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Boats to Boast

Published 28 March 2012   

What better way to explore the tens of thousands of islands of Southeast Asia than in your very own yacht?

Text by Darren Dylan

Over the past ten years the number of marinas across Southeast Asia and China has significantly increased due to the fact that more and more boats are imported to accommodate the yachting lifestyle that is now considered mainstream. If you are thinking of getting yourself a yacht, you will need a yacht broker who can match you with your perfect boat. A brand new yacht can start from US$100,000 and go upwards to the-sky-is-the-limit kind of a price tag. “When a prospective client comes to us, we will discuss his or her needs and requirements,” says Aileen Toh of Simpson Marine, a yacht dealership and brokerage that has been conducting business in Asian waters for almost 30 years. “Often, they are not aware of what they need, or even want, so we discuss how they see themselves using a boat, where they’d like to go, is it for personal and family use or corporate entertaining, and what their budget is, etc. With this information, we’ll make suggestions and show them examples of various sizes and models that might match their needs. Once the client has made their selection, we handle the entire purchase process through to delivery, after-sales care, assist with crew and yacht management.”

So now after you own the yacht, how much is it going to cost to maintain it? “The rule of thumb is that the annual fixed and operating costs of a boat is approximately five to eight percent of the value of the boat, depending on its age,” says Aileen. “This includes berthing costs, insurance, maintenance of hull, machinery, interiors, crew salary and use of the boat by owner. The cost of ownership can vary greatly depending on where you keep the yacht, the nationality of the crew and the amount of use.”

the annual fixed and operating costs of a boat is approximately five to eight percent of the value of the boat.

If it seems overwhelming to take care of your yacht, don’t worry. Many yacht owners appoint a captain to take care and manage their boat; maintaining the interior, exterior and the boat’s log (history of the boat’s service, maintenance and trips made). The yacht broker will also help you select and hire the captain and crew. If the boat has permanent crew, they should be able to attend to an owner’s requests whenever possible. Under normal circumstances, owners should give their crew ample notice if they want to use their boat, especially for longer trips so that the captain can plan the route and purchase the necessary supplies. Fuel costs for each trip vary depending on the distance and speed of the boat during the trip. Obviously the longer the trip, the more fuel it will require.

For servicing and maintenance related to electrical, engine, other machinery and upholstery, the captain will get quotes from authorised contractors and advise the owner on the matter. “Simpson Marine is able to offer assistance in the event of a breakdown of a client’s yacht wherever in Asia,” says Aileen. “If required, Simpson Marine can even send an engineer to the boat.”

Although yacht brokers are thriving in China, they are now eyeing Southeast Asia as the next big thing of the yachting world. Simpson Marine’s latest move to further tap into this market was to open up shop in Indonesia in late 2011, now with a total of 10 offices scattered all over Asia. “According to Forbes magazine, by mid-2011 there were more billionaires in Indonesia than Singapore and Malaysia combined,” said Aileen. “With so much wealth currently in Indonesia, we believe that there will be increasing demand for luxury items and this is the right time for us to have a presence in Indonesia and attend to those needs.” As her clients are from various backgrounds and purchase yachts for different purposes, Aileen said that they almost always share one thing in common; ‘A passion for the lifestyle and a desire to own something special.’