- Owning a yacht certainly sounds like a dream come true. And if you have a nice chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to make that dream a reality.
- But you should know first that there are several hidden expenses, headaches, and disappointments that come with yacht ownership.
- As Business Insider’s Hillary Hoffower writes, “really, yachts are just floating money.” Here’s what you’re really in store for if you buy one.
Picture it: It’s a beautiful summer day and you’re laying out in the sun, a cold drink by your side, your favourite music playing softly in the background, and you’re slightly rocking to the motion of the waves.
Someone comes to refill your ice bucket and tells you lunch is almost ready.
That’s the dream, isn’t it? Spending the weekend on a yacht of your very own. Cruising around the Mediterranean just because you can.
But hold on a minute.
Before you get there – you know, to all the relaxation – there’s a lot that needs to happen first, like actually buying the yacht, hiring the staff, making sure everything is being cleaned and fixed when necessary, and being prepared for a lot less isolation than you’ve been imagining.
So as you contemplate buying yourself a yacht, keep in mind that it’s not always the dream it’s cracked up to be.
Owning a yacht and living the yachting lifestyle may be a dream of yours.
Whether you want to cruise around the Mediterranean or sail up and down the east coast of the US, you might think the best way to spend any time off would be on your own boat.
If you’re not up for creating your own custom yacht, you can go to a boat show and tour a bunch until you find the perfect one.
If you go the shopping route, there’s a ton of work to be done before you set sail.
You’ll likely have to gut the ship if you’re getting an older model.
And you’ll certainly need to give it a fresh paint job.
Hiring crew members is a must, and experts recommend one per passenger. Captains cost roughly $US1,000 per year per foot of boat, which adds up to $US110,000 for a 100-foot yacht.
Especially if you don’t want to learn to care for the boat yourself.
If the crew is on-hand just on days when you’re out on the water, you’ll have to spend some time cleaning the deck yourself.
If you want to walk around barefoot all the time, you have to keep those floorboards clean.
Since the great outdoors is ever unpredictable, you should always be prepared for a hurricane or any type of extreme weather.
If you’re not, and the boat needs to go in for repairs, it will likely end up sitting in line for a while waiting to be fixed.
If you’re investing in a sleeper, you may be envisioning a glorious master bedroom.
But you might have small, dark sleeping quarters.
Dreaming of a sun-soaked, sparkling kitchen with an ocean view?
Sorry. Chances are it will lack natural light and tons of counter space.
And the whole area will have more of an open floor plan design.
Hopefully you’ll be laying on a chaise with a drink in your hand getting that perfect vacation glow.
But if you’re not so lucky with the weather, you’ll be spending most of your time indoors.
Ideally, your indoor space will look something like this.
Or even this.
And you’re probably picturing an indoor happy hour as nothing short of fluffy white couches and Champagne on ice.
Realistically your interior will probably look more like this.
You’ll also want to redo the interior every few years to stay aesthetically relevant, of course.
Because even if you don’t mind an outdated style, you’ll want it to appeal to visitors and people who want to charter your boat for the weekend.
And all the business associates you bring aboard the SS Whateveryoucallit for meetings.
We can’t stress it enough, the upkeep is a beast unto itself.
Exteriors get rusty and corroded …
… and don’t forget about all of the appliances and motors in the interior.
You probably have visions of peacefully enjoying one of the most beautiful sights on your private European cruise.
Chances are, you won’t be out there alone.
Thinking of enjoying a quiet night docked in the marina?
Think again! You probably won’t be the only ones at the dock, and you’ll definitely be able to hear the parties going on three, four, or five yachts down.
Throwing a yacht party of your own could be fun, though.
Except you may be competing with the boat next door.
Oh, and good luck getting your nighttime guests to go barefoot.
Throwing your anchor down and going for a swim is a huge part of why people want to be on the water.
But what happens when you’re sailing on a colder — or dirtier — body of water?
Well, that’s what the on-board pool is for.
But if you’ve ever had to take care of an at-home pool, you know it can quickly turn into both a time and a money suck.
You’ll want to stock some water toys on board for the days when it’s actually nice enough to jump ship.
You can entertain guests with jet skis …
… kayaks …
… bodyboards …
… stand-up paddleboards …
… and floats for just hanging out in the water.
But, naturally, that means you’ll need somewhere to store it all. Good luck finding the space.
Unfortunately you won’t always be able to walk onto — or off of — your yacht from the dock.
So you’ll need to make sure you have a ship’s tender when it’s time to head back toward dry land.
If you’re someone who wants to spend time on a yacht, but you don’t want the hassle, you might want to consider chartering a boat on the weekends.
You could have your friends or extended family pitch in and spend some quality time together on the water.
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