With the convenience of the leisure market offering tenders considerably greater mass-market appeal than superyachts, one might suppose their re-sale is a clearer-cut exercise and an altogether less daunting experience for a seller.
While this is true, of course, as full-custom superyacht designers continually seek to emulate the superyacht and tender designs, owners are having to accept significant losses on their initial custom tender outlay.
“Tenders devalue dramatically,” explains Josh Richardson of Superyacht Tenders & Toys. “An owner can spend £1.5 million on a custom limo tender, and three or four-years later, it will be worth a quarter of that.”
Tinkering with the upholstery, the lighting, the type, size and layout of the seating, and the engineering package, are some of the many modification options available for owners, but some make re-sale harder than others.
For example, a customised tender will have a boarding height unique to the mothership, and lifting points that are bespoke to the lifting mechanism and tender garage. For a single crane, this is not normally a problem as you can create a strop, but repositioning the lifting points requires taking up the decks and moving the hull reinforcement areas.
“Ribs are much easier to sell second-hand because you have a leisure market in the UK and South of France that will buy them – everyone wants a rib with a Yamaha 150 on the back – but most of the time you’re taking what is effectively a well used tender off a superyacht because it’s not good enough to be on a superyacht anymore,” Richardson continues.
Superyacht Tenders and Toys works to the rules of ABYA Professional Yacht Brokers when it comes to tender sale and purchase. “For a second-hand tender, you would normally start with an eight per cent commission, but in practice it often ends up being less than that,” Richardson continues.
He offers an example: “If you’re selling a 5m Williams for £30,000, a six per cent commission will provide a £1,800 commission. It’s not a huge return, but it’s worth being involved in because you might make a second-hand sale every couple of weeks – and you never know what opportunities may arise in this industry from any level of involvement.”
A lot of the time, the tenders are not VAT-paid, which is a challenge for those representing the seller. Superyacht Tenders and Toys operates under the Customs Warehousing scheme, which allows registered and approved traders to store goods with duty or import VAT payments suspended until the onward sale to the new buyer.
Once the goods leave the warehouse, duty must be paid unless they’re re-exported or moved to another customs procedure. A log must be kept of all activity – for example, HM Revenue and Customs must be made aware every time there is a sea trial and the like.
Much like the superyacht brokerage market, the sellers have a tendency to overlook the expert’s advice and price at a level that they feel is suitable, but is not fundamentally realistic. Only, with tenders, the owners aren’t incurring extortionate OPEX, which offers a little more flexibility with ambitious pricing.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that like superyachts, the re-sale for highly bespoke products is much harder in practice than in theory.