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How Much Does It Cost To Buy A Yacht?

By Rob Bowman | Posted On Aug 09, 2021
Updated On Jan 04, 2022

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. Forbes.com 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 article Why Are Boats So Expensive?

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:

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.