The yacht charter business is growing at an unprecedented level. Some sources report over 25% more sales this very season, it’s too early to say but we believe a 20% increase will be very realistic when we crunch the numbers at the end of the season. Surely there is an after effect of the COVID pandemic, after all being at sea is the ultimate luxurious isolation practice but there is more to it in our opinion.

Unless you live in a cave or haven’t been on land for months now, you may have heard about the TV series called Below Deck available on Amazon Prime. 

The show was developed by Mark Cronin, Rebecca Taylor Henning & Doug Henning who we publicly thank for the great idea and effort.

Are we fans? Of course we are. Not to mention we appreciate that the show does highlight for most viewers that running charter operations is a serious business and to do it right it takes effort and dedication like any other business. If you put aside for a moment the glamorous aspect of yachting, crewing and gathering to guests’ needs is a serious business and the crew has a key role in it.

Below Deck is now at Season 7

Yes there are 7 seasons already, we not experts in entertainment, but it seems clear to us that it’s a a successful series.

Let’s take at the yachts involved and shed some clarity to these vessels actual value in charter fees in case you are wondering, but also what would it take to purchase one of these vessels. 

Season Yacht Real Name Length Charter Rate
1 Honor Lumiere 163.8’ From $175,000/week
2 Ohana Rhino 154’ From $140,000/week
3 Eros Mustang Sally 161’ From €175,000/week
4 Valor BG 153.9’ Not Available
5 Valor BG 153.9’ Not Available
Mediterranean 1 Ionian Princess Ionian Princess 150’ From €145,000/week
Mediterranean 2 Sirocco Sirocco 154.2′ From €180,000/week
Mediterranean 3 Talisman Maiton Talisman Maiton 177.1′ From €231,000/week

All these fees usually come with a 20-30% APA which is a deposit to cover fuel and provisions and charter guests actually get reimbursed (if anything is left) of any amount of these funds that is not spent during their holiday aboard the yacht. This fund usually also covers mooring fees in destinations that are different from the home port where the vessel actually is based and will return to at the end of the charter period.

M/Y Luimiere (Honor in Below Deck) 50m Benetti 1999 – $175k/Week + Expenses

Motor Yacht Honor (Lumiere) from Below Deck

Motor Yacht Honor (Lumiere) from Below Deck

This vessel was built by Benetti 1999 – It seems that the vessel sold right after the show aired for an amount close to $15M USD. The new owner also has taken the yacht for a full refit. The Yacht is almost 50 meters in length and as a reference cost of a similar built in Italy (where Benetti is based) a new built would be costing in the area of USD 35-45 million depending on the specifications – As a reference project B.NOW due for launch in 2022 is priced at €32M (approx 38M USD)

In the second season the M/Y Ohana is actually a vessel called M/Y RHINO

M/Y RHINO (Ohana in Below Deck) 46.9m Admiral 1998 – $140k/Week + Expenses

M/Y Ohana (Rhino) from Below Deck

M/Y Ohana (Rhino) from Below Deck – Admiral built

Italian built M/Y Rhino from the second season of Below Deck is an Admiral yacht construction.

with some beautiful decks typical of Italian-built yachts and a horseshoe outdoor bar,  after the show aired in 2014, M/Y Rhino (Ohana in the Tv series)  underwent an extensive retrofit.

She now has an updated interior with a modern to it, as well as new hardware, including a state-of-the-art stabilisation system.

If we were to give an approximate value to this vessel (used) we would place it below the €20 milion mark.

M/Y MUSTANG SALLY (EROS in Below Deck) 49.07m Trinity Yacht 2008 -€175k per week

Trinity Yachts built Mustang Sally, is motor yacht EROS

Built in U.S. by Trinity Yachts despite its very European exterior lines, this nearly 50m yacht was not available for charter recently however, it is now at a published price of €175,000k per week. Originally built in 2008 it underwent a significant refit in 2015. With this yacht we are already in the $30M plus category in terms of new built .

M/Y VALOR (Real name M/Y BG CHARADE) Season 4,5 46.9m Feadship Yacht 1990


M/Y VALOR

This Feadship built yacht is what we consider a classic. Built originally in 1990 it carries its age beautifully. It’s part of Bobby Genovese’s group which also includes a Lazzara LSX75.  This is a very smart investment because its classic lines and its very roomy interior is the type of motor-yacht that you can acquire for a relatively low price and refit in a smart way so not to spend more than one should. The result is a a very sizeable yacht that charters well and delivers a charter experience that is not second to much more expensive and recent yachts.

The Yachts of Below Deck mediterranean:

 

M/Y Ionian Princess 45.72 Christensen/Palmer Johnson 45.72m  2005 – €145,000/week

If you ask us this Christensen/Palmer and Johnson is much older than 2005 as most resources seem to suggest. Its classic lines suggest a vessel that was designed in the early 1990 or so. However, U.S. built yachts tend to have a more classic look than European ones, therefore we are not surprised. As the name suggests this vessel is has Greece and Croatia as their main cruising grounds.

M/Y Scirocco 47m  Hessen 45.72m  2006 – €180,000/week

Currently for sale with a price tag of 17M euros this 2006 Hessen Yacht is a bit of a special one being entirely built in Aluminium. We highly appreciate Hessen yachts built quality their dutch based shipyard is as experienced as the others but with a special focus on more difficult materials such as aluminium.

M/Y Talisman 54.2m  Proteksan   2006 – €231,000/week

 

Below deck yacht talisman

Built in 2006 in Turkey by the well known Proteksan shipyard, then refitted in 2012 this Yacht is offered for charter and it is indeed the most expensive of the above mentioned and also the largest. Well above the 50 meters mark this is the biggest Yacth of the lot and seems to have a very reasonable fuel efficiency with  230liters/hour despite being not too young any more.

The Yacht of Below Deck – Sailing Yacht :

S/Y Parsifal III 54.2m  Perini Navi   2005 – $195,000/week

Parsifal 3 is the classic example of the lines that made Perini Navi (its builder) a world class builder of what we call super sailers. Superyacht that are NOT motor yacht are also a current trend, and a very smart choice for charter guests thanks to a much reduced fuel cost for longer cruises with speeds that are not that much below the Motor yacht ones.  A very similar Yacth in good condition would be between € 14-18m and a more recent one like the 58 meters 2015 built Perseus 3 has an asking price above €27 millions.

What other costs are paid by the Charter Guests other than the tips ?

Yachts of this size usually require an APA between 15 and 30% (of the overall charter cost) – this is a fund that the charter guests (client) pays upfront as a fund for mooring fees, food and drinks, fuel, and other ancillary costs that the crew will pay without disturbing the guests during the holiday. Whatever amounts are left are usually returned to the guests.

How long is a charter on Below Deck ?

Charters are mostly sold by week but may sometimes be as short as 1 day or a few days.

Is a yacht charter a profitable business ?

We have a full article on on this topic please click here