After years of searching for the perfect sailing yacht, her new owners found that the iconic 32m sloop Emmaline – originally Christoffel’s Lighthouse – was well worth the wait. The Superyacht Owner stepped on board in Porto Cervo to find out more about their buying experience.

Image credits: Jeff Brown

The search that ended with the purchase of Emmaline was a long and meticulous one for her new owners, lasting 10 years and involving half-a-dozen trips to the Monaco Yacht Show. The couple, let’s call them Mr and Mrs E, admit that it was an easy decision, but in many respects they were very surprised with their purchase, thinking they would have preferred a more contemporary style. “At our age we rarely surprise ourselves,” they smile, emphasising that Emmaline was a very special find.

“We could have gone for a more modern design, but we thought it might go on to look dated because we were potentially buying a five- to 10-year-old yacht,” Mr E explains. “I think this boat, as long as we take care of her, will enrich over a lifetime. Hopefully we will save a bit in terms of depreciation, knowing full well that an older boat needs more looking after, but that feels like a reasonable trade to me. In the words of the previous owner, she is ‘something to be proud of’.”

As well as being struck by her interior and exterior appearance, the decision to buy Emmaline came down to a few other factors, such as its lifting keel that enables the boat to get into tight anchorages. “I like being close to the beach so that I can dive off, swim ashore, buy a beer with some soggy money and swim back,” Mr E laughs. “One of the things I don’t like about bigger boats is that they are very often the ones way out [away from the shore], and that feels like a disconnect for me.”

Mr E acknowledges the importance of having trustworthy and knowledgeable advisors; the yacht is currently under 8 Yachts management and during the time leading up to their purchase, Will Bishop, broker at Yachting Partners International helped them to navigate the market.

“For me it’s about working with people who you can relate to and trust and who understand what you want,” Mr E points out. “Over the many years I have been going to the Monaco Yacht Show, Will and I would always meet up to talk about the industry, and he has shown me many boats. He has always been very patient, never pushy, and I think he predicted that I would buy a boat one day.”

As a former superyacht captain, Bishop helped Mr and Mrs E see things from a different perspective and advised them to look beyond things they might otherwise have been preoccupied about. “He recommended that we keep one eye on resale,” Mr E adds. “Many owners charge into buying a boat they want and sometimes you can inherit something that the rest of the market doesn’t like, which can result in some pain when the time comes to move on.”

When questioned about their experience searching for their yacht, the couple answer that the main lesson they learnt is to ‘take your time’. “Ultimately, there are so many different boats out there but you can have the same experiences on a boat half this size,” Mr E concludes. “I can enjoy walking the docks in Monaco one day and then be anchored in a remote bay with no one else around a day later. That right there is what this industry stands for – very different moments but with all the same ingredients.”

The full article, with comments from broker Will Bishop can be read in Issue 21 here.