- Some superyacht owners consider their yacht their fifth or sixth vacation home, Heesen Yachts’ CEO told The New York Times.
- Heesen’s yachts sell anywhere from $39 million to over $112 million.
- But the purchase price is just the first cost of superyacht ownership — owners also pay millions for maintenance, fuel, dockage, and yacht crew.
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At least, it may be for billionaires who already own other vacation homes on land. Arthur Brouwer, CEO of superyacht builder Heesen Yachts, recently told Shivani Vora of The New York Times that most of Heesen’s clients consider their superyachts their fifth or sixth vacation home.
These clients are typically from the US, Europe, or the Middle East, he said. They either buy custom-built superyachts or pre-build yachts — yachts built "on spec," Brouwer added. And while some live on their yacht for 30 weeks out of the year, others use their yacht only a few weeks out of the year.
Generally, yachts over 100 feet cost $1 million per 3.3 feet, according to Forbes. Heesen’s yachts sell for anywhere from $39 million to over $112 million, reported Vora, but superyachts can easily exceed $1 billion.
But that’s just the beginning of the costs involved in owning a superyacht — owners can expect to spend about 10% of the purchase price annually on operating and maintaining a yacht. That’s $1 million a year for a $10 million superyacht, although the exact maintenance costs vary.
Maintenance is just one of the big four costs involved in owning a superyacht, along with fuel, dockage, and yacht crew to run the yacht.
The bigger the boat, the more crew — and salaries — you need. A 130-foot boat with five crew members can cost $32,500 a month. Deckhands, at the bottom of the totem pole, earn an average of $3,083 to $3,574 a month, depending on the boat size. Captains get paid more, earning an average of $7,750 to $19,961 a month.
Dockage can cost as much as $350,000 annually, and fuel as much as $400,000 annually, including fuel for toys like Jet Skis.
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