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‘Spending RM3m monthly on yacht maintenance like having daily parties on board’

LANGKAWI (Aug 9): Spending RM3 million a month on maintaining a mega yacht is akin to having daily lavish parties on board while running the yacht’s utilities at all times, according to a luxury yacht specialist.

Mega Yacht Club of Vanuatu Ltd operation director Nicholas de Souza said such amount would be more than enough to engage highly paid crew members and senior ship captains on a 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 parties on a weekly basis,” he told Bernama yesterday.

De Souza said this in response to a news report that it costs an estimated RM3 million a month to maintain super yacht Equanimity (pictured), embroiled in controversy following allegations that it was bought using funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The 91.5m-long vessel arrived at Port Klang yesterday after the Indonesian authorities that seized it earlier this year agreed to release the vessel to their Malaysian counterparts.

With its length, de Souza said the Equanimity is 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.

With the experience of handling a fleet of mega yachts in several countries, he said the purported maintenance cost of the Equanimity is well above the normal expenditure of any luxury yacht that he knew. “The reported figure could have made the crew and guests enjoy in luxury, much more than staying in six-star hotels for a long period.”

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 at just around RM75,000 a month involving minimum crew and berthing charges. “If it (Equanimity) is [maintained] here, it (allocating RM3 million a month) will be [enough], like having all crew members staying at a high-class hotel, keeping watch on board at all times and entertaining guests almost on a daily basis.”

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 9, 2018.

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