Captain Lee From ‘Below Deck’ Says It Can Cost $100,000 To Fill a Superyacht’s Gas Tank

Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck recently revealed that the fuel bill alone can set superyacht owners back six figures.

Captain Lee Rosbach
Captain Lee Rosbach |Ralph Bavaro/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

While most people drop around $30 to $40 to fill their car gas tank, Rosbach said travel on a superyacht costs more than what most people make in salary per year.

“You can spend between 50-100K depending on where you fuel and how much your tanks will hold,” he tweeted in response to a fan’s question about fuel costs. “On charter, it depends on where you go and how long you run to get there and the speed at which you run. A lot of variables.”

Costs cover workers on the dock too

Rosbach addressed the question pertaining to fueling superyacht Valor, which is about 159 feet. Another person remarked that the price had to be on the higher side when the series ventured to Thailand and Tahiti.

“Yup, it was, but think of all the people involved in that, the fuel dock workers, the guys that drive the trucks to the fuel dock, and it goes on and on. I love my industry,” Rosbach replied. Someone also joked that the cost equated to a slew of Delta Skymiles. “Got that right skippy,” Rosbach agreed.

Fuel costs only scratch the surface

Dropping $100,000 in fuel is only the tipping point. Operating costs generally increase based on the yacht size. “Owners can expect to spend about 10% of the purchase price annually on operating and maintaining a yacht. That’s $1 million a year for a $10 million superyacht, although it varies,” yacht expert, Hillary Hoffower wrote in a Business Insider article.

Salaries can consume a good chunk of change too. “A 130-foot boat with five crew members can cost $32,500 a month,” according to Hoffower. “Deckhands earn an average of $3,083 to $3,574 a month, depending on the boat size. Captains get paid more, earning an average of $7,750 to $19,961 a month.”

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Hoffower estimated that fuel expenses for the year will set yacht owners back $400,000. Docking the superyacht is about $350,000 per year. Provisioning averages about $50,000 for up to two months at sea.

Operating a large superyacht is about $3.5 million per year

All these expenses certainly add up. Hoffower estimated that it costs about $3.5 million a year to operate a 205 foot superyacht. “The price can vary on season and yacht size and includes costs for food and drink, fuel, harbor fees and dockage, and delivery fees,” she wrote.

Seeing the costs associated with just running the yacht may explain why it is so expensive to charter one of these massive private vessels. The average cost to charter a superyacht is about $150,000 per week, according to Worldwide Boat. However, depending on the boat, costs can be much higher. Celebrities like Magic Johnson and the Kardashians have spent $1 million to vacation on a superyacht.

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Below Deck guests get a huge price break to be on the show. “It’s $55k for a group of 5 people, that includes everyone’s roundtrip airfare to Croatia, 2 nights at a 5 start hotel, 3 days on the 154ft yacht- that normally charters for $207,000 a week, all food and alcohol on yacht, all water sports, crew tip and ground transportation, “The Forward Cabin reported in 2016. “The trip normally would cost over $100k so its a great deal.”