In a piece I wrote last week for SuperyachtNews, I voiced my concerns on overvaluations and market stagnation in the 65m+ sector, but really it’s a problem for the second-hand fleet in its entirety. In a conversation with Mark Seaton of Yacht & Villa International, he explained to me that the firm capitalises on the listings that are slowing the brokerage market.
“The last three yachts we’ve contracted were ‘problem boats’,” he says. “They had been on the market for about four years or longer, so we told the owners why they weren’t selling and picked up the CAs under the circumstances that we could sell them in a certain period of time. It’s very high pressure; you have to get to the bottom of why they haven’t sold immediately and change the marketing strategy.”
This concept of removing ‘problem boats’ from the market is unquestionably beneficial for the health of the resale market. But, why is it then that these vessels are being mis-sold? Seaton brings to light several issues that he has made it his business to pick up on.
“It can be outdated photography that shows the yacht before a recent refit, or it could be that the central agent is not visiting the boat and instead the crew are answering the questions and conducting the viewings; the central agent should be at all viewings rather than the buyer coming along with his own broker,” he continues.
“One of the listings we had was VAT paid, which is a very important factor for a buyer, so we highlighted that more in the advertising; with one, we paid particular attention to marketing her to the international brokerage community – not just big companies but smaller specialist brokers around the world; and another we moved from Germany to Italy, making her more accessible and organising a small ‘makeover’ before taking her to Cannes and finding a buyer there”, he continues.
It just goes to show that the deterrents that can put the final nail in the coffin of a sale can be as trivial as “a Captain leaving his dog in the cockpit for viewings,” Seaton concludes.
‘Problem’ sales made by Yacht & Villa International:
Yacht: 46m Sweet Doll
Months on market: 61
Months on market with Y&VI: 6
Yacht: 50m TJ Esperanza
Months on market: 55
Months on market with Y&VI: 12
Yacht: 35m Symphony
Months on market: 47
Months on market with Y&VI: 11