Episode 29: How I Got a 2-Million Dollar Yacht For Free

I recently decided to buy a yacht. 

But trust me, this wasn’t just an on-a-whim kind of decision, but rather a business decision. Let me explain…

If it weren’t for having a really great accountant, who knew that I had always wanted to purchase a yacht, I would have completely missed the recent opportunity that I closed on. 

After running the numbers, finding out about the specific charter deals that came along with this specific yacht, and the sheer amount of wow-factor the boat had, it was a no-brainer deal that I just couldn’t pass up on. 

 

In this episode, I am going to cover:

  • What a great accountant and knowledge of how business taxes work can do for you
  • How to leverage outside factors to your advantage to either lower your costs or earn you additional income
  • How to spot a good business venture that will also allow you to live a life of luxury

How did I get a $2 million yacht essentially free? That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode.


I was a tad bit clickbaity on that title, but not really. And I’m going to tell you why if you followed my posts on social media, you’ll see that I posted about a huge 60-foot luxury yacht that I just put an offer in and got accepted on and cross my fingers. Hopefully, everything goes well in the survey. There’s nothing wrong with the engine or, you know, anything like that. And the sale goes through and I get delivered. I get it delivered in about 25 days 25 to 30 days, but you’re probably wondering, what do you mean you got it for free? So free is of course a concept, right? It’s not a finite thing. It depends on how you calculate free. So I got a call from my accountant. You know, I don’t know, maybe two weeks ago and she knows I’ve always wanted a yacht.


That’s, there are two things in life that I’ve always wanted material things. There’s a lot of things I want in terms of success. Like I wanted to be a best selling author. I was able to do that, you know, but in terms of material things, I’ve only really wanted two things. One was a really nice house on the water, which I was able to do in about a year after starting my business. And the other thing was a really nice yacht. I don’t know why maybe it was just watching Wolf of Wall Street or the fact that I grew up on boats. Because my father was a captain who would take boats and yachts to and from and deliver them. And his father owned a yacht racing or a racing yacht and would race in these yacht races.


So it was just in my blood and anyway, she calls me and she says, “Hey, listen, you were talking about doing a business where you not only chartered a yacht, but you also sold masterminds on that yacht”. 


I said, “Yeah, I’ve been kicking it around. You know, I bought the domain millionairecruise.com, bought that a while ago when I had the idea, formed a company, Millionaire Cruise, LLC. And I’ve just been sort of waiting on finding the right ship”. 


So she says, “Well, now’s the time”. 


I said, “What do you mean?”. 


She says, “Well, listen, I just calculated your books and your taxes. And basically, you can buy up to a $2 million yacht and it’s either going to go to taxes, the IRS, or it’s going to go to the yacht, which one do you want?”


I said, “Oh, I’ll take the yacht”. 


Now, of course, I didn’t save all the money in taxes, but a good chunk of it because I’m going to be chartering it out and using it for business purposes, it’s a business expense. I’m not giving you any sort of tax advice or anything. This is just what I was told by my accountant, and she set this all up, so don’t take this as any sort of advice like that. My business is structured in a very specific way for that to be a possibility. But, I know that if I buy this yacht and I just leave it to myself to go out on it, I’ll probably never go out on it. However, if I do like a millionaire cruise once a month, I’ll at least go out on the boat once a month and I’ll get to talk about business and entrepreneurship like I love to do anyway. 


So she says “You got to go pick out a yacht, you gotta do it right now. We gotta do it before the end of the year”. 


I’m like, “Oh, okay.” 


I went down to Fort Lauderdale to bring my father with me and my assistant. We go down and we start looking at yachts. My broker Phil is showing me all these yachts and I was going to get one of those silent yachts that are completely solar, but because it takes a year and a half to build the yacht, I wouldn’t have it for a year and a half. That’s lost revenue, that’s lost tax savings because you can’t write it off and for example, get whatever in return for it. So I’m like, all right, I just need to buy one.


I go down there and I look at several boats and I find one that I really, really, really like. And I’m like “This is it. This is the one.” 


Then my broker says “Well, hey, let’s look at one more. It’s not for sale as far as I know, but it’ll at least give you an idea. And if you really like it and this one falls through, maybe we can go after one like that.” 


So I say okay, we drive over to this other yacht and we get on and this yacht is absolutely gorgeous. It has literally like a presidential suite as the main cabin with, I mean if you go on my Instagram and you’ll see it. But it’s just, it’s crazy how nice this thing has got a bar. It’s got two bars actually.


I’m not doing it the justice that it deserves, but maybe I’ll link out to some pictures in the show notes. But there was a crew on board, and there’s a full-time captain, a full-time stewardess, and a private chef. So they’re like giving us drinks and welcoming us on board. You know that the other boat didn’t have that. 


I find out and say, “Do you guys come with the boat? 


And they said, “Well, we would prefer to”. 


I said “Well, how much do you guys cost? 


They reply “10 grand a month”. 


I’m like “10 grand a month? That’s nothing for a whole crew”. 


They’re from South Africa. So, you know, I guess there’s an exchange rate or something. I don’t know, but I love the boat, right? So I call up a couple of friends who are marketers. I call it my buddy Myron Golden. 


I say “Hey, I got this yacht. It’s like super bougie. It’s big. Like you could have 10-15 people here and have a mastermind. Would you want to sell Millionaire Cruise masterminds to your people?  So you sell it to your people. I’ll attend as well, and give my 2 cents to anybody and we’ll split the money”. 


He’s like “ Yes, absolutely. Let’s do it”. 


So I’m like, alright. So between me and him, cause I’m going to sell my own one-day yacht masterminds. I’m going to cover the cost of the boat, right? I’m absolutely going to cover the cost of the boat and then some, and when I say cover the cost of the boat, I’m not just talking about the monthly mortgage on it.


And by the way, if you’re wondering why I didn’t pay cash for the boat, I’m going to do an episode next called Why Rich People Never Pay Cash. There’s a real specific reason for that. I’ll talk about that in the next episode, but for now, there’s a mortgage on the boat. There’s a monthly payment, there are expenses in terms of fuel or whatever. Then there’s the crew. Well, with what we’re going to charge for the masterminds and how frequently it just makes sense. It’s a no-brainer business, with the tax deduction, a great business model. Millionaire Cruise, a fantastic ship to set sail on and, sell seats on the sailings. It’s a no brainer business, right? It’ll pay for the yacht. It’ll cover the monthly expenses. Plus give me a profit. I get to go out on the boat and talk about marketing. It’s a no brainer. 


Well then the broker says to me, “Hey, listen you know, I didn’t think this boat was for sale, but apparently, it is right now. They just put it on the market today”. 


Actually, it was the captain that said that he said: “I just got a call and they decided to sell it”. 


And I go “We gotta put an offer in”. I talked to the broker and he says “All right, we got a problem”. 


I said, “Well, what’s the problem?” 


He replies, “Well, fortunately, this yacht is paired with a broker that charters it out a few months out of the year. I think they charter it from around Thanksgiving time to about February or March. They just had another boat sink and they have 12 charters and no boat to put them on. They get these charters every year and they don’t have any ships to put it on”. 


I say, “Okay, well, what does that have to do with me?” 


And he says, “Well, there’s another offer on the boat. 


I said, “Oh geez.”


He says, “But here’s the thing. They don’t want to charter the boat. What they’re offering is they’ll sell you the boat for actually a little bit less than the other person is offering, but you gotta allow them to charter it a few months out of each year.” 


I say, “Alright, well, what do I get? What’s my cut? and do I have to pay for the gas and all this? ”


He’s like “No, no, no, no, no, no. The people that charter it, your crew takes care of everything. They do the charter paperwork, they communicate with the broker. They sail the ship. You know, you just, you have it parked at your house or whatever you say, Hey, go to The Bahamas. They take it to The Bahamas, they do the charters, you call up your captain and you say, bring it back.” 


I said, “Okay, well what’s my cut?” 


He says “$300,000.” 


I say  “Wait, so you’re saying, we’ll only sell you this yacht if you’ll take an extra $300 grand a year, pretty much just for owning it, but you’ll, you don’t get to use it for three months out of the year.”


He says, “Yeah, that’s correct.” 


I say, “Ah, let me think about it… Yes!”


So not only, right, not only do I have the tax benefit, not only do I have the revenue we’ll be making from selling Millionaire Cruise to my people, in my audience who want to spend a day with me on the yacht, talk business, have me look into their business or help them increase their sales or whatever. Cause you gotta think, right. One conversation that probably the biggest things that have changed my business is backroom conversations, right? Literally conversations that I had with other high-level people, they said, one thing, gave me one piece of advice, and boom. And it just changed everything. So by going out on this yacht for a day, being able to hang out with me an eight-figure earner and all the other people that come, which are gonna be a bit higher level, it’s worth its weight in gold.


So, you know, it’s an easy sell. So not only do I have me selling at least one sale a month doing that, but then I got some, some friends of mine like Myron, who will sell an outing to his people and split it with me, so that’s another set of income. And of course not to mention being able to film videos on it for ads and all that jazz, of course. Also, I get an extra $300 grand a year profit in charters and I’m like, why would I not buy this? Like, that’s basically for a yacht to me, you know? And so I said, yes, we put it in the offer. They accepted the offer and we are now going through the process. So I’m super excited. You know, I’m happy that this is happening and I’m finally getting a yacht.


You know, the thing is, is it’s a legitimate business. I mean, we did it the right way. We registered the domain, we got the company, we’re doing commercial insurance. We’re already reaching out to people in my mastermind and pre-selling tickets for next year. You know, and maybe some this year. I mean, it’s just… and then the charters. It’s just crazy how sometimes you wouldn’t think about it, like you say, “Oh, this person bought a yacht and they’re wasting their money.” Well, yeah, or a house or a car or whatever, but you don’t know what goes behind that. You don’t know what the strategy is, you know? And I first got the idea, cause a friend of mine owns three yachts and I said, why do you own three? He told me this. He was a neighbor of mine, told me this, said it was like a barbecue one year.


And I said, yeah, I want to get a yacht. He says, “Oh yeah, they’re fun. I own three of them.” 


I said, “Three?! You own three of them??! What do you need three yachts for?”


He’s like, “Oh, well I don’t go out on them. I think I may have been out on them once when I first got them.” 


I said, “Well, what do you mean?”


He says, “Oh, we buy him, finance him, charter them. And we make like way more than the monthly payment. And then if we ever want to sell the boat, we can. And you know, it’s a, it’s an income-producing asset.” 


And I was just like, Oh gosh, mind exploded. You know? So that always is in the back of my mind and I’m glad I finally made it happen. So that right there is how that happened.


Now. How, what does this mean to you? Like how, how can you apply this? Well, you know, I mean, I have seen multiple times, just to give you an idea, if you don’t have millions of dollars laying around for a half-million-dollar down payment or whatever there’s a ton of ways that you can do this. Even if you don’t have a ton of cash laying around. For instance, I have seen (I have not personally done this cause I have a super bougie, if you will, house) I’m fortunate enough to have that, but I’ve seen a lot of marketers host masterminds at really, really, really, really nice Airbnbs or they rent. In fact, one time, this was about two years ago in my mastermind. In one of the meetings we had, I rented a very nice catamaran, sailing yacht, and everybody went out and might think for a second, well, wait a minute.


You know, there’s no whiteboard or there’s no, you know, like how are you going to teach? And it’s like, it wasn’t necessarily teaching. It was being out on that yacht, conversing, talking real, not making it formal and lecture-y, but just, just having real honest conversations, like what’s going on in your business. Tell me about this. Tell me about that. Well, here’s what I would do. Here’s how I think about it. The members of my mastermind said that that was one of the best mastermind meetings they ever attended. And we were hanging out sipping Mai Tai’s on a yacht, you know, just having a great time. And that’s another thing that planted the seed for me was when I rented that yacht. So if you want to implement this, you could easily rent a yacht. You could rent a nice air B and B and you could facilitate a really awesome environment.


I do, however, caution against going too nuts, right? Like I sell high-ticket, right. I sell my services and my time for a premium because I’m one of the best in the world at what I do. And it took me years to become that. So one thing I suggest is don’t try to spend, you know, $10,000 on renting a yacht for two days and then charge a grand to come and then lose money. When you do this, the amount you’re paying for a mastermind or an event like this should be a pittance compared to what you’re making. A lot of people go overboard. You know, I was at a mastermind one time and they went just too nuts. Like they had a private chef and all this stuff and they didn’t really make a lot of money. 


And I thought to myself, you know, well, how does that contribute to them? Like what, what are they there for? They’re there for a private chef. Are they there to learn how to grow their business or learn whatever it is the subject of the mastermind is? So there is a balance, but if you come on my Millionaire Cruise, there will be a private chef and she’ll make you whatever you want. So anyway, guys, I hope you enjoyed this episode. And remember the next episode, I’m going to talk about why rich people never pay cash, and this is a fundamental money principle that you need to learn. So stay tuned for that next episode.

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