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£265,000 in fuel, £232,000 for docking, £930,000 in wages and £664,000 in repairs PER YEAR: Infographic reveals the real cost of owning a superyacht

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  • Superyachts are generally owned by Ultra High Net Worth Individuals 
  • Insurance company Towergate calculates what they really pay
  • On average, owners pay 10 per cent of yacht’s value in costs per year 

From Russian oligarchs to Middle Eastern royalty to Hollywood producers, it takes a certain type of person to own a superyacht – crucially, they must be super rich.

The official term for this fortunate minority is a Ultra High Net Worth Individual, someone with more than US$30million (£20m) in net assets, and there are just 200,000 of them in the world.

But even for the likes of Roman Abramovich and UAE president Khalifa Al Nahyan, owners of two of the costliest private vessels in the world, the costs associated with keeping such a big boat on the water would have them double-checking their direct debits. 

Insurance company Towergate has compiled a study to find out the real cost of owning a superyacht and the figures are, for us mere mortals, almost inconceivable.

Roman Abramovich's Eclipse has a missile defence system and cost the Russian   $500milion (£332m)

Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse has a missile defence system and cost the Russian $500milion (£332m)

Chelsea owner Abramovich's boat also has two swimming pools and can be boarded via a mini submarine

Chelsea owner Abramovich’s boat also has two swimming pools and can be boarded via a mini submarine

Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg's 85.95m superyacht Seven Seas cost him $200m (£133m)

Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s 85.95m superyacht Seven Seas cost him $200m (£133m)

In the simplest terms, their infographic states that 10 per cent of the initial value of a superyacht goes on operating costs.

For Chelsea Football Club owner Abramovich’s Eclipse, a 162.5m vessel with a missile defence system that cost the billionaire an astronomical $500milion (£332), that means $50m (£33m) a year.

The standard fuel usage for a 71m yacht is 500 litres an hour, meaning an average of $400,000 (£265m) is spent on petrol every year per vessel.

American businessman David Geffen’s 138.4m The Rising Sun has a relatively small crew of 45

Dilbar, the super efficient 110m behemoth owned by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov

Dilbar, the super efficient 110m behemoth owned by Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov

The Value Added Tax (V.A.T) works out at 15-25 per cent of the vessel’s value while docking costs are an average $350,000 (£232,000) and $240,000 (£159,000) the standard for insurance sees the costs soar.

Add to that the expected $1million (£664,000) per year for maintenance and repairs and the wages for an average $1.4m (£930,000) for an on-board crew – which can range from less than 20 to 154 staff on the Sultan of Oman’s mysterious Al Said superyacht – and it’s a significant outlay.

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