. Our job is to act as your guide, advisor and single point of contact to simplify the entire process. We bridge the gap between you and the shipyards, designers, engineers, architects, lawyers, project managers and technical representatives.

    In short, our brokers act on your behalf to help build the yacht of your dreams at the highest quality and the best price possible, ensuring each step of the build is done accurately and to the most stringent standards.

    We’ll be there every step of the way to turn your concept into reality and to make the journey unforgettable—in the very best way possible.

    And once your yacht has been launched, we’ll be on hand to enhance your experience with our suite of post-build services thanks to our in-house MarineMax expertise, from ongoing yacht management, berthing, insurance and crew recruitment to yacht charter, brokerage and more

  3. Phases of a new build

    The construction of a new yacht is an exciting and rewarding process, requiring careful planning and attention to detail. While each new construction and shipyard will be unique, they follow a similar approach.

    Design and planning

    This is the first and most crucial phase of any new build. Our team will work closely with you to determine your needs and preferences. We will need to discuss your specific requirements: What kind of build do you want? Where do you plan to cruise? What kind of performance will your vessel need? What spaces and amenities do you envision having aboard?

    We will then advise which shipyards, architects and designers are the most suitable for your project and work with them to create a customized design to meet your needs.

    Hull construction

    Once the design is finalized, hull construction begins. Our team will liaise with your chosen shipyard to ensure that high-quality materials and advanced construction techniques are used to create a strong and durable hull that will withstand the rigors of the sea. Throughout the hull construction phase, we closely communicate with the shipyard to monitor progress and ensure the work is carried out to your specifications.

    Interior and deck construction

    With the hull complete, the focus shifts to the interiors and deck spaces. Skilled artisans will install wiring, plumbing and other systems and create the various rooms and interior and exterior living spaces.

    Sea trials and delivery

    The final construction phase involves several sea trials to test the yacht’s performance and ensure all systems function correctly. Once this has been completed to your satisfaction, your vessel is ready to be delivered.

  4. Yacht design

    What sort of build are you interested in? You have options.

    Generally, there are three kinds of builds, each with pros and cons. They depend on the level of customization you’d like.


    Production builds are usually part of a line of pre-designed vessels. They often have standard features and accessories and offer the least customizability. They usually are the fastest to deliver and the least expensive option but can be hard to modify or upgrade after purchase. However, because they are pre-designed, they’re a proven platform with demonstrated quality.


    Semi-custom builds are a compromise between production and fully custom builds. They offer many customizable opportunities—particularly concerning interior and exterior décor, design, appliances and finishes—and allow the owner to be closely involved in the build. Like production builds, they are part of a pre-designed line, expediting build time and reducing costs and risk.


    Entirely custom builds are naturally the most expensive and time-intensive option. However, nothing is off limits, from the size and layout to amenities, interior and exterior design and technical specifications.

    Whichever you envision, we know the right experts for you.

  5. After-sales support

    With the delivery of your superyacht, your journey will have only just begun.

    Yacht ownership should be enjoyable and hassle-free, which is why we can cater to all your needs in-house with our established MarineMax companies. With 360-degree support, we’re with you all the way.

    Here are the services we can offer you.

    Yacht Management – Place your luxury yacht in the right hands with the services of our superyacht management team.

    Berthing – Whether you purchase or rent a berth or a mooring, there is peace of mind in knowing that your yacht has a safe harbor available at all times.

    Insurance – Yacht insurance gives you the confidence to cruise anywhere in the world without worry.

    Crew Recruitment – Our crew services experts specialize in accurately placing crew members on the appropriate yachts and guiding the successful careers of thousands worldwide.

    Charter Marketing – Allow your luxury yacht to be so much more by offering her for charter, enabling you to enjoy charter revenue while cruising at your own leisure.

    Yacht Marketing – As a global leader in yacht marketing, our inter-connected, highly specialized creative team executes your custom marketing plan, supporting your charter or sale. As the only yacht brokerage firm with an in-house video production team, we can also follow the construction of your yacht.

    Brokerage – Due to our broker’s knowledge, experience and ability to negotiate at the highest level, Northrop & Johnson is the world leader in selling luxury yachts over 80 feet (24m). Appointing Northrop & Johnson as your representative will ensure your yacht’s successful and timely sale.

    Partnerships – We are proud to partner with some of the most exclusive premium brands in the yachting and luxury sectors, enabling us to offer you an elevated level of service and added benefits.

Shipyard worker walking next to yacht at dry dock | Yacht for Sale | N&J
Captain and first mate scouting ahead from bridge
Yacht manager and client looking at yacht designs on desk
Business people going over contract
Shipyard workers painting yacht
Yacht anchored at clear Caribbean waters

Concept Yachts for Sale

Shipyards & Builders

Northrop & Johnson is proud to be affiliated with the world’s leading yacht builders. Our reliable brokers are able to mediate between future owners and shipyards in order to help design the perfect custom yacht to suit their exact needs while maintaining a stress-free, seamless and enjoyable build experience. Northrop & Johnson brokers serve as an invaluable liaison between the client and the shipyard, maintaining the balance between both parties. Working alongside all parties involved, together with the appointed yacht manager, they supervise every project throughout its entire build to ensure each yacht delivered adheres not only to contractual specifications but to the owner’s expectations.

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