Crewed Yacht Ownership


Catamaran Guru has more Crewed Yachts operating successfully in business programs than any other charter company. We have helped more than 100+ owners set up their businesses in luxury boutique charter companies with exceptional service and maintenance records and we continue to educate and guide newcomers to this often confusing and complex industry. Work with us! It doesn’t cost you anything extra! Make an appointment to learn how to operate a successful crewed charter yacht. 

Reduce the cost of your crewed charter business

The current trend in catamaran ownership is to go bigger! We have in recent years consulted with several clients to buy large flagship catamarans like Lagoon 77Fountaine Pajot Alegria 67,  and Bali 5.4, into crewed charter programs all over the world.

These luxury catamarans are not only a great vacation and adventure travel holiday for you and your family but also serves as your own private all-inclusive tropical resort, anywhere in the world.

But these catamarans are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. All of our large catamaran buyers look for a way to offset the cost of ownership. There are several ways to achieve your goal of owning a luxury charter yacht in an exotic location:

  • Buy a big sailing catamaran outright and sail it yourself
  • Hire a crew to sail you around to simply enjoy the lifestyle without ever chartering the boat
  • Or what most savvy large yacht owners do, find a way for the crewed yacht to pay its own way through charter income to offset costs.


Offset yacht costs with bona fide tax advantages and charter income!

Most of our catamaran owners of larger vessels over 50 ft place these boats into one of several crewed charter programs. The basic idea is that the boat is operated as a business, which enables the owner to reduce the cost of ownership through the use of available tax advantages and income from charters. All our owners in these crewed yacht charter programs have successfully created small businesses and achieved their ultimate goals. It is the most cost-effective way to own a big luxury catamaran!

Check out video replays of our crewed yacht webinars where we chat with experts and owners to answer all of your questions.

CREWED YACHT CHARTER webinar replays



By learning how to start a boat business, you can capitalize on your passion for boating while getting paid to do it. But before you launch a boat charter business, there are a number of things to consider to get it off to a strong start. 

  1. Create a business plan. Consider weekly charter rates, the number of charters a season you can realistically do and the percentage you expect to be booked. Consider expenses such as costs for salaries, maintenance, insurance, and marina / mooring fees, as well as business expenses for accounting, marketing, commissions, etc.
  2. If you are a boat novice, a great place to start is to take sailing lessons. Ideally, learn on the type and size of boat you eventually hope to own.
  3.  Buy the right boat with the necessary upgrades for luxury charter or for your chosen niche. The boat that you buy should be suitable for crewed charter with comfortable cabins and enough space for entertainment. Catamarans, 45ft and bigger, with maximum cabin layouts are the preferred vessel for crewed charters.
  4. Consider your exit strategy. Don’t overspend on the boat and don’t buy a boat that will be hard to sell at the end. Do your research and get good advice.
  5. Get the right qualifications and licenses.
  6. Unless you have a very good network you can tap into to source charter customers from, don’t go it alone. It is hard to break into the market as a novice or newcomer. Start out with an experienced charter management company or charter broker, even if only for the first season so that you have a safety net. It will make the learning curve a lot less steep.

When you first decide to start a charter boat business, it might seem simple enough. Just buy a boat, fit it out with some toys, put it the water in some exotic location, and start chartering, right? Well, it’s not quite so simple and it will take some thought and planning.


Examples Of Crewed Charter Yacht Programs

Live-Aboard Owner/Operators

The idea is that the boat owners live aboard and operate their own catamaran as an independent charter business. We have helped several couples set their catamarans up in a crewed charter business. There are two different ways to do that:

  • The first is being associated with a charter company that has the benefit of a robust booking system and good support through the charter company’s infrastructure. This is a huge benefit and we recommend this particularly in your first year to lessen risks and flatten the learning curve as you get to know the business.

Learn How Owner Operators on SEA IO did it!

  • The second option is to operate your crewed boat independently and rely on independent charter booking agents to bring charter business.

Both options have advantages and disadvantages. It is something the owner calculates with advice from a buyer’s broker like Stephen at Catamaran Guru to decide which would be best for them.

These crewed charter programs enable couples to live their dream while creating a strong business and paying off their future cruising boat.

Successful Charter Management Dream Caribbean Blue

These two dynamic sailing teams are two such couples that we helped set up in a live-aboard owner/operator crewed charter business:

According to Nim & Fabiola: “…this experience has far exceeded anything we could ever have imagined!


Fully Crewed Luxury Charter Yacht

Crewed yacht Charter Sail Luna

A professional paid crew maintains and runs your catamaran as a small business in the location of your choice. The owner enjoys all the benefits of a crewed yacht while offsetting a significant part of the cost of ownership through charter income. The costs of owning a luxury charter yacht are significantly reduced through tax advantages and charter income. However, the owner’s day-to-day involvement will be less intense, as your crew will be managing the “business”.

We have sold many large catamarans (and on occasion big monohulls) into this program. The most popular big yachts that we have placed in this program is Lagoon Seventy7, Jeanneau 67, Bali 5.4, Lagoon 630 MY, FP Alegria 67.  In this case, we recommend a reputable charter yacht clearinghouse and marketing agency like  Nicholson Yachts or Charterworld to manage calendar, bookings, and marketing.

In the hands of the professionals, this luxury catamaran becomes a completely stand-alone business with a permanent crew.

A yacht charter management company will provide a comprehensive range of services to maximize the owners’ enjoyment of their yacht, minimize the risks and liabilities associated with yacht ownership, control the costs of yacht operations and protect the significant capital investment that a yacht represents.

crewed charter owners and crew of Allende catamaran

By-the-Cabin Charter Yacht Program

Charter companies like The Moorings and Dream Yacht offer “By-the-Cabin” charters on their bigger catamarans that enables charter guests to enjoy an all-inclusive luxury crewed charter for the price of a stateroom. The boat can also be reserved as a private charter for one party by booking all the cabins. It is very affordable and very popular with charterers.

The boat owner places the yacht into service with a crew with one of these companies. The charter company is responsible for bookings and management and the owners get to use the boat for up to eight weeks a year, fully crewed and catered. These programs normally run for 72 months and the owner is paid 8.5% guaranteed income per annum by the charter company and has no out-of-pocket expenses to operate the boat except to pay the mortgage.

Placing a new yacht into the program provides all the benefits of owning a deluxe sailing yacht minus the expense and challenges of traditional ownership. Typically, this program is reserved for large catamarans (over 50 feet). To optimize revenue, these boats can follow the sun into warmer waters to make year-round chartering possible. We have several owners in this program, operating very successfully in the Caribbean.

Crewed Yacht Business With Income & Tax Advantages

The combination of tax advantages and operating income provide opportunities to not only offset the costs of ownership, but also to create positive net worth through yacht ownership. To learn more about tax advantages and special financing for crewed yacht charters, call us at 1-804-815-5054 or email us for a consultation.

Catamarans Available In These Programs

Virtually any catamaran can operate in these programs but generally we recommend

  • Catamarans from 45 ft for owner/operators which generally will be a little more informal
  • Catamarans 50 ft and up for luxury professionally crewed charter

Catamaran Brands Suitable For Crewed Charter

We have access to all these brands and can help you with the finance, purchase, setting up of the business entity and with the management company / booking agents.

Contact Us For A Free Personal Consultation

Our experienced buyer brokerage team assists and guides owners on how to operate a catamaran as a luxury charter vessel. We show you how to:

  • Maximize charter income while offsetting the cost of ownership.
  • Decide on the catamaran you would like to purchase such as Bali, Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Catana, Voyage, Sunreef, etc. Decide what type of luxury charter management program will work for you
  • Understand how you can benefit from Charter Management and Tax Advantages


We provide you with the following to set up your crewed catamaran charter business

  • Detailed financial charter projections to highlight the potential revenue your catamaran could produce in charter.
  • Management agreements and contracts
  •  Crew placement agencies
  • Charter calendar management companies

Our complimentary personal consultation is structured to provide expert advice on how to create your own crewed charter yacht business on a catamaran.

  • Your choice may range from a new build production catamaran like Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot or Sunreef that is available immediately
  • Or a customized project that requires a designer, architects, a yard and legal contracts, like a McConaghy Catamaran new build project.
  • We assist you in choosing everything from your ultimate dream sailing vessel to components such as layouts, models, equipment choices and charter ownership advice.
  • Structuring a crewed charter yacht business and a business plan
  • Choice of management companies
  • Special crewed charter finance

Contact Us To Learn More

More About Crewed Charter Programs

Luxury crewed charter

* Please Note: This information is general in nature and purchasers are encouraged to seek experienced legal counsel in yacht acquisition planning and implementation. Catamaran Guru is not a licensed Tax Attorney or CPA and is not qualified to give legal advice, but we can put you in touch with experts who are.