Tuesday, 24th March 2015
On the strength of the last six months, we can now confidently say that the market is the healthiest it’s been since 2007. The North American market is back with a vengeance: the increasing strength of the US dollar and the recovery of the US markets has resulted in a surge of American buying power. The USD gained even more traction after the rather surprising move by the Swiss National Bank to scrap their peg to the euro on 15th January 2015.
About an hour before the central bank’s announcement, the asking price of the 75.3m Oceanco ANASTASIA (then asking EUR 125 million) was reduced by approximately 22.5% and was changed into USD. Had a Swiss franc buyer come forward that day they would have seen an effective price reduction of almost 45%!
The retained value of the yachts being sold is on the increase and achieved sales prices are becoming closer to that of the initial asking. There were two sales at the end of last year that had asking prices of over EUR 100 million – the 85.60m, Derecktor Shipyards, CAKEWALK (now AQUILA) was asking USD 119 million and the 75.75m Feadship OCEAN VICTORY (now EBONY SHINE) was asking EUR 120 million.
Sales last year exceeded my conservative prediction of 400 – there were 481. The key sales area has been in the top Northern European yards, in accordance with our theory of a flight to quality. There are simply not enough top quality yachts coming onto the market to satisfy demand. There are only five Northern European built yachts over 60m and less than five years old currently on the market. Two of those are less than three years old, including the optimistically priced 88.50m NIRVANA which is asking EUR 199 million.
In my opinion, the most noteworthy yachts to have recently come to market are the following:
1 TV – 78.40m, 2008, Lürssen – asking EUR 130,000,000
2 SIREN – 73.15m, 2008 (refit 2013), Nobiskrug – asking EUR 59,950,000
3 AURORA – 60.97m, 2004 (refit 2010), Lürssen – asking EUR 49,750,000
4 STEP ONE – 55m, 2012, Amels – asking EUR 37,000,000
IS BIGGER BETTER?
The global press has been circulating a rumour about a project called TRIPPLE DEUCE, a 222m yacht that is supposedly to eclipse the recently launched 180m Lürssen AZZAM. An enormous build like this is possible, but begs the question: how practical would it be?
There are currently 23 yachts on order that are in excess of 100m. When we consider that there are only 30 yachts in existence over 100m this is a definitive sign that the trend for bigger is on the up. Somewhat surprisingly, four of these 23 yachts are sailing yachts – the 147m Nobiskrug project WHITE PEARL is scheduled for launch this year.
The largest launch of 2014 was the 140m Fincantieri OCEAN VICTORY. With a volume of circa 8,000 gross tons, it has almost four times the volume of the 75.75m Feadship of the same name that the owner had moved on from. In turn, that Feadship was five times the volume of the 47.50m ISA that the owner had previously. This is clearly an owner who equates biggest with best.
As many large yacht owners will attest, extremely large yacht ownership has its pitfalls – limited access to certain ports and anchorages being a major one. Indeed, there are some well-known 100m+ yacht owners who have since elected to downsize their yachts to the more ‘manageable’ 70m-90m bracket. Perhaps this is an early sign of a search for an optimum yacht size.
There is no question that there are individuals in the world who could afford to build a 222m yacht, possibly even bigger, and I don’t doubt that the 200m barrier will be breached in the years to come. The question is, other than having the title of the ‘Largest Yacht in the World’, is there any practical reason to do so?
THE FEADSHIP MARKET
Two of the most notable open market sales of 2014 were Feadships – the 85.95m ECSTASEA with the memorable asking price of EUR 77,777,777 and the spectacular 75.75m OCEAN VICTORY which was asking EUR 120,000,000.
Those that we considered to be the eight best of the ten Feadships on the market have now sold, and only one Feadship has newly come onto the market – the 55m HUNTRESS built in 1997 (refitted 2013) with an asking price of USD 29,950,000.
Since the last newsletter in which I wrote about the top Feadships on the market launched from 2000 onwards, only two remain. Clearly I’m going to have to extend my parameters into the past and future!
Project #809 promises to be one of the top launches of 2015 and represents an extremely rare opportunity to buy a Feadship without the 3 years+ waiting time. Having inspected her, I was impressed by how well proportioned her general arrangement is – perfect for charter or as a private vessel.
PRINCESS TOO, built in 1999, underwent an extensive refit in 2014 and looks like new. She has an expansive sundeck and a generous full beam master with his & hers bathrooms. Enormous windows throughout allow natural light to penetrate each guest area and provide almost uninterrupted viewing of the surrounding area.
Other Feadships of particular note include:
• PROJECT # 809 66.25m,
Asking EUR 80,000,000
• GALLANT LADY 51.20m, 2007
Asking USD 39,000,000
• D.J. VU 50.28m, 2000 (Refit 2012)
Asking USD 31,900,000
• PRINCESS TOO
47.55m, 1999 (Refit 2014)
Asking EUR 15,000,000
Also, a number of Feadships of varying sizes are exclusively available off market through Cecil Wright & Partners – do not hesitate to get in touch.