Yachts: Charter vs Ownership

Exploring the world and the seven seas with your own personal yacht is the dream for many. Our Simplexity Travel Managers get several enquiries every month from clients looking to spend some time on a luxury vessel, whether for holidays or impressive corporate entertaining, and enjoy organising this for our discerning business and private clientele.

But although ownership is often seen as something restricted to the super-rich, in fact, there are a few options that are open to you when it comes to having a yacht at your disposal – the one you choose depends on your budget of course, but also on your personal situation.

Here we discuss the pros and cons of yacht ownership and charter, as well as a concept that may be unfamiliar to some, which is yacht partnership schemes.

Yacht ownership


The obvious incentive for owning a yacht outright is the total freedom it gives you. Sail wherever you want, whenever the mood takes you. From the Azores to Monte Carlo, New York to the Caribbean, the world is your oyster (subject to ocean conditions of course).

You’ll also never have to worry about the kids not wanting to holiday with their parents anymore. Although you’ll probably be taking their friends along too, more often than not.


Freedom comes at a cost. Depending on the size and quality of the yacht you’re looking at, you could be looking at maintenance, fuel, crewing and berthing costs running into the hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, on top of the initial purchase cost. Some of that can be offset by chartering the yacht out when you’re not using it, but you can still expect eye-watering expenses throughout the year just to keep your vessel ship-shape.

Yacht charter


Many people instead opt to own a charter yacht, which is normally arranged through a broker. This ensures the vessel will be well-maintained, and always ready to set sail when you need it.

As stated above, this can potentially offset the expense of ownership by a significant amount, and there are also various tax benefits that can be accrued.

Plus, should your life circumstances change and you want to take a year off from sailing, it’s easily fixed up.



You’ll still have high payroll cost, as you will need to have a permanent, reliable crew aboard to look after people hiring the yacht.

If you want to use the yacht yourself during peak season, then you’ll be missing out on substantial income.


Yacht partnership schemes

A third option that is increasingly growing in popularity, yacht partnership schemes involve you purchasing a brand new yacht, then leasing it to a company for a period of years. You receive an income from this, and an agreed amount of time every year to use the yacht, perhaps 10 weeks or so, while the company takes responsibility for berthing, crewing and maintaining the yacht, and finding customers.

After this initial lease is over (usually they last around five or six years) the yacht is returned to you in good condition for you to do with as you wish. If you don’t mind not taking full ownership for a few years, then this makes it far more affordable. Yacht partnership schemes are great if you’re still working but nearing retirement and think you’ll want full use in future.

However, you are tied in to taking possession at the end of the arrangement even if your circumstances change, and to get best value you’ll need to be sailing every year.


Speak with one of our Simplexity Travel Managers to see how we can help you arrange your yacht travel on 0203 5359290 or