It may be a rather cyclical storyline, but Feadship’s announcements – of a capacity-bolstering new facility in Amsterdam that can build up to 160m, a new CEO for Royal Van Lent, a futuristic and autonomous concept called ‘Choice’, and headway with its seemingly eternal order book – could warrant saying that it’s been another sprightly year for the yard.
But the yard’s activity extends well beyond its new build platform’s prowess. The 10 second-hand Feadship sales of 2015 have already been surpassed, but what is of particular note is the five more new central agency listings in 2016 – excluding those that were formerly for sale with other agents – to-date than in 2015.
But to what extent is Feadship’s saturated order book, which extends to beyond 2020 now for a delivery slot, provoking this re-sale activity? Are sellers perhaps seeing the yard’s capacity as an opportunity to sell to time-conscious buyers, who – in contrast to building new elsewhere – would actually take preference to paying a premium for a second-hand yacht under the Feadship brand?
“In some ways, we are creating our own competition”, jokes Jan-Bart Verkuyl, CEO of Feadship’s De Vries yard. “But in the long run, it’s good news that there is a lot of activity because it creates a group of people that discover the quality of our products and may end up building new. And for many, a second-hand Feadship is an interim project for a new build.”
“Typically, 40% of our clients are repeat clients and there are now a lot of people that are considering new builds after owning an existing Feadship”, he continues. “But there is always a market for a high quality product that holds its value.”
The average second-hand Feadship valuation is €3.5 million higher in 2016, than in 2015. As the chart (in the gallery above) – based on the valuations of current CA listings as opposed to sales – suggests, after seven to eleven years of a Feadship’s life, its market valuation is roughly €50,000/GT, yet drops no further than €35,000/GT after 17 to 21 years. This is actually higher than other yards’ vessels in their first seven to eleven years on the water.
After being on the water for over 30 years, the vessel becomes part of the ‘Feadship Heritage Fleet’, which Verkuyl says “adds a lot of value” to a sales listing. “It does tend to be the slightly older Feadships that are for sale, but they don’t stick around for very long. There are people who actively source Feadships in the Heritage Fleet and we are very proud of that. We put so much effort into every product; one bad product can ruin a brand.”
“At the end of the day, it’s entrepreneurial spirit and we have to keep surprising people. We are lucky as well that custom yacht building allows you to get very close to your clients – and we are lucky that our clients want to build extraordinary projects with us.”
As we continue into a future where Feadship’s output is inexorable – and the number of ‘active’ yards dwindles – is it likely that we’ll ever see this second-hand activity recede?