The short answer is No. Seems way too simple of an answer right?, So why do people keep buying Yachts if they are so dang expensive?
The real answer here is it's not about money! The investment isn't in the product it's in the results that come from owning a yacht.
If you have managed to get to a point in life where you can even consider buying a yacht, you will know that the sticker price on these boats will vary from a few hundred thousand, to upwards of one billion dollars. But buying the yacht is the easy part, what comes next after the honeymoon period is the maintenance. Operating and maintaining a yacht is where most people come unstuck.... and it's here where you need to be liquid.
There is a saying in yachting, you pay either way. You pay going in, or you pay going out!
So here's some tips to consider before you start your endevour in purchasing your own yacht.
Use a broker. Yes like any industry, when you buy or sell, they make money, which means there are going to be some ruthless individuals. Not all are bad, but ask around and just like dating, don't marry the first one you meet.
Do your own homework. I see people fall in love with a yacht, buy it without the due diligence necessary then feel the pain when an issue arises. To circumvent that, you need to have a full survey done prior to purchasing the vessel. It's here you need to do your own homework and find a few maritime surveyors that can have a look at the yacht. I've seen brokers amend survey's to push a sale through, so be wary.
Good crew make or break your yachting experience. Whilst you should be wary of the expenses, competent, professional crew will not only give you a first class experience, but they will also save you thousands of dollars during your ownership.
5% of the initial build cost is a good bench mark for annual running costs, but you also need to be ready for unforeseen expenses. Budget a little extra each year for your maintenance, and yard periods, which can and will run up a nice bill.
Expectations. Your expectations can make or break your experience. Whilst it's assumed that crew sit around doing nothing (and some do), how you treat your crew will determine your experience onboard. They are there 24/7 and do the job for both the money and the experience. As much as they push to create an amazing experience, they are also human and get tired. If you have extended trips, consider rotation crew or even time off during trips. Speak to your captain or other crews to see how they run their vessel, so you can find something that suits your style and requirements.
As I mentioned before, yachting isn't a financial investment, its an investment time, family and experiences.
Never in my life have I seen or experienced more, than my years of working and traveling the world by water. Its these experiences that shape who we are as people, but also it's these experiences that bring families together.
The biggest question here, after all my years of Yachting, 'Would I own a yacht?'... the answer is yes! yes yes yes!
Be smart about it, do your homework, and be brave and explore the world! You will thank yourself for it later!
If you are looking for some advice as to where to start, I'm always around to help point you in the right direction,
Lord Luke Hammond - Captain
Professional Seafarer / serial entrepreneur based out of Florida.
Founder of Refrr.io