The Cost of Chartering vs Buying a Yacht from Below Deck

Nov 6, 2023

Who can resist the addictive charm of Below Deck – the popular reality TV series that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of crew members working on luxury superyachts.

As many of us already know, the show primarily focuses on the crew’s professional and personal lives as they cater to the needs and whims of high-paying charter guests.

Below Deck provides viewers with a glimpse into the luxury yachting industry, showcasing the demanding nature of the job, the interpersonal dynamics among the crew, and the occasional drama that unfolds in the high-pressure environment of serving affluent clientele.

And finally, Season 11 is about to hit the waves on February the fifth 2024! It’s been revealed St David is the yacht of choice again, returning after its successful Season 10 debut.

With this in mind, we’ve spilled the beans on what it would take to rent or even own one of the fabulous yachts that steal the limelight on the show.

Season 11 of Below Deck will feature the grandest and most opulent yacht ever seen on the show – the St David. If you’ve ever dreamt of chartering this majestic vessel, prepare to open your wallet wide, because it comes with a hefty price tag.

Chartering the St David for a week will set you back a jaw-dropping $325,000, and that’s not even including additional expenses. If you’ve got even grander ambitions and want to make it a permanent part of your life, the purchase price is an eye-popping $23,646,000.

Now, when you’re indulging in a luxury yacht charter, it’s customary to tip the hardworking crew, and this can range from 10 to 15 percent of the charter rate. So, if you’re going all out, you might be adding a substantial $48,750 on top of the weekly charter rate for the St David.

Yachts like the St David come with ongoing operating costs that can amount to a 20 percent or more of the yacht’s initial value. So, if you’re the proud owner of this magnificent vessel, it could cost you at least $4,729,000 each year to keep it sailing smoothly.

My Seanna, now known as Starship, secured its spot as the second most expensive vessel ever featured on the show. This majestic 185-foot yacht made appearances in the sixth, eighth, and ninth seasons.

What sets My Seanna apart? Perhaps it’s the extravagant 22-carat gold brushed fittings, elevating the vessel’s opulence to new heights? The accents of real gold and regal blue running through the yacht’s interior give it an air of royalty.

Or, perhaps, that it was a finalist in The World Superyacht Awards in 2012?

With accommodations for up to 12 guests in six lavish cabins and an attentive crew of 11 members to cater to their every need, a week aboard Starship would set you back $275,000 for the charter, without factoring in additional expenses.

However, if you were considering making this beauty a permanent part of your life, be prepared to part with a substantial $22,900,000 for the purchase. And don’t forget to budget for crew tips, which could come to around £41,250, or the annual running costs that will hit your wallet to the tune of about $4,580,000.

Now, if you’re aiming for something a bit more budget-friendly but still want to indulge in the Below Deck experience, why not consider a vessel like season five’s Valor, now known as BG?  

Costing $146,500 per week, it can host 12 guests in its six cabins and comes with a dedicated crew of 10 members. A yacht like BG is available for purchase for around $16,000,000 and, while it may not be the largest, it still measures an impressive 153.87 feet.

When looking more closely at the findings, surprisingly, a yacht like Ohana was the least expensive to buy, but not the smallest or cheapest to charter.

It would cost you $160,000 per week to charter and could accommodate up to 30 guests in 14 comfortable cabins.

What’s intriguing is that Ohana has a crew of just 8, which might explain the relatively higher charter rate despite its lower sale price.

Whether you’re chartering or buying, these Below Deck superyachts come with a touch of the extraordinary and a price tag to match.

yacht Tatiana at night


The results to this study were researched and collected from multiple online yachting and charter resources.

To ensure the correct figures, we focused on the rates and prices of vessels which met the same specifications as those featured on each season of Below Deck.

We recorded the results, in order of highest charter rate per season.