The Boat Life: Buying a Yacht on a Budget

It’s true that many yachts are designed only for the rich. In fact, the most expensive yacht in the world is worth $4.8 billion! But many yachts are close to the price of owning a second vacation home. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re in the market for a second investment, a yacht is a great way to go, and you can do it on a budget with the right guidance.

Buy Used

Most people are perfectly happy purchasing a used boat, and there are many advantages to doing so. The biggest perk is the price. A yacht that’s only a few years old with few nautical miles on the rudder could be hundreds of thousands cheaper than a yacht that’s brand new.

When you purchase a new boat, you’re typically not making a great investment. A new boat drops in value the minute it’s purchased, and a year later, it could lose as much as 25 percent of its value. By purchasing a used boat, you have an opportunity to buy a boat below book value and then make some updates to improve its worth. When you’re ready to sell, you could make a sizeable profit.

Many yachters like the feel of a used boat as well. It’s been broken in, and many of the kinks have been worked out by somebody else. It can feel more comfortable sailing on a boat that’s been well-cared for.

Minimize Your Cabin Crew

Don’t forget about the expense of operating the yacht anytime you want to hit the water. If you have a larger yacht, you’ll have a difficult time running it with just you and a few friends. You’ll likely need cabin crew to not only operate the boat for you, but also to maintain it while you’re not there.

However, you don’t need a huge staff. You can no doubt get by without a chef, wait staff, and extra people to clean your cabins. You can perform some of that work yourself or hire a few staff members who are willing to play multiple roles to minimize the expense of multiple salaries.

Additionally, you can hire companies to care for your boat while you’re away and help you rig it every time you want to go out. Typically, you’ll pay a flat monthly fee for this service, and it’s much more affordable than hiring a cabin crew.

Charter Instead of Buy

Evaluate your realistic need for a yacht. Will you use it enough to make the purchase worthwhile? If you’re planning on only going out a few times per year or you live a few hours away from the marina, it might not be worth it to purchase a boat.

That doesn’t mean that you have to give up your love of sailing. Instead, charter a yacht whenever you need one instead. This is ideal if you want a larger, higher-priced vessel but can’t justify the monthly expense of owning and operating it. You can enjoy your yearly luxury yachting trips for a fraction of the price.

Live on the Boat Part Time

This isn’t practical for everyone, but if you’re retired or have a flexible work routine, a yacht could act as a second home. You could spend summers sailing along the Amalfi Coast or yachting to Cabo San Lucas whenever you please.

Living on the boat will drop your living costs at home. Rather than spending money on utilities and operating costs for two places, you’re only paying for one at a time. You can easily rent out your other home seasonally while you’re on your boat, making it easier to foot the extra bill.

If you’re in the market for a yacht, you have options. Consider ways that you can cut costs and research boats thoroughly before making a purchase.

Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on Unsplash.

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