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How To Own And Operate Them

It seems the current trend in catamaran ownership is to go bigger! Stephen Cockcroft has in recent years consulted with several clients to buy Flagship catamarans like Lagoon 77, Lagoon 620, Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58, Lagoon 52, Fountaine Pajot Saba 50 etc. into crewed charter 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 and 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. You can buy a big sailing catamaran and sail it yourself or you could hire a crew to sail you around and simply enjoy the lifestyle OR you could do what most savvy owners do and find a way for the yacht to pay its own way.

Most of our owners of catamarans over 50ft, place these catamarans 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 charter to pay for the boat. All our owners in these programs have successfully created small businesses and achieved their ultimate goals. It is the most cost effective way to own a big luxury catamaran!

Our experienced 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 Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Catana, Voyage, Sunreef, etc.
  • Decide what type of luxury charter management program will work for you (we explain the differences below)
  • Understand how you can benefit from Charter Management and Tax Advantages

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

Luxury crewed charter

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

Examples Of Crewed Charter Yacht Programs

  • Fully Crewed Luxury Charter Yacht - Owner Operator

Luxury crewed Charter ownership

In this case, the owners live aboard, are personally the crew and operate their catamaran as a business. Owners make their “home” their business and enjoy the idyllic sailing lifestyle. There are two options available to the owner operator.

  • 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 base and infrastructure.
  • The second option is to operate independently and rely on independent charter booking agents to bring business.
    Both options have their advantages and disadvantages and it is something the owner calculates and decides which would be best for them.

We have helped several couples to set their catamarans up in a crewed environment. Hank & Michaela of catamaran "Feel the Magic", a Voyage 50 and Kristiann & Graham of catamaran “Allende”, a FP Helia 44 are two such couples. These dynamic sailing teams live-aboard on their catamarans while chartering and they act as the crew. They are living their dream while creating a strong business and paying off their future cruising boat. It allows them to enjoy a lifestyle rich in experience and they get to do what they love! According to Hank and Michaele, "…this experience has far exceeded anything we could ever have imagined."

  • Fully Crewed Luxury Charter Yacht - Independent Operator

A professional paid crew (not the owners) maintains and runs your catamaran as a small business in the location of your choice. You as the owner have the ability to vacation
aboard your luxury catamaran at any time. You enjoy the five star services offered by your experienced crew, just like a guest would when chartering the catamaran.

The owner chooses the equipment and configuration of the catamaran suited to their family's needs and offer the catamaran to the charter market as if a private vessel. The owner enjoys all the benefits of a crewed yacht while offsetting a significant part of the cost of ownership through charter. The owner’s day-to-day involvement will be less intense, as your crew will be managing the "business".

"Lady Katlo, a Lagoon 620", falls into this category. Our clients and owners of Lady Katlo, Kathy and Mackie, are busy professionals and their time to run a yacht charter is limited, so they hired a professional crew to operate the boat. 

It gives them peace of mind and they have the boat moved to the location of their choosing whenever they want to use it. "We like to fly to our yacht, get on board, relax, and enjoy the lifestyle immediately," explains Mackie.

Best of all, not only do they get to enjoy the yacht, but the costs of owning Lady Katlo are significantly reduced through tax advantages and charter income. Check out this stunning 62-foot catamaran in the video at right.
As they moved on to new entrepreneurial endeavors, Lady Katlo sold to a nw owner. 

We have recently also sold a Lagoon 77 into this program. This is a true mega yacht and the flagship for Lagoon Catamarans. While the boat is being built, the owner and our team are setting him up to do crewed charter in the Mediterranean in the summer and in the Caribbean in the winter. Like Lady Katlo, they will use a professional crewed charter yacht clearinghouse and marketing agency like Charterport BVI, Nicholson Yachts or to manage their 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 Management company will provide a comprehensive range of services to maximise the owner's enjoyment of their yacht, minimise the risks and liabilities associated with yacht ownership, control the costs of yacht operations and protect the significant capital investment that a yacht represents. See the video of the "Birth of the Lagoon Seventy 7" below.

  • By-the-Cabin Charter Yacht Program

Charter companies like Dream Yacht and The Moorings offer “By The Cabin” charters on their bigger catamarans that allow the charter guest 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 boat 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 Program With Income and 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 Tel: 1-804-815-5054 or Email Us For A consultation.

Crewed Yacht Business Models

  • Crewed yachts have a full-time live-aboard crew (Captain and 1st Mate/Cook). The owners can be the crew and run their own boats or can appoint a prosessional crew
  • Crewed boats are flexible as far as location is concerned and can migrate seasonally from Caribbean to New England in the U.S. or to the Mediterranean and back.
  • As discussed before, bookings go through the clearing house and they maintain the booking schedule, handle all client needs and fundsand liase with owners and crew.
  • Hosts the boat in crewed charter boat shows and do special marketing and advertising

Catamarans Available In These Programs

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

  • Catamarans larger than 42ft for owner operators which generally will be a little more informal
  • Catamarans 50ft and up for luxury crewed charter with a professional crew

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 Personal Consultation

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 Yacht Ownership

Own A Luxury Crewed Charter Catamaran With Guaranteed Income

Crewed Yacht Charters Myths & FAQ

Tips To Get The Best From Your Crewed Charter Experience

Bareboat vs. Crewed Yacht Charter Ownership

Couple Quit Jobs To Start A Catamaran Charter Business


* 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.

Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I'm interested in buying a lagoon 77.

What can you offer?


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