Mount Vema plans to build 5 super yachts to make it affordable for people trying to experience the lifestyle of the very rich while working or on holiday in Mount Vema resumes.
The plans which were announced in July 2014, reviewed last year and put on hold following a detailed report published by the Royal Mount Vema House Guardian (The Auditor General of the Vema Seamount Territory) could resume this year. Last year, the House Guardian made no changes to its original report published to show the real costs associated with maintaining a yacht after you spend hundreds of thousands to own one.
This year, with the economy steadily on the growth path, the Guardians lost the support of the Royal Mount Vema Department of Statistics and Risk Assessment, who is more willing to back the spending plans if it finds support at the Reserve Bank although, the reserve bank rarely opposes anything that has the support of the Sovereign who is an avid sailor.
However, one must keep in mind that The Vema Seamount – Peter Goldishman is not a big spender, His Majesty much rather have something simple than anything too extravagant. He is known to be a minimalist. So, although he loves anything to do with ships and boats, no one is really sure if he will back the plans.
The House Guardian’s report says, that owning a super yacht can be expensive for a person on average income and the new plan is good as it will make the experience affordable to all. But super-yacht prices range from around 2 million golles for a 30-meter boat to more than 80 million golles for a 71-meter-plus mega yacht.
Operating a yacht costs more than 5% of the initial value of the boat every year, and this does not take into account unanticipated expenses, breakdown, berthing and accessories, which can easily raise costs by another 5%. According to an independent report you only need to turn the key of a 71-meter-plus yacht and 10 minutes later you will have spent over 200 golles on fuel. Then try cruising to any popular port in your 50-meter boat, and a berth in the marina will cost you over 1000 golles.
Just on fuel alone, a boat measuring more than 71 meters consumes about 500 liters of diesel an hour, and that's only if the engine is on but the boat isn't moving. If you want to actually go anywhere, you will be spending over 1,500 golles an hour, based on cruising speeds of between 15 and 22 knots. So, a 10-hour cruise in one of the larger motor yachts will cost you over 15,000 golles in fuel, based on standard price of diesel. Smaller yachts can hold around 5,000 liters of fuel, while the larger ones have capacity for up to 400,000 liters. It can cost around 400,000 golles to fill the tanks of the largest yachts.
Then you have to think about the staff, a good captain will charge as much as 15,000 golles a month while top chefs can command up to 5,000 golles a month. Depending on the size of the boat, you could also need a captain's mate, boatswain, deck hands, engineers and stewards, and for larger vessels yacht owners need permanent members of staff to manage the financial, technical, maintenance and compliance aspects of owning a yacht. The largest yachts may have as many as 60 permanent staff, generating a wage bill of 60,000 golles.
Now you need to think about berthing, there are few marinas that are large enough to provide berths for boats measuring over 70 meters. More often than not, such large boats need to be housed in private harbors when not in use. Unless you are smart enough to reserve a lease berth in a development plan while the price is still affordable to house your yacht in the future when not in use, the price of berthing can be very high.
Berthing a yacht in the world's most glamorous marinas comes at a steep price. Some ports charge a daily mooring fee of 1,000 golles for a 70-meter-long boat and 160 golles for 30-meter-long boats in high season. Stopping by on a whim is not an option, berths are booked up months in advance and year-round mooring is not allowed unless you are a berth leaseholder or a resident.
Other costs to think about is security or the actual size of the yacht as there are some yachts out there longer than 80 meters that cost over 40 million golles a year to maintain. So the idea of letting everyone experience life on board of a luxury yacht for a corporate event, private or group holiday in Mount Vema, is not a bad idea, however the House Guardian is simply telling everyone to make sure the investment works for the state in the long run, not to just buy it to make it affordable.