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Is A Yacht A Good Investment?

By Rob Bowman | Posted On Aug 12, 2020
Updated On Apr 16, 2024

From the moment you begin your boat search online to the first splash of your maiden voyage, the process of purchasing a yacht is a rollercoaster of emotions. Whether you're a first time buyer or a seasoned boater, there is a fierce tug of war between the analytical side of your brain thinking, "Does this make financial sense?", and the emotional side that's excited about cruising in turquoise waters. Among the questions that arise when considering the financial implications of boat ownership is, can a yacht make a good investment?

There are instances where yachts can appreciate in value, although those scenarios are rare. If you are making the decision to purchase a boat or yacht based on whether or not it's a good financial investment, you may want to reconsider your reasons for owning a boat. Simply put, yachts are excellent investments in your family, your happiness, your lifestyle, and in creating future memories. Owning a yacht opens up new horizons, exposes your family to adventures they've only dreamed of, and provides a safe outlet for the stress of our everyday lives. In today's world of uncertainty, a yacht can be a safe haven for your family. Working with an experienced, professional yacht broker near you can help you determine the right type of vessel for your needs and budget, while taking much of the guesswork out of the process. The cost of a yacht varies greatly depending upon size, condition, age, amenities, and even its location.

(Seen below: This is a Broward yacht listed with the United Yacht team and is an excellent example of the joys of yacht ownership.)

The Cost Of Ownership

While focusing on the experience of yacht ownership is important, a good yacht broker will advise you all the way through the process. The cost of owning a yacht varies substantially on a variety of factors. Will you be able to dock it behind your house or will you need to store it at a marina? Will you manage the operation of the boat yourself or will you need to hire a licensed captain to drive it for you? Your United Yacht broker can advise you of the potential financial responsibilities of your investment so you are not caught off guard. Some of the general costs of yacht ownership include:

  • Marina Slip Fees
  • Yacht Insurance
  • Yacht Management & Captain Costs
  • Fuel Costs
  • Routine Service & Maintenance Costs
  • Taxes


Yacht Charter

Many yacht owners choose to enlist their new boat in a charter management program to offset some of the costs of ownership. Yacht charter programs vary greatly depending on the size and location of the yacht you buy. Some yacht charter programs offer daily rates, while others are truly luxury vacations with full crew, captain, private chef, water toys, and are offered at weekly rates that can easily exceed $150,000. 

Your yacht broker can walk through the pros and cons of enlisting your boat into a yacht charter program. While the ability to offset the cost of the yacht (and potentially receive some tax breaks) is appealing, you will have to make some concessions on your vessel's availability for private use. Still, if you plan on re-selling your yacht in the future, offering it through charter can help prospective buyers fall in love with it after a week in the Caribbean. The United Yacht Charter Team can help you discuss your options and what your new yacht could fetch on weekly basis if marketed properly and advertised through the right online channels.

friends on a luxury yacht charter

How Does Buying A New Yacht Versus A Used Yacht Affect Your Investment?

There are, on occasions, opportunities for yacht owners to actually sell their yacht, after using it, for the same price they paid for it. Sometimes they even make a little more to recoup some of the maintenance and storage costs. While rare, there are generally two scenarios where this happens. Late-model, gently used yachts for well-known, reputable brands, that have low hours, and are loaded with the latest features can sell to the right owner for a higher price. Many times yacht enthusiasts that are in the process of building a new boat don't want to wait for the construction to finish to start boating. In these cases, it is somewhat common for these listings to sell quickly simply because of the demand on the market. Many custom sportfishing boats such as Rybovich, Bayliss, Merritt, and others tend to hold their value well because of their quality and rarity. Also read our article, What Is The Best Sport Fishing Boat?

Secondly, a yacht can become an investment that delivers a profit when a pre-owned vessel is purchased at a very low price due to maintenance problems, out-of-date equipment, broken engines, salvaged from a sinking, and other issues. Owners that have a passion for yacht restoration may wish to put the time, money, and effort into re-building the yacht. This can be a difficult and labor-intensive process and should be looked at more as a hobby.

If you're buying a new yacht, expect at least a 15-20% reduction in value within the first year. While this is not a smart financial decision, there are tremendous lifestyle advantages that come with yacht ownership making it a cherished investment in yourself.


What's The Next Step To Buying A Yacht?

At any one time, there is generally between 20,000 and 25,000 pre-owned boat and yachts available for sale in the U.S. alone. A professional United yacht broker can offer the best advice on purchasing a yacht based on your boating plans, your budget, and your overnight accommodation needs. They can help you figure out exactly how much you should spend on a yacht. With over 250 brokers worldwide, our team uses patented software to communicate with each other regarding yachts for sale both on and off the market. Many times we are able to find the perfect yacht for you just by using our vast network and team. If you're looking to purchase a yacht and would like our assistance, please give our main headquarters a call at (772) 463-3131 and we will connect you with the right broker in your area and that specializes in the type of boating you desire.

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