Looking to buy a yacht? Before you take the plunge, it is important to consider all the real costs associated with full ownership that you may not be aware of. It is essential that you factor in what the yearly running cost and maintenance costs will be - this is as important as the initial purchase price. This is why shared ownership is often something to consider. 

When you own a yacht 100%, consider that a substantial percentage of your investment will be for time that you are not using the yacht at all. The real cost of owning a yacht includes taxes, insurance, mooring fees, crew, dockage fees, maintenance, capital improvement projects, outfitting costs, and more. Your yacht incurs expenses year-round, while you may only be enjoying it a few months or even weeks, out of the year. What if, instead, you could own a 50% share of the same yacht (or better yet, an even bigger yacht with more amenities)? With shared ownership, you can do just that - your investment will be used for your own enjoyment and, at a lower price, you can even benefit by upgrading your yacht experience. 

Let’s walk through a sample yacht and the yearly running costs with full transparency of a 10-million-dollar yacht. Your major costs will be yacht crew, dockage, fuel, and maintenance. Please understand everything is variable based on those decisions plus the age of your yacht.

Owners can expect to spend about 10-15% of the purchase price annually on operating and maintaining a yacht. That's $1-1.5 million a year for a $10 million yacht. The bigger the boat, the more crew and salaries you need. There are also other crew costs, like medical and liability insurance, training, and uniforms.

When you are not exploring the world or sunning on the deck in St. Barts, the yacht needs a place to dock. Dockage costs vary depending on how big the boat is and how desirable the marina is. You can lease a dock monthly or purchase a dock. 

Like most things, yachts get wear and tear — they require regular maintenance and repairs. Routine maintenance can cost roughly 2% of the boat value after the yacht's first year, and around 7.5% of the boat's value when the yacht is 10 years old. That is not including surveys and refits.  

There's also insurance, which is important for not just the yacht but also the tender. Also, don't forget miscellaneous expenses, such as communications, (phone, internet, navigation and Satellite TV) and administration.

Sample 10 million Dollar yacht running costs:

Annual Operating Expenses $1,250,000

Capital Repairs & Reserves  $150,000

Total Expenses $1,400,000

Share it, charter it, or both.   

An alternative option would be splitting the cost of this hypothetical yacht in half to pay $5 million for your yacht initially, and pay $750,000 a year in running costs. It is recommended to use the yacht up to 14 weeks a year per owner for a total of 28 weeks. Or opt to charter out the weeks you do not use it to defray the running cost. AvYachts can help you design the program and will implement it for you – you simply show up as the guest. Whether you prefer to incur all the real costs of ownership of your own yacht, or opt for shared ownership, we can create a custom program. 

Connect with our Luxury Yacht Advisor to learn more. 

AvYachts is the expert in yacht share brokerage. Whether you’re looking to sell a share of your yacht to a like-minded partner, or you want to buy a share of a yacht, our dedicated team of yacht brokers and veteran matchmakers is here to guide you every step of the way.  Let us match you with just the right yacht, just the right partners and just the right ownership structure for you. Yacht to the fullest without the full costs of ownership.