cost of ocean going yacht

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Expedition Yachts for Sale

expedition yachts for sale

For anyone looking for expedition yachts for sale, these are a quickly-growing market in the yachting world, as increasing numbers of yacht owners choose to get off the beaten track and indulge in some remote cruising! Here is the full current selection of all expedition yachts for sale worldwide with photos and full specifications for each.

Expedition yachts, often called explorer yachts, are extremely versatile. As much at home in the wilds of Alaska as sitting pretty in the glamorous port of Monaco, expedition yachts are built to cross the world’s oceans while offering the extraordinary comfort of a luxury yacht.

The explorer vessel featured above, LEGEND Expedition Yacht For Sale, is a 254-foot or 77m Icon Expedition yacht available for sale. She is the only ice breaking mega yacht in the world. The proven world cruiser features a panorama Jacuzzi on the main deck, large sales throughout, welcoming cocktail bars, Movie theaters, Exclusive Balinese Spa (pictured below) and a gym.

cost of ocean going yacht

AKULA Expedition Yacht For Sale – for full specifications and photos, click on the link.

Expedition yachts for sale are also becoming increasingly common options for new-build construction projects, but there are also many existing expedition yachts that have been converted from commercial vessels. As such, often expedition yachts for sale have wonderful histories as research ships, hospital ships, ice-breakers, trawlers and military vessels, and are now enjoying their latest incarnation as impressive luxury yachts.

Often sporting a more functional exterior, the interior of explorer vessels are as palatial and luxurious as their traditional superyacht counterparts. Expedition-style yachts tend to have a wider beam, thereby offering more volume for larger cabins and interior spaces. The yacht’s generous interior spaces are designed for live-aboard comfort for extended periods, and many of these yachts will have living quarters or suites for the owners, rather than smaller cabins.

expedition yacht for sale STAMPEDE

STAMPEDE Expedition Yacht For Sale – for full specifications and photos, click on the link.

Outside you’ll find generous open decks with elegant dining and entertaining spaces, with all the luxuries you’d expect on a superyacht.  Jacuzzis, helipads and observation decks are common features found on expedition yachts for sale.

Expedition yachts are sometimes nicknamed ‘toy carriers’, as they have plenty of space to carry the tenders and water sports equipment you’ll want as you cruise exotic places. Explorer yachts for sale often carry crew who are trained as instructors, so you might learn diving, jetski, kitesurfing or even photography while cruising the South Pacific or the Galapagos.

Because they’re built as sturdy ocean-going vessels, expedition yachts are built with a strong focus on safety, self-sufficiency and comfort underway. Some expedition yachts have reinforced ice-breaker hulls for exciting Arctic expeditions, and all have modern stabilization technology and state-of-the-art safety systems. Expedition yachts are built with large fuel tanks giving them exceptional range, while onboard water-makers and excellent cold and dry storage allows them to make long sea voyages without needing to stop for supplies. Because they are built to be away from port for long periods, expedition yachts normally carry the best in communication, entertainment and Wi-Fi capabilities.

expedition yacht for sale THE BIG BLUE

THE BIG BLUE Expedition Yacht For Sale – for full specifications and photos, click on the link.

Expedition yachts allow the yacht owner to get to all corners of the world, opening up beautiful destinations otherwise difficult to reach. From the snowy landscapes and penguins of Antarctica to the coral reefs and jungles of Micronesia, an expedition yacht opens up the world for exploration.

There are a multitude of options available for expedition vessels. Above are examples of existing brokerage vessels. Other options to consider include Full Custom Builds and Semi Custom Builds. A Fully Custom Expedition yacht build is a ground up design and specification package, which will include tank testing of hull forms, 3D modeling, etc. A Semi Custom Expedition Build includes an existing hull form and common engineering package, already being used and then customizing the house styling, layout and décor.

cost of ocean going yacht

The 80m Explorer Yacht, unnamed, is an example of a Fully Custom Explorer Build. The vessel includes float in float out wet dock that will be able to hold a 65-70 foot sport fisherman in the stern, when the sport fish is removed the tender well becomes a deep swimming pool.  She is diesel electric with Azipod drives.   The vessel has the capability of landing two helicopters and can house both helicopters in a single hangar.  The vessel also has a large tender garage that could hold multiple smaller vessels including a RIB, flats boat, jets skis and two submarines.  The vessel has accommodations for 18 guests and crew of 36.  The vessel would be commercial fit and finish on the exterior and the interior are envisioned to be built to high end cruise ship standards.

cost of ocean going yacht

The 75m Explorer, by Admiral Shipyards is an example of a Semi Custom Build. The yacht’s exterior design, which remains unnamed, is a display of an elegant yet robust platform with generous exterior deck spaces. The expansive aft deck is designed to accommodate an Agusta Grande helicopter, complete with a storage and refueling hangar below deck.

cost of ocean going yacht

The interior is spread across four decks and will be finished in a timeless nautical style that is finished with contemporary elements, which will be built and installed by German interio specialists, Fitz Interior. The owner, who is expected to spend prolonged period onboard, will be treated to an exclusive main deck area covering over 300 square metres with five additional guest suites on the lower deck.

cost of ocean going yacht

Explorer yachts look a little bit different and offer extraordinary cruising potential, marking an exciting difference in the luxury yacht market for those who love an adventure on the open ocean. If you are be interested in viewing our full portfolio of exhibition yachts for sale, reach out to the sales team by email , by this sales inquiry form or by calling one of our yacht brokerage offices worldwide.

cost of ocean going yacht

Inquire About This Yacht

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After hundreds of years of combined experience in designing, building and cruising yachts on the open ocean, Fleming Yachts are bringing to you what will be the ultimate of cruising yachts. A brand new design from the keel up. The Fleming 85.

Our Mission

To design and build literally the finest possible ocean going pilothouse motor yacht, in every respect. With true ocean crossing range the Fleming 85 will take you anywhere you want to be in the world, in total comfort, grace and peace of mind.

Standard Specifications

85' 2' (25.9 m)

72' 3' (22 m)

20' 6' (6.3 m)

5' 5' (1.7 m)

20' (6.1 m)

Displacement Light:

146,280 lbs (66,350 kg)

Displacement Full:

183,050 lbs (83,030 kg)

3,170 US gal (11,999 l)

500 US gal (1,892 l)

View Full Specs

Fleming 85 brochure

Fleming 85 Specifications

cost of ocean going yacht

cost of ocean going yacht

Overview Continued...

Design and Engineering

From the renowned naval architects of Norman R Wright and Sons the hull is designed to be the most efficient and most beautiful semi-displacement hull on the water. 

Building on their experience we have made extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics CFD software to fine tune the hull design to ensure it is absolutely the most efficient it can be and have the best possible behavioural characteristics in all sea states.

Composite engineers have designed the optimum strength/weight ratio of the structure, so we retain the traditional robust construction you would expect from Fleming – but it is achieved with less weight and is all verified by DNV.

The hull design and engineering will result in the best fuel economy and range of any semi displacement boat in the world. 

The absolute highest specification of equipment available - as standard – installed the Fleming way, with redundancy and access for maintenance in mind.

Two versions

Open air – for those who prefer the wind in their hair, the traditional style Fleming open flybridge.

Enclosed – The pilothouse is moved to the upper deck where it is fully enclosed and still fully outfitted like a Fleming pilothouse should be. Down below more space is opened up for flexible dining and entertaining.


Exterior - The lines and the look are unmistakably classic Fleming. Furthermore the exterior details have been refined and simplified to create a cleaner look with flush and hidden hardware throughout.

Interior – Various options from traditional to contemporary, but always elegant, warm, comfortable and practical. Double glazing as standard throughout keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.

Deck Spaces

Foredeck – Hydraulic and electric Maxwell windlasses, Ultra anchors and s/s chain. Huge storage lockers for all shapes and sizes of gear. Fold away seating alcove.

Flybridge deck – Everything you need for cruising, entertaining and relaxing as well as space for a 17 foot tender that can be launched on either port or stbd sides via the 2000lb crane.

Aft deck – Raised and sheltered seating and dining for 10 with amenities you need and sheltered gul-wing door access to engine room and crew’s quarters below.

Cockpit – Easy access, ample storage for all the dive gear and fishing equipment you may need. Warping winches to help take the load off

Swim platform – expansive enough for all uses and hydraulic lowering option makes it easy for additional tender or PWC storage and launching. 

Easy boarding – Multiple side boarding gates make accessibility from fixed or floating docks easy and safe for all.

Interior Layout options

Accommodation A - 3 cabin layout

Accommodation B - 4 cabin layout

Crews quarters A – Twin cabins and crew galley

Crews quarters B – Single cabin and crew galley


  • LOA: 85' 2" (25.98 m)
  • Beam Max: 21' 2" (6.48 m) 
  • Draft: 5' 5" (1.69 m)   
  • W/L to top of mast: 26' 6" (8.10 m) 
  • Displacement min: 146,280 lbs (66,350 kg)   
  • Displacement max: 183,050 lbs (83,030 kg)  
  • Main Engines: Twin MAN V12-1550 HP @ 2,300 RPM
  • Transmissions: Twin Disc MGX 6599A with Quickshift 
  • Engine Controls: Twin Disc EC600 with EJS and EPS 
  • Driveline: Aqua Drive CV60 & HDL 780HT 
  • Generators: Two Onan eQD 29 Kw 240v 60Hz (27Kw 230v 50Hz)
  • Stabilizers: Humphree 16 sq. ft (1.5 sq. m) fins zero-speed, 24 vdc
  • Interceptors: Humphree (Active Ride Control System) 
  • Bow Thruster: Twin Disc BP600 82HP Hydraulic 
  • Stern Thruster: Twin Disc BP400 47HP Hydraulic 
  • Fuel: 3,170 US gals (12,000 l) 
  • Water: 500 US gals (1,900 l) 
  • Black Water Tank: 224 US gals (850 l) in single FRP tank
  • Grey Water Tank: 224 US gals (850 l) in single FRP tank

Yacht Selection: How To Choose The Right Ocean-Going Yacht

cost of ocean going yacht

Selecting the right ocean-going yacht is a journey filled with excitement and significant decisions. Whether you dream of leisurely family cruises or ambitious long-distance voyages, the choice of yacht will significantly impact your experience at sea. This comprehensive guide aims to navigate you through the myriad of factors involved in choosing the perfect yacht for ocean adventures. From understanding your unique yachting needs to delving into the technicalities of yacht performance and safety, we cover all the essential aspects to help you make an informed decision.

Determining the Primary Use of the Yacht

When considering a yacht for family cruises, comfort and safety are paramount. You might look for a yacht with ample living space, stability in various sea conditions, and user-friendly navigation systems. On the other hand, if your goal is long-distance voyaging, you’ll prioritize aspects like fuel efficiency, robust build, and advanced navigation equipment. The best ocean crossing trawler for extended voyages should be equipped to handle diverse weather conditions and provide reliable performance over vast distances.

If hosting social events is a key aspect of your yachting experience, consider yachts designed with spacious entertainment areas, both indoors and on deck. Features like large dining areas, sun decks, and sophisticated sound systems can enhance the ambiance of your gatherings. The layout should allow for easy movement of guests while offering the necessary amenities to cater to their comfort and entertainment. The intended use greatly impacts the size and style of the yacht. A yacht for intimate family outings may not need the extensive space required for hosting large parties. Similarly, the style of the yacht, whether sleek and modern or classic and elegant, should reflect your tastes and the atmosphere you wish to create onboard.

Many yacht manufacturers offer customization options, allowing you to tailor the yacht to your specific needs. This could range from custom cabin layouts to display entertainment systems. When exploring the best ocean-going trawlers, inquire about the extent to which you can customize the vessel to ensure it perfectly aligns with your envisioned use.

Assessing Size and Layout

Yacht size categories range from compact models ideal for shorter trips to larger vessels designed for extended ocean voyages. Smaller yachts are typically easier to maneuver and require fewer crew members, making them suitable for family outings or small groups. Larger yachts, such as the best ocean-going trawlers, offer more space and amenities, ideal for long-distance cruising and accommodating more guests. It's important to assess the trade-offs between size, cost, and intended use to find the right balance.

When examining yacht layouts, consider the number and arrangement of cabins. For family use, ample sleeping quarters and private spaces are essential. Storage is another key consideration, especially for long voyages. Efficient storage solutions ensure that all necessary supplies, from food to safety equipment, can be accommodated without cluttering living spaces. The design of entertainment and living areas significantly impacts the onboard experience. A well-designed yacht should have a comfortable and inviting salon, dining areas, and outdoor spaces for relaxation and socializing. The layout should facilitate smooth flow between these areas, enhancing the overall ambiance and functionality of the yacht.

Balancing comfort with functionality is crucial. A yacht that excels in luxurious amenities but falls short in practical aspects like maneuverability or fuel efficiency may not serve your needs effectively. Similarly, a highly functional yacht lacking in comfort might diminish the enjoyment of your voyages. Carefully assess how different layouts and sizes align with both comfort and practical requirements for a well-rounded yachting experience.

Technical Aspects: Performance and Safety

Selecting the right yacht for ocean voyaging demands careful consideration of various technical aspects that directly impact performance and safety. Below are key technical aspects to consider:

  • Engine Performance : Evaluating horsepower, reliability, and maintenance needs.
  • Fuel Efficiency : Assessing fuel consumption rates and cruising range.
  • Navigational Aids : Integrating GPS, radar, and sonar for accurate navigation.
  • Safety Equipment : Ensuring the availability of life rafts, fire suppression systems, and emergency communication devices.
  • Hull Design : Analyzing the design for stability in rough waters.
  • Seaworthiness : Checking the yacht’s ability to handle different sea conditions.
  • Electronic Systems : Understanding the sophistication and user-friendliness of onboard electronic systems.
  • Emergency Protocols : Reviewing safety procedures and equipment for emergencies.
  • Weather Forecasting Capabilities : Incorporating technology for advanced weather prediction and route planning.
  • Build Quality : Investigating the construction quality and materials for durability and longevity.

Overall, the fusion of these technical elements in a well-designed yacht results in a vessel that is not just a means of transportation but a reliable companion in the vastness of the ocean.

Construction Material and Design

The selection of construction material and design in yacht building is a complex process that directly influences the vessel's longevity, performance, and aesthetic appeal. In the realm of ocean going trawler yachts, these decisions become even more critical due to the demanding nature of open-sea conditions. Below are key factors in construction and design:

  • Material Choices : Evaluating fiberglass, aluminum, and steel for construction.
  • Weight and Strength Balance : Achieving the right mix for optimal performance.
  • Maintenance Needs : Understanding long-term care requirements for different materials.
  • Aesthetic Considerations : Balancing visual appeal with functional design.
  • Environmental Impact : Considering eco-friendly materials and design practices.

The ultimate goal is to create a yacht that not only looks visually stunning but also excels in performance, safety, and comfort, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for those aboard.

Budget Considerations

When considering the purchase of an ocean-going trawler, the initial cost is a crucial factor. This price is influenced by various elements such as the yacht's size, brand, age, and customization level. Newer or larger yachts typically come with a higher price tag but offer the latest in design and technology. It's essential to align your budget with your needs and desires for the yacht, ensuring that you're investing in a vessel that meets your expectations without overspending.

After purchasing your yacht, ongoing maintenance and operational expenses are a significant part of the financial equation. These costs can include regular servicing, repairs, docking fees, and insurance. For the best ocean trawlers, high-quality maintenance is key to ensuring longevity and performance. Additionally, operational costs such as fuel, crew salaries, and supplies must be factored in. An effective budget plan should account for these recurring expenses to maintain your yacht in top condition.

Managing a yacht involves not just maintenance, but also handling crew expenses if you have a staff on board. For larger ocean going trawler yachts, a crew is often necessary for navigation, maintenance, and guest services. Salaries, training, uniforms, and crew welfare are part of the operational budget. These costs can vary significantly depending on the size of the crew and the level of expertise required. Prospective yacht owners should consider these aspects when estimating the total cost of ownership.

Finding a balance between budget and quality is vital in the yacht selection process. While it's tempting to cut costs, especially with options like pre-owned yachts, it's important not to compromise on quality and safety. Best trawlers for ocean crossing are those that strike a balance between affordability and excellence. Investing in a well-built, reliable yacht can save money in the long run by reducing the need for frequent repairs and ensuring a safer, more enjoyable experience at sea.

Seeking Professional Help in Yacht Selection

Navigating the complex world of yacht purchasing can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers. This is where yacht brokers and consultants come into play. These professionals offer invaluable expertise in matching your requirements with the perfect yacht. They understand the nuances of various models, including the best ocean crossing trawler options available in the market. Brokers also have access to a wider range of yachts, including those that may not be publicly listed for sale, thus providing you with more choices than you might find on your own.

Utilizing the insights of yacht experts can lead to more informed decisions. These professionals can provide detailed information about the pros and cons of different yachts, including aspects like performance, maintenance costs, and suitability for specific sea conditions. They handle the complexities of contract negotiations, legal requirements, and paperwork, which can be particularly challenging for those new to the yacht-buying process. Their assistance in navigating these steps can be invaluable, allowing you to focus on the excitement of acquiring your new ocean going trawler yacht rather than the stress of the transaction process.

Choosing the right yacht is more than just a purchase; it's a journey that shapes your future seafaring experiences. Whether you're eyeing the best ocean crossing trawler or a luxurious yacht for social gatherings, the selection process should be thorough and enjoyable. Embrace each step, from exploring different yachts to consulting with experts. Remember, the perfect yacht is out there, one that aligns with your lifestyle meets your needs, and offers countless adventures on the high seas. With careful consideration and expert guidance, you're well on your way to making an informed and satisfying decision in your yacht selection journey.

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Stay afloat with selene updates, welcome aboard.

Yachting Monthly

  • Digital edition

Yachting Monthly cover

How to buy a boat: your guide to buying a yacht

  • Duncan Kent
  • October 17, 2023

Buying a yacht, especially your first, can be a daunting experience. Duncan Kent offers expert guidance on how to get it right

cost of ocean going yacht

The process of buying a sailing yacht can sometimes be long-winded and stressful, especially if it’s your first time considering boat ownership. To avoid it being too daunting the first step is to think the whole thing through very carefully and then make a proper plan.

First and foremost, decide what type of sailing you will actually do, as it will be an important indicator as to what size and type of boat you should aim to buy. If you’re still learning to sail then it’s advisable not to buy too big a boat as the bigger it is the more problems and costs you will acquire. It’s often better to buy a used boat that you can practise in and make mistakes on, as accidents can be expensive in a bigger, more valuable boat.

What type of boat?

cost of ocean going yacht

A trailer-sailer will save on marina fees and can be big enough for cruising. Photo: Graham Snook


Key factors to look for in a trailer-sailer are size, weight and ease of rigging, launch and retrieval. Trailer-sailer masts are usually designed to be raised manually using an A-frame and tackle, and in many cases these will be provided with the boat. Being launched from a trailer means that it will most likely have a retractable keel and rudder, as well as a removable outboard motor.

Although it is possible to trail a small bilge-keeled boat, they are almost impossible to launch and recover without a crane, given the depth of water required for them to float on and off. If you’re planning on sailing with the family, bear in mind a retractable keel, whether it lifts or swings up, will nearly always impinge on the cabin in some way.

Above 750kg/16ft LOA you will need a larger (possibly four-wheel) trailer, with a more powerful towing vehicle and a few extra crew to help you rig and launch. In return, though, you’ll have a boat that you can live aboard in reasonable comfort for long weekends, or even the occasional week-long sailing trip.

Ideally, a cruising trailer-sailer would be no more than 24ft long and 1,500kg dry weight all up. If you’re going to be coastal cruising over long distances, however, you’ll probably prefer something bigger like a ‘trailer-able’ boat. These can be craned onto a larger, double-axled trailer and taken home or stored somewhere inland for the winter, saving marina berth costs or boatyard storage rates.

Not only does this make good economic sense, but it could also enable you to tow her to a new cruising destination each season. Probably the largest boat you could self-trail would be around 28ft, depending on its weight, beam and size of the towing vehicle.

cost of ocean going yacht

Inshore sailing makes sense in a capable, affordable yacht like the Westerly Centaur. Photo: David Harding

Inshore/Coastal cruisers

Calling a yacht an inshore or coastal cruiser can be somewhat misleading, but since the EU introduced the RCD ‘Category’ system, the designations seem to have stuck. To my mind, any yacht that is seaworthy, properly maintained and has a skilled crew, is very likely to be capable of being sailed pretty much anywhere. A larger yacht may be more comfortable at sea and able to take on more crew and provisions, but a seaworthy boat should be just what it says.

If you plan to simply potter along within sight of land, stopping overnight in a sheltered anchorage or in a marina berth, then it obviously isn’t vital to have a boat that can withstand a storm at sea. You will rarely, if ever, experience storm conditions when you’re never more than a few miles from a safe refuge. That said, some still prefer an ocean-going yacht for coastal cruising ‘just in case’, and there’s nothing wrong with that, provided you can afford the extra maintenance and running costs.

Some experienced sailors swear by lightweight, high-performance yachts for coastal and offshore sailing. There’s a certain logic to this in that a quick boat stands more chance of reaching shelter before the worst of a challenging weather system hits.

My ideal coastal cruising yacht, however, is a compromise between a boat that’s reasonably fast and fun to sail, and one that can withstand the occasional Force 8 and 3m-high waves without frightening or risking the safety of my crew or family.

cost of ocean going yacht

An Arcona 345 is a highly capable offshore yacht, but probably isn’t large enough be a true ‘bluewater’ yacht. Photo: Richard Langdon

Offshore/Ocean yachts

A true offshore/ocean-rated yacht will be strong, seaworthy and safe but, equally, it should exhibit a sea-kindly, predictable and well-balanced motion at sea, such that the crew remain able to sail, cook, eat and sleep regardless of stormy sea conditions.

What makes a yacht sea-kindly? First and foremost is its motion through, or over the waves. Many modern, lightweight yachts with flat, shallow underwater sections tend to slam into oncoming waves rather than slice through them. This not only jars the crew’s nerves and hurls everything out of the lockers below, but it also puts increased strain on the entire yacht as each thud shakes the hull and rig relentlessly on a long windward passage. Slamming doesn’t just test the integrity of the yacht to its limits, it drags the crew’s morale down and prevents them sleeping, cooking, eating or relaxing while off watch.

As with most aspects of sailing, there are many different schools of thought with offshore yacht design, but it is generally accepted that ocean-crossing yachts should be of a higher displacement than coastal cruisers and that they should have a deeper, vee-shaped forefoot to enable the hull to slice through oncoming waves.

A so-called bluewater cruiser is simply an offshore/ocean cruising yacht that has provision for living on board for extended periods of time under a wide variety of different circumstances. Usually, they will be better equipped with items like watermakers, generators, freezers, solar panels and sat-comms, but the style and design of the yacht itself will mostly be identical to an offshore/ocean-class yacht.

cost of ocean going yacht

Stowage is an overlooked but vital consideration when assessing a cruising yacht. Photo: Graham Snook

What to consider


Does the boat you’re looking at suit the style of sailing you plan to do? If you’re only going to day sail along the coast then don’t worry about sea berths, for instance, although it’s useful to have at least one long, straight berth you can fix a lee cloth to in case someone becomes ill. Big, central double berths are great at anchor, but of little use under sail.

Separate cabins are crucial if you have kids on board, so as not to keep them awake in the evening when the adults are still up. Private heads are important too, particularly if you are planning to have friends on board regularly.

Stowage is also a vital consideration for cruising that new buyers often overlook. It’s really annoying to have to remove half the contents of a vast stowage bin to reach a single item at the bottom – so look out for easily accessible lockers, especially near the galley.

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It’s important when family sailing to have the mainsail control lines led back near the helm, so the boat can be safely sailed singlehanded if necessary. Try sitting by the helm and operating a headsail sheet winch. Is the mainsheet nearby so you can dump the main in a gust? Is the mainsheet track positioned where young fingers can easily get trapped? Are there plenty of harness attachments? Is there stowage for larger items like dinghies?

Rig and sails

Unless you’re planning on racing, look for a sail plan that’s easily handled. Nowadays most cruisers choose sloop rigs with in-mast furling mainsails; in fact they can often be standard. You will lose a little performance, though, so if speed and pointing ability are vital then opt for a fully battened mainsail with single-line reefing. Virtually all new cruising yachts these days will come with a furling genoa.

cost of ocean going yacht

Will a wheel or tiller suit you best? And is the mainsheet within reach? Photo: David Harding /

Wheel or tiller? Most older boats under 32ft have tillers, whereas most new boats over 26ft offer wheel steering. If you like to ‘feel’ the boat more then go for a tiller. If a wheel seems more natural then go for it but expect to lose a little of the feedback a tiller offers.

cost of ocean going yacht

You can put a cat on a beach for a barbecue or to inspect and give the hulls a scrub. Photo: Yachting Monthly

Monohull or multihull?

Most new boat buyers start by looking at monohulls, with few giving multihulls a second thought. However, it’s worth stepping on board a few catamarans or trimarans before dismissing them. Better still, give them a try. You might find the level sailing, greater deck space and higher speeds worth the drawbacks of having a larger boat to park and reduced load-carrying capacity.

Cruising cats have increased in popularity hugely in recent years due to the extra space they offer. They also draw very little, so you can get right in close to the shore or creep up shallow creeks where fin keeled monohulls dare not venture. They take the ground easily too, so you can actually park up on a beach.

cost of ocean going yacht

Shopping for a new boat is all part of the fun but beware of hidden costs. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

New or used?

It’s great to own a brand-new yacht but there are many good reasons for choosing a cared-for used boat. Most will have had any initial faults rectified and are likely to come with all the necessary cruising kit. The downside is not knowing how well she’s been maintained. Depending on age, essentials such as the rig and engine could require expensive replacement.

Privately owned boats under five years old tend to be well shaken down, but not worn to the point of imminent repair. Older boats might well have gone through the first wear/replacement stage and have new sails, rigging and engine.

Most equipment, especially engines, lasts longer if the boat is used regularly. The exception is with charter boats, where everything will be well worn.

A charter yacht will endure ten times the wear and tear of a private one, despite being regularly maintained. Never buy an ex-charter yacht without getting a thorough, detailed survey.

Buying a yacht new

Before buying a new boat bear in mind you’ll need considerable additional kit that’s not included. Don’t get carried away with the options list while forgetting equipment essentials. A good guide is to allow a further 15-20% of the list price to fully equip her for cruising.

It’s also worth noting that the price displayed at a boat show may exclude delivery and commissioning, which can add another chunk to the bottom line.

When you find a boat that ticks all your boxes, go somewhere quiet and add up the real cost including any ‘essential’ options. If there’s anything left in your budget, tick off any ‘luxury’ items you’d like in order of preference, until the pot is empty. You might prefer to opt for a slightly smaller boat but equip it to a higher standard.

A word of warning: if you buy the biggest boat you can afford with the intention of adding goodies later, it will almost always cost considerably more than having them fitted at the factory or during commissioning.

cost of ocean going yacht

No matter how much you like a boat, always engage a professional marine surveyor. Photo: Graham Snook

Buying a yacht used

Never make an offer on a boat before seeing it. Even if you’re not an expert it’s worth looking for obvious things before engaging a surveyor. Check for hull cracking, gelcoat blisters, evidence of collisions, squashy decks, dodgy wiring, damaged sails, water in the bilges, seized pumps and so on. If the boat is untidy and uncared for it’s likely to have been neglected in its previous life.

Get an idea of the value of that type of boat in basic form by checking prices of similar craft online. If they range from £20-£35,000, for example, start with the lower figure and add on the value of any extra equipment. For instance, if she has new sails, raise the base ‘value’ by £2,000. For a new engine, add £3,000, and so on. When you reach a figure you think is about right, offer the vendor 20% less and see what happens.

Always make your offer subject to survey, then if problems are discovered you can reduce your offer by the cost of any remedial work required. Once a deal is agreed, if she’s out of the water, retain 10% until she is launched and the powertrain is tested.

cost of ocean going yacht

How well will the boat reverse and manoeuvre in tight marina spaces?

The test sail

I would never buy any boat without first taking it for a test sail unless it’s dirt cheap. Some sellers won’t want the hassle, but if she’s had a good survey and you’re really keen the owner should realise this and go along with it. If ashore, the launch/retrieval costs will be yours, as will the surveyor’s bill. If you agree to purchase immediately after the test sail you might not need to crane her back out again.

If buying new the broker should have a demonstrator in the water for you to sail. It might not be equipped to your specification, but it’ll be the same model.

If you’re new to sailing, take an experienced friend or surveyor along if possible. Take your family or your partner along too, to get their opinions.

From the moment you step on board keep your senses alert. How easy is it to get on board from the pontoon? How much does the boat tip over with your weight on the sidedeck? How easy is it to walk around the decks without tripping?

Take a camera and notebook and jot down anything you’re not sure about so you can double-check it later.

Checking the engine

The first thing to test is the engine. If it’s a used boat then pull the dipstick before starting it to check the colour of the oil – any whiteness could be water and is a sign of a problem. Make sure the preheat works and that it starts easily. Marine diesels often smoke a bit at first but should clear once the engine has warmed up. Check the exhaust to ensure it’s emitting a steady stream of water.

Try some simple manoeuvres ahead and astern to get the feel of how she handles under power. Some will have noticeable prop wash, especially those with a fixed-blade propeller, but you can often use this to your advantage once you know how strong and in which direction it acts.

Once on the move go up through the revs just to check there are no flat spots and that she revs to the correct level. Few skippers ever use full revs but it’s a good indicator that all’s well with the engine, transmission and prop. Return to cruising revs and go below to hear how much noise is evident, especially in the aft cabin.

cost of ocean going yacht

Check the condition of the sails closely, especially along the seams

Inspecting the rig

Ask the owner to show you where all the sail controls are, don’t just let them sail you around. Helping to hoist sail will show how easy or difficult it is and make handling or gear problems obvious. If it’s hard to hoist a halyard, ask why. The solution might be simple (often a lack of maintenance in a used boat), but it need not be insurmountable.

Check the headsail furler if it has one, by unfurling and refurling it. If it’s stiff to furl, check the swivels for wear. It could simply be poor maintenance, or it might be something more serious like halyard wrap or failed bearings.

Once the sails are hoisted give them a good inspection, particularly along the seams and around the clew, tack and reefing cringles (metal grommets for control lines).

cost of ocean going yacht

Laminate sails, such as these FibrePath Enduro sails from Ullman, utilise the boat’s pointing ability and rig controls. Photo: Richard Langdon

Once you’re sailing, ask to take the helm or have your experienced mate take over. You’re looking to see how well balanced she is (assuming the sails are trimmed correctly), and how reactive the steering is.

Ideally, the helm ‘feel’ should be light but positive. It should feel like you’re just there to change direction if needed, not to keep permanent pressure on to hold her on course.

If the steering is noticeably heavy, you have too much sail up or they’re not trimmed correctly, but it’s worth asking the owner or the rep about it.

All points of sail

Put in a few tacks to see how quickly she comes around and how well the deck gear functions. Try her on every point of sail – close-hauled, reaching and running, to see what she’s capable of and if she has any particular foibles.

Depending on the sea conditions, see how she handles with a bit too much sail up and if possible how she copes in strong gusts. Then find out how easy it is to put a reef in.

Check the navigation instruments are all functioning as they should and, if it’s a particularly complicated system, ask the owner or the rep to go through all the nav instruments with you. Finally, hand the controls over to someone else and go below to see what it’s like under sail. Take note of steps, grab handles or bars and fiddles, and then simulate going to the loo, preparing a meal, lying in a berth or plotting a fix at the chart table.

cost of ocean going yacht

For ocean sailing a yacht with a longer keel is best for comfort in heavy seas

Buying a long keel yacht

The extra drag created by their large wetted area makes them relatively slow compared to more modern designs, but they provide a comfortable ride in heavy seas, with the fullness of the keel limiting leeway and helping to keep the boat on a straight course downwind with little or no adjustment to the helm. Popular for ocean cruising but poor at manoeuvring under power in tight marinas.

cost of ocean going yacht

A fin keel should make a boat faster and more agile

Buying a fin keel yacht

Cutting away the forefoot of a long keel reduces the hull’s resistance to tacking and manoeuvring, while also lessening hydrodynamic drag and thereby increasing speed. Many have ballast bulbs at the bottom to lower the yacht’s centre of gravity (CoG). The resulting short, deep keel makes a boat much more agile.

cost of ocean going yacht

An obvious advantage of a twin keel is its ability to take the ground

Buying a twin keel yacht

Also called bilge keels they provide low draught for shallow water cruising and allow a yacht to take the ground upright without supporting legs. One drawback is increased leeway when sailing hard on the wind, due to the reduced wetted surface, and a propensity to heel more readily, due to the higher CoG. Often kept on drying moorings which can put the keel/hull joint under repeated pressure, so check for GRP cracks.

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  • Charter Advice

How much does it cost to charter a yacht?

There are many things to consider and first time charterers can be left confused, that's why we've created a comprehensive guide to yacht charter prices (with a checklist).

charter cost explained banner

The good news: It’s easy to grasp the basics of yacht charter pricing. And with one of our experts in your corner, we can help you more accurately estimate the cost of your next once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

The cost of a yacht charter is dependent on a number of factors, including the type of yacht, the charter destination, local taxes, and the base cost. (If the yacht has a celebrity owner, well that too, can add to the cost.)

Therefore, yacht charters have a wide range of base prices. That’s why charters can cost from $10,000 per week on smaller sailing yachts and catamarans, up to $150,000+ per week on the most luxurious motor superyachts.

What else can you expect to pay? This overview – a part of our planning resource, the Charter Advice Guide – offers an in-depth look at charter yacht costs.

Yacht Charter Price Structure: “All-Inclusive” vs “Plus Expenses”

In the world of yachting, two types of crewed yacht charters are available to you – “All-Inclusive” and “Plus Expenses” charter experiences. What do these terms mean exactly? Here’s a quick look:

  • All-Inclusive Yacht Charters – Some charters (mainly catamaran and monohull charters in the Virgin Islands) offer all-inclusive rates. That means rates are based on the number of guests, and they include all food and drink, water sports, and fuel costs. Dockage and taxes, though, are usually charged separately.
  • Plus Expenses Charters – Rates for larger motor yachts do not include running expenses, which must be paid separately. For these luxury charters, the base price is for the yacht only. Additional expenses, i.e. food, bar, fuel, dockage, port taxes, and other expenses, are charged separately. Most frequently, the running expenses are paid by an Advance Provisioning Allowance, or APA, which is typically 35% of the base price; this is an amount that’s paid prior to the charter.

Our chart below offers a quick overview of what’s included in both of these types of charters.

charter cost comparison chart

Average Yacht Charter Cost: Base Prices

What can you expect to pay for a catamaran, a sailing vessel, or motored yacht? Here’s a quick overview of the average cost to rent a yacht (not including extra expenses) for the most common types available:

Average Weekly Sailing Charter RatesSailing Yacht
Average Weekly Catamaran Charter RatesCatamaran
Average Weekly Motor Yacht Charter RatesMotor Yachts

Factors that Affect Yacht Charter Prices

Since charter yachts are privately owned, prices are set by the owner. This can explain, in part, the wide range of differences in price between boats of similar lengths. Yet, several other factors can significantly impact price, including:

  • The Yacht – The year the boat was built, the builder, previous owners, and the boat’s selection of water toys can also increase the cost of a yacht. Boats can also develop a reputation, i.e. the largest or most luxurious, or having a famous builder or previous owner. Reputation can also affect pricing.
  • Season – Prices typically increase in the high season – i.e. high summer in the Mediterranean or winter in the Caribbean – and decrease in low seasons.
  • Destination – Your charter destination also plays a role in charter cost. For example, prices increase in areas without large charter fleets (i.e. the Galapagos), whereas Bahamas yacht charters,   BVI charters , or Mediterranean yacht charter are priced more competitively.

Additional Costs Considerations on Yacht Charter

In addition to the cost associated with running the yacht and provisioning, there are a number of other costs that must be considered. These are the most significant:

Advanced Provisioning Allowance

The APA on Plus Expenses charters equals roughly 35% of the yacht’s base price. This is a fee that’s collected prior to charter, and it’s similar to an expense account the captain can access during the charter. At the end of the charter, you will receive a detailed accounting of your APA account, plus any unused APA funds in cash.

In the case of overages, you may be required to replenish the APA account during the charter. This can be done with cash, although many choose to set up accounts with their charter brokers , which can be accessed if requested by the captain.

Taxes and Value Added Tax (VAT)

Most boats – whether all-inclusive or Plus Expenses – will not include local taxes or a Value Added Tax into their charter rate. The charterer will be responsible for paying those taxes. Taxes range significantly by destination; here’s a look at some of yachting’s most popular destinations:

  • The Bahamas – Tax: 4% plus 10% VAT
  • BVI – Tax: between $6 and $16 per person per day, depending on the flag of the boat
  • Croatia – VAT: 13%
  • Florida – Tax: 6% for Broward County, 7% for Miami-Dade County
  • France – VAT: 20%, however, 10% can be applied when an itinerary includes International Waters
  • Greece – VAT: 12%
  • Italy – VAT: 22%, however 6.6% (over 24m) and 8.8% (under 24m) can be applied when an itinerary includes International Waters
  • Montenegro – NO VAT
  • New England – NO TAX
  • Spain – VAT: 21%
  • Turkey – NO VAT

Charterers can purchase cancellation and curtailment insurance – which is similar to traveler’s insurance. This insurance can help cover costs if a charterer must cancel or shorten the charter. Charter brokers can help you weigh insurance options, and often offer several different options.

Crew Gratuity

While crew gratuity is certainly not mandatory, it is recommended, particularly if you were truly impressed with your charter experience. In general, crew gratuity is roughly 15-20% of the base charter rate, which is handed to the captain at the conclusion of your charter.

Delivery Fees

While these fees do not apply on most charters, you may be asked to pay delivery costs if you are not chartering in the yacht’s normal cruising ground. In most cases, you will only be required to cover the fuel for the trip.

Call Worldwide Boat today to learn more. Our Charter Specialists are here to assist you with every detail and explain all charter costs. Or read our Charter Advice guide for more information and tips for planning your charter vacation.

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Chakra Profile

282.2ft / 84m

More info

278.1ft / 83m

titania main

239.6ft / 71m

Yacht Serenity 236

Serenity 236

236.3ft / 70m

Additional Charter Cost FAQs

What are standard private charter yacht prices?

There are a number of factors that affect charter yacht pricing. However, on average, a week-long private yacht charter costs anywhere from $10,000 on luxurious sailing yachts and catamarans, and up to $150,000 for superyachts.

What affects charter yacht prices?

There are several things that influence how much your yacht charter will cost. The type of vessel, charter destination, length of trip, base cost, time of year, and local taxes all make a difference.

How much does it cost for a crewed vessel?

Charter yacht prices do increase when hiring a crew along with the boat. At Worldwide Boat, we offer two types of crewed charter experiences: all-inclusive and plus expenses. An all-inclusive charter yacht includes accommodation for all guests, food and drink, water sport activities, and fuel costs – dockage fees and taxes are charged separately. A plus expenses experience accounts for just the yacht’s base price. Things like food, drinks, fuel, dockages, taxes, and other expenses are charged separately and are usually estimated to be about 35% of the base price.

What’s included in all-inclusive boat charters?

At Worldwide Boat, your all-inclusive charter experience includes a diligent and friendly crew, water toys, food, drinks, fuel, water and electric services, and occasionally diving experiences.

What are some additional charter boat costs to consider?

After finding a base price you’re comfortable with and evaluating your package, you’ll also want to consider delivery fees, crew gratuity, insurance fees, taxes, and Advanced Provisioning Allowance rates. If you are responsible for these fees, your crew will handle the necessary transactions on your behalf.

What does it cost to rent a 100- foot yacht charter?

This depends on what type of vessel you’re looking at and how long you’ll need it for. The average weekly cost of a 100-foot sailing yacht is between $50,000-100,000. A weekly 80-foot catamaran charter runs around $40,000-100,000, and a week-long 100-foot motor yacht rental is anywhere between $50,000-80,000.

Does the price to rent a yacht change depending on what type of boat it is?

Yes. Worldwide Boat offers sailing yachts, catamarans, and motor yachts. All of these vessels have different capabilities, but there are other factors that determine the price beyond what type of boat you choose. The year the boat was built, owner, availability of water toys, onboard amenities, and the ship’s reputation can all change how much the ship is priced at.

When is the high season for yacht charters?

The price of a yacht fluctuates depending on the season. A Mediterranean yacht charter cost rises in the summer and drops in the winter, whereas Caribbean boat charter prices are high during the winter and lower in the summer months.

How does my destination affect charter yacht cost?

The more remote an area is, the more expensive it will be to charter a yacht there. That’s because prices go up in areas that have fewer boats. If you were to travel somewhere like the Galapagos, which isn’t a typical yacht destination, you’d pay more than you would if you were traveling to the Caribbean.

How much do I tip the crew when reviewing my yacht charter expenses?

It’s not required that you tip your crew, but it is recommended and appreciated. If you had an enjoyable experience it’s considered polite to tip your crew anywhere from 15-20% at the end of your charter.

Go to Charter Advice

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Costs of food provisions will vary dependent upon how eloborate food Preferenaces are

Location will play huge factor in food provisons and thing may have to be folws into remorte locations.

Crew is one of the largest expenses on a superyacht and critical to the owner’s enjoyment of their vessel. As the largest crew agency in the world, we know crew. Our cost calculator contains customized crew lists for yachts ranging from 80ft to 600ft with salary information based on our reference verified salary data.

Our users also have the ability to completely tailor the crew list to the specific needs, schedule and requirements of their vessel. Each yacht is unique and may have specific owner requests in addition to the yacht’s safe manning requirements.

Management of the supplemental crew costs and strategic budgeting can help avoid significant overspend on categories such as food and uniform. This tool contains default values based on our industry expertise and recommended budget for an efficiently and safely run superyacht.

To learn more about each crew position in detail, including salary ranges, please visit our yacht department directory .

Drag the sliders to modify your results. These are not linear scales and we expect most yachts to operate within the 20-80% window. Above 80% and below 20% costs increase or decrease at exaggerated levels and we only see numbers in these levels in very rare circumstances.

This sunburst diagram is interactive. You can click into each block to see the expense break down and mouse over each block for more details.

Our chart of accounts displays seven major categories, 20 sub-categories plus a further 80 detail categories for a total of 107.

Our yacht operating cost calculator is now on it’s third major revision. We start with actual yacht expense data from our yacht management accountants and then generate formulas to extrapolate out the budget for a wide range of yachts. We have been providing accounting services to large yachts for the past 18 years.

Our operating cost calculator is tuned for yachts from 80 to 600 feet. We find operating variables create the largest variances for yachts smaller than 100 feet and larger than 250 feet. We have tested the numbers the most in the range from 100 to 250 feet.

Our budget calculator factors in the fuel burn for a range of engine sizes typically seen installed on yachts by length. By dragging the green “fuel dockage” slider to the right you will increase the projected fuel burn rate and therefore the budget cost for fuel. Our default position would be for a typical displacement fuel burn. Position the slider in the 60-80% range for fuel projections for planning hulls.

Our default values produce a budget number that we believe is generous to run a yacht to a high standard. Perfect is a very expensive word to use in the yachting industry where standards are already high. Moving the crew and maintenance sliders to 80% will provide an “industry best” quality of crew and give them the maintenance budget to operate to a very high standard. If you need to go over the 80% area then you may have unusually labor intensive equipment on the yacht.

Yes, our yacht operating cost calculator can output a budget suitable for this situation. Adjust the owner use to 2 (minimum value), owner slider to 0, crew slider to 10%, Administration to 10%, Fuel and Dockage to 0, Maintenance to 10% and then Capital Repairs to 0. This will remove all of the large charges associated with owner use and vessel movement but leave the essential base maintenance and insurance in place.

Lift on and float in yacht transport is a popular way to transport yachts across large ocean passage. The yachts that this service certainly applies to are ones that may not have the motoring range or structural integrity for blue ocean cruising. The cost of transporting a yacht twice per year is put into our budget once the “Fuel Dockage” slider hits 75%. If your yacht has the range we recommend self-sufficient ocean passages whenever possible. Whilst the transport companies sell their services based upon reportedly well oiled operated schedules the reality is that your yacht may stay waiting for pickup for a week or more with no compensation due. When factoring in all secondary factors of self-sufficient passages (increased fuel, maintenance, potential storm damage, crew time off, extra delivery crew) compared with transporting your yacht (insurance, potential loading / unloading damage, loss of schedule control, no work whilst underway, crew flights, crew accommodation) we believe that there is a 100% premium associated with float in transport and a 75% premium with lift on transport compared with self-powered.

Abandoned yachts crash in value. We recommend that even if you are trying to sell your yacht that you use the yacht for a minimum of two weeks per year so that systems are tested and working every six months. There is nothing worse for a yacht than not being used. If you truly are not going to use the yacht then you should sell it immediately for the first genuine offer as every dollar you put into maintenance will not be recovered at the time of the sale.

We did not build this version with sailing yachts in mind. Early in our development of this version we decided to exclude sailing yachts as a few of the major cost drivers scale very differently for sailing yachts compared with motor yachts. For example: To calculate paint costs we reviewed the surface area of over 100 large yachts and created a formula for painted surface area to length. Sailing yachts just don’t scale in a consistent way. Similarly crew numbers don’t scale in the same manner that they do for motor yachts. If there is sufficient demand we may build a sailing selector switch into a future version of this tool.

We hate to hear when yacht owners were told by their broker to factor in 10% of the purchase price to operate the yacht. This over used saying is sadly right occasionally (particularly for newer yachts in the $20-30M range)… but just because a broken watch tells the right time twice a day you shouldn’t rely upon it to tell the time. As yachts get older their capital value decreases but their maintenance costs increase. There is no way that a fixed 10% of purchase cost rule can be true… if your broker told you this rule then you need a new yacht broker… we know some good ones. 😊

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cost of ocean going yacht

Average Yacht Prices | 40, 50, 60, 70, 100 feet + Helpful Examples

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How much do yachts cost? Let’s look at yacht prices per size.


Note: We will look at yachts that are a few years old. Very few people buy brand-new yachts as the price comes down a lot after only a few years.

How much is a small yacht? Let’s start at 40 feet length.

40 Foot Yacht Cost

A 40-foot yacht can be found used for around $200,000 and new models can cost as much as a million dollars. There are always lots of used yachts for sale around 40 feet in length, which makes them more attractive to first-time buyers.

Technically, a yacht begins at 23 feet. However, yachts that size will more often be referred to as boats.

A 40-foot yacht is a great option for looking for relative simplicity and plenty of comfort and capability. This size is great for day trips in the Caribbean dedicated to speed boating or simple cruising.

The size remains manageable, but the vessel can be updated with extra living spaces and amenities as desired, with a more affordable price than larger options.

The maintenance prices will remain lower as well.

Make sure you are considering the age of your yacht. Even if it is on the smaller end, it will be more expensive if it is new and custom-built to your wants.

Even if you think a 40-foot yacht is the cheapest option, these small factors make for a sliding price scale.

You might find that a smaller, new, custom yacht is more expensive than an older, simpler, larger yacht. One benefit of an older yacht is that it should have the improvements and equipment that make it comfortable to operate and will not have those additional costs.

For  sailboat prices specifically, check out this article .

Our Pick: Viking 42 Convertible: Cruise and Fish (2014)

Price: $895,000

cost of ocean going yacht

  • Cushioned seats
  • Underwater lights
  • Flybridge fiberglass hard-top
  • Recent engine and service
  • Joystick control
  • Cockpit shade with poles, freezer, and step-up box
  • Custom chairs
  • Coach roof overhang to provide shade
  • home theater setup
  • Freshwater wash area
  • Cockpit freezer and drink box
  • Forward-facing viewing windows in deckhouse

Here’s a great example of a yacht with differing ages and year models. It has twin diesel engines, 600 hp each, and cruise at 35 mph (pretty fast!).

Yacht Price Examples for Three Other 40-50 Foot

  • 42-foot Grand Banks 42 Classic; trawler-cruiser style yacht; twin diesel, 350 hp each, cruising speed is 13 mph. Price: $370,000 for 2004; $124,500 for 1986; older ones for less
  • 45-foot Sea Ray 450 Sundancer or Sedan Bridge; single or twin diesel, about 1,000 hp total; cruising speed about 26 mph Price: $472,000 for 2012 twin-engine
  • 41-foot Back Cove Downeast; single diesel 715 hp; cruising speed is 26 mph Price: $619,000 for 2016

50 Foot Yacht Cost

50-foot yachts are  normally owner-operated, so you wouldn’t need to pay for a crew. Now we are around the size of 2-bedroom yachts.

They can provide more living space giving the owner flexibility for more guests and making it a more permanent residential option. With more space comes the opportunity to install more amenities as well.

The biggest difference between the 40-foot vessel and the 50-foot is the accommodations.

Expect three-cabin layouts, which give plenty of space for rest. The opportunity to create guest rooms, owners’ suite, and entertainment spaces are better with these yachts.

Our Pick: Hatteras GT54 Convertible Sportfish

cost of ocean going yacht

The price for the 2017 model of this used yacht starts at $2,249,000. 

This yacht is 53′ 10″ long and weighs 75,000 pounds! It has twin diesel engines, 1,300 hp each, cruising speed of 35 mph.

It has a 1200-gallon fuel capacity with three staterooms. It sleeps up to 6 people, so it is perfect for entertaining without being so large to the point where maintenance becomes very difficult. It is known for its great propulsion rates and is very smooth and agile.

It specializes as a fishing boat but allows plenty of room for guests. In addition to the three staterooms, it has a large salon deck, a spacious galley, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Yacht Price Examples for Two Other 50 Foot

  • 51-foot Azimut Magellano 50; express cruiser; twin diesel engines, 425 hp each, cruising speed 16 mph Price: $670,760 for 2013
  • 52-foot Carver C52 Command Bridge; twin diesel engines, 600 hp each; cruising speed 18- 26 mph Price: $1,149,000 for 2017; $1,750,00 for 2021 with bow thrusters, gyro-stabilizer

How much is a large yacht? Let’s  step up to 60 foot.

60 Foot Yacht Cost

Now we’re looking at 2-bedroom yacht prices. A yacht in this range approaches the upper end of the owner/operator criteria.

This means that owners need to decide whether they can handle this size yacht on their own or if they need to hire outside help from a crew.

If you’re thinking of buying a boat this size, the cost may not be an issue, but understand that adding crew members adds substantial extra expenses! Crew salaries start at around $3K /mth for junior members and $10K for captains and experienced crew members.

This size is great for longer travels beyond day trips and adds more and more space for extra amenities. Hosting guests becomes easier.

Here are some examples:

Our Pick: Hatteras M60

cost of ocean going yacht

The average base price for this model is around $2,995,000.

The Hatteras M60 is great for someone who wants the luxury of a larger yacht but still wants to be an owner-operator. The deck’s layout below and above is spacious, with a large salon and a full master suite. It can be customized to order with hardwood floors or specific carpeting and amenities like TVs, a bar, a full kitchen, etc. It is a motor yacht, meant for pleasure cruising.

It has twin diesel engines, 1135 hp each; cruising speed is 28 mph.

Yacht Price Examples for Two Other 60 Foot

  • 64-foot Schaefer 640; express cruiser; twin diesel engines, 625 hp each; cruising speed 25 mph Price: $1,299,000 for 2017
  • 60-foot Sunreef 62 Sailing Catamaran; twin diesel engines 110 hp each; cruising speed 10 mph Price: $990,000 for 2009

70 Foot Yacht Cost

We’re now looking at 3-bedroom yachts. Once you reach this size yacht, it is almost guaranteed you will need a crew to help operate it. A crewed yacht is very different from an owner-operated yacht.

This is just shy of the superyacht category, so if you settle on this size, know you are almost there!

As previously mentioned, as the yacht size gets larger, so do the number of factors that make the purchase more layered and complex.

When yachts reach this size, the interior layout begins to change more drastically. They often have a spacious main deck perfect for dining and entertaining guests, whereas below, the yacht would likely have four or more cabins and crew quarters.

With more rooms comes more cost and more opportunity to customize the space to make it your own.

Here are some great options for this size:

Our Pick: Hatteras GT70 Convertible Sportfish

cost of ocean going yacht

The 2017 GT70 model runs around $4,500,000, but keep in mind the extra costs of maintenance, furnishing, and a cabin crew to help it run. It’s great for a long vacation and far-away destinations.

The GT70 convertible sportfish is known for its speed and agility, and high propulsion power. It has twin diesel engines, 1900 hp each; cruising speed over 30 mph.

It is 70′ 6″ with 2,140-gallon fuel capacity. The inside is lavish, with a galley, a huge salon, and five staterooms.

Yacht Price Examples for Two Other 70 Foot

  • 75-foot Hatteras Motor Yacht; sport cruiser; twin diesel, 1800 hp each; cruising speed 28 mph. Price: $4,375,000 for 2017
  • 74-foot Ocean Alexander Motoryacht; twin diesel, 1150 hp each; cruising speed 24 mph. Price: $1,895,000 for 2011

100 Foot Yacht Costs (and up):

You are officially in the superyacht range.

These yachts come in all styles and shapes, allowing for cruising along coastlines or focusing on watercraft and speed boating.

Since this is likely the peak size boat for practical use, you can expect a lot of additional costs for hiring a crew, maintenance, docking, as well as stocking your boat full of amenities. 

You’re likely to spend the bulk of your costs furnishing this size boat as bigger yachts typically are sold without furniture. The previous owner will want to hold on to designer furniture and other expensive interior.

Check out these great  examples of 100-foot yachts .

Our Pick: 143′ 04″ Virtus 44

cost of ocean going yacht

This model cost around $20,189,000.

This mega yacht is anyone’s dream.

It is home to a fully integrated beach club with room for a pool deck, floor-to-ceiling windows in the main salon, a hot tub on the top deck, five staterooms, an 8-person crew, and room to sleep ten guests.

It has room for water toys and other gadgets, with a layout that keeps them purposefully hidden from the outside world. It has a 12-knot cruising speed and 16-knot max speed,

Other 100+ Feet Yachts Price Examples

  • 98′ 5″ AB 100 Price: $8,843,260 for 2018
  • 161′ 04″ Acico Nassima Price: $17,933,000 for 2012

How Much is Yacht Insurance?

Insurance on a yacht is around 1% of the purchase price per year. It can go higher if you have lots of expensive designer furniture. This can add up over the years. It’s often cheaper to insure a sailing yacht but the price range is still within the 0.7-1.3%.

What Other Expenses Do Yacht Owners Face?

Harbor fees is another expense for yacht owners. It’s also a yearly fee that varies but as a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around $100 per foot per year, depending on how popular the marina is. You will also have to be on a waitlist if you want a good location.

How Much Does a Luxury Yacht Cost?

A super yacht fall under the category of “luxury yachts” or “mega-yachts”.

The world’s largest private vessel belongs to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Azzam. It is 590 feet long and costs $600 million to build!

It is outliers like these that increase the price average for yacht owners, perhaps scaring potential owners when they start their research.

As a luxury yacht price guide, however, we need to look at averages.

Currently, the average superyacht costs $275 million. This does not even account for maintenance costs, either.

Superyachts are large and luxurious, needing a professional crew to help them run. They are designed to emphasize comfort, speed, and longer expeditions – depending on the yacht builders.

They might have:

  • swimming pools,
  • water toys,
  • diving and fishing poles,
  • fully furnished rooms,
  • helicopter landing pads,
  • and smaller support vessels

Just to name a few amenities. They are truly the epitome of the elite.

What Size Boat is Considered a Yacht?

The normal yacht length starts at around 23 feet, and can extend hundreds of feet.  If the boat meets 23 feet, it can be considered a yacht.

A boat does not need luxury features to be considered a yacht.

It can be minimal and stripped of the “extra” stuff to fall into the yacht category, so long as it meets the size and length criteria.

11 Things to Consider Before You Purchase

When making this purchase, the yacht size you buy needs to reflect what you hope to get out of the vessel.

Some important questions to ask yourself before you buy are:

  • What does your perfect day on the water look like?
  • How long will your average day on the water be?
  • Will it be more boating/watercraft focused or long cruise focused?
  • Will you use the yacht for fishing?
  • Will you be on the yacht every day of the week or just on weekends?
  • How many people do you hope to fit on the yacht?
  • Do you plan to stay on the yacht overnight?
  • Where will you dock the yacht?
  • How much boating experience do you have?
  • How fast do you want the yacht to go?
  • How important is it to have extra amenities like furnished rooms, water toys, electronics, etc.?

These questions will guide you to understand the size you really need and will be able to realistically maintain versus what your most ideal yacht would look like.

When Do You Need a Full-Time Crew?

At length over 50 or 60 feet, you may need a full-time captain or crew. 

A full-time crew person will be needed to keep all the varnished woodwork looking good and all the little things maintained.

Sometimes, you must be honest with yourself about what you want and what you actually need. Be self-aware about your abilities (or lack thereof) in taking care of a specific size yacht.

If you don’t know much about boats and navigation, you will need more help to use your vessel.

Hopefully, this comprehensive guide gives you a good starting point as you begin your yacht price research process.

Important Things to Consider As Well

Although there are many factors to consider when understanding a yacht’s prices, it is an exciting purchase nonetheless and should be enjoyed as much as possible.

At the end of your research, you’ll be the owner of a beautiful yacht you can use for leisure, cruising, sports craft, fishing, or all of the above.

Although this article is a good starting point, we would also recommend getting in touch with a  yacht broker who can help you find your best fit , model, year, and the price is given your personal budget. 

They are great sources of knowledge in addition to personal research.

Make sure you are as patient as possible in this process to make sure you are covering all your bases, but most importantly, enjoy the process!

Here’s How Much Yachts Cost on Average:

Yachts start around $300,000 for smaller 40-foot models and can go as high as several hundred million dollars for superyachts.

These are the main contributing factors to the price of a yacht:

  • The size of the yacht
  • The age of the yacht
  • The brand and  type of yacht

In general, the larger the yacht is, the more important the quality of the build becomes.

Also, potential owners need to understand the cruising speed and propulsion of different yachts.

The yacht type is also broken down into two categories:

  • Mediterranean Style Open style expresses yacht with maximum space for sun, little-to-no shade on the deck.
  • Hard-top express Semi-enclosed or fully-enclosed space on deck for the operator
  • Flybridge yachts

An express yacht is often referred to interchangeably as an  express cruiser  or  sports cruiser .

It has a single deck above the hull with a living space below.

They are much sleeker, too.

A flybridge yacht is often referred to as a sedan bridge or sport bridge, and it is typically used for fishing. It has additional space above the main deck.

Since the flybridge area has more space on the second deck, the main deck is normally made up of enclosed spaces and rooms.

It can have an open-air layout but can also have a hard-top.

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Gulet Expert

Yacht Price: An In-Depth Guide to Understanding and Managing Costs

Key takeaways:.

– Yacht prices vary greatly based on type, size, age, and luxury level.

– Owning a yacht involves additional costs including maintenance, insurance, and docking fees.

– Financing options are available for prospective yacht buyers.

– Valuation and negotiation play crucial roles in the yacht purchasing process.

Table of Contents

I. introduction, ii. understanding yacht pricing, iii. yacht cost breakdown, iv. cost of yacht ownership, v. financing and valuation of yachts, vi. yacht charter and purchase options, vii. conclusion, introduction.

Welcome to the opulent world of yachting

Welcome to the opulent world of yachting, where the sparkling seas beckon and the allure of the high seas whispers the promise of luxury and leisure. For many, the dream of owning a yacht symbolizes the ultimate in success and lifestyle achievement. However, this dream comes with a need for a deep understanding of what that gleaming vessel will cost – often beyond the sticker price.

Whether you’re an experienced mariner or a novice to nautical adventures, grappling with the concept of yacht prices can be daunting. This isn’t simply about the upfront cost of the purchase; it’s a broader topic encompassing ongoing expenses, market valuation, and the intricate details of yacht financing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will embark on a voyage through the complexities of yacht pricing. From unraveling the initial costs of various types of yachts to navigating the treacherous waters of depreciation, maintenance, and insurance, our journey will arm you with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions in the world of yacht ownership. Whether you’re contemplating purchasing a sleek sailing yacht or a majestic motor-powered mega yacht, understanding the intricacies of pricing is paramount.

So, hoist the sails and prepare to delve into the fiscal voyage of yacht ownership, as we chart a course through the monetary seas, ensuring you don’t encounter any unexpected storms along the way. Welcome aboard!

In this comprehensive guide

Stay tuned as we explore the first segment of our course in “ Understanding Yacht Pricing “ , where we’ll break down the costs and factors that determine the price of your potential marine investment.

Understanding Yacht Pricing

When embarking on the journey to purchase a yacht, understanding the breakdown of costs is essential. Prices can vary significantly based on brand, size, amenities, and whether the vessel is new or pre-owned. Here’s a brief look at the key components that factor into the price of a yacht:

Yacht Cost Breakdown

Table 1: price range by yacht type and size.

  • Sailing Yacht
  • Motor Yacht
  • Luxury Superyacht
  • Size Range (feet)
  • New Yacht Price Range
  • $100,000 – $10 million
  • $500,000 – $20 million
  • $10 million – $300+ million
  • Pre-Owned Price Range
  • $50,000 – $5 million
  • $250,000 – $15 million
  • $5 million – $150+ million

Note: Prices are approximate ranges and can vary based on additional factors.

This table provides an overarching view of the potential costs associated with different types of yachts, which helps in setting expectations for prospective buyers. Now, let’s look at the recurrent costs associated with yacht ownership.

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Cost of Yacht Ownership

Owning a yacht is associated with several continuous expenses that maintain the vessel’s operational status and value. Below is a table outlining the typical annual costs you can expect once you’ve acquired your yacht.

Table 2: Annual Yacht Ownership Costs

  • Expense Category
  • Maintenance & Repairs
  • Crew Salaries (if needed)
  • Dockage & Storage Fees
  • Fuel & Operational Costs
  • Estimated Annual Cost
  • $1,000 – $1 million+
  • $30,000 – $1 million+
  • $10,000 – $500,000
  • $5,000 – $500,000
  • $50,000 – $1 million+
  • Percentage of Yacht Value
  • 1% – 10%
  • 5% – 50%
  • 1% – 3%

Note: Costs can vary based on yacht size, usage, location, and other factors.

By examining the tables above, it is apparent that the initial acquisition of a yacht is merely the entry fee into the world of yachting. The ongoing expenses can often amount to a significant percentage of the yacht’s original price each year.

' title=

Q: What factors affect the price of a yacht?

A: The price is influenced by size, brand, age, design, amenities, and whether the yacht is custom-built or mass-produced. Additionally, the vessel’s condition, market demand, and the seller’s motivation play roles in pricing.

Q: Are there any hidden costs in yacht ownership?

A: Yes, beyond the purchase price, owners should account for maintenance, insurance, crew salaries, docking fees, and operational costs like fuel.

Q: Is financing available for purchasing a yacht?

A: Financing options include marine loans, leasing, and sometimes even seller financing. Each option comes with specific terms and requirements.

Q: How significant are the ongoing costs of owning a yacht?

A: Annual costs can range from 1% to 10% (or more) of the yacht’s value, depending on size, usage, and other factors.

Q: Can I charter my yacht to offset ownership costs?

A: Yes, chartering your yacht can provide income, but it also entails additional wear and management considerations. Consult with a yacht management company for guidance.

Key Takeaways

  • Yacht prices are variable and are impacted by numerous factors including type, size, and luxury amenities.
  • Ownership costs extend beyond the purchase price and include recurring expenses associated with maintenance, crew, insurance, and operational fees.
  • Financing options are diverse and should be carefully considered to match the buyer’s financial situation.
  • Professional guidance from brokers, financial advisors, and legal experts is crucial in navigating the complexities of yacht ownership.
  • Due diligence and comprehensive research can help minimize financial risks and ensure a rewarding yacht ownership experience.

Whether considering a purchase or simply dreaming about it, understanding yacht pricing is critical for anyone stepping into the maritime luxury market. Always take the time to gather information, plan ahead, and consult professionals to ensure your yachting experience is smooth sailing.


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How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Yacht?

By Rob Bowman | Posted On Aug 09, 2021 Updated On Dec 12, 2023

If you're new to owning a boat and want to experience the luxury lifestyle, buying a yacht is the perfect way to indulge yourself while also creating unforgettable memories on the water. From anchoring at a secluded island in the Caribbean to cruising the coastline enjoying the fall colors, yacht ownership opens up limitless possibilities to explore the beauty of Mother Nature. It can also create quite the adrenaline rush if a sportfishing boat is more your style. There are many benefits to hiring a professional yacht broker when you plan on buying your first yacht including having someone on your side when evaluating the right price, for the right vessel.

So how much does it cost to buy a yacht on average? In 2021, the average selling price of a yacht is approximately $640,000, with prices ranging from $300,000 to over $15,000,000. This average selling price represents all pre-owned boats from 40-feet to 100-feet, power (not sail), and sold in the Southeastern United States, including the large Florida market. The data collected for this sales price was from the boating industry's MLS system.

This 50-foot flybridge yacht (seen below) was sold around the average selling price mentioned above and is a good example of what you can expect when spending over $500k . It features several bedrooms for overnight trips, a galley, a nice flybridge seating area, and a lot of comforts you would find at home.

50-foot flybridge yacht sold

A yacht can mean vastly different things to different people depending on their style of boating, where they live, what they plan to do on the boat, and the amount of equipment they choose. A 50-foot yacht can vary in price by several hundred thousand dollars depending on how new it is, its engines, brand, and amenities. Having a conversation about your needs and budget with a professional yacht broker can answer all of these questions and take the guesswork out of your search. 

While the average price of a yacht sold in the Southeast this year is $640,000, buyers can find yachts for less if they are willing to go a bit older and/or a bit smaller.

  • According to the list of 2021 sold boats, the average selling price for yachts between 40 and 50 feet was $329,000.
  • Yachts under 40 feet are generally called cruising boats and can still feature a lot of the same amenities found on larger vessels.
  • How much does a small yacht cost? Examples of active boats on the market right now show a sizeable difference in price depending on the length and year. For example, a 2021 40-foot Intrepid boat is listed for over $800,000 , while a 2011 Intrepid 40 is listed for under $400,000 .

(Seen below: This Cabo 40 would be considered a smaller yacht and is listed for under $375,000.)

40-foot cabo yacht for sale

The larger, newer, and more extravagant yachts can cost $5 million and higher. identifies a superyacht as a vessel ranging from "79 feet to more than 590 feet in length." The average selling price in 2021 for yachts over 100-feet, according to the industry MLS database, came in at just under $1 million. Of course, there were several superyachts that were between $10 million and $50 million on the list.

A prime example of a superyacht would be " ANTITHESIS ", a Horizon Yachts 136 that had an asking price of $7,990,000 at the time of sale. This superyacht featured 5 luxury staterooms, a pilothouse with full electronics suite, a jacuzzi, sauna, 2 water-makers, 2 generators, and a lot more top-end equipment. Yacht owners looking to cruise long distances or possibly turn the vessel into a yacht charter business would be interested in a boat of this stature.

( Seen below: This Horizon 136 required massive engines that gave it a range of over 1,400 nautical miles. )

horizon motor yacht

The cost of a yacht is not the only cost to consider. Purchasing your new boat is the largest upfront expense, however, there are also the costs of owning a yacht that need to be considered. This is again where hiring an experienced, professional yacht broker can really pay dividends and take a lot of the stress out of the process. Things like insurance, storage, routine maintenance, captain and crew salaries, all need to be factored in to your expectations. We dive into this a bit more in our articles Why Are Boats So Expensive? and What Should I Spend On A Yacht?

Despite the potentially high cost of yacht ownership, it is still an excellent investment in your well-being and will bring countless joyful memories. There is no other recreation in the world that brings families and friends together, while enjoying the wonders of the ocean.

( Seen below: CHIMERA is a 60-foot Hinckley sailing yacht listed for over $1 million. )

While the purchase of sailboats still account for less than 10% of all boats sold, sailing is still a popular past-time which has some very passionate enthusiasts. According to Trade Only Today , in 2019 and 2020 there were more than 1,100 sailboats sold in the United States. As you begin to figure out exactly what type of boating you want to enjoy, as well to learn the advantages and disadvantages of different boat types, you can begin to narrow down the selection process.

Below is the average cost to purchase a small yacht broken out by type :

  • Sailboats Over 40': $193,000
  • Sailing Catamarans - All Sizes: $361,000
  • Power Catamarans - All Sizes: $304,247
  • Downeast Yachts - Over 35': $532,240
  • Sport Fishing Yachts - Over 40' and in Southeast: $815,500

With so many factors to determine how much it costs to buy a yacht and maintain it, it is in the best interest of boat buyers of this magnitude to speak with a certified professional yacht broker. "Pricing a yacht in this market can be a difficult thing," said Brian T. Franc , CPYB and manager of United's Emerald Coast Division. "Pre-owned prices are definitely inflated due to lack of inventory, but there are still some great opportunities if you are fast and have someone watching the market daily on your behalf. As someone who has been in the yacht brokerage industry for almost 30 years, I can tell you that working with a professional makes a difference. We can tell almost immediately whether a boat is over-priced, what it will likely sell for, and whether or not it is the right boat for your needs.

Other Related Articles Of Interest :

  • Can I Sell My Yacht Without A Broker?
  • Why Are Sportfishing Yachts So Expensive?
  • What Is The Best Time Of Year To Sell A Boat?
  • How Much Should I Pay For A Yacht?

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How Much Does a Boat Cost in 2024? (With Ownership Costs)


Residents all across the US are buying more boats than ever before. From kayaks and canoes to the most luxurious and opulent yachts, manufacturers are struggling to keep up. But with so many potential buyers being first-timers, the question will inevitably come up, “roughly how much does a boat cost?”

How Much Does a Boat Cost?

What determines boat price, renting vs. buying a boat, cost of owning a boat, total cost of boat ownership.

An average 20’ boat used can often be found for between $10,000 and $20,000. The same boat bought new would likely be $40,000 to $60,000. One of the biggest factors that will impact the price is the style of the boat, with the length of the boat figuring heavily as well.

Buying used boats will always save you money getting the boat into your hands initially, but they will almost always cost more in maintenance and repairs during the term of ownership.

All boats, though, will require maintenance and additional costs associated with ownership. Below is a quick rundown of common boat types and what they can be found for new and used where applicable.

Boat TypeCommon usesSize Used PriceNew PricePopular Model 
Bowrider boatsWatersports, cruising, fishingUnder 20’$10,000-$25,000$15,000-$30,000
Pontoon BoatsLeisure, fishing18’-25’$8,000-$12,000$19,000-$65,000
Fishing BoatsFishing16’-25’$5,000-$10,000$30,000+
Cabin CruisersCruising, leisure25’-45’$100,000$250,000+
Cuddy CabinsCruising18’-28’$20,000-$30,000$50,000
SailboatsCruising, leisure30’-35’$20,000$80,000+
YachtsLeisure, cruising30’-100’+$150,000$250,000+

There are several factors that will affect the cost of a boat. Firstly you will need to determine what type of boat you are buying after which it will be a choice between buying used or new. Each will have its own benefits and drawbacks, both short and long term.

The boat price range will also depend on the time of year during which you buy. The same boat, priced at off-season and during full-swing boating season, may have a price that differs by 5%-15%. This can mean a difference of thousands, depending on what type of boat is being shopped.

Other factors that influence the pricing for boats will be the age, the features, the condition, and whether it is being bought from a dealer or a private party. All other things being equal, a boat will generally be cheaper when bought from a private party than from any sort of dealer or marina.

Used vs. New Boats

Many first-time boat buyers find themselves wondering if they should buy a new boat or a used boat. There are several benefits as well as drawbacks for both. Depending on your time and resources, there may be a clear-cut best choice for you, or you may still have to do some thinking.

While the used boat market will definitely save you money initially, which can be incredibly powerful when shopping, you may ultimately find that the boat maintenance cost that you experience is more than initially expected.

This will fluctuate in accordance with the level of care that the previous owner or owners maintained. If you are more budget-conscious, however, a used boat may be best since you can save later by doing your own repairs.

If you have more money than time or patience, the new boat cost may not be that offputting, since it may ultimately mean less repair cost and shop time during the term of ownership. Bear in mind, however, that buying a new boat will not relieve you of routine maintenance like oil changes. 

Size and Style

Just like with other vehicles, boats come in different sizes and styles , which affects the boat price. If you are looking for a fishing boat, expect to spend more than a canoe. If you really like the 24’ model over the 22’ model, understand that your sticker price will likely be higher for a base model. 

Before you make any final decisions about the size and style of boat you are going to start shopping for, make sure you think hard about how it will be used in the future.

If you plan to take a lot of guests out, make sure you have the capacity for that. If you will only ever take out a maximum of 3 or 4 people, there’s no need to spend a robust sum on something that has 8 seats, when a medium-sized boat will suffice.

Always remember not to buy beyond your experience level. If you are a new boat owner, ideal boats are most likely going to be 15’ to 18’ in length and have a modest engine.

If you get a boat that you aren’t ready to operate in the hopes that you’ll “grow into it” you can be putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Bigger boats also mean increased boat mooring costs.

One of the things that will have the biggest impact on the price of a boat is the feature set that it is equipped with. Boats can have a surprising amount of features, upgrades, and tech gadgets that can add significantly to the cost.

Some of the features that affect the average boat price include cutting-edge chartplotters, built-in media systems, specialty (often LED) lighting, battery chargers and maintainers, swim or diving platforms, hydraulic steering , autopilot functionality, and GPS position holding.

Higher-end boats may even feature additional comfort or even luxury features that greatly increase the boat cost.

This can include things like joystick steering controls, vacuum head systems, custom flooring, countertops, or finishes, satellite weather systems, and even climate-controlled cockpits and cabins. 

In many areas, particularly those that incorporate leisure watersports or sport fishing, rental boats may be available. This can be very convenient for those who do not own a boat and can allow you to get out on the water with only the most minimal investment in boat costs.

Some of the upsides to renting a boat include never having to worry about the costs of owning a boat or the time investment of maintenance that the boat will require. This is the perfect option for those who may only get out on the water a couple of times per year, and it removes the burden of off-season storage.

There are some downsides to renting, however. With rentals, don’t have to pay for the cost of boat ownership, but you may not be guaranteed to get the boat that you want, even with reservations. You also generally rent very basic boats that are limited in range and ability. Some rental locations also do not allow nighttime navigation, which can be restrictive.

Boating costs $1,000 to $6,000 in expenses yearly, on average. The costs of owning a boat don’t end with the price of the boat and the first tank of gas. There are significant costs associated with owning a boat, some are costs like taxes and registration that you would have on any vehicle, and some are going to be unique to boating.

If you don’t plan ahead for a lot of the boat ownership costs it can end up costing you more in the long run. Some of the additional things that many beginners don’t think about include: 

  • Boat fuel cost 
  • Marina costs 
  • Boat launch fees
  • Seasonal maintenance
  • Boat repair costs
  • Seasonal storage
  • Transportation, in the case of some larger boats

Boater education is incredibly important for the safety and enjoyment of your boating experience. Taking a formal boater education course ensures that you have the foundational knowledge needed to safely and effectively operate your boat. It can also save you a bit on your boat insurance.

Too many first-time boat owners assume that if they buy the boat and are exempt or not required to have a license, that they can just go out and boat.

Many states do not require boater education, but there are also many that do, and if you test and get certified by a NASBLA body, you can use the certificate anywhere.

Requirement : Essential for safe operation Frequency : One time Cost : <$100-$500

Just like your other vehicles, you’ll need to register or license your boat . The fees and process will vary greatly by state, but the fees range from around $20 up to over $200. They will often be determined by the type of vessel and its length, as well as the length of time that the boat is registered for. 

Once registered, you will receive some type of registration proof to keep with your vessel. You will also be assigned a registration number that you will need to affix to the bow of your boat with reflective stickers.

Requirement : Required for all powered boats Frequency : Varies by location, from yearly up to lifetime Cost : $20 to $200

Just like everything else in life you will need to pay taxes on your boat. The severity of this tax obligation will depend heavily on where you live. The feds won’t take a cut, but you will need to pay the state as well as any local taxes owed. 

The sales tax will only be paid once, and that will happen at the point of sale. The other types of tax that may apply are a use tax, if you somehow avoided paying sales tax, this will be paid to the jurisdiction where the boat is most often used. The personal property tax is the one that will hit you every year, just like any other vehicle.

Requirement : Mandatory for all boats Frequency : Yearly Cost : Varies by location

Maintenance Cost 

All boats will need maintenance , which should be expected as part of the cost of owning a boat, regardless of the size or type. However, maintenance costs are one of the costs that can be largely avoided by renting.

If you own your own boat, you will need to plan for maintenance items to be taken care of before and after each outing, some maintenance that will only need to be done a few times per year if you are really active boaters, and some maintenance that is only going to be needed on a seasonal basis. 

You will need fresh water flushes, oil changes, steering system inspections and maintenance, deck and seat cleaning and maintenance, hull inspections, propeller inspection and replacement, potential anchor replacement, and more.

Good operation and preventative measures can minimize abnormal maintenance costs. 

Requirement : Required on all boats Frequency : Routine and seasonal Cost : $1,000-$6,000

Fuel cost is something that can creep up on you if you don’t stay aware of your boat’s fuel situation. Operating a boat uses fuel, just like any other vehicle. The fuel cost for your boat will be measured in a similar fashion to your car or truck. 

Some small, single-person boats can keep an angler on the water all day on just 1-2 gallons of gas or less. Small rental fishing boats may have a 5-gallon tank which is more than enough for them, while the same amount of gas in a boat meant for towing waterskiers or tubes will burn that gas much faster.

Estimate your fuel cost ahead of time by making sure that you are familiar with the consumption rate of your boat. You can also save gas by keeping the revs lower and learning how to properly adjust your trim. Fuel costs may be included in your monthly marina cost as well if you lease space with one.

Requirement : Required in all powered boats Frequency : As needed Cost : Current gasoline market value, plus oil depending on the engine

Boat Trailer and Tow Vehicle

When you own a boat, unless it’s a relatively large boat that cannot be transported personally, you will need a vehicle to tow it and a trailer to put it on. These are essential for nearly all boat owners, though many will not buy a boat if they have to way to move it. 

Your trailer must be capable of carrying the weight of the boat and any other cargo on the boat at the time of loading. Trailers must also be frequently inspected to ensure safety and functionality, and in most states, your trailer must be registered just as any vehicle, which can be its own annual expense.

Requirement : Required for all powered boats Frequency : Once Cost : Varies, some boats include, otherwise avg. $3,000

Requirement : Requirement Frequency : Once Cost : N/A

Boat Insurance

When you own a boat you need to protect it, and that means taking out an insurance policy on it. This ensures that if something were to happen to the craft that it would be covered. It is generally illegal to operate a boat without current insurance on it.

Getting insurance on a boat can be a relatively cheap task, particularly if you’ve taken the time to finish a boater safety course and obtain your safety certificate. Most insurance policies for boats will only cost between $20 and $50 per month for average vessels. 

Insurance is also vital protection in the event that someone else is injured on your boat. Without insurance, you could face personal liability in the event that something were to happen while passengers were aboard.

Requirement : Required Frequency : Monthly/Quarterly/Yearly Cost : $20-$50 per month

Winter Storage

In most areas, the boating season is only so long and when the weather starts to get cooler it’s often seen as the time to get the boat ready for storage. In many cases with smaller boats, they can be easily over-wintered in the owner’s garage if proper precautions are taken. 

Boat owners can also rent an off-season storage space in a facility that will keep them secure and tended. Boats have batteries that must be maintained with charging, and unattended boats are the perfect place for pests and vermin to start to gather. 

Having someone manage that for you can take a lot of stress and clutter out of your garage or storage unit. Indoor storage is often more than $50 per square foot of space needed, while outdoor storage can run about half of that.

Requirement : Required in all but equatorial regions Frequency : Yearly Cost : $525-$200 per square foot

Mooring and Marina Fees

This is essential for those who live in areas where you will be boating often and will not want to trailer your boat from storage to the launch each time. If there is a marina nearby, you can often rent or lease a  boat slip to park your boat in during the season. 

They frequently charge by the size of the boat and the amenities requested, like charging or freshwater supply. Not only do they allow you to keep your boat ready to go out at a moment’s notice, but they often are well-secured and safer than other storage locations. 

Requirement : Optional Frequency : Monthly/Yearly Cost : $50-$1,000 per month

Equipment and Accessories

When planning to buy a boat, safety gear should always be considered part of the overall purchase cost.

Paddles, life jackets, signal flares, a horn, and many other things are important to have onboard before you hit the water in your boat for the first time.

In fact, there are some items that are required for you to have at all times.

Required safety equipment:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life jackets and wearable personal floatation devices
  • Throwable flotation devices
  • Visual signaling devices
  • Sound signaling devices

Additional accessories, like lighting, watersports equipment, and stereos are a fun addition to your boating experience, although they aren’t required. If your equipment budget is limited for now, you can always purchase the necessities and add exciting upgrades as you are able to.

Requirement : Some safety equipment is required Frequency : As needed Cost : $500

As you can see, there is a lot more to boat ownership than just buying a boat. The first-time boat buyer, buying a new boat with a trailer for a modest $15,000, and towing it with their existing vehicle, can still expect to spend more than an additional $5,400 the first year alone, expecting minimal maintenance on a new boat.

Buying a used boat may save you on the initial purchase price, but depending on how the last owner treated her you may be in for a lot of shop time. 

If you are not a first-time boat owner and you’re looking to try and estimate your yearly ownership costs on a bigger, more expensive boat, there are a few ways you can ballpark that estimate. The most popular is a yearly cost of ten percent of the purchase price, before adding in seasonal storage, which can easily double that number.

Boat price: $15,000 Education: $100 Licenses: $100 Taxes: $30 Maintenance: $1,500 Fuel: $200 Trailer: $0 Towing vehicle: $0 Insurance: $300 Winter storage: $2,500 Mooring: $240 Equipment: $500

How much does a boat cost per month?

If your annual boat maintenance costs you $2,400, for example, that would make your monthly burden about $500.

How much does a boat cost to rent?

You can frequently rent a simple fishing boat for around $400 per 8 hour day, while a pontoon boat may run twice as much, plus fuel.

How much does it cost to dock a boat? 

If you rent a boat slip from a marina, you can expect to pay between $100 and $1,000 per month, depending on your boat.

How much does it cost to maintain a boat? 

Your maintenance costs will vary depending on boat use, but it will be a significant portion of the yearly cost of ownership.

How much does it cost to own a boat? 

The average cost of boat ownership for most fishing or pleasure crafts will be between $1,000 and $6,000 per year.

How much does it cost to own a yacht? 

Plan on a yearly cost of around 10% of the value of the boat, so a $10 million dollar yacht will cost about one million per year.

How much does a used boat cost? 

Some used boats can be on your trailer heading home with you for a couple of hundred bucks, some others a couple of thousand.

How much does a big boat cost? 

Some of the biggest private boats, like large yachts, can cost more than $1,000,000 for every foot of total boat length.

How much does a small boat cost? 

Small boats, like jon boats or small bass boats, may only cost a few hundred if bought used on the private market.

How much does a new boat cost? 

This will depend greatly on what type of boat you want and what it’s going to be for, the basic boats start around $1,000.

How much does a riverboat cost? 

Depending on what you’re looking for in your riverboat you may be able to pay as little as $12,000, though they do go for $40,000 or more in some cases.

How much does a speed boat cost? 

A speedboat can frequently be found used for around $30,000 without a cabin. Larger or more powerful boats may have a cockpit.

How much does a motorboat cost?

A run-of-the-mill motorboat will cost you, on average, between $10,000 and $20,000 with more extravagant models going for much more.

How much does a cabin cruiser cost?

The average mid-range cabin cruisers will cost about $250,000 and budget models at about half that amount.

How much does a fishing boat cost?

Fishing boats can commonly be found for around $10,000, increasing significantly with features and options.

How much does a ski boat cost? 

The average ski boat will set you back about $150,000, for a common and relatively basic model with average features. 

How much does a sailboat cost? 

Sailboats range quite a bit in their price, being found on the used market for $20,000 while new ones can cost $80,000 or more.

How much does a yacht cost? 

Some basic yachts can be found for $250,000, though most new luxury yachts will cost up to $1 million per foot in length.

How much does a bass boat cost? 

Bass boats can range in cost greatly, from budget models starting around $10,000 to high-end tournament fishing boats for $70,000.

How much does a bay boat cost?

If you are looking for a bay boat, you can reasonably expect to pay at least $10,000 for a relatively capable craft.

How much does a bowrider cost?

Some of the more basic bowrider boats will cost $15,000 new, with longer boats or more feature-dense crafts reaching $50,000 or more.

How much does a center console boat cost?

Used center console boats are available on the private market for around $10,000, while premium models and features can cost tens of thousands more.

How much does a convertible boat cost? 

New convertible boats can be obtained for as little as $14,000-$15,000, while some models and options packages will push the price well over $50,000.

How much does a power cruiser cost?

The market for power cruisers isn’t cheapest by any means, and a new power cruiser will often be around $100,000 for a relatively basic vessel.

How much does a cuddy cabin cost?

Even the most basic cuddy cabin bought new will cost around $50,000, with options and features boosting the price from there.

How much does a deck boat cost?

Buying a new deck boat will cost you at least $20,000 for basic models, with more powerful or extravagant models pushing $60,000 and more.

How much does a flat boat cost?

Most flats boats can be found for around $25,000-$30,000 from major names, with some being under $10,000.

How much does a high-performance powerboat cost?

New performance powerboats have an average price of around $80,000, however, the average used boat prices are far lower and hover around $30,000.

How much does a house boat cost?

The average cost of a houseboat is usually around $50,000, but you should double-check the marina policies to ensure houseboats don’t incur larger docking costs.

How much does an inflatable boat cost?

For more robust inflatable boats, the average cost is going to be about $1,000, with a range of a few hundred dollars to either side, usually. 

How much does a jon boat cost?

If you like cheap boats, a jon boat is perfect and you can usually buy one used for around $500, with brand new boats going for around $1,000 or more.

How much does a pontoon boat cost?

If you are looking for brand new boats, the average boat cost for a pontoon boat will be between $18,000 and $50,000 in most cases.

How much does a catamaran cost? 

If you’re looking for a catamaran the average cost of a boat that has been used is around $35,000, and upwards of a million for more serious crafts bought new.

How much does a runabout boat cost?

Runabout boats are incredibly popular and they can start at around $12,000 for a basic starter and up to $80,000 for more opulent crafts.

How much does a trawler boat cost?

Lots of people considering buying a new boat are looking into trawler-type boats and even used they can cost around $13,000.

How much does a walkaround boat cost?

If you are in the market for a walkaround boat, you can plan to spend about $8,000 for a used one on the open market.


Robert Owens is the Chief of Content of Quicknav. Robert has been boating for over ten years and loves to share his experience on the water. His first boat was a dirt-cheap moderately beat up 2003 Bayliner 175, where he learned a tremendous amount about trailering, launching, docking, operating, and maintaining. He currently owns a Cruiser Yacht and is eyeing a sailboat.

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Poisoned trees gave a wealthy couple in Maine a killer ocean view. Residents wonder, at what cost?

There was one thing missing when a wealthy Missouri couple purchased their oceanfront home overlooking Camden Harbor in Maine: The million-dollar view was blocked by a neighbor's trees

CAMDEN, Maine -- Suspicious deaths in an idyllic seaside community and detective work that points to poison sound like themes from a classic murder mystery. But the victims in this Maine whodunnit were trees that stood in the way of a wealthy family’s oceanfront view, allegedly felled by well-heeled killers who, while ostracized and publicly shamed, remain free.

Wealth and hubris fuel the tale of a politically connected Missouri couple who allegedly poisoned their neighbor’s trees to secure their million-dollar view of Camden Harbor. The incident that was unearthed by the victim herself — the philanthropic wife of L.L. Bean’s late president — has united local residents in outrage.

To make matters worse, the herbicide used to poison the trees leached into a neighboring park and the town’s only public seaside beach. The state attorney general is now investigating.

“Anybody dumb enough to poison trees right next to the ocean should be prosecuted, as far as I’m concerned,” said Paul Hodgson, echoing the view of many exasperated residents in Camden, a community of 5,000 nestled at the foot of mountains that sweep upward from the Atlantic Ocean and overlook a harbor filled with lobster boats, yachts and schooners.

If this were a made-for-TV drama, the story set against the backdrop of this quaint village would have it all: Wealthy out-of-state villains, a sleuthing member of the venerable L.L. Bean family, and the same powerful chemical used to avenge Alabama’s loss on the football field to archrival Auburn.

Amelia Bond, former CEO of the St. Louis Foundation, which oversees charitable funds with more than $500 million in assets, brought the herbicide from Missouri in 2021 and applied it near oak trees on the waterfront property of Lisa Gorman, wife of the late Leon Gorman, L.L. Bean’s president and grandson of L.L. himself, according to a pair of consent agreements with the town and the state pesticide board.

Bond’s husband, Arthur Bond III, is an architect and the nephew of former U.S. Sen. Kit Bond. Their summer home, owned by a trust, is situated directly behind Gorman's home, farther up the hill.

When the trees and other vegetation began dying, Amelia Bond told Gorman in June 2022 that the tree didn’t look good and offered to share the cost of removing them, Gorman's lawyer wrote in a document.

Instead, Gorman had the trees tested. Soon, lawyers were involved.

More than $1.7 million in fines and settlements later, the trees are now gone and the harbor view from the Bond’s home is improved. But the chemical has leached into a neighboring park and beach, leaving the Bonds potentially on the hook for further monitoring and remediation, and Maine's attorney general has agreed to further investigate the incident.

The herbicide — Tebuthiuron — was the same one used in 2010 by an angry Alabama football fan to kill the Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University, following a Crimson Tide loss to their archrival. The incident earned jail time for Harvey Updyke, who acknowledged poisoning the trees.

Tebuthiuron contaminates soil and doesn’t break down, so it continues to kill plants. At Auburn University, it took the removal of about 1,780 tons (1,615 metric tons) of contaminated material to achieve negligible levels of the chemical in the soil.

Short of removing the soil, the only other solution is dilution — waiting for nature to thin out the concentration of the herbicide to safe levels for plants. It could take six months to two years for it to be diluted enough to no longer endanger to plants, said Scott McElroy, an Auburn professor specializing in weed science and herbicide chemistry.

Back in Maine, Tom Hedstrom, chair of the Select Board, said his job typically requires finding consensus on how to proceed with delicate political matters. But this time there is no need because residents are united in their anger.

Hedstrom said he, too, is appalled by the behavior.

“Wealth and power don’t always go hand in hand with intelligence, education and morals,” he said. “This was atrocious and gross and any other word you want to use to describe abhorrent behavior.”

The Bonds have paid a price for their actions, which they acknowledged in the consent agreements.

They paid $4,500 to resolve Maine Board of Pesticides Control Board violations for unauthorized use of an herbicide that was applied inappropriately and not allowed for residential use, $180,000 to resolve violations with the town and another $30,000 for additional environmental testing, according to documents. They also paid more than $1.5 million to Gorman in a legal settlement, according to a memo from Jeremy Martin, the town's planning and development director.

A lawyer for the Bonds said they have no comment, but they “continue to take the allegations against them seriously. They continue to cooperate with the town of Camden, state of Maine and the Gormans, as they have done over the last two years.”

A lawyer for Gorman declined comment.

Rep. Vicki Doudera, D-Camden, said she intends to address the $4,500 maximum fine that the Maine Board of Pesticide Control Board was allowed to assess. One of her ideas is a sliding scale that accounts for scope of damage and intent.

“It makes me so livid," Doudera said. "This situation, the minute I heard about it, I thought, ’Wow! These people are going to get a slap on the wrist. That’s just not right."

On a recent afternoon, no one was home at the Bond's residence while people walked their dogs less than 500 feet (150 meters) away on Laite Memorial Beach, where the herbicide that's lethal to aquatic plants has been detected.

Camden resident Dwight Johnson described as “underhanded” the way Amelia Bond feigned being a good neighbor by offering to share the costs of removing trees that she'd poisoned. Lynn Harrington, another town resident, questioned whether the Bonds could show their faces around town, where they used to be members of the Camden Yacht Club.

Some residents say the episode fits with the well-worn stereotype of wealthy summer residents “from away” — the Maine term for outsiders — running roughshod over full-time residents.

But some residents pushed back against casting summer residents as trouble makers.

Hodgson said Camden is not without its own rule-bending characters in a community where there are plenty of year-round residents who are both wealthy and entitled. He said some residents in the community where the median income is just under $93,000 — high for Maine, the poorest state in New England -- have been known to cut down trees, knowing it’s illegal.

“They just pay the fine because they have plenty of money,” Hodgson said. “That’s the town we live in.”

This story has been corrected to show the Bonds are no longer members of the Camden Yacht Club.

Follow David Sharp on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, @David_Sharp_AP

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Opinion Is Donald Trump okay?

His story about hypothetically being electrocuted is another glimpse into a mind that is unwell.

cost of ocean going yacht

It is irresponsible to obsess over President Biden’s tendency to mangle a couple of words in a speech while Donald Trump is out there sounding detached from reality. Biden, who is old , at least makes sense. Trump, who also is old , rants like someone you’d cross the street to avoid.

We in the media have failed by becoming inured to Trump’s verbal incontinence — not just the rapid-fire lies and revenge-seeking threats, but also the frightening glimpses into a mind that is, evidently, unwell. In 2016, Trump said outrageous things at his campaign rallies to be entertaining. In 2024, his tangents raise serious questions about his mental fitness.

His rally on Sunday in Las Vegas offered a grim smorgasbord of examples, but the obvious standout (and not in a good way) is the story he told about being aboard a hypothetical electric-powered boat . He posits that the battery would be so heavy that it would cause the craft to sink, and he relates his purported conversation with a knowledgeable mariner about this scenario. Bear with me, but it’s worth reading the passage in full:

“I say, ‘What would happen if the boat sank from its weight, and you’re in the boat, and you have this tremendously powerful battery, and the battery’s now underwater, and there’s a shark that’s approximately 10 yards over there?’ “By the way, a lot of shark attacks lately, do you notice that? Lot of sharks. I watched some guys justifying it today: ‘Well they weren’t really that angry, they bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they were not hungry but they misunderstood who she was.’ These people are crazy. He said, ‘There’s no problem with sharks, they just didn’t really understand a young woman swimming.’ No, really got decimated, and other people, too, a lot of shark attacks. “So I said, ‘There’s a shark 10 yards away from the boat, 10 yards, or here. Do I get electrocuted if the boat is sinking, water goes over the battery, the boat is sinking? Do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted, or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted?’ Because I will tell you, he didn’t know the answer. “He said, ‘You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question.’ I said, ‘I think it’s a good question. I think there’s a lot of electric current coming through that water.’ But you know what I’d do if there was a shark or you get electrocuted? I’ll take electrocution every single time. I’m not getting near the shark. So we’re going to end that, we’re going to end it for boats, we’re going to end it for trucks.”

Trucks? He’s actually talking about the transition to electric vehicles , which he has vowed to halt. That entire hallucination is part of Trump’s rationale for one of his major policy positions.

Trump has told the electrocution-or-shark story at least once before , at a rally in Iowa last October. Stormy Daniels , the adult-film actress who received $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about her sexual encounter with Trump — a payment that led to the former president’s conviction on 34 felony charges — has said that Trump is “obsessed with sharks, terrified of sharks.” Way back in 2013, he declared on Twitter: “Sharks are last on my list — other than perhaps the losers and haters of the World!”

The White House press corps would be in wolf pack mode if Biden were in the middle of a speech and suddenly veered into gibberish about boats and sharks. There would be front-page stories questioning whether the president, at 81, was suffering from dementia; and the op-ed pages would be filled with thumb-suckers about whether Vice President Harris and the Cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment . House Republicans would already have scheduled hearings on Biden’s mental condition and demanded he take a cognitive test.

The tendency with Trump, at 77, is to say he’s “just being Trump.” But he’s like this all the time.

Also during the Las Vegas speech, Trump tried to deny the allegation by one of his White House chiefs of staff, retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, that he refused in 2018 to visit an American military cemetery in France, saying it was filled with “suckers” and “losers.” Trump told the crowd on Sunday that “only a psycho or a crazy person or a very stupid person” would say such a thing while “I’m standing there with generals and military people in a cemetery.”

But he wasn’t “standing there” with anybody. He never went to the cemetery .

Except in his mind, perhaps, which is a much bigger problem than Biden fumbling a name or garbling a sentence.

cost of ocean going yacht

The climate economics of the world’s 6,000 superyachts: ‘It’s not an entirely rational decision’

A superyacht moored, with a blue sky

Superyachts are the ultimate status symbol for royal families, oligarchs and billionaires from Jeff Bezos to Bernard Arnault. The floating palaces are a source of fascination and secrecy — and greenhouse gas emissions. 

The planet-warming pollution caused by luxury vessels that benefit the very few has led lifestyle social scientist Gregory Salle to dub them a form of “ecocide” and “conspicuous seclusion” in his new book, Superyachts: Luxury, Tranquility and Ecocide.

There are almost 6,000 superyachts — that is, vessels over 30 meters (100 feet)  — at sea, according to a report earlier this year by media and market intelligence company SuperYacht Times. The total has quadrupled in the past three decades. 

“It’s hard to think about a sign of wealth that is more convincing than that if you possess a superyacht,” said Salle, who is a professor at France’s University of Lille. 

The concentration of wealth hasn’t just led to the superyacht explosion. It’s also led to a split in per-capita emissions, with the most well-off living the highest carbon lifestyles.

The world’s wealthiest 10% already account for half of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to Oxfam research. The nonprofit found that it would take 1,500 years for someone in the bottom 99% to emit as much carbon as one of the world’s top billionaires. The ultra rich’s emissions come from a variety of sources, including large homes and frequent jet travel. But superyachts are their single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2021 study.  

The annual CO2 emissions of the top 300 superyachts is almost 285,000 tons, according to Salle’s book, an amount more than the entire nation of Tonga. 

Superyachts are also more than climate polluters. Wastewater, noise and light pollution, particulate matter in exhaust, and even where the vessels dock can have an adverse effect on the local environment. Those outsize impacts add up to why Salle has dubbed the vessels a form of ecocide. 

The term — which was coined in the 1970s — refers to the willful destruction of nature and has often been used to describe the actions of the wealthy given their outsize carbon footprint. In 2021, lawyers proposed codifying ecocide into international criminal law, putting it on par with genocide. European Union lawmakers voted to criminalize environmental damage “comparable to ecocide” earlier this year. Whether the new law will be used to prosecute the use of superyachts remains to be seen.

Some owners are cognizant of the dangers their vessels pose to the environment. Jeff Bezos’s $500 million superyacht Koru set sail in April 2023 with sails to help power its voyage. It still sports diesel-powered motors, though. Oxfam estimates that the 127-meter (416-foot) vessel has emitted 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the past year, an amount equal to the annual emissions of 445 average Americans. 

That estimate is also almost certainly on the low end as the calculations account for the yacht being on standby rather than in transit. The number also doesn’t include Koru’s companion yacht, Abeona, a 75-meter support motor yacht that functions like a garage with a helicopter pad and jet skis. 

The sails on Bezos’s ship are an exception: The vast majority of superyachts are solely engine-powered. Only eight new sailing builds were completed in 2023, compared to the 195 new motor yachts. 

Understanding a superyacht’s true carbon emissions is incredibly difficult because of a lack of data collected and the inherently secretive nature of yachting, according to Malcolm Jacotine, founder of the superyacht consultancy firm Three Sixty Marine. Using the International Maritime Organization’s data, Jacotine estimates yachting emissions will hit 10 million tons by 2030 if the industry takes a “business as usual” approach. 

To help owners understand their boats’ impact, he’s developed two carbon emissions calculators. They have limitations, though, because they rely on voluntarily reported data and estimated tons of diesel fuel. 

Yachts spend 10% to 20% of the year sailing and relying on engine power. The boats reach top speed only 0.1% of the year, according to Robert van Tol, executive director of the Water Revolution Foundation. The rest of the year, the vessel is a floating hotel, relying on generators that are required for a longer period of time and emit more CO2, according to Jacotine’s calculations. 

Still, emissions data is done on a boat-by-boat basis, and one yacht may travel more than another in a year, making the traveling emissions higher, according to Oxfam researchers. Yachts are exempt from International Marine Organization emission rules, so true emissions of any boat are difficult to discern. That reflects how superyachts are both ostentatious and somewhat unknowable. 

“Superyachts are made to be noticed,” Salle said. “But [they] are also vehicles that are really secretive in the sense that you can’t access the inside if you are not invited.”  

New builds are focusing less on engines reaching top speeds and more on saving energy in hotel mode. But sustainability may not be at the forefront of purchasing decisions.

“It’s not a totally rational decision to buy a yacht,” said Ralph Dazert, head of intelligence at the media and market insight company SuperYacht Times. “It’s quite an emotional thing because it costs you an absolute fortune.” 

In 2023, the total value of yachts sold totaled €4.6 billion ($4.9 billion), according to Dazert. He said the movement towards sustainability will be largely driven by shipyards and engineers adding features to new builds, including using recycled materials. New types of fuel could also cut emissions. 

This year, Italian shipbuilder Sanlorenzo will test the first 50-meter steel yacht powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and another 114-meter yacht from German shipmaker Lürssen with the same technology is in production for 2025 for Apple Inc.’s former watch developer Marc Newson. 

But the larger the build, the longer the wait time. That means some of these features will take years to appear on the high seas, according to Jacotine.

In a bid to clean up superyachts’ image, some owners are making theirs available for research and exploration. That includes a new 195-meter yacht owned by a Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke, which is set to launch in 2026 with over 50 scientists to study the ocean. (It’s also available for custom cruises.) 

While public scrutiny is mounting, superyachting is a client-driven industry. And for most buyers, luxury still trumps climate concerns. Salle noted that like many upscale items, superyachts aren’t just products. They’re representative of a “lifestyle,” one that right now is intimately tied to carbon-intensive activities. 

“Ecocide is something that causes deep harm, harm that is lasting over time,” Salle said. “You could apply this to what [superyachts] are doing, not just individual … but global.”

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