The owner of the 90m three-masted schooner Athena, currently for sale with Burgess and Merle Wood & Associates, has instructed a $10.9 million reduction in price. She is now for sale at $59 million.
Delivered in 2005 by Royal Huisman – regarded by many as the best sailing yacht builder in the world by quality – Athena has naval architecture from Dykstra Naval Architects, exterior work by Pieter Beeldsnijder and the interior design work of Rebecca Bradley, a design collaboration that has achieved a stylish balance of classic and contemporary sailing yacht design.
With eight completed sailing yacht transactions in 2016, Burgess has its finger on the pulse for such listings. Henry Craven-Smith, sales broker at Burgess says, “The market has almost certainly been towards the pedigree, high performance custom sailing yacht sector,” adding that there is currently a “lack of pedigree inventory on the brokerage market.”
The 50m+ new build sailing superyacht market is one typified by innovation – seen by the likes of recent projects, 85m Aquijo, 70m Sybaris and 142.8m A.
But, much like the re-sale of highly bespoke motoryachts, finding a buyer with the same exact taste, vision and intended purpose, is challenging. However, as Craven-Smith astutely highlights, “It would be naïve to comment on the possible residual value of any iconic sailing yachts. After all, it only takes one buyer.”
With many of the 50m+ projects today, it appears that sailing performance comes secondary to comfort, but Athena looks to offer both – and in abundance. She has the volume (1,125gt), guest capacity and asking price of a 65–70m motoryacht, and a staggering 2,500 sqm sail area.
While the volume for pound is better in a motoryacht, when you see a specification sheet like Athena’s, the large sailing yacht ownership demise is baffling. Craven-Smith adds: “I have one or two large yacht clients who would never consider building anything other than a sailing yacht. To them it is about having something aesthetically spectacular and highly unique that no-one else has. Like a Monet or Van Gogh.”