Updated: Mar 10
Many iconic people experience lavish cruising on crystal-like water, in their expensive yachts, sipping cocktails while viewing distant and oceanic islands at their comfort and partying with friends while experiencing the coziness and the luxury of this elite craft. Over the past decade, these behemoths of the sea become images of wealth and success.
The real question is... How much do these people pay to own these yachts? Today I will show you the REAL cost of owning a yacht.
Luxury superyachts are among the most expensive assets one can purchase. It is said to be the favorite toy of wealthy people. World’s champion golfer, Tiger Woods, celebrity actor Johnny Deep and tech-wizard Oracle CEO Larry Ellison own at least one.
It is a mere fact that this luxurious vessel is worth a million and is an epitome of lavishness. There are yachts, and there are also superyachts. Super yachting is an expensive and extravagant hobby because it cost an Everest amount of money. This large and gigantic vessel is not a simple yacht but uniquely made more exclusive because its owners are ultra-high net worth individuals.
Cost of the Yacht
The price of a superyacht depends widely on its size and technology used, age, and other factors such as who is the designer and builder, guest capacity, and speed range. Super yacht Azzam, owned by the president of the United Arab Emirates Khalif bin Zayed Al Nah is 180m in size and its cost worth $600 million. Indeed, this gigantic floating vessel is truly the queen of the sea.
A superyacht is usually 100-meter or more in length. Can accommodate and keep full-time crew. Crafted with a unique design according to its owner’s luxury taste and aspiration. No two superyachts are the same. Designs carefully accustom according to their owners' tastes and expectations.
An average 100-meter superyacht having a speed of 25 knots and can have 50 crew members can cost around $275 million. But if you wanted to own one, this is not only your final bill. Super yacht's owner expected to prepare an additional 10% of the initial purchase price. Therefore, if you buy a new $275 million-dollar superyacht, you will be paying an extra $27,500,000 to keep it running.
Unless you choose to stay on waters and spend the year on the anchor, a superyacht owner needs to find a good Marina to dock her huge toy. And the dockage fee incurs a significant amount of money. It depends on: the place you want to anchor, the type of vessel you have, and the amount of time you want to dock.
Securing an allotted place to dock your superyacht is an essential thing to consider. In the United States, it is called slip. You can find slips in different kinds of piers, whether it's central piers, finger piers, or floating piers. A good slip allows you to embark and disembark smoothly.
Similarly, the pier’s slip charges the owner per foot of the yacht's full length and charges per night. But contract rates for some time can be available. Therefore, the bigger the size of your super yacht, and the longer you stay in their vicinity, the higher you need to pay. The dockage fee in every Marina depends on its season. During peak season, the dockage fee can cost $6-8 per foot per night. This rate encapsulates the cost of electricity, freshwater, and waste removal services.
Mooring fees depend on the location you desire and the time of the year you travel. It is during the peak season where mooring fees are so expensive. Peak season usually starts from July to the beginning of September.
Aside from the season, the size of your superyacht is an aspect that will always affect docking fees. Renting a docking place for the entire year, for the whole season, will give you discounts. The busiest period in the Marina is between June and the end of September during the summer season.
Prices may vary from pier to pier, but the exclusivity of the Marina in high season can set you around $4,000 per night. Mooring spots during peak time can cost $85,000 or more for a five-day stay.
But if you want to reduce your docking costs and still enjoy a captivating experience in the Marina, you can spend more time at sea during the offseason. In this period, mooring fees lowered up to 70%. You must consider docking and mooring fees before you buy a superyacht because buying ones come together with more responsibility.
Every superyacht that operates has people, who do the services and labor, and they are the backbone of the vessel's operation – the crew. Bearing in mind the salary of the different role of people who works is a major consideration. You have to pay their salary, payroll taxes, recruitment fees, and repatriation.
Crew salary depends on their experiences and specific responsibilities. An average salary of a superyacht Captain starts from $7,000 to $18,000. A Chief Engineer starts from $4,500 to $12,000. A Head Chief starts from $5,000 to $8000. Chief Officer salary starts from $4,000 to $8,000. Chief Stewardess has an average salary of $3,500 to $7,700. Second Stewardess rate falls from $2,500 to $4,500. A Junior Stewardess is from $2,000 to 3,000. A Deckhand starts from $2,800 to $4,000.
All these are monthly basis rates. Approximately, an 8 full-time crew on a 150 yacht will cost the owner to pay an estimate of $650,000 per year in salary alone. Remember, your super toy will not operate without this bunch of individuals. So, contemplate this matter carefully.
Fueling a superyacht is expensive because the kind of power it needed is not cheap. The engine is always thirsty. Approximately, diesel fuels sell $3.00 - $5.00 per gallon at most US Marinas. Some of these giant yachts hold up to over 10,000 gallons.
Fuel consumption also depends on cruise speed. Here, the fuel consumption measured in gallons per mile, not miles per gallon. Therefore, a superyacht owner must know how much he wants the boat to travel and make an estimation of the total fuel consumption, and budget the fuel cost.
Don't also forget the fuel cost for generators, mostly at anchor. Fuel cost depends on fuel prices; therefore, fuel prices may vary. A typical 150 motor yacht cruising at 12 knots will consume 150 U.S gallons per hour.
Based on the present fuel price, a 150-motor yacht cruising 12 knots will be going to cost the owner around $500 per hour. $500 per year will give the owner the central engine fuel budget of around $250,000. Hence, also don’t forget to add the fuel consumption of generators at anchor, plus any additional for other miscellaneous.
Having an adequately engineered vessel is not only enough. Designing its comfortable and cozy ambiance is necessary. No floating playground is complete without state-of-the-art amenities like infinity swimming pools, floating beach clubs, a bubbling water jet spa, sauna, massage parlor, and salon services.
Then, there are also some others high-end toys like jet skis, submarines, canoes, and helicopter pads, that adds the luxury impact of a superyacht and other amenities like life jackets, signal kit and the like.
Life jackets can cost about $70 each. A package with a safety gear bag, a Freon horn, a fire extinguisher, a visual distress signal kit as well as dock lines costs $170. Electronics kind equipment such as a GPS chart plotter and a radio system items quickly tack on an extra $20,000.
Winter storage includes hauling boats, dry docking it, shrink-wrapping, and blocking it, so it does cost about $1,500 to $3,000. A trawler, a 20-something-foot tug boat that comes with a cabin, air conditioning, and heating, can cost about $160,000. They are very fuel-efficient, using only about 50 to 100 gallons of fuel a year. These are only a few amenities that superyacht owners must take note of.
You can bring along plenty of extra equipment with you. You can build your lapstrake canoe that is light enough to put on your shoulder or strap to your boat. A 13 ft canoe costs $649. And If you have kids, a 3 person jet boat will bring hours of fun attached to the back of your boat.
Everyone on board wants to be connected online. So, set allocations for communication expenses. Typically, guests and crews want to browse on their social media accounts, emails, and streaming services.
In this area, the technology available moves fast and only works with 5G unless you are near offshore. But broadband speed while offshore usually is high and depends on the upload and download speed required.
There is an estimated spending amount of $4,000 to $5,000 in communication expenses per month. Additional communication costs also include satellite TV subscriptions, cellphone costs, freight, and the like.
As one of the most classy and expensive vessels in the world, superyachts require some of the most expensive insurance policies on the market. From guest and crew welfare to cover for tenders and amenities. Superyacht insurance needs to protect from a wide range of unlucky potential possibilities as the maritime environment is uncertain and is undoubtedly risky and hazardous.
There is no one-size-fits-all policy when it comes to superyacht insurance. It is on a case-to-case basis. A superyacht owner will have to ensure that they are protecting, and are protected from claims and on behalf of the guest, crew and other third parties involve.
There is an approximate 1.5% average insurance value of a single vessel, and this only covers the superyacht itself. Tower-gate estimates average superyacht insurance is $240,000.
Maintenance costs depend on the state of the superyacht when you start, the country to which you'd like to have it finished, and how much wear and tear you get from use, age-life issues, and the environment.
More frequently superyachts undergoe a condition inspection, like washing and cleaning it with fresh water after using or repainting the bottom of the boat every year, which will cost an average of $30 per foot.
Checking engines are necessary to be done very frequently because periodic refits as engines wear out. Superyacht owners may add a little extra from $300 per year for cleaners and soaps to several dollars on waxing the hull and treating fabric.
One must take all other costs into consideration such as maintenance and consumables, warehousing, safety and survey expenses, upkeep of the navigation outfit, computing support, car rental, and more.
To sum it up, aside from the initial capital cost of the vessel, if you want to own this gigantic luxurious vessel, prepare an extra amount of money for an operational expense. An average of $400,000 for fuel usage, $350,000 dockage charge, $240,000 vessel insurance, $1 million maintenance and repair, $1.4 million for crew salaries.
Don't forget its 12% to 15 % of Value Added Tax for vessel value. Overall, if you want to own a 100-meter-long, 25 knots top speed with 50 crew superyachts, you need to have more than $275 million on average.
This behemoth floating vessel truly gives you the luxury, security, entertainment, and comfort as you sail on the crystal-like water on the Mediterranean. However, owning one brings you great responsibility and requires you to invest an enormous amount of money.
After knowing all the costs, are you planning to own one? Let us know in the comments below.
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