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Financial experts often say that buying a boat is one of the worst wastes of money there is. Besides the cost of the boat itself, they are expensive to fuel (marine engines are gas hogs), expensive to insure, expensive to maintain, and you also have to take things like dock fees and boating accessories into account. Combine these costs with the fact that most boat owners only use it a few times per year (usually during the summer months) and it's easy to conclude that, with the exception of serious boating enthusiasts, most boat owners are not getting their money's worth.
So how do you instantly establish that a character is filthy rich? Show them aboard a luxury yacht that's easily worth several million dollars.
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Anime and Manga
- In the second Ranma ½ movie rich idiot Kuno decides to show off his wealth by inviting the cast on a trip on his new yacht. And promptly sails it into a cyclone, kicking off the plot.
- One scene in The Dark Knight shows Bruce Wayne aboard a yacht along with several gorgeous, bikini-clad women.
- In Hot Tub Time Machine Lou exploits his knowlege of the future to become a billionaire. At the end of the film he is seen aboard a huge yacht named "Violator."
- Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class has a yacht (and a submarine) that he keeps in Miami harbor.
- James Bond:
- In Thunderball Largo owns a yacht, the Disco Volante (Flying Saucer). Its front part is a detachable hydrofoil.
- In Casino Royale Le Chiffre is first seen playing poker aboard a yacht.
- In Skyfall Bond is taken to the Big Bad's hideout aboard a sailing yacht.
- Parodied in Secondhand Lions. At the end Walter and the Sheik's grandson are laughing at the large yacht that one salesman sold Hub and Garth, and is floating on their tiny pond.
Sheik's Grandson: I see they spent my grandfather's money wisely.
- In Some Like It Hot, Joe seduces Sugar Kane by pretending to be a millionaire with a yacht anchored offshore. Fortunately, Osborne, a real millionaire, is in love with Daphne (really Joe's friend Jerry Disguised in Drag), so while he takes Daphne for a night on the town, Joe sneaks Sugar into Osborne's yacht and pretends it's his.
- In Caddyshack, Judge Smails is christening his new yacht, when Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) shows up in his much larger boat. He then shoves his driver out of the way, put its engines into high gear, and tries to park near Smails' party, causing much damage (and Hilarity) in the process.
Al: Hey, Smails! My dinghy's bigger than your whole boat!
- Tony Stark has a yacht in the Iron Man movies.
- First scene in the movie Superman Returns is Lex Luthor swindling an old woman out of her fortune, and among the many things he obtained with it there is a huge yacht-complete with helipad, piano, top-of-the-line electronics, enough room to work on a plan that could destroy the American continent without feeling constricted...
- In Richard Linklater's Slacker one vignette involves a woman who keeps berating passing men not to "traumatize women with sexual intercourse." She knows this because "I'm a medical doctor, I own a mansion and a yacht."
- The Tropical Vaction epilogue of Trading places shows Dan Akroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis relaxing on a yacht only a short distance from shore.
- The end of Weekend at Bernie's 2 shows the heroes owning a yacht and sailing off with an all female crew.
Live Action TV
- Jimmy Wong, a minor character in the Castle episode "Sucker Punch", claims in his infomercial that he came to America on a boat, and now "I own a boat!" The second one may be true, but he's really from Danville, California and affects a Chinese accent to attract customers.
- In one episode of 30 Rock, Tracy invites everyone to his yacht for a party. Only it turns out the yacht is not his, and everyone is arrested for trespassing.
- Spoofed with Bobby from Cougar Town. He owns a modest houseboat... and little else. He can't even afford to keep it in the marina, so he just leaves it in a parking lot and lives inside. Eventually the others collect enough money to get the boat to dock, but the moment it hits the water it sinks.
- In The Pretender episode "Collateral Damage", Lenny Duc claims in his infomercial that he came to America on a tiny boat, "and now I own big boat!" We never actually get to see the big boat, and it may be as fictional as the tiny boat (Lenny later admits he actually came to America in an airplane).
- Despite focusing on a low-income family, Showtime's Shameless has featured several yachts: Jasmine's sugar daddy held a yacht party, and Steve's father-in-law - a Brazilian drug lord - also owns a yacht.
- Pair Of Kings: When Brady and Boomer were arguing about each other's spending habits, Boomer called Brady out for having a yacht collection. Brady told Boomer to stop at this point because, as Kings, they might take the arguing way further otherwise.
- The Troop: Kirby once said all he knew about International Law was about tiger importation and yacht parties.
- Power Rangers Time Force: During a flashback from when Wes and Eric were Prep School students, a rich kid invited Wes to a yacht party. Wes declined because Eric wasn't invited.
- The Sopranos: Although his boat isn't incredibly big or luxurious, Tony's Stugots still qualifies as a small yacht—and as a successful capo and then Underboss and Acting Boss of the family, he's definitely quite well-off. He's still clearly Nouveau Riche, though—"Stugots" is a working-class pronunciation of the Italian insult sti cazzi or sto cazzo, meaning "these cocks" (i.e. "deez nutz").
- JAG: It is mentioned, in "Wedding Bell Blues", when Bud and Harriet's future in-laws meets that her wealthy father owns a yacht.
"Big" Bud Roberts: So, Rollo, I hear you have a yacht.
Roland Sims: Well, a small yacht.
Lydia Sims: It is not that small, Roland.
- Downton Abbey: Lady Grantham's brother Harold Levinson is a Millionaire Playboy whose primary pastime is yachting. As his mother put it:
Martha: "His idée fixe is yachts. Bigger yachts, faster yachts. Something with yachts."
- Comedy group The Lonely Island parodied this with "I'm on a Boat", in which the members of the group are partying aboard a yacht with rapper T-Pain.
- Quite common in Glam Rap music videos, in which the rapper will be seen partying aboard a yacht to show how rich and successful he has become.
Table Top Games
- Rogue Trader characters are defined by their enormous fortunes and equally enormous, super-opulent ships.
- Near the beginning of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Tommy attends a yacht party thrown by Colonel Cortez and attended by Vice City's rich and famous.
- Michael from Grand Theft Auto V also had one, which Jimmy sold to pay off some drug dealers. Michael and Franklin manage to save Jimmy, but the yacht is taken away. Michael never did use it anyway - he confesses to Franklin that he only had it as a symbol of status, "just to look at it".
- Lili from Tekken, heir and daughter to the owner of Rochefort Enterprises, has an enormous yacht. In Street Fighter X Tekken she argues with her teammate Asuka why they don't just use it to get to the South Pole (where the game's central MacGuffin is located), and Asuka replies 'That would be like painting an massive target on our backs'.
- In Jackfilms' parody of the ShamWow informercials, Lance Bass demonstrated the many different things you could wipe with your ShamWow - "Wipe your car, wipe your boat, wipe your RV, wipe your other boat..."