Superyachts range in size, starting from 24m and the largest in the world, reaching nearly 200m; they are the definition of opulence and luxury.
Many people have the perception that the world of Superyachts is reserved for the rich and famous, and when it comes to owning a yacht and fitting the bill for the annual running costs, they just might be right.
There are many variables to consider when looking into the running costs of a Superyacht, and each yacht will vary due to factors such as engine size, maximum speed, size of the crew and size of the yacht.
The average amount of running a Superyacht annually is 10% of the yacht’s value. In a 2015 report by Towergate Insurance, on average, a 100-meter Superyacht with a top speed of 25 knots and 50 crew members should cost around $274 million per annum.
Let’s start with the crew… The crew live on board, some during the busy summer months or some year-round depending on the itinerary and requirements of the yacht. Crew costs include salaries, training, living expenses whilst crew are on board, travel expenses and insurance.
A more experienced crew will require higher salaries, and the bigger the yacht, the more crew it will require. Some of the larger superyachts have multiple chefs, a whole team of interior staff managing service housekeeping and laundry, an engineering team keeping the yacht running and a deck team to ensure the yacht’s exterior is always in pristine condition as well as driving the tenders and being navigational experts.
It is not unusual for crew salaries on larger yachts to reach €100,000 per month, whereas a smaller yacht with three crew would be closer to €16,000.
The crew will also need uniforms, which are supplied by yachting uniform companies and are embroidered with the yacht’s name and logo. The crew often have various outfits for day and night, water sports, casual and formal and a number of accessories to match.
Superyacht owners love to have the latest and greatest water sports toys and equipment on board, which all cost a pretty penny. Most yachts will be equipped with paddle boards, snorkelling equipment, kayaks, jet skis, sea bobs, a tender and a variety of inflatables. As an example, one jet ski can range between $5,000 – $20,000 depending on the make, model and spec, while the cost for a luxury tender can be in the millions.
Where you plan to keep the yacht is another major factor to consider when looking at the running costs of a Superyacht. The fees charged for a berth in a marina are based on the size of the yacht, the demand for the marina as well as the amenities available for your yacht. For example, a berth in St Tropez in the summer months will cost a lot more than a winter berth due to the high demand in the summer. Ports can charge between €2,000 and €3,000 per night, and VAT, the use of electricity, water and garbage disposal will be chargeable on top of that.
Keeping the yacht stocked with spare parts, filters, pumps, cleaning supplies, and equipment needs to be factored into the running costs of the yacht. These costs vary depending on the equipment on board as well as the itinerary of the yacht, as onboard stores will need to be well-stocked if the yacht is cruising in remote areas where supplies are not readily available.
The 2015 Towergate Insurance report averages insurance costs at +- $240,000 per annum, which would include hull insurance, crew medical insurance and PNI.
The report also states that repairs and maintenance, depending on the age and usage of the yacht, can cost millions per annum. Maintenance includes regular servicing of the generators and engines; this is normally done once they reach a certain number of running hours. Maintenance on all interior and exterior finishings, paintwork, woodwork and equipment needs to be carried out regularly in order to keep the Superyacht at a high standard.
Depending on the material from which the hull is made, yachts need to be lifted out of the water every year, two years or five years for a hull inspection and survey. This will need to be done in a shipyard with the facilities to lift the yacht out of the water. These are called periodic surveys. Each yacht will need to comply with the regulations specific to that yacht, depending on its gross tonnage and hull material. The costs will be based on the yacht’s size.
Fuel is a huge expense for a yacht as not only does the yacht need fuel for cruising, the generators require fuel to keep the vessel running while at anchor and underway, as well as many of the water sports toys requiring fuel. As an estimation, a 70-meter yacht will consume 500 litres of fuel per hour when the engines are running, but the yacht is not moving, so this would be an example of when the yacht is at anchor.
The fuel consumption would be significantly higher when the yacht is cruising and could cost up to €24,000 for an overnight cruise of 12 hours at 18 knots.
Yachts, by law, need to comply with certain safety and security regulations, and this requires specific equipment to be on board. Each yacht, depending on size, design and maximum number of crew and guests on board, will have unique requirements. This equipment will include firefighting equipment, life jackets, immersion suits, life rafts and medical supplies. This equipment needs to be regularly updated and serviced as requirements and maritime regulations change.
The last expense is on-shore personnel, which includes the services of a management company or charter brokerage if the yacht is commercially registered. The management company will manage items such as expenses, crew payroll, crew holidays and any booking of refits or maintenance works. A charter management company will market the yacht in order to reserve charters for the yacht in the months it is available.
Management fees will depend on each company as well as the services you procure.
West Nautical sell, charter and manage superyachts from its head office in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Since its inception over 25 years ago, West Nautical has become recognised as one of the most respected, trusted, knowledgeable and accountable professional services firms in yachting – largely due to their relentless determination to act in our client’s best interests.
Their approach and attitude are transparent, refreshing and focused on providing value-added services delivered simply, elegantly and affordably.