The Real Cost of Buying a Yacht in Panama

Buying a yacht in Panama is only the beginning expense; here’s what you need to know about the cost of owning one.

Mooring and Storage

Fortunately, it’s a fixed cost from year to year, and that makes it easy to plan for. Decide where you’d like to be based, get a quote, and do the math.


Shop around for insurance agencies that specialize in yachts, because there are many clauses and catch-phrases that are unfamiliar to the average insurance agent. Insurance companies that specialize in boats often provide surprising discounts for both your own skills and the equipment on your boat.

Other discounts may apply for built-in fire extinguisher systems, electronic safety and nav gear, and more. Where you cruise (and how far offshore, if you go into the ocean) can also have an effect on the cost of insurance.

Operational Expenses

Fuel is the biggest.

This is also the trickiest expenditure to plan for, because it can vary so much from month to month and year to year.

Fuel is not, of course, the only operational cost you need to be aware of. If you cruise to distant ports for weekend trips and plan to tie up in a marina at night, you’ll have to pay for a transient slip.


Every boat kept in the water needs anti-fouling paint on a regular basis, which also requires haul-out fees.

Engines need scheduled maintenance as well as unscheduled maintenance in case of mechanical problems.

Outdoor fabrics and vinyls, like you Bimini tops and seat cushions, also have a limited life-span (five to seven years, on average) and will need to be replaced at some point. And while deck hardware may last for decades, the things you attach to it—like mooring lines and cables—need to be regularly replaced.

Then there’s the cost of cleaners, teak oils, wax, and polish.

As a rule of thumb, plan on setting aside 10-percent of the boat’s value, to cover annual maintenance costs after buying a yacht in Panama.


Many owners of 70’ and larger yachts prefer to have full-time crew aboard to help them run the vessel.

Even if you can run your own yacht, however, you may want to consider bringing in a crew member or two simply to take care of the many daily maintenance chores required for large, expensive yachts.

Contact Andromeda Yachts if you need advice when buying a yacht in Panama.