Private or Charter Yacht Ownership – Which is right for you?

The carefree cruising lifestyle. Wind in your hair, friends on deck, and endless horizons ahead. Sailing, the sea, and yacht ownership have an appeal that’s undeniable, and if you’ve made it to this page, you’ve probably considered purchasing a yacht at some point. So, let’s look at the basics of two ownership options – private yacht purchase vs. placing a yacht into a charter management program. No single option is better than another. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages based on costs, boating experience, and what factors are most important to you. Let’s take a closer look at some of primary factors to consider that might just help move you a step closer to your yacht ownership dream.

Travel dreams

Most of us can agree that we want to be out on the water sailing more often, but everyone has different ideas about where!  If you’re looking to cruise close to your home port, then perhaps a new or used private yacht purchase is the best for you, where you can keep your yacht close at hand for weekend sailing.

But if you’re like many of the Dream Yacht Charter owners that want to sail the world and discover new and exotic ports of call, then a charter program can be the perfect solution. With charter ownership, you can choose a program that allows access to sister ships around the world in your choice of 45+ idyllic destinations. You’ll simply fly to your chosen destination, step aboard and see the world – without the daunting yacht preparations, or long passages to get to your preferred cruising grounds eating into your precious vacation time. Whether you’re dreaming of cruising Croatia or Greece in the Mediterranean; the tropical Caribbean islands of Grenada, St. Martin, or Antigua; or exotic wonderlands such as Tahiti or the Seychelles, it’s all very possible when you place your new yacht in a charter management program!

Other cruising dreams often include setting off for longer term liveaboard cruising aboard your yacht – to explore the world at your own pace with no set schedule. If this is a long-range goal for you, an ownership program is a great way to set yourself up and help you prepare. A 5-year program is a nice buffer between when you purchase, and when you set sail on your liveaboard adventure – so you can plan for your future cruising lifestyle while you’re still receiving monthly charter payments and making progress in paying down any loans.

After the program is completed, you’re free to set sail for faraway places with the income, knowledge, and experience you’ve picked up during the program.

Sailing experience

How much experience is enough? Maybe you’re a sailor that hasn’t yet embarked on a sailing adventure beyond a nearby cruising grounds. Or maybe you have completed some training but haven’t used your skilled enough to feel entirely confident on the water. If you’re not yet comfortable with your sailing experience and wish to purchase a new yacht, there are a number of advantages to buying through a charter management program. Firstly, it’s a great way to own without the hassle and maintenance responsibility of private ownership. And with every charter week of sailing you’ll gain experience and confidence. Our base staff will welcome you, help you get familiarized with your yacht equipment, and provide a detailed chart briefing on your destination. And if anything should go wrong with equipment during your charter, Dream Yacht’s staff is available to assist.

All the while during your 5.5 years of ownership and sailing the world, you’ll gain confidence and skills beyond what can be learned from your local sailing school. At the end of your program when your yacht is phased out, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle more challenging cruising grounds, and exciting longer passages.

Yacht usage

How often will you want to use your yacht? Are you the kind of sailor that lives to spend every waking moment aboard your yacht regardless of its location? Or do you envision a few weeks of cruising perfection in paradise each year?

If your answer is every weekend, or more than 12 cruising weeks per year (or if you simply want to be the only one using your yacht), then a new or used private purchase would be a great choice for you.

Most of our charter programs allow for up to 12-weeks of owner use per year, and many owners find this more than enough time to enjoy sailing and exploring their favorite cruising grounds. To maximize your owner weeks, a flexible schedule helps to be able to take advantage of the 6 weeks of time that must be booked within 10 days of departure. Similarly, high season usage is limited, so flexibility on the time of year you sail helps you maximize you boat usage as well.

Maintenance & cleaning

Boats and maintenance go together, you can’t have one without the other – at least while still enjoying a good boating experience! Do you enjoy “tinkering” aboard a boat, looking after all the details to keep it in top condition, and doing minor repairs where needed? Keeping a regular maintenance schedule is a seemingly endless list of engine checks, fluid levels, battery checks, bottom cleaning and more. Private ownership involves the full responsibility for maintenance and repairs. Whether you hire it done or manage it yourself, it should not be underestimated.

One of the most beneficial aspects to charter ownership is having an expert team to look after a proper maintenance schedule, regular cleaning, and even repairs as needed. With every visit your yacht will be cleaned inside and out, with water and fuel tanks full and ready to leave the dock. Upon your return to the dock, the maintenance team will address any concerns you may have discovered while out on the water.

Cost considerations

We’ve saved this more obvious point for last, but cost considerations are likely one of the most important factors in your yacht ownership decision. What may not be quite as obvious is how quickly the costs can add up. Most people understand that purchasing a yacht for leisure comes with ongoing expenses far beyond the purchase price, but there are some costs that tend to be overlooked.

Our professional yacht consultants can help you better understand what costs to expect including: yacht insurance, dockage fees, maintenance, and cleaning. In short, traditional private yacht ownership is expensive, and while it does have a substantial upside, for many it’s not a realistic option

With a charter ownership program, you can purchase a new yacht and have the expenses of insurance, dockage, security, maintenance, and cleaning all covered for you. And what’s more – the regular monthly income from charter revenue helps offset your mortgage payments. For most people, it’s a much more affordable and worry-free way to own.


Whichever ownership option you decide is best for you, Dream Yacht Charter has you covered with flexible charter management programs and the widest choice of yachts for private or charter ownership.

Our expert yacht consultants can explain your options in depth and help you through the purchase process, from choosing a yacht that is right for you, to finding the best financing. Get in touch today!


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