Spending RM3m monthly on yacht maintenance is like having daily party on board — expert

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LANGKAWI (Aug 8): Spending RM3 million a month on the maintenance of a mega yacht is akin to having a daily lavish party on board while running the yacht’s utilities at all time, according to a luxury yacht specialist.

Mega Yacht Club of Vanuatu Ltd’s operation director, Nicholas de Souza, said such amount would be more than enough to engage highly-paid crew members and senior ship captains on permanent basis, as well as having additional service staff of up to 25 people.

“...but to spend RM3 million (on monthly yacht maintenance)...it has to be daily parties or super grand party on weekly basis,” he told Bernama here today.

de Souza said this in response to a news report that it cost an estimated RM3 million a month to maintain a super yacht, Equanimity, which had been embroiled in controversy following allegations that it had been bought using funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The 91.5-metre long vessel arrived at Port Klang yesterday after the Indonesian authority that seized it earlier this year agreed to release the vessel to their Malaysian counterparts.

With its length, de Souza said the Equanimity was considered in the mega yacht class and no marinas in Langkawi, as of now, would have the capacity to take in a vessel of such size.

Having the experience of handling a fleet of mega yachts in several countries, he said the purported maintenance cost of the Equanimity was well above the normal expenditures of any luxury yachts that he knew.

“The reported figure could have made the crew and guests to enjoy in luxury, much more than staying in six-star hotels for a long period,” he said.

According to de Souza, even though the cost could vary from one place to another, basic maintenance expenses for luxury yachts in Langkawi could be just around RM75,000 a month involving minimum crew and berthing charges.

“If it (the Equanimity) is (maintained) here, it (allocating RM3 million a month) will be (enough) like having all crew staying at a high class hotel, keeping watch on board at all time and entertaining guests almost on daily basis,” he added.