What Are the Pros and Cons of Owning a Private Yacht?

Lori Kilchermann

There are many pros and cons associated with private yacht ownership. Some of the pros in private yacht ownership are the ability to take a cruise vacation at nearly anytime, having a very profitable yacht chartering sideline business and being able to entertain business and personal guests in luxury. Unfortunately, along with the pros come some cons associated with the ownership of a private yacht. The expense of maintaining a vessel, hiring a crew and the cost of operating a yacht are at the top of the list of cons.

Private yachts may occasionally be inspected by U.S. Coast Guard patrols during periods of heightened alert or if they break navigational rules.
Private yachts may occasionally be inspected by U.S. Coast Guard patrols during periods of heightened alert or if they break navigational rules.

The ability to cruise away with friends and family or spend a romantic moonlight voyage with a spouse are pros that many private yacht owners probably had in mind when they purchased their boat. Other pros include being able to decorate the interior cabins in the type and style of decor that suits the owner's personal taste. Supplying the type of food and beverage aboard the yacht that meets the owner's taste preference is another pro for current and potential yacht owners.

A yacht needs periodic maintenance that entails lifting it out of the water.
A yacht needs periodic maintenance that entails lifting it out of the water.

Many of the cons to private yacht ownership are not immediately realized nor understood prior to the actual purchase of the yacht. The hiring and paying of a full-time crew are often more than the first-time yacht owner plans or budgets for. Slip rental or a marina space can also be an unwelcome, yet necessary, expense to store a yacht. Fuel costs alone can turn out to be very costly as the engines of a private yacht often idle 24 hours per day to maintain heating, cooling and refrigeration units on board the vessel.

Some of the cons concerning a private yacht are found in maintenance that must be performed in order to meet safe operation standards. Engine oil changes, hull cleaning and, in the United States, U.S. Coast Guard inspections can be factors that were completely overlooked by the buyer of the boat at the time of purchase. Another con that might be applicable, but unknown until time of resale, is the amount of depreciation that is commonly applied to a used yacht at the time of resale. This can also be seen as a pro by the buyer searching for a used vessel to become his or her private boat.

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