Yachts are luxurious ways to travel in style and relax while doing it. However, they’re also a significant expense. Beyond the purchase price for your yacht, you’re going to have to consider a number of other factors before you decide that this is the right decision for you. The annual costs to keep and operate a yacht can be considerable, and will definitely make a huge difference.
One of the first things you’ll need to consider in your cost breakdown is how much you’ll have to pay for dockage. You won’t be able to spend the entire year out on the water, and when your yacht isn’t in use, it will have to be docked. In addition, you will need to consider things like dry dockage, which will be necessary for extended periods of disuse in order to protect your yacht. The larger your yacht, the more dockage will cost you per year (yes, you’ll have to pay per year, even if you spend half of it on the water).
You will need to consider the cost of hiring and maintaining an experienced crew as well. You can save money by hiring crewmembers with less experience, but that comes with its own drawbacks and pitfalls. After all, you’ll be putting your safety and that of your family in the hands of your crew. Do you really want to risk that by hiring less than the best? Will you be a part of a yacht club? If so, you can save money on a few things (moorings and marinas are sometimes discounted for members), but you will make up that cost in club dues.
Fuel costs will be yet another concern. If you buy a luxury good like a motor yacht (the most common purchase for non-sailors), you’ll have to make sure you have plenty of fuel aboard to go the distance and then some. Yachts aren’t necessarily known for their fuel economy, either. The greater the distance you travel, the higher your fuel costs will be. In addition, the cost of your fuel will vary by geographic location and fuel type as well.
You might think that you can make up the difference in fuel costs by buying a sailing yacht. However, you’ll need to pay for more crew here (with specific sailing experience), and specialty items like sailing yachts do require more maintenance (sails, lines, pins and other items exposed to the elements and prone to wear).