How Much Does a Super Yacht REALLY Cost?

See our infographic

Have you ever bought a lottery ticket and dared to dream of owning a super yacht? Our infographic gives you the low down on the most expensive yachts, who buys them and how much they have to pay to keep them afloat.

Are you interested in joining that illustrious group of yacht owners? This infographic will break down exactly what it will cost for you to have and maintain your very own super yacht. And if you thought parking a car was expensive, then you've never parked a yacht. 

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Transcript - cost of maintaining a super yacht

Cost of maintaining a super yacht

  • The sea still remains a prime spot, allowing its explorers exclusive time off in the private surrounds of a super yacht, but owning a super yacht means not only initial capital outlay – often into tens, and sometimes hundreds, of millions – but also annual running costs that stretch well into seven figures.
  • Operating cost (yr.) – 10% of initial value
  • For an average-sized yacht of 45 metres, the maintenance price can range from anywhere between €2.5 million and €4 million per year.
  • Fuel Usage (71m yachts) – 500L of diesel (hr.)
  • V.A.T. (Value Added Tax) – 15 – 25% of vessel’s value
  • Annual costs:
    • $400,000 - fuel
    • $350,000 – dockage
    • $240,000 - boat insurance
    • $1 million - maintenance and repairs
    • $1.4 million - crew salaries

Who Buys Super Yachts

  • Super yachts are purchased by UHNWI or ultra high net worth individuals. A UHNW is someone with net assets over $30 million although some experts calculate with an amount of $50 million. It is estimated that the world population of UHNWI is around 200,000 individuals.
  • Of the 125 owners’ nationalities identified, 14 percent were Americans, followed closely by Russians. The biggest growth was in Asia, where 11% were delivered last year compared with 3% in 2011.
  • Luxury yachts top the list of the 10 most expensive asset purchases ever recorded. Eight out of the 10 billionaires on this list own these luxury vessels.
  • 10% of the yacht purchase price is usually paid immediately. With the balance paid once the yacht and the all-important documentation has been formally handed over.
  • Many super-yacht owners keep their vessels for no more than three years before selling up. The new yacht is typically less than five years old and with a fuel range of at least 3,000 miles.
  • In 2013, 355 superyachts were sold with a total combined price of $US 3.4 billion. The most expensive boat selling for $US 101 million.

The most expensive yachts


  • Owner – Hamdan bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
  • Occupation – Emirati politician and royalty
  • Cost – Unknown (Estimated $350M)
  • Length – 141.00m (462'7"ft)
  • Top Speed – 26 knots
  • # of crew members – 56


  • Some cues have been borrowed from a UAE navy frigate for increased security
  • The doors have been made with carbon fibre, reducing weight
  • An eco-friendly fuel based engine will empower the yacht to reduce carbon print
  • Other hi-tech gadgets will include the SATCOM (satellite communication system), long-range underwater SONAR, and the night navigator used for when sunlight isn’t the most intense outside.

Project Azzam

  • Owner – Khalifa Al Nahyan
  • Occupation – president of the United Arab Emirates
  • Cost – $600M
  • Length – 180.00m (590'6"ft)
  • Top Speed – 30 knots
  • # of crew members – 50


  • Much of this yacht is still confidential
  • However, Azzam can be expected to be environmentally friendly with decreased carbon dioxide, noise and soot emissions, and enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • Azzam is also expected to be equipped with facilities to utilise waste heat from the engine to operate the yacht's desalination system for drinking water.

The Rising Sun

  • Owner – David Geffen
  • Occupation – American business magnate
  • Cost – $200M
  • Length – 138.40m (454'0"ft)
  • Top Speed – 28 Knots
  • # of crew members – 45


  • Steel hull and aluminium superstructure
  • The engine is comprised of 4 MTU 20V 8000 M90 engines which can take the boat up to 28 knots of speed

The Maltese Falcon

  • Owner – Elena Ambrosiadou
  • Occupation – founder of IKOS Ltd.
  • Cost – $120M
  • Length – 88.12m (289'1"ft)
  • Top Speed – 19.5 Knots
  • # of crew members – 18


  • She has 21,800 horsepower DEUTZ diesels, which will take her up to 19.6 knots with power
  • Her engine room also hosts three gensets which provide rig handling as well as at-anchor power for all facilities
  • The carbon fibre yard arms are all securely fastened on the mast, and do not swing like conventional yachts. Instead, the entire mast rotates.
  • She has a sail furling mechanism that is run by an electric motor which differentiates it from any other type of rigging


  • Owner – Steve Jobs’ Family
  • Occupation – Apple
  • Cost – $129M
  • Length – 79.25 m (260.0 ft)
  • Top Speed – 22 Knots
  • # of crew members – 22


  • This ship is run using iMac’s
  • A large pane of special glass runs around the ships side and bow to look like an Apple store


  • Owner – Alisher Usmanov
  • Occupation – Russian oligarch
  • Cost – $263M
  • Length – 110.00m (360'10"ft)
  • Top Speed – 21 Knots
  • # of crew members – 47


  • She was the first yacht in the world with particle filters on the main engine exhausts
  • She has twin MTU diesel-electric main engines
  • The combination of diesel electric propulsion (by the gensets and the thrusters) and conventional propulsion with CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers), this means she is extremely efficient over long distances

Seven Seas

  • Owner – Steven Spielberg
  • Occupation – Film Director
  • Cost – $200M
  • Length – 85.95m (281'11"ft)
  • Top Speed – 20 Knots
  • # of crew members – 23


  • She has 'at anchor stabilisers' which work to increase onboard comfort at anchor and on rough waters.
  • She has a projector which will throw an image onto the glass wall of an infinity pool acting as a make-shift cinema.
  • Powered by 2 MTU (16V 595 TE70) 4,680hp diesel engines


  • Owner – Roman Abramovich
  • Occupation – Russian businessman
  • Cost – $500M
  • Length – 162.50m (533'1"ft)
  • Top Speed – 25 Knots
  • # of crew members – 70


  • The whole vessel is bullet and bomb proofed, and in case of an attack, there are five possible exits from the vessel
  • She also has a missile defence system
  • She has a 3 man ‘leisure’ submarine
  • There are rumours that she is equipped with an ‘anti-paparazzi shield’ that is activated by camera flashlights


  • Owner – Andrey Melnichenko
  • Occupation – Russian Businessman
  • Cost – $323M
  • Length – 119.00m (390'5"ft)
  • Top Speed – 23 Knots
  • # of crew members – 42


  • The unique shape of the boat is also known to cut through ice bergs
  • Features a reverse bow and ‘tumblehome’ design making it extremely efficient through the water
  • She features a number of security customisations including bomb proof windows, over 40 CCTV cameras, motion sensors, biometric fingerprint entry for some areas and is rumoured to have an escape pod in case of emergencies

Al Said

  • Owner – Sultan Qaboos
  • Occupation – Sultan of Oman
  • Cost – $300M
  • Length – 155.00m (508'6"ft)
  • Top Speed – 25 Knots
  • # of crew members – 154


  • She has 'at anchor stabilisers' which work to increase onboard comfort at anchor and on rough waters.
  • Features 2 MTU 10,988hp diesel engines
  • This yacht is shrouded in mystery as guests have to arrive by helicopter and no one outside the sultan’s direct court has seen the interior of this boat

Want to buy a superyacht?

So by looking at the results, my 100m long, 25 knots top speed and 50-strong crew super yacht should cost around $275 million on average.

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Yacht insurance from Towergate

For information on our yacht insurance check out our dedicated yacht insurance page or call 0344 892 1987 to speak to a specialist adviser.

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About the author

Adam Summersby is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.