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How Much Should I Pay For A Yacht?

By Robert Bowman | Posted On Dec 11, 2023
Updated On Apr 16, 2024

If you've reached the point in the process where you're considering exactly how much to pay for a yacht, then you have likely succumbed to the fact that your purchase is probably not going to be a smart financial investment. Let's face it, the moment you buy a new-to-you boat, the ancillary costs begin. Insurance, storage costs, maintenance costs, after-market equipment costs, fuel, and more begin to materialize.



1. What Classifies As A Yacht?

2. How Much Should I Pay For A Small Yacht?

3. How Much Should I Pay For A Mid-Sized Yacht?

4. How Much Should I Pay For A Large Yacht?

5. What Do Different Types Of Boats Cost?

6. What Does It Cost To Own A Yacht?

7. How To Price Your Yacht When Selling


One of the benefits of hiring a professional yacht broker is the information they can provide you ahead of time, giving you a complete picture of what to expect. They can also advise you on how much you should expect to pay for a yacht. When you hire a broker to work on your behalf, you are benefitting from all of their market knowledge gained through hundreds of transactions, along with the product knowledge of most builders and their models.

Asking how much you should pay for a yacht is a very broad question that needs to be narrowed down, as yachts may range anywhere from $20,000 up to $20 million or more. The yacht's size, power, equipment, condition, and even location, can all affect how much the sales price will be in the end. Even a boat built by the same manufacturer can have a difference of many hundreds of thousands of dollars for the same exact model based on several other factors, such as the hours on the engine or varying cabin layouts.

Before you make an offer on a yacht for sale you've found online, we highly recommend speaking with one of our professional yacht brokers that specializes in the type of boat you are interested in buying. Just the initial conversation may be enough to save you thousands of dollars in negotiations, as well as limiting any potential pitfalls.


What Classifies As A Yacht?

Ask anyone in the boating industry what classifies a boat as a yacht and you are likely to get many different answers. It's difficult to narrow down exactly what the cut-off is and what other characteristics come into play. For example, a 35-foot center-console could be a grey area. Most vessels at this size and price point would be considered a boat, however if it has substantial power, a large cabin, galley, bathroom, and other luxury amenities, it could easily fit into the yacht category.

pershing 70-foot yacht

The most commonly agreed upon size for a yacht is a minimum of 40-feet, but at some point around 100-feet in length, the vessel is commonly referred to as a superyacht. The definition of a superyacht does vary substantially, as some people refer to a 85-foot yacht as one. A superyacht becomes a megayacht at 200-feet. There are less than 6,000 privately-owned yachts worldwide that are over 100-feet.


How Much Should I Pay For A Small Yacht?

One of the great joys of owning a small yacht is that, assuming you have the necessary time at sea for the insurance companies, you can run the boat yourself. This allows for a greater level of privacy than if you have to have a fulltime captain on board. A small yacht can be defined as a boat under 65-feet, although this is a relative term to everyone's own experience and history.

maritimo 50 foot yacht

It's also important to look at the current state of the yacht brokerage market. "Yacht prices are not what they were in 2021 and 2022," said Jeff Palmer, President of United Yacht Sales. "There isn't the same level of activity as there was 2 years ago, there are more price reductions happening, and you can generally get a better deal now than you could 12 months ago."

You can expect to pay between $450,000 - $500,000 for a smaller yacht on today's market between 40 and 60 feet. This is the average sold price of power boats in this range over the last 60 days (excluding sailboats). This range varied from the low end of $19,000 for an old 40-foot Chris-Craft cruiser to nearly $3.5 million for a Grand Banks Yacht. The average time the boats in this segment were on the market for sale was just under 6 months.

Examples of small yachts currently for sale:


How Much Should I Pay For A Mid-Sized Sized Yacht?

Just like the smaller boats, mid-sized yachts can also vary greatly when it comes to capabilities, reputation, accommodations, and of course, their selling price. A medium sized yacht in terms of size, would range from 60 to 80-feet in length and have a beam from 15 to 21-feet. These dimensions offer significantly more space on board for multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and other amenities.

You can expect to pay between $1 million - $1.5 million as an average price for a mid-sized motor yacht. Again, this is the average range over the last few months in the U.S. market. These pre-owned yachts stayed available for sale just over 7 months on average. If you're buying a yacht in this range, it is highly recommended that you enlist the help of an expert, professional yacht broker as there are many potential pitfalls along the way.

Examples of mid-sized yachts currently for sale:


How Much Should I Pay For A Large Luxury Yacht?

Once you move into the larger yacht category over 80-feet, there any many different things to take into account. You will need a captain, a crew, a substantial slip at a marina, insurance, and more. This is where hiring a reputable, professional yacht broker is a necessity. At United Yacht Sales, we have many superyacht brokers that specialize in vessels of this size and can assist you every step of the way. Our closing team is also very experienced in dealing with bringing a yacht into the U.S. when flagged on a foreign country.

120-foot super yacht - what to pay

You can expect to pay between $5.5 million and $7 million, on average, for a yacht between 80 and 130-feet. That is a pretty wide gap so speaking with your broker about narrowing down your size range and price range is a must. Most of the yachts in this size range stayed on the market for about 6 months, but can be longer depending upon how big the yacht is and how expensive.

Examples of luxury yachts 80-feet+ currently for sale:


What Do Different Types Of Boats Cost?

The size and age of your boat do play a part in the overall price you will pay, whether new or used, by the type of yacht it is can also affect the final number. Some types of boats are more popular than others, while some require extra gear and equipment. Sportfishing boats for example generally need to come with things like a Seakeeper, extra plumbing for live-wells, outriggers, insulated fish boxes, ice chippers, and more. Just like the overall market itself has a wide range of prices, the clarity does not improve by narrowing down what type of boat you want. 

Here Are Examples Of What You Can Expect To Pay For Boats By Type: (Last 90 days)


What Does It Cost To Own A Yacht?

The purchase price of your yacht is only part of the equation as your broker will help to explain. The cost to own a yacht can also be substantial and needs to be well-thought out before entering into a contract. "The cost of ownership for a 60-foot, $1 million yacht is going to be about 10% of its value, or $100,000 per year if it's over ten years old," said Peter Schmidt, Founder of United Yacht Sales. 

yacht maintenance costs - what to pay

It's important that you invest in the upkeep and maintenance of your yacht after purchase. Someday you will go to sell that boat and being able to prove to the new potential owners that it was well cared for is important. We always recommend either hiring a professional captain or management company to take care of your investment. Keeping all service records and maintenance history in an organized place can mean the difference between your boat selling or sitting for several months at the dock.


How To Price Your Yacht When Selling

Coming up with the asking price when selling your yacht can be a difficult process. While you don't want to leave any money on the table by pricing too low, you also don't want your yacht sitting on the brokerage market for over a year. Less popular manufacturers, boats with a history of issues, and even the location you keep the boat can affect the cost. 

Most boat owners look on different boating websites to try and find similar boats to theirs and see what they are priced at. While looking at what's available on the current market can certainly give you an idea what you can ask for it, there are many flaws that can affect the sale. Are the boats on the market priced to sell or priced high to see what they can get? Do they have the same power and equipment? What are their damage or service histories?

Hiring a professional yacht broker to help you decide what price to sell your yacht for can take the stress out of the process. A professional broker will have access to more sold boat information than the average owner and has a network of other brokers in the industry that they can call on to get their sales history on similar boats.



United Yacht Sales has the world's largest network of boat buyers and sellers in the industry, thanks to our team of over 250 yacht brokers in 104 different locations. Whether buying a luxury boat or selling one, we have the right expert on staff to assist you in navigating the brokerage market for your type of yacht. If you're looking at selling a boat, there is no quicker way to get activity than listing it with United. Our entire team is immediately notified every time a listing agreement is made with United Yacht Sales and many boats are sold before they ever even make it online. Our support team is among the best in the industry at marketing your yacht. 100% of our marketing budget goes towards advertising our clients' listings, a claim not many other firms can make. To get started listing your yacht, fill out our online form What's My Yacht Worth?


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