There is no status symbol like a shiny yacht that is fitted with all the modern creature comforts. From cruising the Mediterranean sea to hosting private parties to just a quick getaway you can do it all with the utmost comfort. But ever wondered how much these floating mansions cost to run, to park and more so to repair? Liam Crowleigh answers this intriguing question.
What’s your definition of ‘a superyacht’?
I remember the first boat show I went to there was a really nice sailboat there for $5 million. IIRC it was around 70 – 80 feet long. It had a Jacuzzi on deck in front of the mast, a double-curved stairway to the main salon, a crystal chandelier, and all sorts of other niceties.
To me that seemed like a superyacht.
A few years later I went to a boat show where there was a big powerboat. It had twin diesels and a separate cabin for the captain. Oh yeah, it also had a dance floor, a bar, perhaps 6 or 8 staterooms, a helipad, davits for a 30-foot motor launch, and quarters for the 10 crew and other officers. The twin diesels were each 12 cylinders (or maybe 16?) and were each almost 10 feet high. The ‘yacht’ was over 200 feet long and had 3 covered decks, not including the open decks on top.
So which was the superyacht? The $5 million sailboats or the unknown-priced powerboat?
Without a definition of ‘superyacht’, there are so many variables that it’s really impossible to answer.
Powerboats (big or small) use a lot more fuel than sailboats which by definition don’t use much fuel because they’re sailing. I haven’t spent more than about $10 in fuel in a year for my sailboat while I know people with powerboats 2/3 the size who burn over $200 of fuel per weekend. Of course, my boat engine is diesel which is a lot more efficient than a gas engine but as a sailboat, I only use the engine coming in and out of the dock on almost every trip.
So is your superyacht a powerboat or a sailboat? And is it gas (petrol) or diesel? It makes a huge difference.
Do you need a crew or can you handle the boat yourself? Obviously, if you need a paid crew you have to add a reasonable salary per person. Are they live-aboard or is it just a day job?
Is your superyacht 70 feet long or 210 feet long? Most marinas and yacht clubs charge by the foot so the 210-foot longboat will nominally cost 3 times as much to dock as a 70-foot boat – except that not every harbor can handle 210-foot boats so there might be a premium for docking spaces that long. What that means is that instead of paying to say $2 per foot per night for a 70-foot boat you might pay perhaps $5 per foot per night for a 210-foot boat – much more than 3 times.
But where is that dock? Costs for a luxury location like perhaps Marseilles, France will likely cost more per foot than a not-so-luxurious spot like perhaps Anchorage, Alaska.
Is the boat in saltwater or in freshwater? Saltwater corrodes the metal parts on a boat a lot faster than fresh water, the topsides as well as underwater.
Are you in tropical waters with intense sunlight beating down on the woodwork or a temperate climate where it’s not nearly as harsh? But then in tropical areas, the boat can stay in the water all year round whereas in northern climates the boat may have to be hauled for the winter.
There are lots of other variables as well. Is the boat fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum, Ferro-cement? How much woodwork is there? I could keep naming them off but the main point is that the question is too vague to answer.
For more responses head to Quora.
Quora answers is our weekly feature in which we pick first-hand experiences and interesting opinions from the Q&A site.