A steady path to ownership
Is it valuable for owners to start off with smaller vessels and gradually work their way up to superyachts?
When embarking on any endeavour, there’s nothing quite like a few years of experience to help guide you. Whether buying your first house to starting a new job, to buying your first yacht, the process (should) become easier each time.
Although, I understand that many owners have different reasons for buying a yacht, and many do wish to start at the top end of the market, could it be beneficial for owners to start small, gradually working their way up in size, and amassing that wealth of experience?
An owner I spoke to agreed with this, commenting that those who are suddenly thrust into the industry often rush to make a decision, which can be detrimental. ‘By arriving and saying, “That’s what I like and that’s what I want tomorrow morning,” you probably aren’t in the best condition to have all the tools to make an educated decision,’ he noted. This evokes the parable of The Tortoise and the Hare, one of Aesop's Fables, who many interpret to mean that haste is not necessarily rewarded. And perhaps in some owner’s alacrity to buy the biggest, newest, brightest yacht currently on the market, they may experience some teething problems.
It is undeniable that yachting is complicated - from choosing a flag to managing a refit – and many owners rely heavily on experienced advisors to ensure they make the right decisions, if they do not go through the process alone.
Roy Nasser, owner of M/Y Bina, a 43m Mondomarine, recalls how much of a learning curve purchasing, refitting and owning a vessel was. “We really had to learn about a lot of things along the way. Different systems, safety equipment, getting to know about regulations, flags,” he remembers.
Would, therefore, ownership issues be negated if owners were encouraged to start at the smaller end of the market? For Nasser, this is self-evident: “If I can share something that we’ve learned - it’s that your tastes and your preferences aren’t often what you think they are. Starting out smaller was very valuable to us.”
Without a doubt, this process often occurs naturally, with many owners gradually moving up in size throughout their time in the industry. However, there are also cases of those new to the industry immediately buying larger yachts, encountering troubles in the process and quickly deciding superyachts are not for them. By starting smaller and whetting the appetite of newer owners, a solid foundation is built for a steady, long-lasting relationship with the industry.
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