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Calculate yacht ownership costs?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by FLANICK, Dec 29, 2021.

  1. FLANICK

    FLANICK New Member

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    My wife and I are thinking about buying our first yacht. We have owned bay boats/center consoles in the past so we have somewhat of an idea on some of the costs associated with ownership. That being said we are now looking in the 80-100 foot range so I know there will be a lot more that goes into general maintenance, running the yacht, etc.

    I've searched online but I haven't been able to find much reliable information. If anyone has an excel sheet (or similar) that they would be open to sharing with me I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you!
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    I have generic numbers for a bit larger boat that I can share with you. Send me your email in a private message and I will send across.
  3. FLANICK

    FLANICK New Member

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    Will do. Thanks!
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    It s very hard to answer as a lot depends on the age of the boat, its location (affects dockage and insurance) and your usage.

    on the 2009 Lazzara 84 I ran for 5 years we average $80k in annual maintenance cost. Dockage ran about $36k a year and insurance $15k

    now, maintenance was fairly low because the bias was in good shape and we didn’t have many significant issues. Biggest ones over the year was rebuilding one chiller, replacing both cracked shafts and a few other things. No engine issues in 5 years / 2000 hours.

    Another reason why maintenance was low is because I did a lot of it myself which some captains may not be able or want to do. I also know a lot of reasonable contractors when needed, saving quite quite a bit

    dockage and insurance were well below average considering we re in Miami.

    crew costs depends on your expectations. Captain plus mate? Do you also want a full time stew?

    fast forward to the 2003 Lazzara 110 the owners have upgraded to and insurance is over 50k... plus a full time third crew. Dockage has remained the same as we were paying for 115 feet anyway.


    of you give us more details, I m sure some of us can get you better answers
    Drifter likes this.
  5. FLANICK

    FLANICK New Member

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    Thank you very much for the response. To add more details: Ideally I would like to buy something between 2000-2010 and I've budgeted around 1-2 million for the initial purchase. The plan would be to split time between South Florida and Long Island and live on the yacht full time. I would like to keep crew expenses as low as possible. My wife and I both have a lifetime of experience on the water and are still young enough (and hands on enough) to deal with day to day work and maintenance.

    I'd like to keep my operating costs around 200k a year. Does this sound plausible?

    I want to be prepared now versus later of course! If you'd like any more information please let me know and I'm happy to provide it.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Here also is a link to a cost calculator.

    While it's not gospel, by any means, you can use this as an outline of the items you need to budget. Drill down into each category of costs to see the details. Then think of your situation. It will indicate at first what you may feel are outrageous numbers. However, expand all so you can see the detail and then determine which line items are reasonable and which are not.

    https://luxyachts.com/yacht-cost-calculator

    A few factors that will really influence your numbers are:
    1. Crew. You say keep as low as possible. Does that mean no full time crew or what to you? Normal for a boat that size having full time crew would be 2 to 3 persons, and that alone would make your $200k per year unreasonable.
    2. Your use of the boat. Will you run it 1000 hours a year or 100? When cruising, will you anchor or use marinas?

    Don't overlook all the little things. For instance, one line in the budget is towing and diving. Not huge, but people overlook those type costs. You'll have some form of tow membership, only a couple of hundred a year. Or perhaps you'll go for both. Then you'll have divers. In South Florida that's monthly during winter and every three weeks during summer. It's a bit less in Long Island.

    When you say live on it full time, does that mean moving regularly or stationary for long periods of time.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    A boat that size will take about 4000 gallons of fuel each way between SoFl and LIS doing most of the trip at hull speed. Double that if running on plane.

    Dockage will be significantly higher in Florida if seasonal instead of annual. Probably $5000 a month usually plus electrical which can run $600-800 a month on a boat that size. You can search for marinas online to get an idea of dockage costs both in SoFl and LIS. Dockage up there isn’t cheap especially in the upscale areas

    on the other hand being up north in summer should result in some insurance savings.

    I don’t think it will be feasible to run a boat that size without a captain and mate.

    even without crew, considering the traveling and seasonal dockage and the age of the boat I don’t think your $200k operating expenses target is feasible. $250k plus crew is probably closer to reality.
  8. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    A significant amount of the cost of the “maintaining” the boat will be determined by what shape it is when you buy it and how you like to keep the boat. I quoted maintaining because I am not sure if that covers updating systems. I have put approximately 150K per year in 3 of the last 5 years. My boat is a 1995 54’. A lot of that money went to replacing major components. I had a transmission that cracked a case and ZF no longer made it so I elected to put in 2 new ZFs, which lead to replacing the shower heads, and replacing the generator while we were in there. One year we painted the boat and put on a new davit, etc. Next year was replacing 3 new AC systems and other miscellaneous things. Maybe I am overboard but I don’t wait for a component to fail before I replace it. A like my boat to be ready to roll and I like it to look clean and tidy. There is no judgement from me for others that don’t care if their boat is dirty and don’t get frustrated when they go down there and 1 AC is out. I just went to look at a 2014 boat for sale and it is an expensive boat and if I was to buy it, it would go straight to the yard for some things that I don’t want to take a chance with. Not at all trying to discourage you but you and your spouse have to love boats and boating because it is an expensive hobby. Thankfully my wife likes it almost as much as me. You didn’t ask this but if you like learning a new skill and don’t mind a challenge maybe think about a 60’ boat first and see what you think about the cruising life after a year or so. Good luck on your adventure.
    bayoubud and gr8trn like this.
  9. Adopo

    Adopo Member

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  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I'm going to need to test some of the newer ones and see what they offer. In the past there were many products but most very much lacked in functionality. Those that had everything, like Idea, were very expensive and outside the budget of most.

    We started years ago with Idea. However, some of their moves and their subsequent sale left us a bit worried over time. Gradually, we took advantage of having an IT department and a very IT skilled engineer and started doing a lot of customization. Gradually we became more custom than product until ultimately 100% our own code. Frankly, we became scared of being dependent on someone and them either disappearing or their support becoming very poor.

    I would, on the surface, find all the four mentioned to be worthy of consideration. I'm especially interested in testing a couple of them just to see what they offer. For instance, Quartermaster has $2, $4 and $20 plans.

    One other thing that scares us on some is that the software is all on their servers. With most you can backup data locally and with some have a software copy locally. We love operating in cloud environments. However, it scares me when the software is only on cloud servers and if something happened to the software company, I'd be left with nothing after building all the data files.

    Like a lot of software, now that you see versions programmed for tablet and phone usage, the pricing is coming down vs. Windows and desktop environments. It's less expensive to build.

    Some others:

    Yacht Manager App | Management 4 Yaching, Boating & Sailing

    Yacht Management Software - Financial Module - Latitude365

    Fleet & Yacht Management Software - Manage My Vessel

    Vessel Management Software | Total Superyacht App

    IN-YACHT Software
  12. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    I can only speak for the costs of larger yachts here in Europe, especially in the Mediteranean. Talking about the different types of costs over the year and looking at my own boats, I would show the following list:

    - Costs of Crew and Yacht management. As said before, my boats have double crew and the
    yacht management is integrated into one of my shipping companies. This is always the
    biggest part of the anual coasts. If You want top crews, You have to pay and treat them
    accordingly.

    - Costs of mooring and service by the yacht harbours. We have permanent moorings which will
    remain empty, when the boat is in voyage. This has become much more expensive during the
    last years on the Balearic Islands and the French Riviera / Monaco. This includes tow, pilots
    and divers. Plus the costs of the external cleaning below and above the waterline and the
    polishing services. Anything besides the usual rinsing and washing, this is not done by my
    crew.

    - Fuel, oil and supply of consumables and waste disposal plus all comestibles. Btw. my crews
    eat the same type, quality and quantity (per adult person) of food like their ownership (I do
    not want any mutiny on my boats :)). One might wonder, that costs of fuel are only Nr. 3 on
    my listing but this figure depends largely on the miles travelled. The biggest fuel eater is
    the 165 ft quad engine fast boat, which may use its 40.000 Litres of fuel twice a day, when
    my sons are shutteling between Mallorca and the Island of Ibiza at 30 Kts+. On the other
    hand, when the boats are Med moored in harbour, the gen sets are not running at all, as all
    boats have a complete shore power supply setup.

    - Maintenance: Daily maintenance is done by the crew, any deeper service or reapair is done by
    contractors, i.e. the yards, in my case only German or Dutch yards, which have either
    branches in the Med or will send specialists within 24 hours, plus suppliers like MTU, Volvo
    Penta, etc. As the boats are all of highest quality and very well looked after and even more
    important, only driven by handpicked professionals, we do not have many repairs.

    My shadow is not included in this listing, as it is a commercial ship with commercial crew. Only the crews of the onboard yacht tenders, which partially live on this shadow, are included in this listing. The helicopter and its crew is detached from my flying service and also not included in the listing above.The exact listing of this year might be different, as Corona has changed our usage of the boats largely. And the list does not include any Depreciation, Taxes or reserves, as we do not charter away our boats and most of all, yachting is our private family hobby.
  13. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    FLAN, given the cost of that whole crew thing, and your hope to keep crew costs as low as possible...

    You might compare your initial idea to an alternative -- smaller boat, with features that make it more easily owner-operated -- to get an idea of pros/cons of each. There may be several boat models that could meet your live-aboard criteria and at the same time don't necessarily require additional crew. Slightly smaller can also reduce mooring costs, insurance costs, maintenance costs, etc... without necessarily making the boat feel tiny and cramped.

    You could use something like a Fleming 65 as a starting point for this kind of analysis, and of course there are probably 10-15 other boats that could work equally well for discussion's sake.

    Just a thought... lateral thinking, etc...

    -Chris
    winesk likes this.
  14. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    We are 92 and I’d guess we are around $300k -$400k a year. It’s hard to determine what’s maintenance and what’s upgrades. If a chiller dies it’s getting replaced. We put off new teak until this year and that will be $80k.

    I think the concerning part of your post is getting a 80-100 for 1-2m. Even at $2m I doubt you will get a boat newer than 2005. And thus your maintenance may me considerable.
  15. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I don't ever want to look at what it costs.
  16. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    As this has been my pattern, I'll share this...you're doing exceptionally well to keep the dock-cost-alone between Florida and Long Island below $50k per year plus another $25k in transfer costs (fuel, stops, crew). If you manage to pull that off, and you're living aboard, likely you're paying to stay places not-so-sexy to live aboard. More likely that cost alone is approaching $100k including utilities. Your annual haul cost will add another $20k as a base line. I haul every year to catch surprises early. Insurance will be $15-20k annually. Maintenance above the waterline is a measurable quantity but more likely based upon your budget. You'll be spending it whether you write the checks now or not. So, very quickly you're approaching $200k without taking any trips...so I'm not sure how you view that activity in terms of "ownership budget". You certainly cannot afford any crew on $200k limitations beyond the extra folks that join your transfer north to south and back.

    If $200k is your limit, you need to be hard at work defining dock options and associated costs. You also need to know that you'll be deferring maintenance that you cannot do yourself. Perhaps you view trips/use as a non-budget or entertainment item. But you'll be looking at $10/foot per night for dockage on the Sound if you leave for an overnight or weekend adventure.
  17. Gulfer

    Gulfer Member

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    It's funny you say that... We have a similar situation. I'll say the program is running $X, and the Captain will say... Actually, it's less because X,Y,and Z were upgrades. It doesn't matter very much in the scheme of things, it was money that was spent. Just more of a budget problem. Either way, the money had to be spent.

    Our examples (this year).
    Frig had to be replaced with New Frig. Is that an Upgrade? Or Repair and maintenance. I say Repair, as if it didn't break. We wouldn't have "upgraded" it.
    Washer/Dryer - same situation.
    New Toys - Upgrade.
    New Tender - Upgrade
  18. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Upgrading an appliance is often tantamount to investing in deferred maintenance on the depreciating value of the original appliance. Write the check or not, you’re still paying. You’re just deferring the actual cost.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    In my book, there is no such thing as an upgrade. It's all maintenance.

    Now, on large items, we accrue amounts in our budgeting to cover them, much as a business would do. So, if we estimate painting would cost $60,000 and need to be done in three years, then we'd expense $20,000 each year and show Accrued Painting as a liability. This may seem a bit much to some, but we don't want to deceive ourselves, especially in early years on a new boat, into thinking how little it's costing. Every piece of equipment has a useful life. It all depreciates or needs amortization. Sometime, you'll need to replace tenders. Sometime, you'll need to replace engines.