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OUT: Trying to make money with yacht charter

“You will never make money with a boat”

By Tessa Heerschop


To buy a yacht is a dream for many people, but what most don`t know is that the costs of owning a ship are mostly more then the value of the vessel. Therefore, many boatowners chose to charter. But even then, it stays an expensive hobby.

Luxury yachts

Charter companies for luxury yachts can be found in every harbor around the Cote d`Azur. But can you really make money by owning a ship and renting it out? Simon Louis, who works for the shipbroker MarcPajot.com doesn`t think so: «As a private owner, you will never make money with a yacht».

 1,5 million euro

In the Port Canto of Cannes Simon Louis tries to sell 25.5 meter long yacht during the Cannes Croissette Show. «I don`t know exactly what the owners payed when they bought it in 2003, but we try to sell it now for 1,5 million Euro. I guess a new yacht like this would cost you around 3  million euro`s. But don`t assume that when you`ve bought it, you`re done with paying. You pay as much on maintenance as on the price of the ship.»


To navigate a ship above 20 meters, you need to have a license. To charter it, you even need a professional skipper. The yacht that Simon sells has a staff of three fulltime employees. «The owner choose for a French Skipper. He then choses the rest of the staff, who are French as too. They get paid normal wages». He specifies that they get a normal salary, because lot`s of owners choose now for Filipino workers. As long as the foreign workers sleep on board and don` t leave the harbor, they are considered professional sailors. Therefore they don`t require a visa for France and are paid by the standards of the International Maritime Organization. What is a lousy 300 Euro`s a month. But even then, with three people on board, it would cost you 900 Euro`s a month for staff only.


The riviera coast is not the cheapest place to put your yacht. The price to buy a place in the harbor of Antibes is at minimum 150.000 Euro for a boat of 25 meters. Then there are the costs of insurance and taxes. «When you have guests on board, the price of insurance is ridiculously high», Simon says while walking around on the white sundeck of the yacht. «If you don`t have guests on board and you want to go yourself for a trip, then keep in mind that the two engines absorb 410 liters of fuel an hour. So it`s definitely not cheap to go for a tour with this kind of ship».


Next to insurance, taxes and staff, the ship also has a lot of maintenance. Every four years it has to go to out of the water on a dock. «A yacht that`s around ten years old begins to show signs of aging. So the engines need extra care and you might consider a new interior as well».

Making money

The only way to make money is to charter your yacht. For 5000 Euro, without the costs of food and fuel, 9 people can spend the day on this luxurious vessel. It`s rented out 3 months a year, so the owners get around 150.000 Euro`s a year. The yacht is 9 years old, wich means they made around 1,35 million Euro, while the value of the yacht dropt 1,5 million Euro`s in the same time and has a lot of extra costs. «Owning a boat is a dream and that`s why people buy one. If you want to make money, you`re better of investing in bricks. Cause a boat will only cost you and never makes money for private owners», concludes Simon.


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