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Yacht Ownership – Should You Choose Motor or Sail?


Sailing yacht or motor yacht? There are many considerations involved in yacht ownership. Here we take a look at some of the principle concerns when deciding between purchasing a sailboat or motorboat.

The purpose of owning a yacht

What are you buying a yacht for? “For vacation” is probably the simple answer, but how do you vacation?

Some people see yachting as the most practical way to go from marina to marina, and from one mooring to the next. However most boaters prefer the journey itself.

Winner: If you’re that first type of person, whose real fun starts once their feet are back on dry land, there’s little beating the speed and functionality of a motor. But if you’re that second type of person, who loves nothing more than a salty breeze in your hair and the challenges of negotiating the elements, sailing yachts are a no-brainer.

Yacht operating costs

It should come as no surprise that, over a given distance, motoring is more expensive. Fuel prices add up, and more so if the conditions are less than favorable. The benefit is that travel times may be reduced.

On the other hand, wind in your sails comes cheap. Even if you need to use the motor on some legs of your trip, you will surely be saving money every time those sails come into action again.

Winner: If you have the time, sailing wins hands down. However, if you are pressed for time, the extra cost of motoring may be worth it.

BALI 4.5 saloon cockpit


Both yacht types require maintenance, be it anti-fouling paint, teak oils, or cushion replacements. This type of regular maintenance is normally not dictated by the type of yacht, but depends more on the size of the boat and how frequently it is being used and under what conditions.

For motor yachts, regular engine check-ups and oil changes will add a substantial amount to the total maintenance fee. But without maintenance, mechanical failures become more frequent and quickly drive costs much higher than expected.

For sailing yachts, sails and rigging must be regularly maintained, and in many cases, replaced every 5 years.

If the yacht is enrolled in a chartering program, these types of costs are usually covered by the charter company, which can be a great money-saver. Having a company carry out the maintenance is also the perfect way to make the most of your available vacation time.

Winner: No clear winner, as both yacht types require careful maintenance to operate.

ownership of a 2019 Bali 4.5 offers opportunity for enjoying the water

Boat eco-friendliness

There is no doubt that using fossil fuels have a negative impact on the local ecology and marine life. And any time you

crank up that speed, your emissions will only increase.

Sailing, on the other hand, is a much eco-friendlier option – virtually no gas used, and a tiny carbon footprint as a result.

Winner: Sailing wins this one hands down.

Sailing yacht or power yacht summary

Whether you opt to glide through the waters on a sailing yacht or choose to power your way to your next destination, it all comes down to personal preference. Both have their pros and cons, and neither is inherently better in all aspects. What really matters is getting time on the water.

Regardless of your choice, boating vacations will create lifelong memories. Contact the Dream Yacht Sales team to learn more about how you can own a yacht.

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