Yacht with girl on it

Nothing says “rich” like a huge yacht. Many men with style covet this symbol of wealth. However, not all of them can afford one. Keep reading to find out whether you can allow yourself such a luxury or you need to give up on the idea.

We should first emphasize just how expensive yachts are. Keep in mind that not even all celebrities can afford one. The numbers go up to millions of dollars, and maintenance costs continue to drain your bank account.

For instance, famous golfer Tiger Woods paid roughly $20 million for his yacht called “Privacy.” This 155-foot-long boat is considered one of the cheaper yachts by today’s standards. And yet, the mentioned price does not include additional expenses, such as the annual cost for operating. Its average is 10% of the purchase price, so Woods is spending extra $2 million each year just to keep his “Privacy.”

Does Boat Size Matter?

So how big a boat needs to be before it is considered a yacht? The answers vary depending on who gives them. For example, some might say that a 20-foot-long boat can carry this title. Such a boat would allow you to join a relevant club and socialize with fellow yacht owners. On the other end of the spectrum, there are so-called “superyachts,” like the one of Tiger Woods. These are all luxury boats longer than 131 feet.

Yacht from the side

This diversity in yacht sizes can make you believe that it is not too challenging to become an owner of one. However, even the smallest demand substantial funds. Let’s see how accessible you would find their prices.

The Cost of a Yacht

If you are hoping to get a boat loan, you should know the requirements for one. In order to get the desired response, your debt-to-income ratio should not be above 40%. As a buyer, you will initially need to put 10% down on the yacht. For the next ten years, expect to pay an annual percentage rate of another 5%. Therefore, a modest boat worth $100,000 would demand monthly payments of $1,000 in addition to the $10,000 upfront payment.

Nice little yacht

When it comes to luxury yachts, there are various other costs you typically do not consider. For instance, life jackets and similar equipment are worth at least $1,000. You should also decide who will be driving the yacht. In case it is not you, there are a few options, and all of them cost money. As a yacht owner, you can either pay for a captain’s license or pay someone else to operate the boat. Also, do not forget that larger yachts come with crew costs as well.

The list of expenses does not end here. Yacht insurance takes more than $500, while the rent of a slip incurs another $2,000 each year. Finally, all big boats need maintenance. As we mentioned earlier, expect to spend about 10% of the yacht’s purchase price on annual maintenance costs. For a $100,000 boat, these would amount to $10,000 every year.

In conclusion, you will be left with at most 60% of your income after a yacht purchase. So carefully consider your decision before buying a boat.

How to Make Yachting More Affordable

If you have determined that a superyacht is out of your financial reach, there are a few possibilities to consider. Even $100,000 for a yacht would not get you too far among the elite of this world. However, you do not have to sacrifice your yachting dreams.

Very big and nice yacht

For example, you can make use of a bareboat charter. This service allows you to lease a yacht, just as you would a car. You may lease it for a short period, like a vacation, or long-term. If you are hoping for a more expensive vehicle, splitting the price between several friends is another potential option. Just keep in mind that you will have to pay all additional fees, such as insurance or fuel.

Another possible solution for those who cannot afford to purchase their own yachts is a shared leasing arrangement. You will need to pay a fee every month to use the desired vehicle, in addition to the already mentioned costs. It should be noted that certain boat clubs demand an initial payment of many thousands of dollars besides the monthly fee.


Your own personal yacht will not be a reality for most people. Such a vehicle is truly a luxury that many can only dream about. However, if your income is above average, there are several pathways to this fantasy. Costs get significantly more reasonable when you lease or rent a yacht, join forces with friends, or enter a boat club. Still, yachting is a hobby that demands a lot of equipment, so do not forget all extra expenses when calculating the final price.