Boats afloat: the real cost of luxury

Magic Carpet Cube yatı, Wally Yachts

As glamorous as it might seem, owning a yacht is not for everyone. When posed the question about the advantages of owning a gulet, Dave Stanley of Southern Cross Blue Cruising chuckled and said “The cheapest part of owning a boat is the purchase!” Having bought the classic small gulet, Southern Cross Timer, more than ten years ago, he has once again had to employ a Bodrum shipyard. There, she has spent the past winter under the hands of carpenters and crew, who are installing a new teak deck, and replacing the deckhouse. He might be forgiven for speaking of the happy pain that boat owners share when he says, “When you think about buying a boat, or a gulet, you have to ask yourself will you own it privately, never to charter, or own to charter to cover running costs, or actually try to make some money on it?” In his opinion gulet ownership will rarely make a lot of money – it is something to enjoy as a unique business in a unique and mostly friendly industry, and sometimes you even get to enjoy your own “free holiday aboard!”

What is the general guideline for breaking even or making a profit when putting a gulet out for charter? Stanley researches the business side of gulet owning and chartering and, having tracked the changes in costs and profits over the past ten years, he now estimates that a gulet needs to be chartered for ten weeks before it is a break-even proposition. He applies that guideline to all sizes of gulets, from economic to ultra-luxury, as the costs and the charter fees are at the same scale. Once the charter returns have reached break-even point, then on the high-end gulets the owner will make more profit.

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However if the charters don’t reach that point, the luxury and ultra-luxury gulets will cost a great deal more to run and maintain. At the other end of the scale, the smaller gulets will not take so much in profit-making charter fees, but will cost less to run if the charters don’t add up to cover costs.

Azimut Magellano 66

Stanley lists the costs to consider: maintenance, crews, mooring, registration and licenses, the compulsory drydock (for gulets) every two years to take out of the water and maintain the wooden boat, and says it could easily cost a small 18-meter gulet TL25,000 for one winter. It takes money to look after your yacht, so chartering is a method of ensuring that investment is protected and maintained. However chartering has to be considered and operated as a business, either by the boat owner or the owner company or delegated to a charter broker.

Back in Bodrum Bay, despite all that work and cost, Dave Stanley glows with pride when looking over his own classic gulet gleaming with new varnish and woodwork, and pointing out modifications made during the winter maintenance. He is looking forward to the next “free” holiday, when he tells the captain to pull up anchor and they check out of Bodrum Harbour for a sail escape to small bays on the nearby Greek Islands. Now that is the advantage of owning a gulet, or indeed any yacht!

International Yacht Companies In Bodrum

As the only high-capacity space for megayacht mooring in Turkey, Yalıkavak Marina is the hub for luxury megayachts with space for 69 megayachts 40 meters or more long among its 710 berths, plus technical service in its fully – equipped boat yard. It is also a center for entertainment, with a plethora of dining, drinking and nightlife venues to keep everyone – from land or sea – happily occupied.

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