“You know a yacht is iconic when a world-class shipyard still uses it as their main advertisement some 25 years after they built her,” said Nick Edmiston, of the eponymous firm, in an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews, when he listed Enigma for sale in August 2016. “That speaks volumes for the quality and the pride the builders took in this particular commission.”
On 13 June, Edmiston & Company announced that it had sold Enigma, a Blohm+Voss build, for her initial listing price of €47.5 million, after just 10 months on the market – and 12 years since the firm sold the boat for the first time.
She was sold to a European buyer, who will rename the boat Zeus and become the fourth owner since she was delivered to her first owner, Emilion Azcarraga, a Mexican businessman, in 1991. She was then sold to Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation, in 1999 before he took delivery of 138m Rising Sun in 2007 and sold her to Aidan Barclay, owner of the Telegraph newspaper.
The panoramic convex windows set into Engima’s GRP superstructure are one of the most recognisable superyacht features of all time, but the yacht was not well received when she first hit the water. In fact, the designer, Martin Francis, told The Superyacht Report that he didn’t receive another enquiry for eight years after her completion.
The radical design, he said, was “too far ahead of the curve” – something he believes should be considered more carefully by today’s designers who are taking the plunge with ambitious projects.
Based on the speed of the sale and prestige of the boat, could Enigma have sold for more? “Well, she could have gone for less,” Edmiston quipped. “You just need to find what one person is prepared to pay and another is prepared to accept – and it’s up to me to marry the two together.
“But this particular boat is ageless," he continued. “I mean, it’s over 25-years-old and look at the condition it’s in. Age doesn’t matter when a boat has been run to a standard this high and that’s reflected by the value she’s maintained.” He compared it to "Georgian houses built in the 17th century that have sold for top dollar.”
Discussing the 60m+ sector specifically, Edmiston said he is noticing a lot more interest from potential buyers of late. “There is more confidence in France now under Macron, as opposed to his predecessor – and although what happened in England last week is very unfortunate, it won’t stop people coming from the Mediterranean,” Edmiston concluded.
Image credit: Guillaume Plisson