Worlds far away I will never visit – Cost of supporting equipment on support yacht. Part 3

Photo by James Ulvog.

First post in this series described a luxury yacht and its associated support yacht. Second post made some guesses on the price tag for the two yachts along with a private jet this person owns.

Now this look at some of the auxiliary equipment, referred to as “toys” in the trade magazines, carried on the support yacht.


Articles above describing the Honan say it is rated for a helicopter such as an EC145. Controller website lists several EC 145 for sale with prices shown for three:

  • $4,250,000 – 2009 – 1,382 hours total time
  • $2,550,000 – 2003 – 7,753 hours total time
  • $2,550,000 – 2003 – 8,705 hours total time


Notice registration number is covered.  If you really try, you can find the number online. Photo by James Ulvog.

Operating cost for helicopter are astronomical. Price mentioned above is just the entry point to a helicopter. This website estimates operating costs of EC145 are $1,955 per hour based on 450 hours a year and $4.25 a gallon for fuel. That doesn’t include the pilot’s time. The per hour calculation is based on $519K variable costs and $360K fixed costs.

Figure a 15 minute run to shore to pick up guests and return would be about a grand. A two-hour sightseeing trip around the area would be around four grand.

Hiring a pilot to hang out on your support yacht as you cruise around would require basically an annual salary plus benefits. Pilots don’t work cheap.

The owner of the Lonian also owns an Airbus H145. Wikipedia says the original name on EC145 is now H145.

Controller website lists several Airbus H145 for sale. No prices are listed.

So for simplistic purposes of today, we can assume the EC 145 is the same as H145.

The H145 owned by this person was manufactured in 2018, so I guess we could make a wild, silly guess that the 2009 EC145 listed above is a vague approximation for a 2018 H145, maybe add another million or two since it would have far fewer hours.


The Aurora-5 can carry four passengers plus the pilot. It weighs in at 16,500 pounds with maximum speed of 3 kn. Life-support allows for an eight hour mission time with 96 hour reserve capacity. It has robotic arms, of course.

One article says an Aurora-3 (three person capacity) can run you between $1 million up to $3 million.

The Aurora-6 (six pax naturally) will set you back a cool $5 million. Not only would it carry six people with remarkable visibility, it also has a private bathroom.

Ship tenders

Lowering one of the tenders into the water. Photo by James Ulvog.

I will only make a guess on how to quantify the largest of the tenders. The Hodor has five tenders, the longest of which is 56 feet long.

Storage of largest tender on a lift. You can see the five engines. Photo by James Ulvog.

Quick check at Yacht World shows a few list prices for a boat that size:

  • $1.5M – 2018
  • $1.3M – 2018
  • $1.6M – 2018
Photo by James Ulvog.

Summary of completely wild guesses

So here’s just a few of the point estimates for the above completely wild guesses:

  • $25M – Bombardier Global 6000 jet
  • $160M – Lonian 87 m yacht
  • $100M – $120M – Hodor 66 m support yacht
  • $4M – Airbus H145 helicopter
  • $4M – Aurora-5 personal five passenger submarine
  • $1M – Nor-Tech 5000, 56 foot speedboat used as tender
Three tenders are in water. Photo by James Ulvog.

Operating costs

Operating costs for all of the above is massive.

Operating the two yachts takes 47 staff. Assuming average of $100,000 a year, which might be low given the high skill set required for a number of those positions, would give payroll cost of $4.7M a year. Assume 30% benefits for another $1.4M, so maybe about $5M for salary and fringes.

Consider the helicopter operating costs of are in the range of $2,000 an hour, at $519K variable and $360K fixed.

The Bombardier Global 6000 runs about $5,700 an hour. That is based on 450 hours with $1.97M variable costs and $605K fixed costs.

Recap of yacht’s payroll and 2 aircraft costs:

  • $5M – payroll
  • $2.7M – aircraft variable
  • $1.0M – aircraft fixed

Next post: One final thought.

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