How can a broker help you buy a superyacht?

Written by Rebecca Smurthwaite

A broker doesn’t just simply help you buy or sell your superyacht, but also sources the best possible yacht for your needs, can negotiate prices, draw up legal documents and most importantly, give you expert industry advice. A knowledgeable yacht broker is there to make sure the buying or selling of your yacht is an enjoyable and carefree experience. Lady Li yacht by Heesen in ViareggioPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesWhy is it important to use a broker when buying a superyacht, especially for first time owners?

Perhaps you have been invited on a friend's superyacht, or even dipped your toes in the water of chartering, and now you feel like it is time to buy your own. Jeremy Comport, Senior Sales Broker at Ocean Independence, explains why it is essential to go down the brokerage route, “The broker should help to crystalise the general thoughts of what a client will expect from the yacht in terms of facilities, amount of interior volume, deck space, and the type of tenders and toys they would like to carry. Of course also understand the areas of intended operation and get some idea of the styling for the exterior lines – plus where the interior is concerned.”

Richard Lambert, Senior Yacht Broker at Burgess, adds to this, “If you’re speaking to a broker and give them specific requirements, they will be able to narrow down a selection of 50 yachts, down to 15 yachts, that they may feel are right for you. It is going to save you a huge amount of time – and time is very precious – and ensure you are getting the right advice.”

Dilbar and Galaxy of Happiness yachts in MonacoPhoto: Léandre LoyseauHow can a broker help you buy your dream superyacht?

Oftentimes clients are unsure where to begin and this is where the expertise of a broker comes in. Ben Ritchie of the Y.CO Sales Team states, “With a vast array of yachts available for sale, varying in size, build quality, age, condition and price, an experienced broker will not only help you define your needs, but can also guide you through the selection process as someone who knows the market.” He continues, “Once you have found a target yacht, your broker will be able to perform an in-depth analysis of the market, studying what other yachts have sold for and will use this to give you informed, impartial advice on the true fair market value.”

Luminosity yacht anchored off Monaco

How does a broker build a close relationship with the client to understand their needs and why this is important?

Clear communication and understanding between the broker and the client is key to finding the superyacht of your dreams. In order to do this, brokers must build a close relationship with the client to better understand their requirements. Felix Sowerbutts of Y.CO remarks, “I recall inspecting a yacht on our client’s behalf that was almost perfect for him. It ticked all the boxes apart from one - the ceiling height in the main saloon was quite low, far too low for our rather tall client! It was fortunate that we knew our client so well, but had we not, he might have travelled across Europe to view something which was completely unsuitable. Sometimes these trivial details are what make all the difference.” He finishes, “Of course, yacht shows are golden opportunities to view multiple options in one setting, but the key benefit of them is the conversation, communication and feedback between client and broker.”

Sanlorenzo yacht H1 in Cannes Photo: Julien Hubert / Julien Hubert

Do you still need a broker after the purchase and delivery of your superyacht, and if so, why?

After the purchase and delivery of the superyacht, many questions remain. “I think the professional broker comes into his own once the order is signed,” comments Comport of Ocean Independence. “The broker supports the build process by liaising with the clients and the designers, build supervision team and shipyard, to ensure that all parties are all working towards the common goal of satisfying what, let's face it, are generally very demanding clients, who are used to getting what they want.” He remarks, “Often the broker will continue to guide the owner with various aspects to ensure continued enjoyment of the yacht.”

Irini Blagodyr, Head of Bluewater Russia, adds, “I strongly believe that if a client builds a long-term, close relationship with his or her broker, then they naturally become the go-to person to assist in navigating the waters of the yachting world. As a broker lives and breathes this world on a daily basis, he or she is on top of the latest news… and will always give added value in all things yachting.”

Vanish yacht by Feadship in LondonPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesThis article has been produced in collaboration with the Monaco Yacht Show 2021. For more information about this years show, and to see details of exhibitors, visit their website at www.monacoyachtshow.com.

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