It takes real money to own a small yacht or a decent catamaran, but the expenses won’t end after that initial purchase. Most of your expenses after that will revolve around operating, storing, and maintaining your boat.
Repairs and Remodeling
If you’re buying a new boat, you can probably include most of the elements you want in the boat’s design. But if you’re buying an older boat, a fresh coat of paint might not be all that it needs. You’ll need to gut the whole boat if you want to keep it up-to-date. Repairs and remodeling are essential, especially if you want to charter your boat or impress potential business partners. Of course, most of the repair work will need to be done inland, so you’ll need to hire massive low-loader transporter trailers to move your boat to and from the marina.
Maintenance and Staffing
It’s great to be at the helm of a yacht or catamaran, but you probably won’t want to do it all the time. A captain at the helm allows you to negotiate business deals or just have fun with your friends without having to mind the boat’s operations. Maintenance is another issue, which you probably want to delegate to others. Boat repair and maintenance requires years of learning, something you probably don’t have the time (or motivation) for.
Your boat also needs thorough checks and maintenance every 100 days to ensure that it remains seaworthy. Cleaning the decks and everywhere else can also be taxing if you’re doing it on your own. Depending on the size of your boat, you may need a crew of 2-200 people. Retaining a crew allows you to rent out your boat or use is it for some other commercial purposes. Eco tours and diving tours can be viable sources of income, or you can just rent out your boat like an Airbnb.
A 40-foot catamaran will cost you a minimum of A$6,000 in mooring fees, but that number can go up to A$12,000 if you want to be moored in East Sydney Harbor. Larger vessels will require even higher fees. Dry stacking and racking options can keep your vessel safe away from the water, but you can also leave your boat berthed in the water for a little extra.
The weather can be unpredictable. If you’re taking long trips such as Atlantic or Pacific crossings, hurricanes are probably unavoidable. Thankfully, Australian boat insurance has some of the widest coverage. Boat insurance will cover accidental damage, collisions, fire, theft, vandalism, and even natural events such as earthquakes, floods, storms, and tsunamis. You can get additional insurance that will cover almost every machinery and equipment inside your boat; just be sure to get your boat assessed with every big purchase.
Expect to pay a little more after you finally get your dream yacht or Atlantic-crossing catamaran. Boats are a luxury and their maintenance is nothing to scoff at. Still, if you’ve made your mind to get that boat, expenses probably wouldn’t be a problem.