Even if you have a nice Stingray at about $45,000 or a summer house by the lake, comparing one’s assets to those very, very rich folks who own superyachts might just be a bit humbling.
And whatever type of boat you want to insure, the fine folks at London’s Towergate Insurance will probably get a chuckle if you approach them with a DYKWIA attitude. While the company offers a helpful online “Yacht Insurance Buyer’s Guide” they also put the overly proud boat owner in his or her place with a recent blog titled, “How much does a superyacht really cost?”
Below are highlights with my comparisons to non-superyacht owners:
1. Operating cost is about 10 percent of initial value, so $20 million per year for a $200 million boat, or about 10 times the cost of the most expensive home you ever “dreamed” of buying.
2. For a 71 meter yacht, you will use 500 liters fuel per hours, equivalent to 132 gallons of gas for your car.
3. V.A.T. is 15-25 percent of vessel’s value, meaning a $300 million megayacht will run you between $45 million and $75 million, about the same as employing 500 Vice Presidents making $150,000 at your company
4. Fuel costs $400,000 per year, compared to $1,534 for your BMW 5 Series.
5. Dockage will run $350,000 per year, considerably more than $7,200 for your run of the mill New York City parking lot.
6. At $240,000 per year for insurance, there is hopefully enough margin to keep Nick Colman who wrote this report for Towergate employed.
7. $1,000,000 per year for repairs is more than five times the median cost of the American home which clocks in at $189,000.
8. At $1,400,000 per year for crew salaries, keeping a superyacht all hands is equivalent to the total lifetime savings balance of the 401Ks of 14 Americans ($99,000).
9. 14 percent of owners were American, followed by Russians but 11 % of deliveries in 2014 went to Asians compared to 3 percent in 2011, perhaps slightly different than the demographics of your neighborhood.
10. 10 percent is paid upon order to the yard. That would mean a check for anywhere from $10 million to $60 million. Sorry no points. Shipyards don’t accept American Express…or VISA.
11. The new yacht is typically five years old with a fuel range of 3,000 miles. Many superyacht owners keep their yacht only three years before selling it. American homeowners have paid off less than five percent of the principal for their mortgages after five years.
12. In 2013, 355 superyachts were sold with a total price of $3.4 billion, the most expensive be $101 million.
13. The Sultan of Oman’s yacht Al Said reported cost $300 million and has 154 crew.
14. Russian businessman Andrey Melnichenko’s superyacht “A” features bomb proof windows and can cut through icebergs.
15. Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse has a three-man “leisure” submarine, 70 crew, costs $500 million and is equipped with a missile defense system. It’s anti-paparazzi shield is activated by flash bulbs.
16. At $200 million and just 23 crew Steven Spielberg’s Seven Seas is modest by Top 10 standards. It does have a multi-million dollar high tech projector cinema. Does your home have one?
17. Venus is owned by the family of Apple founder Steve Jobs and at $129 million with 22 crew is relatively modest. The ship is run by iMacs and the outer design is inspired by an Apple store. Having your own iPad and having been to an Apple store doesn’t make the cut.
18. David Geffen’s $200 million The Rising Sun can speed to 28 knots with its crew of 45. He bought it pre-owned from Larry Ellison in 2010. Geffen probably didn’t go down to the boatyard on a Saturday to pick it out.
19. UAE President Khalifa Al Nahyan has a crew of 50 aboard Project Azzam (pictured above) which can speed to 30 knots. At 590 feet long it is 100 feet longer than small luxury cruise ships that carry 200 passengers. You might want to think twice before you start posting all of those Instagram pictures from your last vacation.