What is the Real Cost of Running a Motor Yacht?
If the first question on someone’s mind as they consider purchasing a motor yacht is ‘how much does it cost?’ The second question is ‘how much will it cost to maintain it?’ Yacht ownership is a big investment, that’s no secret, but it’s also a long-term commitment.
The short answer to this common question isn’t a fixed figure. Because there are so many variables affecting the cost of running a yacht, it’s not possible to give you an exact number. We can say that you should plan to spend about 10% of the boat’s initial price or 20% of its current value to maintain it. This ballpark figure would cover insurance, repairs, and upkeep, fuel, crew, docking, and storage.
In particular, the cost of owning a vessel in the state of Florida varies greatly if you’re an owner-operator or have a docking site at your house because those are the main expenses. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.
There are a lot of options these days for motorboat insurance. Shop around for the best coverage and ask your yacht dealer or broker for recommendations. An experienced broker should look over the insurance policy that you’re considering as well because there is a lot of fine print involved.
There is some good news here. You can secure lower insurance rates for having more experience and for a safe navigating record. Plus, there may be discounts available for completing boater safety, piloting, navigating and Power Squadron courses.
One of the biggest – and most variable - costs of motor yacht ownership is fuel. It can be hard to predict what you may spend in any given period of time. You can optimize fuel consumption by cruising at the most efficient speed.
But let’s not worry about fuel! Every gallon used signifies more time spent enjoying your investment and making happy memories with your family and friends.
Repairs & Upkeep
There are a number of factors that impact maintenance expenses. These include the type of yacht and how much you use it. You can help reduce maintenance and repair costs with DIY projects. Yet a crew or service provider can help you keep up with maintenance work and, potentially, save you money in the long run. Be sure to consider regular haul-out services, paint, fuel additives, and oil changes.
Owners of motor yachts extending past 70’ in length often choose to hire crew members to help keep up with the work onboard. Depending on the number of crew hired, their level of experience and contractual agreements, this convenience can get expensive. Experts say to plan for a cost that is roughly 20 to 25% of the boat’s value.
It’s also true that many Florida owners prefer to operate their boats on their own. This adds up to substantial savings over the years.
Mooring & Storage
As a motor yacht owner, you will need to calculate the cost of docking the boat when you’re not cruising. Many Florida boat owners have a private dock at their residence, which greatly reduces their yearly expenses.
If you need to lease a docking space at a marina, ask around and get estimates before signing any contracts. You should specifically ask about the services and amenities that are included in the lease agreement. For reference, in Florida, docking charges typically range from $25 to $35 per foot.
If you live in an area with cold winters, your tally will need to include seasonal storage fees. You will also need to consider mooring costs while cruising, which will vary depending on the length of your yacht.
Are You Ready to Become a Motor Yacht Owner?
GM Yacht Sales can guide you through every step of the process – from picking the right new or pre-owned model for your needs to technical support after sales. Contact our brokerage staff to start the process today.