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Below Deck: The cost of chartering versus buying a luxury yacht

With Below Deck Season 11 to set sail next month, Tropicalboat Luxury Yacht Charters & Rentals has researched the charter and purchase prices of the yachts featured on the popular show. What is behind the difference in prices? Is it size? Is it features or is it the crew-to-guest ratios?

The yachts on Below Deck will cost you a pretty penny – the most expensive is Season 11’s St David which costs $325,000 per week to charter or $23,646,000 to buy., and the least expensive is Season 2’s Ohana costs $160,000 per week to charter or $9,995,000 to buy.

For those not yet hooked on the binge-worthy TV show, Below Deck chronicles the lives of crew members who live and work aboard luxury superyachts during the charter season. And ahead of Season 11, Tropicalboat Luxury Yacht Charters & Rentals has revealed how much it would cost to either charter or buy any of the yachts featured, including this newest season.

As it is the biggest and most luxurious yacht to ever feature on Below Deck, season 10’s and now 11’s St David is the most expensive, costing $325,000 to charter for a week, excluding expenses, or $23,646,000 to purchase. It is typically expected guests tip the crew anywhere between 10 to 15 percent of the charter rate. So, expect to add a maximum cost of $48,750 to the weekly charter rate of St David.

The running costs of a yacht will add to your initial investment with operating costs estimated to be 20 percent or more of the initial value. St David would incur its owner a cost of at least $4,729,000 annually to run.

This luxury superyacht is 196 feet hosting 12 guests in its six guest cabins, who can expect to enjoy first-class service from a total of 14 crew members. Features include an indoor jacuzzi, a luxury spa, an outdoor deck jacuzzi, a gym and a dance floor, alongside a Rolls Royce Limo Tender for shore trips and a multitude of recreational water toys and activities. Guests can go fishing and scuba diving or take to the waters skiing, wakeboarding, or riding jet skis.

Coming in as the second most expensive superyacht on Below Deck is My Seanna, now Starship, featured on the show’s sixth, eighth and ninth seasonsThis 185-foot luxury yacht boasts 22-carat gold brushed fittings, adding to the opulence of the vessel. A finalist in The World Superyacht Awards 2012, it features two jacuzzies, a beach club, a helipad, a movie theatre and a sundeck sauna and gym. Accents of real gold and blue throughout the yacht’s interior give an air of royalty. The yacht hosts 12 guests in six cabins, with 11 crew members to tend to their every need. For a week on Starship, it would cost $275,000, excluding expenses, or $22,900,000 to purchase. Expect to pay approximately £41,250 in crew tips or incur around $4,580,000 in annual running costs as the owner.

The least expensive yacht to charter is season five’s Valor, now BG, costing $146,500 per week. BG hosts 12 guests in its six cabins with a dedicated crew of 10 members. Fans will remember how season 10’s shocking discovery of concealed unregistered drugs on board resulted in the immediate dismissal of a crew member. BG will set you back $16,000,000 to buy and is the second smallest yacht to feature on the show, measuring 153.87 feet.

Interestingly, Ohana is the least expensive yacht to buy, but not the smallest nor cheapest to charter costing $160,000 per week. It can host up to 30 guests in 14 cabins but only has a crew of 8 which might explain the higher charter rate, despite its lower sale price.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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