Cost of Owning & Buying a Yacht in South Africa (2023 Examples)

Written by Sophia Roa in Cost of Sailing

In South Africa, yacht prices can vary greatly, with the lowest-priced boats starting at $6,800 and reaching up to $18,000,000 for the most luxurious, opulent superyachts and megayachts. The average overall yacht value in the country is around $446,000. In this article, we will explore the costs associated with owning and buying a yacht in South Africa, along with examples.

A used 30-foot sailing yacht in good condition costs around $20,000 to $30,000, and ownership costs are around $30,000 to $60,000 per year. A new 40-foot motor yacht with basic amenities costs around $300,000 to $400,000, with a cost of ownership of around $60,000 to $140,000 per year.

A new 60-foot luxury yacht with high-end amenities costs around $1.5 million to $2 million, and the cost of owning this yacht in South Africa ranges from around $250,000 to $500,000 per year. You'll get our breakdown of the costs below.


  • Financing options include specialized marine finance companies, bank financing, and financing options through yacht dealerships.
  • If you consider second-hand yachts, you may have to research the yacht's history and maintenance records, and seek professional advice during the buying process.
  • Popular yacht brands in South Africa include Leopard Catamarans, Beneteau Yachts, and Sunseeker Yachts.

Cost of Buying a Yacht

In this section, we'll discuss the initial purchase price, importation costs, and value-added tax when you buy a yacht in South Africa, which has a rich maritime history and is home to some of the world's most beautiful and diverse coastlines. From the rugged Atlantic coast to the warm Indian Ocean, South Africa offers a unique and stunning yachting experience that is hard to beat.

One interesting fact about buying and owning a yacht in South Africa is that the country has a well-developed yachting industry, with many marinas, yacht clubs, and service providers available to cater to yacht owners' needs. The country also hosts several world-class yachting events, such as the Cape2Rio yacht race, which attracts yachts from around the world.

Lastly, owning a yacht in South Africa can provide access to some of the world's best wildlife and nature reserves, such as the Kruger National Park, the Garden Route, and the Cape Winelands. Yacht owners can combine their love for yachting with exploring and experiencing the country's diverse and beautiful landscapes

Initial purchase price

This will vary greatly depending on factors such as the size, age, brand, and location of the yacht. Here's a table estimating the purchase prices for different yacht sizes and whether they're new or used.

Yacht Size Purchase Price of New Yacht Purchase Price of Used Yacht
Small yachts (less than 30 feet) $20,400 to $68,000 $6,800 to $34,000
Medium yachts (30-50 feet) $68,000 to $340,000 $34,000 to $204,000
Large yachts (over 50 feet) $340,000 to $3,400,000 $204,000 to $2,040,000

Importation costs

If you're planning on purchasing a yacht from outside South Africa, you'll need to consider the importation costs. This includes shipping, insurance, and any applicable duties or fees. Shipping costs will depend on the distance and mode of transportation, while insurance will be based on the yacht's value and the route it will travel. You should also check South Africa's import duty rates and calculate any potential fees you may incur.

Yacht Size Shipping Costs Import Duty Rates VAT Customs Clearance Fees Brokerage Fees Total Importation Costs
Small yachts (less than 30 feet) $2,000 - $10,000 0% - 25% 15% $500 - $1,000 $500 - $1,000 $3,300 - $28,500
Medium yachts (30-50 feet) $5,000 - $20,000 0% - 25% 15% $1,000 - $2,000 $1,000 - $2,000 $18,700 - $136,500
Large yachts (over 50 feet) $10,000 - $50,000 0% - 45% 15% $2,000 - $5,000 $2,000 - $5,000 $129,600 - $1,062,000

Value Added Tax

All yachts imported into South Africa are subject to VAT, which is currently set at 15% of the value of the yacht. This tax is payable at the time of importation. This tax applies to both the purchase price and any importation costs, including shipping and insurance fees. To calculate the total cost of buying a yacht, you'll need to add the VAT to the initial purchase price and importation expenses.

Luxury yachts may cost $1 to $50 million to buy and its annual maintenance cost can range from $142,000 to $2,140,000.

Ongoing Costs of Owning a Yacht

When you own a yacht in South Africa, there are several recurring expenses to keep in mind. We will cover four main categories: maintenance and repairs, insurance, berthing or mooring fees, and fuel. It's essential to have a realistic idea of these costs to fully enjoy your yacht ownership experience.

Yacht Size Maintenance and Repair Insurance Berthing Fees Fuel Total Cost of Owning
Small yachts (less than 30 feet) $500 - $5,000 $68 - $1,020 $500 to $2,000 per month $1,750 to $3,500 $3,818 - $29,020
Medium yachts (30-50 feet) $1,700 - $34,000 $340 - $5,100 $500 to $2,000 per month $7,000 to $14,000 $9,540 - $65,100
Large yachts (over 50 feet) $10,200 - $204,000 $2,040 - $30,600 $500 to $2,000 per month $70,000 to $140,000 $82,740 - $376,600

Maintenance and repairs

Taking care of your yacht is crucial for keeping it in the best possible condition. Regular maintenance and repairs include tasks like cleaning, painting, fixing sails, or servicing engines. On average, you can expect to spend roughly 5% to 10% of the purchase price on maintenance and repairs.


Yacht insurance is another essential ongoing cost to protect your investment. Depending on factors like the size and value of your yacht, the navigation area, and the type of coverage, insurance premiums can vary significantly. In general, yacht insurance costs around 1% to 3% of the purchase price.

Berthing or mooring fees

Where you store your yacht when it's not in use also adds to the ownership costs. Berthing or mooring fees can differ based on the size of your yacht, the location, and the facilities offered at the marina. In South Africa, expect to pay between $500 to $2,000 per month for a berth. Generally, the more popular or upmarket the marina, the higher the fees.


Lastly, fuel is a significant ongoing cost, particularly for motor yachts. While sailing yachts consume less fuel, they still need some for maneuvering and powering their onboard systems. The price of fuel can fluctuate, making this expense somewhat unpredictable. Consider monitoring fuel prices in your area and devising a strategic plan to manage your consumption.

Additional costs of ownership

Additionally, there may be other costs associated with owning a yacht in South Africa, such as taxes, licenses, and crew expenses.

Yacht Size Taxes Licenses Crew expenses
Small yachts (less than 30 feet) $1,500 - $6,800 $500 - $2,000 $50,000 - $75,000 per year
Medium yachts (30-50 feet) $7,000 - $34,000 $1,000 - $3,000 $75,000 - $100,000 per year
Large yachts (over 50 feet) $40,800 - $204,000 $2,000 - $5,000 $100,000 - $150,000 per year
  • Taxes: Several taxes may apply to yacht ownership, such as value-added tax (VAT), import duties, and annual property taxes. We've already mentioned the VAT rate and import duty rates. Annual property taxes can vary depending on the location and value of the yacht, but typically range from around $500 to $2,000 per year.

  • Licenses: Yacht owners in South Africa are required to have certain licenses and certifications, such as a skipper's license, a radio license, and a safety certificate.

  • Crew expenses: If you plan to hire a crew to operate and maintain your yacht, there will be additional expenses to consider, such as salaries, benefits, and training costs. The cost of hiring a crew can vary widely depending on the size and type of yacht, the number of crew members required, as well as their experience level and qualifications required.

Financing Options for Yachts

One popular option for yacht financing is working with a specialized marine finance company, such as Cullinan Holdings. They are well-versed in yacht financing and can guide you through the process.

Another route is bank financing. Many banks offer financing for yachts, and if you have an existing relationship with a financial institution, it might be easier to secure a loan. However, it's essential to compare interest rates, repayment terms, and other factors, as these can vary between banks. Keep in mind that lenders may require a down payment, which is typically around 20% of the yacht's purchase price.

Additionally, you can explore financing options through yacht dealerships. These dealers often work in partnership with various lending institutions, simplifying the application process. Check if the dealership offers promotional rates or special incentives that might make owning a yacht more affordable for you.

When comparing financing options, consider factors like the interest rate, loan term (which can reach up to 20 years), and other associated fees. Keep your budget and financial goals in mind while evaluating your options to find the best fit for your situation.

Second-Hand Yachts

If you consider purchasing a second-hand yacht, it can be a more economical option that still provides the luxury and enjoyment of a brand-new vessel.

Firstly, it's essential to thoroughly research the yacht's history and maintenance records. This will give you a better understanding of the vessel's condition, any potential issues, and how well it has been cared for over the years. A well-maintained yacht can still offer exceptional performance and comfort, even if it's not brand new.

As you examine potential second-hand yachts, take note of any upgrades that have been made or might be necessary in the near future. Some yachts may have had recent updates to their systems or components, which can be a valuable selling point. On the other hand, if a yacht requires significant upgrades, this can impact the overall cost and your enjoyment of the vessel.

Don't forget to seek professional advice during the buying process. Engaging with an experienced yacht broker can make the process smoother and provide valuable insights. Their knowledge of the market and local conditions in South Africa can help you find the perfect second-hand yacht that suits your needs and budget.

Finally, when you're ready to make an offer on a yacht, it's crucial to have it professionally surveyed. This will provide a detailed inspection of the vessel's condition, from its hull to its mechanical systems, ensuring you're making an informed decision.

The cost to buy a yacht in Egypt can range from $31,900 to $6,380,000.

Yacht Brands in South Africa

Leopard Catamarans are known for their reliability, sleek design, and high-quality performance. With a variety of models and sizes to choose from, there's something for everyone. For instance, you can find a 40-foot Leopard Catamaran for sale in South Africa within a price range of around $400,000 to $600,000.

Beneteau Yachts is another popular brand, offering both sailing and motor yachts that are perfect for South African waters. The Beneteau Oceanis range, which comprises comfortable cruising sailboats, can also be found in the South African yacht listings. Prices may vary depending on age and model, but you can expect to spend between $150,000 and $500,000 on a Beneteau yacht.

For luxury motor yacht enthusiasts, Sunseeker Yachts creates stylish and sophisticated vessels with cutting-edge technology and design. A Sunseeker for sale in South Africa could cost anywhere from $1 million to over $10 million, depending on the model and year.

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