Yacht Share or Outright Purchase? Bringing your yachting dreams closer!

Maybe you’ve only just decided you’d like to own a yacht. Perhaps yacht ownership has been a lifetime’s dream, and now you’re finally ready to make it happen. Either way, choosing yacht share rather than buying a yacht outright might bring your dream a whole lot closer, and do it in a much more sensible, considered way. Read on to find out everything you need to know about yacht share compared to buying your own yacht or chartering a vessel. 

Yacht charter, yacht ownership, or yacht share?

There is a simple equation and answer to this question: 

  • If you use a yacht for less than 3 weeks a year – Charter 
  • If you use a yacht for between 3 and 12 weeks a year – Share
  • If you use a yacht for over 12 weeks a year – Own outright

Using a 5-year-old 75ft yacht as an example:

  • Each week’s charter will cost circa €75,000 per week all in (including taxes, A.P.A., berthing, extras & tips). That’s about €150,000 for a couple of weeks per annum usage.
  • Co-owning a 6-week share works out at circa €10,000 per week all in (including all maintenance, depreciation and the capital interest). That’s about €60,000 for 6 weeks per annum usage.
  • Outright yacht ownership would cost circa €30,000 per week of usage if you use 10 week a year all in (including all maintenance, depreciation and the capital interest). That’s about €300,000.

Yacht share insight – How much does a luxury yacht cost?

How much is the yacht you want to buy? A relatively young 75ft yacht will cost circa €4 million. The running costs would be circa €300,000 including all the associated expenses.

On the top end of the scale the Aviva, for example, belongs to the British billionaire Joe Lewis and comes complete with a full-size tennis court. She’s worth an eye-watering $150 million. But compared to some she’s small fry. How about the History Supreme, costing $4.8 billion – yes, billion – and owned by the richest man in Malaysia, Robert Knok. That’s a sum of money very few of us have hidden under our mattress! She took three years to build and includes a real fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex as well as an entire wall made from meteorites. 

The alternative to ownership, perfect for boat lovers who don’t have a few cool million or hundreds of millions salted away, is yacht share. In our experience it’s a great way to identify whether you might want to eventually buy a yacht of your own, and to enjoy the pleasures of boating without having to take sole responsibility for the craft. It means you can own a fabulous luxury yacht for a fraction of the cost of buying one. You save money by sharing the upkeep and maintenance of the boat. And you share the yacht – and the responsibilities of ownership – with a bunch of like-minded people. 

Things to think about – The yacht buying basics

As a first time yacht owner it’s vital to make the best choice of craft, which means it makes sense to know what you want before you start looking. In that respect yacht share is just like yacht purchase. Whether you’re buying outright or sharing, the first thing we recommend is that you think good and hard about exactly what you want, then make a list of your ideal features.

Think about the perfect voyage. Do you want to go far and fast, or not so far at a more leisurely pace? Do you want to use the boat to explore coastal waters, popular with families because it’s generally safer? Or do you see yourself far out on the ocean wave, with the tides and other navigation challenges to overcome? Will you take children with you or will it be adults-only? How many people do you want to sleep? Do you love cooking at sea, keen to sail a yacht with a really well-equipped galley? Do you want to go on day trips or will you be out on the open ocean for days or even weeks? 

All modern boats provide a home from home. Some offer the absolute ultimate in luxurious accommodation. The bigger and better equipped the yacht, the more comfortable longer voyages will be. And there’s also location to think about. Would you like to explore the Med or Africa and the Seychelles? Maybe you’d like to sail the Americas and the Caribbean, the Adriatic, or Australia and New Zealand?  

Steps to buying a yacht outright

Buying a boat outright is a big responsibility involving a lot of important steps. Think of it as similar to buying a house and you get the picture. The process involves:

  • Deciding what you want your boat for before you start looking
  • Deciding on a budget including additional costs like mooring fees, marina fees, fuel, slipping fees, winter storage fees and more
  • Talking to experts about the available choices you have 
  • Creating a shortlist of suitable makes and models
  • Arranging viewings, taking an experienced boat buyer with you if you possibly can

If you’re buying via a broker they’ll provide the contract, a Sale and Purchase Agreement to be signed by the seller and buyer, plus a legally binding document. If you need yacht finance, you’ll need to set aside a few weeks for the lender to get their act together, and the money must be available at completion. You’ll probably need to pay a deposit of at least 10%.

You must arrange a survey with a registered yacht surveyor. They’ll confirm the boat’s condition and give you the information you need to insure your new craft, which you’ll need to do before you take possession. 

It’s vital to read your yacht survey carefully. If there’s something you don’t like the look of you can withdraw from the sale under the terms of the contract, ask for a drop in the price, or get the vendor to make the necessary repairs and replacements. 

It’s important to let your broker know early on if you want to actually test the boat on the water. If so you’ll have to pay slipway lifting or skipper’s fees. And it makes sense to check that the inventory is complete and the broker has received the title documents, including the VAT paperwork.

You’ll need to wait for the money transfer and clear before completion, after which the broker gives you all the documentation, including the Bill of Sale that transfers the boat’s title from the seller to you. 

It’s good to know that the process of arranging yacht share is so much simpler, with many of these vital responsibilities taken by someone else on your behalf. Which means you can sit back and truly enjoy choosing the perfect craft for you, your friends and family to enjoy. 

Yacht sharing versus yacht charter

You could, of course, charter a luxury yacht. Yacht chartering involves renting a yacht and there are two types of charter, bareboat and skippered. Bareboard means you simply hire the boat, skippering it yourself. Skippered charter deals come complete with an experienced captain so all you have to do is relax and enjoy the voyage. Some deals come with a crew, others just involve a skipper. A skippered charter means the yacht comes with a crew, which depends on the size of the yacht. It might involve a two-person crew serving as captain and chef, or a huge crew of 25 or more including engineers, stewards, mates, chefs, deckhands, dive masters and more. 

With yacht charter you can easily spend a fortune on just one voyage, on a yacht you don’t know very well or at all. It might not turn out to be as comfortable, luxurious, fun or practical as you expected. It won’t be familiar like a shared yacht is. The craft you want to charter might not be available on your desired dates. And you might not be able to charter the yacht you want in your ideal location.

How does yacht share work?

Fractional or shared yacht ownership lets you experience all of the amazing benefits of owning a yacht of your own without the financial commitment, without the hassle of maintenance, and without having to handle the vessel’s accounts. 

Yacht share significantly reduces the initial outlay when buying a boat, as well as individual shareholders’ annual mooring and maintenance fees. Aside from the running costs, you’ll probably find you can part-own a much bigger and better yacht than you could through buying one.  

You enjoy regular access to the craft for pre-booked periods of time. In a boat sharing contract the vessel is owned by the people in the syndicate, and each owner owns an equal fraction of the boat. If there are three of you, you can arrange to own a third of the vessel each. Or, if some of you have more funds than the rest, you might choose unequal ownership where some of you own a larger stake in the yacht than the others. 

Yacht share is so flexible. You don’t need to coordinate with your fellow co-owners and you can sell on your share in the craft any time you like. 

  • The boat you share will have a booking calendar associated with it, so you and the other owners can schedule in your usage in advance
  • The purchase and running costs are split between the parties sharing the yacht, the joint owners of the asset – the vessel is yours
  • When you are not using it your craft is still being used, managed, serviced, and kept in to condition 
  • Because you own the yacht you all have a financial interest in keeping her in the best  condition
  • Because your yacht is managed by an agent, you enjoy turn-key usage with no worries, stresses or admin – your monthly payment covers everything
  • All the shared owners can decide to move the yacht to a different marina, ocean, or country 
  • You can either extend the syndicate and yacht ownership, welcome replacement syndicate members if someone wants to leave, or stay together as a syndicate and renew the deal like-for-like

Share a yacht via our popular yacht share network

We think yacht share beats ownership hands down, and delivers a whole lot more fun and relaxation than a regular charter possibly could – all at a fraction of the cost. So do our many delighted clients. What about you? If you’d like to know more or talk through the possibilities with our experts, feel free to get in touch.