Pre-Owned Yachts: What Separates the Gems From The Others?

Pre-Owned Yachts: What Separates the Gems From The Others?

By HMY   May 29, 2019

The winds of change affect every industry. One of the biggest changes seen over the last couple of decades in the marine industry is how yachts are sold. The bottom line is that selling a boat is vastly different from 20 years ago and requires a modern approach.

A seller needs to keep one word in mind at all times: turnkey.

“What we are finding in today’s market is that buyers are only interested in totally turnkey yachts,” says Tim Derrico, Director of Sales at HMY. “Everything is up to date – cosmetics, engine service, bottom paint, etc. Buyers don’t want a project.”

This increases the importance of how an owner takes care of his boat, not only during regular use, but also ahead of selling it.

From the flybridge to the engineroom, a turnkey yacht is positioned for a quicker, more lucrative sale. 

Similar to a trend seen in the housing market, customers these days don’t want projects. That wasn’t always the case, explains Tim.

“20 years ago, we could pretty much sell anything, in any condition, so long as the price was right. There were plenty of service people, plenty of people for interior and exterior cosmetics, and pretty much whatever was needed. Many of our boat buyers in that era did not mind taking on a project because they knew they could get it done in a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable price.”

Fast forward to 2019 and it’s an entirely different ball game. While there are still standout, respected boatyards and service companies out there, some are sub-par, and many are jammed up with work. This can lead to less than stellar customer service, resulting in lost time on the water and unnecessary aggravation.

Customers simply don’t want to deal with that; they want a completely turnkey boat. The sellers who realize this are positioning themselves for a quicker, more lucrative sale.

Ensuring your vessel's engine services are up to date is critical when the time comes to list your yacht for sale.

“As a seller, you better be sure that all engine services are up to date,” states Tim. “You better be sure everything on the boat works properly. You better make sure your boat is polished up and always clean for a prospective buyer. You better be sure interiors, engine rooms, bilges, etc. are all in good condition.”

If they are not, you’ll find it tough selling your boat. The nice turnkey boats, which are few and far between, are selling. All the other ones, which are a vast majority of the boats (especially the older ones), are languishing on the market.

Just like Volkswagen’s popular “Sign Then Drive” promotion, modern yacht buyers want to “Buy Then Boat.” They want to get out on the water as quickly as possible with minimal hassle and downtime.

This means the seller needs to do the upstream work of preparing his yacht for sale or risk it sitting at the dock, collecting dust and burning money. To get an idea of what a cream-of-the-crop pre-owned yacht for sale looks like, keep these three vessels in mind; they are all exceptionally-maintained yachts that stand out from others in their class.

“Excellence” – a 2019 Mangusta 94' Maxi Open Motor Yacht

“Wine Knot” – a 2014 Azimut 70' Flybridge Motor Yacht

“Slic Chic” – a 2013 Viking 60' Convertible Sportfish

A common mistake made by sellers is ceasing to continue proper upkeep once they decide to sell. Don’t do this! This is the absolute worst move a seller can make and only ends up costing them more money in the long run as the boat won’t sell and the seller continues to pay the loan, dockage, insurance, and other fees.

Once you’ve decided to sell, or better yet, while you’re still thinking about it, find a broker who understands what it takes to get a boat sold. Listen to what they have to say. Tap into their wealth of knowledge to make sure you start off on the right foot and stay on the best path.

The old saying is true — “You can pay now, or you can pay a lot more later.”

HMY’s team of 45 full-time experienced brokers is ready to guide you through all the twists and turns of the sales process, including advising you on what repairs and upgrades you should consider before listing your yacht to make it as attractive as possible to buyers and ensure you get maximum value.

Contact us today to make your boat stand out from the crowd and get sold fast: 561-510-6200.

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