‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht’: Sailing Yachts Are Just As Wildly Costly As Motor Yachts

How you like to travel is an important question to consider when it comes to purchasing a luxury yacht. Do you crave the excitement of heeling over on a luxury sailing yacht or cruising the Med in style in a motor yacht? Because motor yachts and sailing yachts are both going to set you back several million–and that’s just for starters.

Below Deck offers voyeuristic insight into what it is like to journey on the high seas in style. The franchise has embarked upon a six week season on several different motor yachts, revisiting the same yacht more than once. Below Deck has chartered Valor three times. Below Deck Mediterranean featured Sirocco twice.

Aesha Scott
Aesha Scott | Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The franchise now pivots to sailing yachts. Parsifal III is the Below Deck Sailing Yacht vessel taking the crew and charter guests around the Greek islands. And while the crew shared that a sailing yacht is almost half the size of some of the motor yachts on Below Deck, that doesn’t mean it comes at a big discount.

They both cost ‘millions’

Chef Adam Glick from Below Deck Sailing Yacht shared that a vessel featured on the show would set you back several million dollars. “30, 40, 50 million,” he told E News. Parsifal III is a 180-foot sailing yacht with six guest cabins that can accommodate up to 12 people. This sailing yacht typically functions with a crew of nine.

Glick added, “A new sailboat that size…and sailboats are more expensive, believe it or not, because they require the upkeep. You’re looking at sails that deteriorate. Well, there’s $300,000 you’ve got to replace. Just an upkeep. They figure whatever the value of the boat is, 10 percent of that is your yearly upkeep.”

Motor yachts really aren’t a better bargain.  “Yachts over 100 feet cost $1 million per 3.3 feet — and that’s not counting costs for upkeep,” according to Business Insider. “Some older yacht models around 80 feet may sell for six figures, but a superyacht will most likely set you back by at least a few million. An 84-foot yacht built in 2002 and refit in 2015, for example, can cost $1.45 million, while a 270-foot yacht built in 2013 can cost $132 million.”

Maintenance is where the costs can really add up

In one respect, sailing yacht owners save a little bit of green in gas prices. Because sailing yachts spend time motoring with the wind, the sailing yacht saves on fuel expenses, according to Dream Yacht Charter. Yearly motor yacht fuel expenses can set owners back about $400,000 a year according to Business Insider.

But both vessels require maintenance and eventually have to dock somewhere. “For motor yachts, regular engine check-ups and oil changes will add a substantial amount to the total maintenance fee. But without maintenance, mechanical failures become more frequent and quickly drive costs much higher than expected,” Dream Yacht Charter reports. “For sailing yachts, sails and rigging must be regularly maintained, and in many cases, replaced every 5 years.”

Sailing and motor yachts also have to include provisioning too. One superyacht captain spent about $50,000 for an eight week season. Also, don’t forget to pay the crew. For instance, a 130-foot yacht with five crew members can cost $32,500 a month. Day worker salaries can be about $14,255 for two months of work.

The bottom line is just because a sailing yacht can be powered with wind and can be more compact, it doesn’t mean these vessels cost less money.