Smoke And Mirrors - Finding The Real Deals In Yachting Today

The concept of ‘a good deal’ is a particularly subjective one and is dependent on each buyer’s perceived value of the yacht - those aspects seen as qualities rather than drawbacks; selling points rather than hindrances. And of course, it also depends on what the buyer is actually looking for from a yacht.

For many, ‘a good deal’ would seem to be about price – the implication being that a yacht with its price slashed by ten million dollars is a yacht offered at a heavily discounted rate. However, there are those in the industry that disagree – since 2005 the yachting market has seen some fairly significant price rises. A good deal always depends on the yacht itself – its history, age, any repair work and refits it has gone through and when. To know whether it is a good deal or not requires looking into the background of the yacht. Any major price drops or reductions are not always what they seem and in some cases, they should flag up a risky investment. The best thing to do is to seek sound advice on the yachts you may be considering, with a focus on the right package as a whole and not merely on the price.

‘Good value’ is not just about the price, but the opportunities or hindrances it may present in terms of potential future chartering, running costs, crewing, eventual upgrades and refits and of course, re-sale price. It is suggested that you have or seek experience into all the elements in the process in order to make an educated decision on your investment. Some buyers are looking purely for short term investment and others expect to keep a vessel in the family for generations - purchasing a yacht is a very personal decision.

An example of this is the 40-metre Feadship, a great brand from a shipyard with excellent build quality, known for building yachts timeless in their design and look. This may represent a great deal in terms of purchase price, but in reality you have to then consider the costs of the crew and running the yacht. In addition to that, capital will have to be spent on refits, which incurs further costs. Before you know it, your budget to feed your passion for yachting is blown! This brings us back to the notion that “real value” is not just about price, but about seeking the ideal yacht that is suited to you.

Some may have considered the Feadship as an exciting project that would give them great value for money. After making their mark on the yacht during refits, they have a personalised yacht designed to suit their tastes for at least another ten to five years. For others, taking on a project such as this would be a nightmare if they are looking for a yacht that doesn’t require much to think about. So regardless of the price, this yacht wouldn’t be for them. Instead, another vessel with lesser upkeep, a smaller crew and no refit worries would be ideally suited.

Yacht brokers are there to supply you with the information you need to know when it comes to deciding which yachts best suit you. How clear and detailed that information is when choosing your yacht is key. In essence it is your broker’s responsibility to present the most intelligent and accurate information about the yacht - it is important not only in terms of the acquisition but also when it comes to selling at a later date. It is vital for brokers to relay the facts and figures in as much detail to potential owners. This builds trust and demonstrates an element of transparency. An ideal brokerage would be one that delivers a “warts and all” approach, delivering a candid opinion on the true value rather than simply delivering the answers an owner wants to hear. This should be a fundamental philosophy at the core of a yacht brokerage. A yacht brokerage house that can meet these requirements is sure to retain integrity and professional relations with key clients and those that are recommended to them.

When it comes to investing in new construction, one has to also seek a brokerage house that boasts experience in naval architecture marine engineering, environmental engineering and project management. It is important that a Management and Brokerage team work closely together to ensure that clients that are investing in new construction receive in the best deal in terms of yard rates and tariffs and yacht design, materials and engineering efficiency. This instils trust whilst giving clients peace of mind.

Brokerage houses that most impress clients are those which do a lot of the leg work for them allowing them to benefit from the best possible advice. This is done by cruising, travelling and inspecting a lot of yachts and attending familiarity trips in order to amass information. This information is instrumental to finding the best boats and the best crews suited to client’s needs and preferences, as well as saving time, money and heartache.