During the 2015 Dubois Cup, TSO.com was welcomed on board 30m sailing yacht Nostromo to catch up with the owner Andrew Cook about his musings on a sailing yacht market that is experiencing tough times.

Andrew Cook on board Nostromo at the Dubois Cup

“The sailing yacht market is in retreat at the moment because what happened was that people in the first decade of the century made a great deal of money and everyone wanted a superyacht,” explains Cook, contemplating the reasons for a over-saturated second hand market. “But superyachts are very expensive to run and once you have bought it that is almost the beginning of your problems financially.

“A lot of people find that after a season or two they don’t like it as much as they thought they would and so they sell their yacht. So there is no surprise that there is a depression in the market at the moment. But irrespective of some yard’s closing down, you find that the new build cost continues to go up, which should keep some life in the market.”

"There are plenty of people with a shed that say they can build you a yacht, but there is an awful lot of workmanship that goes into these boats so they have got to be made properly."

So how does cook justify the cost of owning Nostromo? “It is a bona fide commercial venture,” he laughs. “Nostromo is a charter yacht and we charter her sensibly. It depends how much time you have got but, due to necessity and choice, I am still a very active businessman and I am not somebody that can relax easily for long periods, so if I didn’t charter the boat it would be lying around with the crew not being that busy and nobody would get the best out of her. For us it is a good idea to charter it - it gets more use, defrays some of the costs and keeps the crew busy.”

Nostromo sailing at the Dubois Cup

Built at Pendennis shipyard six years ago, Nostromo's yard was chosen based on reputation and the owner's wish to be very involved with the build process. Looking back on his experience, Cook has some words of wisdom for those wishing to start out on a similar venture. “I think it is very important that you have a good designer and a good builder,” he explains. “Because there are plenty of people with a shed that say they can build you a yacht, but there is an awful lot of workmanship that goes into these boats so they have got to be made properly.

“You also have to make sure to have your own build foreman so that you can have the best yard and your best man there supervising the build. Every boat is a one off and there are a number of yards that have gone bust simply because there are not enough new orders around but others because they have under-quoted and lost money. I choose the builder as carefully as I choose the designer.”

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