Is affordable yacht ownership a reality?
Why charter a yacht when you could own it?
Setting sail on a boat is the most fantastic experience and now affordable yacht ownership is a much more realistic option. People often perceive yacht ownership as a rich person’s game. However, there are different ways to go sailing in large, modern, fully-equipped and well-maintained sailing yachts for a more modest budget.
The joy of cruising in a sailing yacht is the pure freedom and simplicity. You can sail to different locations or choose to anchor up in your favourite bay. Cruising is similar to a luxury campervan. Only you sail from place to place, away from the traffic and the crowds.
It’s also an opportunity to learn new skills and share experiences. Whether it’s helming, hoisting and setting sails or dropping anchor all the crew, family and children can have a go. Everyone can get involved rather than being stuck in the ‘back seat’.
Yacht chartering adds flexibility
Hiring a yacht as a yacht charter has many benefits. Yacht chartering is an excellent option if you don’t wish to own a boat or are thinking about buying one. Also, for boat owners who need a larger boat for a one-off purpose, such as a holiday with family and friends.
Chartering a yacht gives you the flexibility to choose the type and size of boat for your specific trip. It is considerably less costly in comparison with owning a boat, which means more affordable yacht sailing, when you want it. And more spare cash for other activities when you are not sailing.
Booking a yacht charter is less time consuming too. There’s no need to spend valuable weekends on annual maintenance or boat preparation for a specific trip, such as a channel crossing. All yacht maintenance or equipment servicing is managed by the yacht charter company. Which gives you the freedom to do other things – or simply spend more time sailing!
Another advantage of chartering in the UK is less cost and travel time to airports or hassle from cancelled flights.
Yacht chartering - considerations
Yacht chartering is certainly not for everyone. There are many reasons people love to own their own yacht, which are a mix of emotional and practical.
With a charter yacht, or a yacht charter management scheme, you are less able to personalise the equipment and fittings above and below decks. You can bring your own stuff with you, whether it’s kitchen equipment, boat toys or bed linen. But, you can’t just leave it on board until the next time. However, many charter companies have watersports equipment, such as kayaks and paddle boards, available to hire to save you trouble.
It also means you cannot just go sailing at short notice. Yacht chartering is less spontaneous than owning a yacht, when you can just jump onboard because it’s a hot day. However, increasingly, last minute bookings are possible with some charter companies.
A yacht charter also has defined time limits, whether its a day, a week or a longer charter. You do have to deliver the yacht back on time, and lack the flexibility to stay out a few days longer.
Why buy your own yacht?
Boat ownership brings the freedom of being able to go sailing as and when you want. Subject to the weather of course! But you can change dates and sailing plans as you please. Live aboard in the marina, hang out at anchor at your favourite beach or do some long offshore sailing passages.
There’s a lot of joy and pride in owning your own boat. This can come from everything from choosing the right boat and maintaining it, as well as the sailing experience if provides.
As the yacht owner you can customise your boat to suit you. Whether it’s the make of sails or type of navigation electronics to how you equip the cabins and curtain colours. The choice is yours. It’s similar to the campervan comparison – it’s all your stuff, exactly as you want it.
Depending on your choice of size and type of boat, affordable yacht ownership is perfectly possible. Especially if you are a DIY enthusiast and like doing boat work yourself. For many yacht owners, there’s considerable pride and passion in doing your own yacht maintenance and boat management. It’s part of the whole skill set of sailing and the year-round process of yacht management. And, if you are flexible about where you keep your boat, such as on a mooring rather than a marina, your boat budget will stretch further.
Yacht ownership – considerations
Owning your own yacht is the ultimate dream for many people. However, there are some practical considerations. As well as the capital costs of buying the boat, new or second hand, there’s also maintenance, berthing and insurance. The ongoing running costs of owning a yacht can escalate, depending on the boat and where you keep it. So it's important to have a boat budget in mind.
Yacht maintenance and equipment servicing is not just a one-off annual requirement, it’s an ongoing necessity for safe yachting. Engines need servicing, things go wrong and equipment needs to repaired or replaced. Sails may need patching, fan belts can disintegrate mid-channel or your last guest can block the heads (toilets) without knowing! It’s all part of the joy of owning your own boat.
Yachts also need to be prepared properly for each voyage, especially if you are planning to go away for a longer trip. Whether it’s fueling up, filling with water, doing the boat checks or provisioning, it all takes up your time. This may require more time off work, missing other commitments, or less overall time sailing.
Yacht charter management – affordable yacht ownership
Joining a yacht ownership or charter management scheme can offer the best of both worlds.
For many people, there’s the desire to sail your own boat regularly. Yet this is versus the reality of perhaps only a few weekends spent sailing the boat each season. If you are not using the boat very much, then the costs of yacht ownership can start to be onerous.
Yacht charter management is an ingenious scheme to making boat ownership far more realistic and affordable. Using a reliable yacht charter management firm will generate income by chartering your yacht when you are not using it. This revenue will contribute to your overall running costs.
You get to own your own boat. The charter management company runs and maintains the boat for you and organises the charters.
In addition, they take care of all annual maintenance, ongoing repairs, replacement, equipment servicing, cleaning and boat preparation. So, when you want to go sailing you can literally arrive and step aboard your excellently maintained boat.
Most charter management schemes involve an agreed revenue split and includes covering the cost of annual marina berthing and insurance. Different schemes may vary about the amount of time boat owners have onboard. Normally, this is all agreed as part of the yacht charter management package. Also, most schemes are flexible and will work around your preferred dates.
Entering into a yacht charter management scheme certainly offers an alternative option for more affordable yacht ownership. As well as removing the hassles of boat management and maintenance, it frees up your time for other things. Be it spending more time with the family – or heading out for another sail!
Discover more about our affordable yacht charter management scheme.