Mega and Super Yachts - Who can Afford Them

Those Mega and Super Yachts that everyone sees on TV are incredible, but who really can afford them? The answer: not many. The truth is you can win a huge lottery jackpot and you might be able to buy one, but it may not leave you enough money left over to pay for the crew and fuel.

They are truly designed for the richest among us, a sort of status symbol for the rich and famous. For us mere financial mortals watching what the rich and famous spend on them trying to outdo each other is fun entertainment. Let us take a look at them further.

Number One in the world

The newest and most expensive yacht on record is the ‘Eclipse’. Built in a German shipyard, it cost a staggering 1.2 Billion dollars. The 607 foot vessels features include a helicopter, military grade missile defense system, and a submarine that doubles as an escape pod.

What ever happened to the days when a swimming pool and Jacuzzi on board were enough? It is estimated it uses over $1000 in fuel just to idle the engine for 10 minutes. Excuse me? Most of us cannot even imagine that let alone spend it.

What does it cost a year to own a mid-priced  mega yacht?

Let us break down the costs on something more normal, say for the poor 50’ mega yacht owner. The boats themselves cost anywhere between 25 – 100 million US dollars. Upkeep is around 10 percent of that a year, 2.5 – 10 million dollars.

A Yacht that size can take as much as $150,000 to fill with fuel. Expect a crew of 15 – 20 people to make over 1 million dollars between them and another $200,000 – 300,000 a year in docking fees and you can see how even a small mega yacht gets up there in price pretty quick.

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Mega Yacht features

So what are some of the features of these extravagant floating play toys?  Here is a list of the things more commonly found on them.

  • Full beam upper deck staterooms
  • More than one VIP stateroom
  • Several more staterooms all with private bathroom
  • Helicopter pad
  • Built in swimming pool and Jacuzzi hot tub
  • Sun or party deck
  • Dinghy or speedboat
  • Jet ski’s
  • Fully equipped Chef’s galley
  • Office and internet room
  • State of the art bridge with full modern navigational controls

An expensive status symbol

So why spend all that money? As was stated before a lot of the appeal of mega yachts is that as a status symbol. Much like the super-rich build tall buildings in their name, see who can build the biggest. A lot of these super yacht owners like to travel to exotic places around the world and it is like taking your luxury home with you. There is always something to be said about feeling at home.

If you put the Yacht in the name of your business and entertain a few clients then you now have a real hefty tax write off. There is always a reason for those who have it to justify the money.

Complete buying guide for a luxury yacht.

Sales of Mega Yachts are steady

You would think as the economy gets tougher that a lot of the businesses that make these boats would be in financial trouble or out of business, but that is hardly the case.

Manufacturers in the industry experienced a downturn of around fifteen percent during the financial crisis of the last few years, but business is increasing again and many of them forecast and even better level of activity than before the latest financial crisis.

So the prospects for the industry are better than ever. Someone out there is still making a lot of money while the rest of us continue to see our money shrink in value.

Mega Yacht design

Designing these mega yachts is no small task. You are dealing with very rich people who know what they want. It is not as if there is a set design they follow, even though there are basic hull designs and other previous design techniques that are followed. Just like in home building owners like to do things that make the design their own and make it unique, so it is a constantly changing design process and challenge for the architect.

The late Steve Jobs mega yacht, Venus, took over five years to build. Although they never strayed from the original design, the intricate details of the ship changed every week in a meeting.

The crews

So where do they put the crew on board these Yachts. Down below in much smaller quarters of course. It may seem to outsiders that life on board a mega yacht is a dream comes true all expenses paid trip, but that is hardly the case. Workers often say they work for demanding bosses with demanding schedules.

They joke about it as port hole tourism because they often do not get to leave the ship with the amount of work their jobs entail. It is not uncommon for them to pull an energy drink infused thirty six hour shift to meet the demands of the job.

They do get to leave the ship once in a while and despite the demands of the job, many of the crew typically work the job for 4 – 6 years or more.

Why not rent a Mega Yacht to see if it fits your style?

Would you like to try one for a week? No problem if you have an extra $125,000 lying around and one of your larger credit cards for the fuel. If you can afford that then the tips and food are probably not a big concern.

For some the fantasy becomes real

Yes it is an amazing sight to walk around the Yacht clubs of the world and look and dream at these cash eating monsters. The names on them and the places they are from represent the geography of the whole world. It is part of our fascination with them.

Many of these super yachts are featured on shows so the rest of us can get a glimpse into the fantasy life of the owners. So keep buying those lottery tickets or work your ass off and you might just be on one of those shows someday, but don’t forget to keep some money aside for the fuel and crew or it will just be an expensive yard decoration.

If you have the funds already feed free to browse our listings in the category for mega yachts.