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Us flagged vessel, health insurance costs per crew, uniform cost per crew, training cost per crew, food cost per crew, crew turnover, hires using a professional crew agency.

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Costs of food provisions will vary dependent upon how eloborate food Preferenaces are

Location will play huge factor in food provisons and thing may have to be folws into remorte locations.

Crew is one of the largest expenses on a superyacht and critical to the owner’s enjoyment of their vessel. As the largest crew agency in the world, we know crew. Our cost calculator contains customized crew lists for yachts ranging from 80ft to 600ft with salary information based on our reference verified salary data.

Our users also have the ability to completely tailor the crew list to the specific needs, schedule and requirements of their vessel. Each yacht is unique and may have specific owner requests in addition to the yacht’s safe manning requirements.

Management of the supplemental crew costs and strategic budgeting can help avoid significant overspend on categories such as food and uniform. This tool contains default values based on our industry expertise and recommended budget for an efficiently and safely run superyacht.

To learn more about each crew position in detail, including salary ranges, please visit our yacht department directory .

Drag the sliders to modify your results. These are not linear scales and we expect most yachts to operate within the 20-80% window. Above 80% and below 20% costs increase or decrease at exaggerated levels and we only see numbers in these levels in very rare circumstances.

This sunburst diagram is interactive. You can click into each block to see the expense break down and mouse over each block for more details.

Our chart of accounts displays seven major categories, 20 sub-categories plus a further 80 detail categories for a total of 107.

Our yacht operating cost calculator is now on it’s third major revision. We start with actual yacht expense data from our yacht management accountants and then generate formulas to extrapolate out the budget for a wide range of yachts. We have been providing accounting services to large yachts for the past 18 years.

Our operating cost calculator is tuned for yachts from 80 to 600 feet. We find operating variables create the largest variances for yachts smaller than 100 feet and larger than 250 feet. We have tested the numbers the most in the range from 100 to 250 feet.

Our budget calculator factors in the fuel burn for a range of engine sizes typically seen installed on yachts by length. By dragging the green “fuel dockage” slider to the right you will increase the projected fuel burn rate and therefore the budget cost for fuel. Our default position would be for a typical displacement fuel burn. Position the slider in the 60-80% range for fuel projections for planning hulls.

Our default values produce a budget number that we believe is generous to run a yacht to a high standard. Perfect is a very expensive word to use in the yachting industry where standards are already high. Moving the crew and maintenance sliders to 80% will provide an “industry best” quality of crew and give them the maintenance budget to operate to a very high standard. If you need to go over the 80% area then you may have unusually labor intensive equipment on the yacht.

Yes, our yacht operating cost calculator can output a budget suitable for this situation. Adjust the owner use to 2 (minimum value), owner slider to 0, crew slider to 10%, Administration to 10%, Fuel and Dockage to 0, Maintenance to 10% and then Capital Repairs to 0. This will remove all of the large charges associated with owner use and vessel movement but leave the essential base maintenance and insurance in place.

Lift on and float in yacht transport is a popular way to transport yachts across large ocean passage. The yachts that this service certainly applies to are ones that may not have the motoring range or structural integrity for blue ocean cruising. The cost of transporting a yacht twice per year is put into our budget once the “Fuel Dockage” slider hits 75%. If your yacht has the range we recommend self-sufficient ocean passages whenever possible. Whilst the transport companies sell their services based upon reportedly well oiled operated schedules the reality is that your yacht may stay waiting for pickup for a week or more with no compensation due. When factoring in all secondary factors of self-sufficient passages (increased fuel, maintenance, potential storm damage, crew time off, extra delivery crew) compared with transporting your yacht (insurance, potential loading / unloading damage, loss of schedule control, no work whilst underway, crew flights, crew accommodation) we believe that there is a 100% premium associated with float in transport and a 75% premium with lift on transport compared with self-powered.

Abandoned yachts crash in value. We recommend that even if you are trying to sell your yacht that you use the yacht for a minimum of two weeks per year so that systems are tested and working every six months. There is nothing worse for a yacht than not being used. If you truly are not going to use the yacht then you should sell it immediately for the first genuine offer as every dollar you put into maintenance will not be recovered at the time of the sale.

We did not build this version with sailing yachts in mind. Early in our development of this version we decided to exclude sailing yachts as a few of the major cost drivers scale very differently for sailing yachts compared with motor yachts. For example: To calculate paint costs we reviewed the surface area of over 100 large yachts and created a formula for painted surface area to length. Sailing yachts just don’t scale in a consistent way. Similarly crew numbers don’t scale in the same manner that they do for motor yachts. If there is sufficient demand we may build a sailing selector switch into a future version of this tool.

We hate to hear when yacht owners were told by their broker to factor in 10% of the purchase price to operate the yacht. This over used saying is sadly right occasionally (particularly for newer yachts in the $20-30M range)… but just because a broken watch tells the right time twice a day you shouldn’t rely upon it to tell the time. As yachts get older their capital value decreases but their maintenance costs increase. There is no way that a fixed 10% of purchase cost rule can be true… if your broker told you this rule then you need a new yacht broker… we know some good ones. 😊

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The Real Costs of Owning a Superyacht [Complete Guide]

The Real Costs of Owning a Superyacht [Complete Guide]

November 25, 2019 1:00 pm

Owning a  superyacht  is a status symbol available only to the world’s wealthiest individuals and corporations. Although there is no strict definition, the Red Ensign Group Yacht Code is applicable to “motor or sailing vessels of 24 meters in load line length and over…and which, at the time, is in commercial use for sport or pleasure and carries no cargo and no more than 12 passengers 1 .” There are currently just over 10,000 superyachts in the world with around 200-250 new builds delivered each year. The vast majority are  motor yachts , with sailing yachts counting for less than 20% of the total. The world’s largest private vessel, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s 180m (590-foot) AZZAM,  cost $600 million to build when it was delivered in 2013. Eight of the ten most expensive luxury acquisitions of all time were superyachts.

superyacht cost

Purchase Cost

Buying a new or used superyacht will most likely cost the buyer several million dollars. Pricing varies widely based on the yacht size, age, and other factors such as builder, guest capacity, speed, range, and more. The market is worldwide and extensive. Any potential buyer would be well-advised to engage a professional, certified broker to guide them in the selection of their dream yacht and through the myriad of complications in making the purchase.

  • • Financing the Purchase
  • • Immediate Post Purchase Costs

superyacht cost

Operating Costs

In years past, owners and their brokers would work on 10% of the purchase price as an estimate of annual operating costs, but the vast range of yacht size, operating location, and usage profile makes this approach less useful without giving the question more thought. Building a budget for a yacht requires consideration of the following elements:

Crew – Salary, payroll taxes, recruitment fees, uniform, health insurance, food, and travel for vacation and repatriation are all crew-related costs. A good guide for salary costs is published by Dockwalk magazine every year based on an extensive survey of the crew and placement agents. Using their most recent article as a guide, a crew of eight full-time crew on a 150-foot yacht will cost over $650,000 per year in salary alone. Get a complete crew cost breakdown.

Dockage – Unless the owner plans to spend the year at anchor, then keeping the yacht in a marina incurs a significant cost. Dockage is normally sold per foot of the yacht’s full length and per night, although contract rates for longer periods may be available. High-quality marinas in peak seasons are currently running in the $6-8 per foot per night range. Electricity, fresh water, and waste removal are all additional costs to be considered.

Fuel – The captain or engineer should be able to provide the fuel consumption per hour at any given speed, so if a yacht owner knows roughly how much he wants the boat to travel, then he can estimate the total fuel consumption and budget the fuel cost. There is also the fuel cost for generators, particularly at anchor. A typical 150-foot motor yacht cruising at 12 knots will consume in the region of 150 U.S. gallons per hour. At today’s fuel prices, that’s going to be close to $500 per hour. 500 hours per year will give us the main engine fuel budget of around $250,000. To this, we must also add the generators’ fuel consumption at anchor plus any additional cost for tenders.

Communications – Everyone onboard, crew and guests, want to remain connected to their social media, streaming services, and email. The technology available in this area moves fast and with 5G coming online, near-shore costs will likely come down. For those who want broadband speed while offshore, costs are high and depend on the upload/download speeds required. Start with an estimate of $4-5,000 per month and work from there. Additional communications costs include satellite TV subscriptions, crew cell phone costs, mail, freight, and more. Get a complete communication cost breakdown.

Maintenance, Consumables, and Other Operating Costs – Having considered crew payroll, marina costs, fuel, and internet, the budget will start to materialize. One must take all other costs into account, such as hull insurance, liability insurance, maintenance and consumables, warehousing, safety and survey costs, upkeep of the navigation outfit, computing support, car rental, and more.   

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superyacht cost

This should not be considered a financial guide. For a more accurate estimate, contact Clive McCartney .

1 Red Ensign Group Yacht Code Section A 1.2(1) 

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How Much Does a Superyacht Cost?

21st apr 2024 by samantha wilson.

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Superyachts are some of the most astounding machines on the planet. Their innovation and luxury have fascinated us for decades as we’ve watched them grow in length—and cost—by the year. Today, some of the most expensive yachts in the world can measure a staggering 590 feet and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet the purchase price is just the beginning, and you need to have extremely deep pockets to consider owning a superyacht. Here we take a closer look at how much it costs not just to build or buy a superyacht, but to run it, as well as the price of chartering one of these magnificent vessels. 

Superyacht. Photo credit: Arno Senoner

Superyachts are some of the most expensive luxury items on the planet and the largest ones can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. 

The Cost of Buying a Superyacht

There are 5,396 superyachts (classified as over 98 feet in length) gracing our oceans as we speak according to SuperYacht Times reporting in 2022. It’s a surprisingly small number when you consider the vast industry that supports them. Although when we look at the cost of owning a superyacht—the build or purchase price , as well as the annual ownership costs—it perhaps shouldn’t come as quite such a surprise. Superyachts are expensive! In fact, they’re one of the most expensive luxury items in the world, and some of the largest superyachts cost not just millions but hundreds of millions to build. 

The gargantuan Azzam holds the title of the world’s largest superyacht (for now), and at 590 feet long, it is huge. (See our analysis on Superyacht versus Megayacht .) The industry has estimated it cost $600 million to build, a figure that few people in the world can afford. One of those people is Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, whose 533-foot superyacht Eclipse cost an estimated $700 million to build in 2009. Jeff Bezos' recently completed the 417-foot superyacht Koru for an estimated $500 million.

While the largest superyachts hit headlines with their jaw-dropping sizes and build prices, the term “superyacht” covers a broad spectrum of sizes, from the smallest 80- to 100-foot (30-meter) yachts straight up to 230-foot yachts (70 meters) and on to those in the 330-foot (100 meter) range. According to Triton Charters, a good rough estimate for a small, custom-built superyacht is $1 million for every 3.3 feet in length. That means a custom 100-footer might cost $30 million. The formula is less likely to work for a larger superyacht, however, such as a 330-footer that could easily have a price tag of $275 million. 

When discussing prices it’s important to point out that custom and semi-custom vessels built in a production series hull) superyachts will vary in price accordingly. Many brands such as Princess Yachts or Sunseeker offer a production hull with a range of customizable options, from the layout to the finishings. The specifications chosen may increase the final price 20 percent or more. Even so, a new 130-foot semi-custom superyacht might cost in the region of $12-15 million, less than half what a fully custom yacht would cost due to being built from scratch from the very design upwards. 

Pre-owned superyachts of reasonably large size are likely to sell for prices in the $20 to $30 million range, according to a report by Insure4Boats. Older yachts on the market may fetch prices as low as $1.5 million to $2.5 million for a 15- to 20-year-old 90-foot superyacht. 

Superyachts vary hugely in size

Superyachts vary hugely in size, from 100 feet to the largest at 590 feet in length. 

Cost of Owning a Superyacht

Buying a superyacht is one thing, keeping it running is quite another. Where the industry once used the figure of 10 to 12 percent of the price of the boat in running costs per year, today that figure has risen to closer to 20 percent, according to Insure4Boats. So what goes into the running of a boat and why does it cost so much?

As we’ve seen, the sale prices of used yachts vary widely, from $11 million in the 130- to 160-foot category, $24 million in the 160- to 230-foot category, and perhaps $80 million for yachts of 230 feet or more. The running and maintenance costs of any vessel always need to be taken into account when looking at luxury yachts for sale , but when we’re talking superyachts for sale, the figures rise exponentially. 

  • Fuel: One of the biggest expenses is fuel, as superyachts are thirsty machines. As an example, a 230-foot yacht will use around $2,000 of fuel per hour while underway at 20 knots. A smaller yacht will use much less fuel, so a 150-foot yacht will use around 150 gallons per hour at a rough cost of around $500/hour. Assuming a figure of 500 hours of cruising time a year, that’s a total of $250,000 (excluding all the time spent at anchor with generators running). 
  • Dockage: Dockage costs for the largest superyachts can be extraodinary, and at any size point they will still be one the biggest expenditures. Prices are based on the length of the yacht per night. The more sought-after and prestigious addresses will carry the largest price tags, with $4,000 per night in the high season commonplace according to the Luxury Yacht Group. Towergate Insurance estimates that docking fees for larger boats can run up to $350,000 per year. 
  • Crew Salaries: Depending on the size of the superyacht, a full-time crew is usually required, and the size of that crew goes up with the yacht size, ranging from three or four members to in excess of 70 members. From the captain all the way down, the total sum of crew salaries will add up. A comparatively modest 150-foot superyacht could have an annual crew salary of $800,000 according to Luxury Yacht Group, which is around 45 percent of the total annual running costs. 
  • Maintenance: The upkeep and maintenance of these behemoth yachts is constant and, according to CNN, the annual estimated maintenance costs for Azzam are around $60 million. A much smaller yacht would of course be quite a bit less, but the same yacht maintenance costs need to be factored in. Add to that surveys every few years, which can run into the hundreds of thousands. 
  • Provisions: Whether the boat is being used by the owner or for charter, there will be a significant cost to provisioning, both for high-profile guests and the crew. Food, alcohol, flowers, water sports equipment, and much more will all be of the highest caliber and run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consider that a single jet ski to run off the back of the yacht can cost between $5,000 and $20,000. 
  • Insurance and administration: The insurance on a 150-foot yacht would be around $73,000 annually, according to Luxury Yacht Group, with management and administration costs on top of that. 

Superyachts. Photo credit: Melody Temple

The annual maintenance and running costs of superyachts can run into the millions including crew salaries, fuel, and dockage fees. 

How Much Does it Cost to Charter a Superyacht

If the numbers above have got you reassessing whether superyacht ownership is right for you, then fear not. Chartering a superyacht can be a stress-free way to enjoy the luxury yachting lifestyle with more predictable prices. The cost of chartering a yacht will depend on several factors such as the size and age of the yacht, the destination, the length of the charter, and the level of provisioning required. 

Superyachts usually operate on a pricing structure that is based on the base cost of chartering the yacht including the crew, facilities, and insurance. Other expenses such as fuel costs, food and drinks, special events, and dockage, which will all vary from charter to charter, are charged in advance in what is known as an Advanced Provisioning Allowance (APA).

According to Northrop and Johnson, superyacht charters can cost anywhere from $150,000 per week to over $2 million per week plus expenses. The 278-foot yacht O’ptasia , for example, has charter prices starting at $868,000, while 196-foot Scott Free starts at £395,000 per week.

Buying a Superyacht

If you think purchasing a superyacht might be right for you some day, read our  Top Tips on How to Buy a Superyacht  and our article on  Superyachts 101: All Your Questions Answered . You can get started by browsing for superyachts for sale and megayachts for sale on Rightboat. 

Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

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How Much Does a Yacht Cost: A Comprehensive Breakdown for Buyers

Yachts embody luxury, status, and freedom, leading many to wonder about the costs associated with such an extravagant purchase.

Buying a yacht is a significant investment that involves not only the initial price but also ongoing expenses such as maintenance, fuel, insurance, and crew costs.

superyacht cost

The price of a yacht varies greatly depending on factors such as size, brand, age, and features. Understanding these factors will help potential buyers make informed decisions.

Smaller yachts often start at a few hundred thousand dollars , while larger or more luxurious models may cost millions. Meanwhile, superyachts and mega yachts can carry price tags in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

It is important to remember that additional ownership costs, like annual operating expenses , must be considered when calculating the true cost of yacht ownership.

Key Takeaways

  • Yacht costs vary greatly based on size, brand, age, and features
  • Additional expenses such as maintenance, insurance, and crew should be factored in
  • Assessing all costs involved helps gain a clearer picture of the true cost of yacht ownership

Types and Sizes of Yachts

When considering the cost of a yacht, it's important to understand the various types and sizes available in the market.

In this section, we will explore some of the main categories of yachts, including sailing yachts vs. motor yachts and the range of sizes from small to superyachts.

Sailing Yacht Vs. Motor Yacht

There are two main types of yachts: sailing yachts and motor yachts.

Sailing yachts rely on wind power and sails for propulsion, making them more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, with smaller sailboats starting around 23 feet in length. Some popular designs include sloops, cutters, and ketches.

Meanwhile, motor yachts use engines for propulsion, offering more speed, power, and maneuverability. These yachts typically range from around 30 to 100 feet, although larger motor yachts can also be classified as superyachts. Motor yachts are often equipped with a luxurious interior, offering the utmost comfort and entertainment for guests.

Small Yachts to Superyachts

Small Yachts (10,000-$100,000):

Small yachts generally range from 23 to 40 feet in length. These yachts are more affordable and easier to maintain, making them attractive to first-time buyers. They can be both sailing yachts and small motor yachts. Examples of small yachts include sportfishing boats, family cruisers, and day sailers.

Midsize Yachts ($100,000-$1,000,000):

Midsize yachts typically range from 40 to 60 feet in length. The price of a midsize yacht can vary greatly, with used models going around $200,000 while new ones can go up to a million dollars. They offer more space, better amenities, and improved performance compared to small yachts. Midsize yachts can also be classified as sailing yachts or motor yachts.

superyacht cost

Large Yachts ($1,000,000 and up):

Large yachts typically range from 60 to 100 feet in length. These luxurious vessels come with a higher price tag, often costing multiple millions of dollars. Large yachts offer plenty of space for entertaining, as well as state-of-the-art technology and amenities. They come in both sailing and motor yacht varieties.

Superyachts ($10,000,000 and up):

Superyachts are the pinnacle of luxury and sophistication, typically measuring over 100 feet in length. They feature extravagant amenities, such as helipads, swimming pools, and even movie theaters. The price of a superyacht can be astronomical, at times exceeding $10 million or more.

Cost Factors for New and Used Yachts

When determining the cost of a yacht, whether new or used, several factors come into play. These include the age and condition , size and style, brand and model, and location and availability of the yacht.

Each of these factors plays a significant role in the overall cost, so understanding them can help buyers make an informed decision.

Age and Condition

The age of a yacht naturally impacts its price. A brand-new yacht typically commands a higher price than a used one. However, the condition of a used yacht can also greatly influence its value. A well-maintained, used yacht in excellent condition may be more expensive than a newer model with issues or wear and tear.

Size and Style

The size and style of the yacht also play a crucial role in determining the cost.

Generally, larger yachts come with a higher price tag. For example, the average price of a yacht in the United States for vessels 46 to 55 feet was $467,899, while the average price for yachts in the 56 to 79 foot category was $1.18 million.

The style of the yacht, such as a sailboat, power catamaran, or luxury yacht, can have a significant effect on the price as well.

Brand and Model

The yacht's brand and model also contribute to its price. Some yacht brands are known for their luxury, craftsmanship, and performance, which can lead to a higher cost.

On the other hand, more affordable brands may offer similar amenities and functionality at a more budget-friendly price.

It's essential to research different yacht brands and models to find the one that best suits your preferences and budget.

Location and Availability

The location of the yacht, along with its availability in the market, can influence the overall cost.

In some regions, yacht prices may be higher due to factors such as demand, local taxes, or shipping costs. Additionally, if a specific model is in high demand or limited supply, its price may be elevated due to scarcity.

Initial Purchase Price

Buying New Vs. Pre-Owned

When considering the initial purchase price of a yacht, one of the first decisions a buyer faces is whether to buy a new or pre-owned yacht.

New yachts typically come with the latest technology, design, and customization options, but they also come at a higher price.

On the other hand, pre-owned yachts can be significantly more budget-friendly, but may require more maintenance and lack the latest features.

The average price of a yacht in the United States for vessels 46 to 55 feet was $467,899, while the average price for yachts in the 56 to 79-foot category was $1.18 million. These prices can vary depending on whether the yacht is new or used.

The Buying Process

The process of buying a yacht typically involves researching the market, selecting the right size and type of yacht, identifying suitable yachts, negotiating the price, and completing the purchase.

Working with a professional yacht broker can be beneficial in streamlining this process for the buyer as they can provide expert guidance in selecting the right yacht to fit the buyer's needs and budget.

Costs to Consider

In addition to the initial purchase price, there are various other costs that should be taken into account when buying a yacht. These include:

  • Insurance : Buyers should consider the cost of insuring the yacht. Insurance fees, among other factors, are influenced by the size and value of the yacht.
  • Marina fees : Docking the yacht at a marina will incur fees, which can range from a few thousand dollars for smaller yachts to tens of thousands for larger ones.
  • Maintenance : Maintenance costs can make up around 10% of the initial purchase price. For used yachts, be prepared to spend on essential repairs and upgrades as needed.
  • Fuel : The cost of fuel is influenced by the yacht's size, engine type, and cruising frequency.

Operational and Maintenance Costs

Crew Expenses

One of the significant expenses associated with owning a yacht is paying the crew salaries .

The number of crew members and their respective positions will vary depending on the size and complexity of the yacht. For example, a 180-foot superyacht may have an annual crew expense of around $1.4 million.

It is essential to account for additional crew-related costs such as insurance, training, and uniforms.

Fuel and Propulsion

Another considerable aspect of yacht ownership is fuel costs. The amount of fuel consumption will largely depend on the yacht's size, propulsion system, and usage patterns.

For instance, a larger yacht may incur around $400,000 for fuel annually.

It is also worth considering the potential expenses for any necessary upgrades or maintenance of the propulsion systems to ensure optimal performance and efficiency.

Repairs and Upkeep

Maintaining the yacht's appearance and condition requires regular maintenance and repairs . These expenses can quickly add up. Annual maintenance costs for a superyacht could reach up to $1 million.

This includes expenses for cleaning, teak oils, wax, and polish to keep the yacht looking immaculate. It is often recommended to allocate around 10% of the yacht's value to cover annual maintenance costs.

Dockage and Storage

Mooring fees, marina fees, and storage are additional factors to consider when estimating the operational costs of a yacht. Dockage costs typically depend on the yacht’s size and the chosen location.

On average, a superyacht may have an annual dockage expense of around $350,000 .

Additional Ownership Costs

Yacht insurance is a significant cost that should be factored into your decision to buy a yacht. The cost of insurance can vary based on the size, type, and value of the yacht.

For example, a 180-foot superyacht may have insurance costs upwards of $240,000 per year .

Obtaining quotes from various providers is essential. Remember that rates can fluctuate based on factors such as the yacht's condition and the owner's boating experience.

Taxes and Registration

Owning a yacht also comes with local and federal taxes and registration fees. Tax rates can vary depending on the state or country where the boat is registered.

In the United States, some states have a sales tax for yacht purchase, while others have an annual personal property tax. Make sure to research the applicable taxes and registration fees in your area to include them in the overall cost of ownership.

Depreciation

Another factor to consider when purchasing a yacht is depreciation. Over time, the value of most yachts will decrease, much like automobiles.

The rate of depreciation may differ based on the yacht's make, model, and age. To account for this potential decrease in value, make sure to have a proper maintenance plan in place and be prepared for the potential resale-value drop.

Extra Amenities and Upgrades

Finally, extra amenities and upgrades can significantly impact the cost of owning a yacht. Additional features such as upgraded electronics, specialized navigation systems, enhanced entertainment systems, or custom interior finishes can add considerably to the base cost of ownership.

Also, consider ongoing costs associated with these amenities, such as maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Budgeting for these additional expenses is critical to ensure your enjoyment of the yacht without financial strain.

Real Cost of Yacht Ownership

Owning a yacht is a luxury many people dream of, but it comes with significant costs. This section will discuss the real cost of yacht ownership , looking at the rule of thumb for annual costs and investment considerations.

Rule of Thumb for Annual Costs

When estimating the cost of owning a yacht, a general rule of thumb is that annual costs will be around 10% of the initial purchase price. This includes expenses such as maintenance, fuel, insurance, and crew salaries.

For example, a 180-foot superyacht could have an annual budget of $1 million for maintenance, $400,000 for fuel, $240,000 for insurance, and $1.4 million for the crew.

Another example is a 50-foot yacht , which may have ongoing costs between $35,000 and $85,000 per year.

  • Maintenance and Repairs: The cost of maintaining a yacht can range from $1,000 to over $1 million per year, depending on the size and complexity of the vessel.
  • Dockage: Yacht owners should budget around $350,000 annually for marina fees.
  • Fuel: Depending on the size and type of yacht, fuel expenses can be substantial, averaging around $400,000 per year for a large vessel.
  • Insurance: Insurance premiums for yachts can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $240,000 per year.
  • Crew Salaries: Crew salaries can account for the largest portion of yacht ownership costs. A large yacht may require a crew with an annual budget of $1.4 million.

Investment Considerations

When thinking of purchasing a yacht as an investment, potential owners should consider several factors.

Yachts depreciate in value over time, making them a less attractive investment compared to traditional assets such as stocks and real estate.

Additionally, the high cost of ownership may make yacht investment less viable for some individuals.

Keep in mind that while some owners charter their yachts to offset costs, this strategy may not fully cover annual expenses. Moreover, chartering exposes the yacht to additional wear and tear, which can result in higher maintenance costs.

Life on Board

Amenities and Comfort

Life on a yacht offers a unique blend of luxury and comfort. Yachts often come equipped with a variety of amenities to make living on board as enjoyable as possible.

One common feature is the cabin , which provides comfortable sleeping quarters and private spaces for relaxation. Some yacht cabins even have their own ensuite bathrooms for added convenience.

A well-designed galley is essential on a yacht, providing the space and facilities needed to prepare meals and store provisions.

Modern yacht galleys often come equipped with high-quality appliances and ample storage space to ensure a pleasant dining experience.

On larger yachts, additional amenities may include swimming pools , outdoor lounges, and spacious deck areas for sunbathing and relaxation. Some superyachts also feature helipads , allowing for easy access to transport and travel to and from the yacht.

Entertaining and Lifestyle

A yacht is not just a floating home, but also a platform for entertaining and socializing. The deck space on a yacht offers a fantastic setting for outdoor gatherings, while a well-appointed cabin cruiser can serve as an ideal venue for more intimate events.

Entertaining on a yacht often involves a range of activities, from casual get-togethers to formal dinners with friends, family, or business associates.

A key factor in this lifestyle is the yacht's finish – the quality of the materials, furnishings, and décor that contribute to an atmosphere of luxury and sophistication.

With such an array of amenities and entertainment options, life on a yacht combines the best aspects of comfort, luxury, and a captivating lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the price range for a small yacht?

Small yachts can cost anywhere from $100,000 to several hundred thousand dollars, depending on factors such as size, brand, age, and amenities.

On average, a new, small yacht may cost around $200,000, but prices can vary significantly based on the specific yacht .

What are typical rental costs for yachts of various sizes?

Rental costs for yachts can vary greatly depending on factors like size, type, and location.

Typically, smaller yachts can be rented for a few thousand dollars per day, while larger, luxury yachts may command tens of thousands of dollars per day.

Some yachts may also require a minimum rental period and may charge additional fees for things like fuel and crew.

What is the purchasing price for a luxury yacht?

Luxury yachts generally fall within the multi-million-dollar price range, with some costing tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

The exact price of a luxury yacht depends on several factors, such as the yacht's features, size, customizations, and brand.

What is the cost associated with owning a 50-foot yacht?

The cost of owning a 50-foot yacht includes the purchase price, maintenance, insurance, docking fees, and fuel costs.

While the purchase price can vary greatly, annual costs can be estimated at approximately 10% of the yacht's value, which may include maintenance, repairs, insurance, docking fees, and other related expenses.

What are the expenses involved in buying a 100-foot yacht?

In addition to the purchase price, which can range from a few million to tens of millions of dollars, owning a 100-foot yacht incurs several ongoing costs.

These expenses include insurance, crew salaries, maintenance, docking fees, fuel, and provisions. It is important to budget for these costs, as they can add up to a significant amount each year.

What can one expect to pay for a 70-foot yacht?

The purchase price of a 70-foot yacht can range from several million dollars to well over $10 million, depending on factors such as age, brand, and features.

In addition to the initial purchase price, there will be ongoing costs such as insurance, maintenance, crew salaries, docking fees, and fuel, which need to be considered when budgeting for yacht ownership.

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How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Yacht?

By Rob Bowman | Posted On Aug 09, 2021 Updated On Dec 12, 2023

If you're new to owning a boat and want to experience the luxury lifestyle, buying a yacht is the perfect way to indulge yourself while also creating unforgettable memories on the water. From anchoring at a secluded island in the Caribbean to cruising the coastline enjoying the fall colors, yacht ownership opens up limitless possibilities to explore the beauty of Mother Nature. It can also create quite the adrenaline rush if a sportfishing boat is more your style. There are many benefits to hiring a professional yacht broker when you plan on buying your first yacht including having someone on your side when evaluating the right price, for the right vessel.

So how much does it cost to buy a yacht on average? In 2021, the average selling price of a yacht is approximately $640,000, with prices ranging from $300,000 to over $15,000,000. This average selling price represents all pre-owned boats from 40-feet to 100-feet, power (not sail), and sold in the Southeastern United States, including the large Florida market. The data collected for this sales price was from the boating industry's MLS system.

This 50-foot flybridge yacht (seen below) was sold around the average selling price mentioned above and is a good example of what you can expect when spending over $500k . It features several bedrooms for overnight trips, a galley, a nice flybridge seating area, and a lot of comforts you would find at home.

50-foot flybridge yacht sold

A yacht can mean vastly different things to different people depending on their style of boating, where they live, what they plan to do on the boat, and the amount of equipment they choose. A 50-foot yacht can vary in price by several hundred thousand dollars depending on how new it is, its engines, brand, and amenities. Having a conversation about your needs and budget with a professional yacht broker can answer all of these questions and take the guesswork out of your search. 

While the average price of a yacht sold in the Southeast this year is $640,000, buyers can find yachts for less if they are willing to go a bit older and/or a bit smaller.

  • According to the list of 2021 sold boats, the average selling price for yachts between 40 and 50 feet was $329,000.
  • Yachts under 40 feet are generally called cruising boats and can still feature a lot of the same amenities found on larger vessels.
  • How much does a small yacht cost? Examples of active boats on the market right now show a sizeable difference in price depending on the length and year. For example, a 2021 40-foot Intrepid boat is listed for over $800,000 , while a 2011 Intrepid 40 is listed for under $400,000 .

(Seen below: This Cabo 40 would be considered a smaller yacht and is listed for under $375,000.)

40-foot cabo yacht for sale

The larger, newer, and more extravagant yachts can cost $5 million and higher. Forbes.com identifies a superyacht as a vessel ranging from "79 feet to more than 590 feet in length." The average selling price in 2021 for yachts over 100-feet, according to the industry MLS database, came in at just under $1 million. Of course, there were several superyachts that were between $10 million and $50 million on the list.

A prime example of a superyacht would be " ANTITHESIS ", a Horizon Yachts 136 that had an asking price of $7,990,000 at the time of sale. This superyacht featured 5 luxury staterooms, a pilothouse with full electronics suite, a jacuzzi, sauna, 2 water-makers, 2 generators, and a lot more top-end equipment. Yacht owners looking to cruise long distances or possibly turn the vessel into a yacht charter business would be interested in a boat of this stature.

( Seen below: This Horizon 136 required massive engines that gave it a range of over 1,400 nautical miles. )

horizon motor yacht

The cost of a yacht is not the only cost to consider. Purchasing your new boat is the largest upfront expense, however, there are also the costs of owning a yacht that need to be considered. This is again where hiring an experienced, professional yacht broker can really pay dividends and take a lot of the stress out of the process. Things like insurance, storage, routine maintenance, captain and crew salaries, all need to be factored in to your expectations. We dive into this a bit more in our articles Why Are Boats So Expensive? and What Should I Spend On A Yacht?

Despite the potentially high cost of yacht ownership, it is still an excellent investment in your well-being and will bring countless joyful memories. There is no other recreation in the world that brings families and friends together, while enjoying the wonders of the ocean.

( Seen below: CHIMERA is a 60-foot Hinckley sailing yacht listed for over $1 million. )

While the purchase of sailboats still account for less than 10% of all boats sold, sailing is still a popular past-time which has some very passionate enthusiasts. According to Trade Only Today , in 2019 and 2020 there were more than 1,100 sailboats sold in the United States. As you begin to figure out exactly what type of boating you want to enjoy, as well to learn the advantages and disadvantages of different boat types, you can begin to narrow down the selection process.

Below is the average cost to purchase a small yacht broken out by type :

  • Sailboats Over 40': $193,000
  • Sailing Catamarans - All Sizes: $361,000
  • Power Catamarans - All Sizes: $304,247
  • Downeast Yachts - Over 35': $532,240
  • Sport Fishing Yachts - Over 40' and in Southeast: $815,500

With so many factors to determine how much it costs to buy a yacht and maintain it, it is in the best interest of boat buyers of this magnitude to speak with a certified professional yacht broker. "Pricing a yacht in this market can be a difficult thing," said Brian T. Franc , CPYB and manager of United's Emerald Coast Division. "Pre-owned prices are definitely inflated due to lack of inventory, but there are still some great opportunities if you are fast and have someone watching the market daily on your behalf. As someone who has been in the yacht brokerage industry for almost 30 years, I can tell you that working with a professional makes a difference. We can tell almost immediately whether a boat is over-priced, what it will likely sell for, and whether or not it is the right boat for your needs.

Other Related Articles Of Interest :

  • Can I Sell My Yacht Without A Broker?
  • Why Are Sportfishing Yachts So Expensive?
  • What Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?
  • How Much Should I Pay For A Yacht?

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Can I Afford a Super Yacht?

superyacht cost

They’re the preferred luxury vacation transport of millionaires and billionaires from Bono to Stephen Spielberg to Jay Z, conjuring images of the mega-rich cavorting off some dazzling foreign coastline.

“Super yachting” is officially one of the world’s most extravagant hobbies. And there’s a very good reason for that: It costs a massive amount of money. Luxury yachts are among the most expensive asset purchases. And it’s not just that the initial capital , which can run tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, is high. Yachts also come with tremendous annual running costs that often soar over $1 million.

There is no legal definition of “super yacht.” The term generally applies to yachts that are 75 feet or more in length, have a full-time professional crew, and are enjoyed for pleasure or commercial operation. Of course, no two super yachts are the same, and no two super yacht owners have the same taste or yacht aspirations. So outlay and running costs can vary significantly.

Key Takeaways

  • A super yacht describes a personal boat that is both larger and more extravagant than typical private yachts.
  • These are a luxury item that belongs to those ultra-high-net-worth individuals who can afford them.
  • Up-front purchase prices can be in the several millions of dollars, and then ongoing operating and maintenance costs could run another million dollars or more each year.

Post-purchase, an owner should expect to pay around 20% or more of a yacht’s initial purchase price annually to keep it running. So in theory, a $10 million yacht would set you back $2 million a year in operational costs. Fuel (lots of it), vessel insurance, dockage fees, maintenance and repairs, and crew salaries are typically the heftiest running costs.

Dockage fees can run about $350,000 and administration about $70,000. Maintenance and repairs can be in the millions, as can crew salaries. The upkeep of the 590-foot super yacht Azzam, owned by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, is estimated at $60 million per year, although it does come with two helipads and a missile defense system.

Luxury Yacht Group provides salary guidelines for a standard boat crew. It prices the captain of a 100-to-170-foot vessel with more than five years of experience at anywhere up to $192,000 annually. And you’ve still got to factor in chefs, stewards, deckhands, engineers, and more. Just so new yacht owners don’t get hit with any rude cost surprises, Luxury Yacht Group has developed a handy crew costs calculator and another one for operating costs .

Prices vary from port to port around the world, but parking your boat at the most exclusive marinas in high season can set you back well over $4,000 per night. Berthing spots during prime-time events such as the Monaco Grand Prix can cost up to $85,000 or more for a five-day stay. Superyachts.com provides a global marina map with which to search the world’s marinas and their seasonal mooring fees.

Keep in mind the obligatory “ toys .” No floating playground is complete without resident fun machines like Jet Skis and submersibles, not to mention crucial, state-of-the-art leisure  amenities like an infinity pool cinema or floating beach club. Eclipse, owned by Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, features two helicopter pads, a three-man “leisure” submarine, and two swimming pools—one of which converts into a dance floor.

Several banks and marine lenders will finance the purchase of a super yacht , either via a leasing transaction or via a marine mortgage . And offering your super yacht for charter can fetch attractive returns. However, if you have to cost-rationalize the purchase, perhaps buying one of these vessels isn’t the best way to go. Instead, you could always charter one for the same floating luxury feeling without all of the ownership responsibilities. There are also fractional ownership schemes that share financial responsibility (and super yacht enjoyment) among a party of investors without the full capital outlay.

If you happen to be one of the world’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) , a lavish floating playground could be right for you. However, if you’re not in the billionaire ’s club, don’t despair. You can still charter, share in a fractional arrangement... or simply opt for a more affordable yacht—less “super,” that is. Still, there will always be a place for the opulent, and incredibly expensive, among the world's elite.

Luxury Yacht Group. " Superyacht Cost Calculator ."

AzureAzure. " Azzam: The World’s Largest Private Superyacht ."

Industry Tap. " World’s Largest Superyacht Comes with a Bullet Proof Master Suite & Missile Defense System ."

Luxury Yacht Group. " Salary Guidelines ," Page 1.

Yacht Club de Monaco. " Tarifs YCM Marina ."

CharterWorld. " Eclipse Blohm & Voss ."

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How much does a yacht cost | ultimate breakdown guide.

 October 14, 2019

Complete guide to “How much does a yacht cost?” including superyachts and megayachts. Includes the cost of owning and operating a yacht. Yachts and superyachts are symbols of success. They appeal to wealthy individuals but are also extremely useful business assets. In this article, we’ll explore how much does a yacht cost. Also, we’ll answer how much does a superyacht cost and how much does a mega yacht cost. Then we’ll identify additional yacht costs such as fees and taxes. Next, we’ll give example breakdowns of the price of yacht and the price of a superyacht. Finally, we’ll explain how Assets America ® can help fund your transaction, and then answer frequently asked questions regarding the cost of yacht. Note that we’ll devote a separate article to yacht operation and maintenance costs. This article focuses on how much does it cost to buy a yacht.

How Much Does a Yacht Cost?

To know the context for how much does a yacht cost, we define some important terms.

Yacht Terms

  • Yacht: A sailing or powered watercraft between 39 and 78 feet in length, accommodating up to 6 guests.
  • Superyacht: A luxury yacht ranging in size from 78 to 200 feet in length, accommodating 6 to 12 guests.
  • Megayacht: A luxury yacht greater than 200 feet long holding more than a dozen guests.
  • Cabin Cruiser : A luxury powered boat between 23 and 38 feet in length.
  • Day Sailing Yacht: Small yachts, often with a retractable keel, daggerboard , or centerboard and no cabin.
  • Weekender Yacht: Medium-sized yachts, typically up to 31-feet long. Usually, they have lifting keels or twin keels allowing shallow-water operation for two-to-three-day journeys. Normally, weekender yachts have a simple cabin sleeping two to four passengers along with a small galley.
  • Cruising Yacht: The most common private yacht, with good handling, onboard comfort, sufficient interior space, and capable performance. Typically, they have a teardrop-planform hull with a deep single-fin keel.
  • Luxury Sailing Yacht: Larger yachts powered by wind and engines, with many luxury features.       Typically, yacht makers construct these boats with fiberglass hulls and plenty of automation, lighting, navigation aids, hot water, and more.
  • Racing Yachts: Yachts optimized for fast sailing, with heavy and deep bulb keels, tall masts, and large sails.

Average Cost of Yacht

New yachts over 100-feet long have an average price of a yacht equal to $1 million per 3.3 feet in length. In other words, a 100-foot yacht will, on average, cost more than $30 million. Older yachts below 85 feet are less expensive. For example, an 84-foot yacht originally built in 2002 and renovated in 2015 sold for $1.45 million.

The average price of a yacht that is preowned, entry-level, and in the 30 to 35 foot range, is about $100,000.

How Assets America ® Can Help

Whether you need to borrow $20 million or $1 billion to acquire your yacht, Assets America ® can most assuredly help.  We can arrange short-term or long-term financing for the purchase or refit of yachts, superyachts and megayachts. We can provide financing much more rapidly than most typical funding sources do, and we can arrange financing even if your bank declines.  Call us today at 206-622-3000 for a confidential consultation, or simply fill out the below form and expect and prompt response!

Apply For Financing

How much does a superyacht cost.

Superyacht prices are high but variable. For example, the world’s most expensive superyacht (the History Supreme) has a price of $4.5 billion. And at only 100 feet, it is too small to qualify as a megayacht, even though it certainly has a mega-price! On the other hand, a world-famous golfer purchased a 155-foot superyacht for $20 million, a sweet deal. The average price of a superyacht is $275 million.

How Much Does a Megayacht Cost?

The most expensive megayacht, measuring in at 536 feet, cost $1.5 billion. A 1990, 344-foot megayacht can be yours for $210 million. So, the prices of megayachts can vary greatly. In other words, there is no clear answer to how much does a mega yacht cost.

Video:  Million Pound Mega Yachts for Sale – Documentary 2019

Additional Costs of a Yacht

A few states don’t have sales tax: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon — and to some extent Alaska. If you buy a yacht in any other state, you’ll owe state sales tax. On a $1 billion yacht purchase, a state like Texas with 6.25% sales tax will collect $62.5 million. You can buy a yacht in a state without sales tax and use it in another state. However, you will eventually have to pay a use tax. Florida caps yacht sales tax at $18,000, but California has no cap.

Municipalities that charge local sales tax could add a percentage point or two to your tax bill.

Most states also assess property taxes on yachts. Marinas may assess a tax on boat slips. Some states will refund fuel taxes on yachts since they don’t use roads.

Yachts with bathroom, eating, and sleeping facilities qualify as second homes. You can deduct the interest on the yacht’s mortgage, but national tax law caps the deduction at $750,000.

A yacht purchased for business purposes is a capital asset that you can depreciate. This would apply to a charter, rental, or fishing yacht that you use to generate income. If you buy a used business yacht for $1 million or less, it might qualify as Section 179 property. If so, you can deduct the full price in the year of purchase.

There are some minor fees you may have to pay when you acquire a boat. For example, you may have to register your yacht with the International Registry, which has fees of $550 to $1,500. Also, you may pay an annual tonnage tax, a ship radio station license fee, and certificate of insurance. Other fees include those for :

  • An annual Maritime Security and Compliance fee
  • Private Yacht Limited Charter Compliance Certificate
  • Minimum Safe Manning Certificate
  • Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR) Document
  • Annual Yacht Service
  • Intended Registration and Vessel Under Construction Registration

Cost Breakdown

When you want to know how much does a yacht cost, you need to know the cost factors. A yacht’s price directly ties to its construction costs, which include:

  • Design: The design requires expertise in marine and mechanical engineering. For example, the designers must undertake many stability and hydrodynamic studies. Also, the design must be esthetically pleasing.
  • Construction: It can take many months to construct a large yacht. You must factor in materials, equipment, and labor. Luxury-yacht buyers may want expensive and/or rare materials. One yacht, the infamous History Supreme, contains dinosaur fossils and meteorite stone! But less outlandish materials, such as fine woods and precious metals, still contribute to high construction costs.
  • Engine: The number and power of yacht engines can greatly impact cost. Naturally, all things being equal, a sailing yacht should cost less than a comparable motor yacht. It requires huge power to propel a large megayacht, and an elaborate engine room to operate those engines.
  • Interiors: Large yachts have many rooms, including galleys, heads, bedrooms, meeting rooms and more. In addition, electronics are important cost items.

FAQs — How Much Does a Yacht Cost?

How much does a 50-foot yacht cost.

A 50-foot yacht is a good candidate for weekend duty. A 2014 convertible sportfish costs just under $2 million. An example price of yacht (51-foot 2013 Azium Magellano 50) is $670,760. A 52-foot 2017 Carver C52 Command Bridge sells for $1,149,000.

What is the cost to build a yacht?

Mid-level yachts cost about $25 to $35 per pound to build. Higher-level-yachts have average construction costs pf $45 to $65 per pound. The top vessels built with exotic materials and hi-tech systems can cost $80/pound to build.

How much does a 60-foot yacht cost?

A 60-foot yacht is about the largest size that an owner operates. A new Hatteras M60 can easily cost around $3 million. However, you can get a 2007 60-foot Sunreef 62 for $735,000.

How much does a 100-foot yacht cost?

Superyachts in this range contain many amenities. You can buy a new 100-foot AB 100 for just over $8.8 million. But let’s face it, you can spend hundreds of millions on big yachts. Your only limits are your imagination and most importantly, of course, your wallet!

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Ronny was a pleasure to work with and is extremely knowledgeable. His hard work was never ending until the job was done. They handled a complex lease and guided us through entire process, including the paperwork. Not to mention a below market lease rate and more than all the features we needed in a site. We later used Assets America for a unique equipment financing deal where once again Ronny and team exceeded our expectations and our timeline. Thank you to Assets America for your highly professional service!

Great experience with Assets America. Fast turn around. Had a lender in place in 30 minutes looking to do the deal. Totally amazing. Highly recommend them to anyone looking for financing. Ronny is fantastic. Give them a call if the deal makes sense they can get it funded. Referring all our clients.

Assets America guided us every step of the way in finding and leasing our large industrial building with attached offices. They handled all of the complex lease negotiations and contractual paperwork. Ultimately, we received exactly the space we needed along with a lower than market per square foot pricing, lease length and end of term options we requested. In addition to the real estate lease, Assets America utilized their decades-long financial expertise to negotiate fantastic rates and terms on our large and very unique multimillion dollar equipment purchase/lease. We were thankful for how promptly and consistently they kept us informed and up to date on each step of our journey. They were always available to answer each and every one of our questions. Overall, they provided my team with a fantastic and highly professional service!

Assets America was responsible for arranging financing for two of my multi million dollar commercial projects. At the time of financing, it was extremely difficult to obtain bank financing for commercial real estate. Not only was Assets America successful, they were able to obtain an interest rate lower than going rates. The company is very capable, I would recommend Assets America to any company requiring commercial financing.

Assets America was incredibly helpful and professional in assisting us in purchasing our property. It was great to have such knowledgeable and super-experienced, licensed pros in our corner, pros upon which we could fully rely. They helped and successfully guided us to beat out 9 other competing offers! They were excellent at communicating with us at all times and they were extremely responsive. Having them on our team meant that we could always receive truthful, timely and accurate answers to our questions. We would most definitely utilize their services again and again for all of our real estate needs.

Assets America is a great company to work with. No hassles. Recommend them to everyone. Professional, fast response time and definitely gets the job done.

Ronny at Assets America has been invaluable to us and definitely is tops in his field. Great experience. Would refer them to all our business associates.

We were very pleased with Assets America’s expertise and prompt response to our inquiry. They were very straight forward with us and helped a great deal. We referred them to all our business associates.

I’ve worked with this company for decades. They are reputable, knowledgeable, and ethical with proven results. I highly recommend them to anyone needing commercial financing.

Ronny was incredibly adept and responsive – top-notch professional who arranged impressive term sheets.

Assets America helped us survive a very difficult time and we most definitely give them 5 stars!

Ronny was very friendly and though we were unable to make something happen at the moment he gave me some direction to go.

My business partner and I were looking to purchase a retail shopping center in southern California.  We sought out the services of Ronny, CFO of Assets America.  Ronny found us several commercial properties which met our desired needs.  We chose the property we liked best, and Ronny went to work. He negotiated very aggressively on our behalf. We came to terms with the Seller, entered into a purchase agreement and opened escrow.  Additionally, we needed 80 percent financing on our multimillion-dollar purchase.  Assets America also handled the commercial loan for us.  They were our One-Stop-Shop. They obtained fantastic, low, fixed rate insurance money for us.  So, Assets America handled both the sale and the loan for us and successfully closed our escrow within the time frame stated in the purchase agreement.  Ronny did and performed exactly as he said he would. Ronny and his company are true professionals.  In this day and age, it’s especially rare and wonderful to work with a person who actually does what he says he will do.  We recommend them to anyone needing any type of commercial real estate transaction and we further highly recommend them for any type of commercial financing.  They were diligent and forthright on both accounts and brought our deal to a successful closing.

Questionnaire

Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg spend six figures a year maintaining their superyachts. Here's how.

  • Superyachts  are one of the most expensive assets money can buy.
  • The true cost of ownership is even more, adding up to millions a year.
  • Here's how much it costs to own a superyacht — and what that money is going toward.

Financial advisors are quick to warn prospective owners that a boat is nothing more than a hole in the water in which to throw money. When it comes to superyachts , you'd better have bags and bags of cash.

As one luxury agent told Business Insider at the Palm Beach International Boat Show: "Buying a boat, it's a huge purchase — and nobody needs a yacht."

A superyacht, generally over 30 meters long, is one of the most expensive assets money can buy, with the largest costing more than a lot of real estate or a private jet. Billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs each spent nine figures on their megayachts.

That doesn't include operating costs. Owners should expect to pay about 10% of a yacht's new-build price each year, experts told Business Insider. That's tens of millions of dollars annually for the most luxurious boats.

"It's a small-to-medium-sized business in its own right," said Jeffrey Beneville, a senior vice president at insurance company NFP, where he specializes in consulting clients about yachts.

Unlike many smaller boats, superyachts need staff, not just a captain. Some superyachts have space for dozens of crewmembers , including a chef, engineer, and masseuse for the guests onboard. Each gets an annual salary — the highest-ranking members earn six figures — and benefits. Eric Schmidt's yacht fits a crew of 28 for a ratio of about two crewmembers per guest.

Then there's fuel, dockage fees, routine maintenance, and insurance. The latter hinges on everything from the reputation of a yacht's shipyard to where an owner wants to take it (if a vessel is taking frequent trips to the South China Sea, for example, expect to pay a higher premium). If a superyacht has a support yacht — or a support superyacht, in Bezos ' case — expect to pay another 10% of that boat's price annually.

"The cost to maintain a yacht is so high that they just think that money's getting lit on fire," Matthew Fleissig, the CEO of wealth management firm Pathstone, told BI of his clients who choose to charter rather than own.

One of his firm's clients who does own has a 23-meter yacht valued at $5.2 million. The annual cost to staff, maintain, dock, and insure the boat is $346,297, according to documentation provided to BI. The lion's share is spent on marina fees ($95,970) and maintenance work ($88,408.) While not exactly a Sunfish, that boat is too small to count as a superyacht.

At 106 meters, the Amadea, owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch , definitely does. The $300 million yacht, which was seized in 2022 and is docked in San Diego, cost $922,000 a month to maintain, a court filing showed: $360,000 for crew salaries, $75,000 for fuel, $144,000 for insurance, $178,000 in dry-docking fees, and $165,000 for maintenance, waste removal, food for the crew, and miscellaneous expenses.

"And that's an inactive yacht that's in the water," NFP's Beneville said.

If it were operational and carrying guests, the costs would be about twice that, or between $20 million and $30 million a year, he added.

Of course, it makes more financial sense for the non-obsessives to charter, and many of Fleissig's clients do. And some owners choose to offer their yachts for charter — the most luxurious cost as much as $1 million a week — to offset the costs.

"If you charter the boat for 50 days a year, it's going to help a lot," Anders Kurtén, the CEO of brokerage firm Fraser Yachts, told BI.

Then again, the running costs don't matter as much at a certain point. "If you're worth $30 billion, it's nothing. And if you're worth $117 billion — and these are the guys we're talking about — they're in it as long as it's still enjoyable for them," Beneville said. "It's not a money thing."

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How much does a new build superyacht cost?

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How to Charter a Superyacht

Navigating the world of yacht charters can be tricky; our guide breaks down what you need to know.

By Kim Ayling

nero yacht aerial view

With privacy and flexibility remaining high on UHNW’s vacation checklist, chartering a superyacht is more appealing than ever. Picture, your own boat, a dedicated crew, a fully customizable route and a select group of your nearest and dearest – what could be better? However, the world of private yacht chartering can be as elusive as it is luxurious, making hiring your own boat a tricky process – especially for first-timers.

From the pros and cons of enlisting the help of a broker and choosing the perfect vessel, to understanding when to book and planning your itinerary – not to mention the all-important question of how much it costs to charter a luxury yacht – there are plenty of hurdles before you reach the water. To help you and your guests enjoy a worry-free vacation out on the ocean, we has compiled a comprehensive guide to chartering a superyacht.

[See more: How Much Does it Actually Cost to Charter a Yacht?]

What is a yacht charter?

If you’re new to the world of yacht chartering, even the language can be alienating. A yacht charter is the process of exclusively hiring a yacht for yourself and your guests.

While most charters are for leisure, be it with friends or family, some individuals and companies choose to hire a yacht for business-related reasons, with the undivided service and uncompromised privacy making boats an excellent place to hold meetings and conferences, while simultaneously impressing clients.

The length of a yacht charter depends entirely on your needs; some choose to book for a long weekend or even just a matter of hours if hosting a meeting, whereas others opt for an extended vacation and may charter a yacht for several weeks or even months. Regardless of duration or motive, privately hiring a yacht is always considered a charter.

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What is a yacht charter broker?

Using a broker to charter a yacht is at your discretion; however, if it is your first time chartering, using a broker is highly recommended – especially when hiring a larger-than-life superyacht. Yacht brokers will draw on a large network of connections and extensive industry knowledge to help find the best vessel for your unique requirements, as well as the best price.

Once you’ve had an initial consultation, a broker will typically offer a selection of yachts that suit your needs and help you make a final decision. From here, the yacht broker will handle the entire booking process, from securing the initial boat booking to planning each element of your onboard itinerary, including docking points. A reputable yacht charter broker will also be available to contact throughout the duration of your time on board, giving you and your guests complete peace of mind.

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Occasionally, first-time charters mistakenly think that booking directly will shave some digits off the total cost, but it actually falls on the yacht owner/charter company to pay the broker fees – not the charterer. In fact, you will often find that a broker will rely on their insider connections to secure the best deal for their clients.

When it comes to choosing a yacht broker you have plenty to choose from, but names like Burgess , Fraser and Northrop & Jonson dominate the superyacht realm. Some people opt for a freelance yacht charter broker, but we’d suggest only heading down this route if you have a pre-existing relationship or they come highly recommended by someone you trust. You should also ensure that any broker you work with is a member of the MYBA Worldwide Yachting Association.

[See more: Top 10 Explorer Yachts in the World]

How to choose a yacht

bold explorer yacht by silver yachts

While your yacht broker will do the hard work when it comes to choosing a yacht, calling upon their wide boat knowledge to present a selection of yachts to you, to be able to do this properly they will need a solid understanding of your preferences, requirements and budget.

The key things you should consider when chartering a superyacht are: the number of guests you want to bring on board (remember the legal limit for most yachts is 12 overnight guests, including personal staff); whether or not the yacht needs to be child-friendly, the amount of indoor/outdoor space you’d like on board; where you’d like to travel; and the onboard amenities you’d like – for example, is an indoor swimming pool a priority or does a dancefloor sound more appealing?

The type of yachting vacation you’re seeking is also important when choosing a boat. For intrepid travelers with a taste for adventure, a sturdier explorer yacht such as Silver Yachts’ Bold or Ragnar by Royal Niestern Sand would be more suitable than a classic yacht, designed for luxury and comfort.

However, if it is your first time chartering a superyacht, don’t feel concerned about going in clueless – your yacht broker will be able to guide you through every step of choosing a vessel.

[See also: The Great Edventure: The Best Educational Charter Yachts]

Bareboat vs skippered superyacht charter

When chartering a luxury yacht, you will sometimes be given the choice between a ‘bareboat’ or ‘skippered’ charter – bareboat being a crewless charter and skippered including a full complement of staff. However, you will find that when verging into superyacht territory, all charters are skippered for both your safety and comfort.

Typical crew members will include a captain, engineer, second and third officers, bosun, chef, chief stew, and one or more stewards. Your broker can help explain the roles of each, as well as support with hiring additional crew members.

For example, if you have a taste for adventure, ensure that there is a watersports instructor within the crew. Looking for a more relaxing onboard experience? Ask your broker to look into securing a masseuse for your journey.

When to book a superyacht charter

When to begin booking a yacht charter is an important question. Leading charter company Northrop & Johnson recommends reaching out to a broker no later than 10 months in advance if you want to travel during peak times (July and August in the summer season, Christmas and New Year during winter), and three to six months ahead for quieter periods. However, with popular yachts booking up as much as a year in advance, it’s advisable to reach out to a broker at least 12 months ahead of time if you have specific boat or date requirements.

When booking in advance, remember that local events will heavily impact availability. For example, if you’re planning a European tour, take note of events such as the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix when both vessels and docking spaces will be in high demand.

[See also: Burgess Yachts Reveals Marine Conservation Program]

latitude yacht for charter

How much does it cost to charter a superyacht?

It’s no secret that yacht charters are expensive, with many first-timers unprepared for the hidden costs. It’s generally accepted that the biggest price indicator of a yacht charter is boat size – so if you’re heading into superyacht territory, expect an impressive fee.

However, other factors will impact the cost of chartering a superyacht , such as crew reputation, ship design and the age of the vessel. For example, Fraser Yachts offer a week on the 298.5-ft Moonlight II which was first built in 2005 from €750,000 (approximately $815,000), but prices for the 278-ft Solandge, which was built in 2013 and refitted in 2019, begin at €1m ($1.1m) per week.

Although some charter costs are inclusive, meaning expenses such as captain and crew, fuel, food and drink are included, you’ll find that a ‘plus expenses’ charter is more common. With such charters, only the crew and ship are included in the price, an ‘Advance Provisioning Allowance’ (APA) is used to cover the necessary extras and is usually around 30% of the weekly charter fee. What the APA doesn’t cover, however, is crew gratuity which, although given at your discretion, is very much expected, with the going rate around 15-20%.

To avoid tarnishing your vacation with unexpected fees and charges, ask your broker for a full price breakdown beforehand, including any potential docking fees and additional taxes.

[See more: These are the 10 Biggest Superyachts in the World]

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COMMENTS

  1. The hidden costs of owning a superyacht

    The most significant cost is undoubtedly the crew. A superyacht owner is likely to spend around $860,850 a year on salaries for workers onboard a 150-foot yacht, according to Luxury Yacht Group ...

  2. Yachts for Sale

    For aspiring yacht owners looking for a luxury yacht for sale, we have put together a fine selection of luxury yachts and megayachts for sale from all over the world. Search BOAT International's collection of superyachts for sale and filter by type, length, asking price or age. Narrow the results by selecting specific features, or browse by ...

  3. Superyacht Cost Calculator

    Yes, our yacht operating cost calculator can output a budget suitable for this situation. Adjust the owner use to 2 (minimum value), owner slider to 0, crew slider to 10%, Administration to 10%, Fuel and Dockage to 0, Maintenance to 10% and then Capital Repairs to 0. This will remove all of the large charges associated with owner use and vessel ...

  4. The Real Costs of Owning a Superyacht [Complete Guide]

    A good guide for salary costs is published by Dockwalk magazine every year based on an extensive survey of the crew and placement agents. Using their most recent article as a guide, a crew of eight full-time crew on a 150-foot yacht will cost over $650,000 per year in salary alone. Get a complete crew cost breakdown.

  5. How Much Does a Superyacht Cost?

    According to Triton Charters, a good rough estimate for a small, custom-built superyacht is $1 million for every 3.3 feet in length. That means a custom 100-footer might cost $30 million. The formula is less likely to work for a larger superyacht, however, such as a 330-footer that could easily have a price tag of $275 million.

  6. Luxury Yachts For Sale

    World's largest portal for luxury yachts for sale and yachts for charter. Browse yachts and superyachts for sale with an extensive list of yacht brokers, v…

  7. How Much Does A Superyacht Really Cost?

    The reports finds that on average, a 100-meter superyacht with a top speed of 25 knots and 50 crew members should cost around $275 million. Considering the 30 largest superyachts are all longer ...

  8. Selection of Yachts For Sale

    Industry Leaders. Fraser is undisputedly the world leader in superyacht sales over 30m, we have consistently sold more superyachts than any other brokerage for over six years. Our brokers visit hundreds of yachts and shipyards every year, making sure that they have the latest news at their fingertips, and our advanced database allows us to ...

  9. How Much Does a Yacht Cost: A Comprehensive Breakdown for Buyers

    Yacht insurance is a significant cost that should be factored into your decision to buy a yacht. The cost of insurance can vary based on the size, type, and value of the yacht. For example, a 180-foot superyacht may have insurance costs upwards of $240,000 per year. Obtaining quotes from various providers is essential.

  10. The Real Cost of Owning a Yacht

    Mooring is going to cost you plenty. Fortunately, it's a fixed cost from year to year, and that makes it easy to plan for. Decide where you'd like to be based, get a quote, and do the math. But don't forget to include off-season hauling and storage costs, if you live in an area where boats come out of the water during the winter months.

  11. How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Yacht?

    Sailboats Over 40': $193,000. Sailing Catamarans - All Sizes: $361,000. Power Catamarans - All Sizes: $304,247. Downeast Yachts - Over 35': $532,240. Sport Fishing Yachts - Over 40' and in Southeast: $815,500. With so many factors to determine how much it costs to buy a yacht and maintain it, it is in the best interest of boat buyers of this ...

  12. Can I Afford a Super Yacht?

    So in theory, a $10 million yacht would set you back $2 million a year in operational costs. Fuel (lots of it), vessel insurance, dockage fees, maintenance and repairs, and crew salaries are ...

  13. How Much Does a Yacht Cost?

    New yachts over 100-feet long have an average price of a yacht equal to $1 million per 3.3 feet in length. In other words, a 100-foot yacht will, on average, cost more than $30 million. Older yachts below 85 feet are less expensive. For example, an 84-foot yacht originally built in 2002 and renovated in 2015 sold for $1.45 million.

  14. How Much It Costs to Own a Superyacht

    The $300 million yacht, which was seized in 2022 and is docked in San Diego, cost $922,000 a month to maintain, a court filing showed: $360,000 for crew salaries, $75,000 for fuel, $144,000 for ...

  15. How much does a superyacht cost

    How much does a new build superyacht cost? 26 August 2021 • by Nic Robinson. The average cost of a superyacht has shifted little in 10 years. And as Nic Robinson finds out, some size categories show more consistency than others.

  16. Mega Yacht for sale

    Mega Yacht listed for sale on YachtWorld offers a diverse price range, from $84,665 on the relatively moderate end to a stunning $101,980,270 for the most advanced boats available. It is advisable to bear in mind the expenditure involved in ownership while contemplating your budget and the listed price of a yacht being offered for sale.

  17. Superyachts.com

    The definitive luxury yachting portal. Yachts for sale & charter, superyacht directories, fleet, marinas, destinations, news and documentaries.

  18. Yacht Charter Costs Explained

    Yacht Charter Costs Explained A comprehensive breakdown of your charter costs and fees. When you begin planning a luxury yacht charter it is important to be aware of what is included in the cost of booking your dream charter yacht. Although a yacht will have a base charter fee, this may or may not include additional expenses such as food and ...

  19. A Comprehensive Guide To Luxury Superyacht Charter

    However, other factors will impact the cost of chartering a superyacht, such as crew reputation, ship design and the age of the vessel. For example, Fraser Yachts offer a week on the 298.5-ft Moonlight II which was first built in 2005 from €750,000 (approximately $815,000), ...

  20. Yachts & Superyachts

    The longest yacht in the world is Azzam, measuring 180.61m (592'7'). She was built in 2013 by Lürssen. The largest yacht in the world is Fulk Al Salamah, built by Mariotti in 2016, with a volume of 20,361 GT. On average, yachts are 36m long with a volume of 341 GT. A total of 275 yachts were built last year. SuperYacht Times is the authority ...

  21. YACHT CHARTER

    La Datcha 77m Damen Yachting from $740,000 p/week ♦︎. Andrea 74m CRN from $988,000 p/week ♦︎. Titania 73m Lurssen from $615,000 p/week ♦︎. Search the entire global luxury Yacht Charter Fleet (3,000+ yachts) find the best crewed superyachts & megayachts to rent for your dream private yacht vacation.

  22. KISMET Yacht • Shahid Khan $360M Superyacht

    The Cost and Value of the Kismet Yacht. Estimated at an astounding $360 million value, the Kismet yacht represents an epitome of luxury, with its annual running costs circling around $30 million. Ownership and Awards of the Kismet Yacht. US billionaire Shahid Khan, the yacht's owner, is known for his collection of luxurious yachts. His 122 ...

  23. KAOS Yacht • Nancy Walton Laurie $300M Superyacht

    Her annual running costs are around $30 million. The price of a yacht can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the size, age, and level of luxury of the yacht, as well as the materials and technology used in its construction. Oceanco Yachts. Oceanco is a luxury yacht builder based in Alblasserdam, Netherlands. The company ...