If you’ve got the guts, the passion, and a meticulous eye for detail, restoring a yacht to its former glory, or crafting a new lease of life through a retrofit, can be a wonderful project to embark on for an experienced yachtsman and/or a savvy investor.
One yacht that has great bones, and the potential to be worth a lot more than her $5,995,000 asking price, is the 48.5m Feadship, Audacia (1987), which has just been listed for sale with Whit Kirtland of Bradford Marine Yacht Sales.
Audacia has a classic Feadship exterior design – a style that has proved to sell exceptionally well on the resale market time and time again. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen sales such as 40m Cipitouba (€11.9 million), 46.6m Explora ($11.9 million) and 52m Gravitas ($19.85 million), which have moderately comparable exterior profiles and have delivered returns at over double Audacia’s valuation.
From the fleet of second-hand Feadships currently for the sale, the average yacht is 10-years-old, and there is a relative dearth of older Feadships for sale. However, it’s the older Feadships that are the most popular on the brokerage market: since 2015, the average Feadship resale has been 29-years-old, so Audacia, at 31-years-old, is almost perfectly poised on the demand curve, statistically speaking.
So, what would be required to turn this boat into a sparkling, lucrative asset?
Veteran yacht broker, Jim Eden, of Worth Avenue Yachts, suggested that with a budget of $4 million, extending the boat to 52m and doing interior upgrades could lift her finished value to $12–14 million. I believe that in addition to this, teak should be laid on the sun deck and the exterior furniture should be replaced.
How much would this boat cost to build new?
It all depends on the specifications and the negotiation, but as a comparison, sisterships Kiss (2015) and Lady May (2014) – two of the most recently delivered Feadships on the re-sale market in the 40–50m sector – are asking around and beyond €30 million. I think a buyer would be looking at an absolute minimum of €60,000/gross ton at the yard, so for a yacht that is close to 500 gross tons, you're looking at a €30 million-plus asking price at least.
The value proposition.
At under a third of the price of a new build – including the refit budget – you can have a fully customised Feadship – and you might have some fun converting it too. If you consider an €8.5 million investment in this yacht for an outright purchase and a carefully planned refit, you may well be able to make a profit on her as an asset.
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