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Monday, 14th March 2016

How does one quantify quality in the superyacht industry? The media would have us believe that the more metres there are, the more millions it must cost. Henry Smith – Cecil Wright’s sales broker in Monaco with a gift for maths – explains why that linear scale is nonsensical and how best to calculate the value of the vessel.

‘Chris and I were inspecting the Feadship OCEAN VICTORY, a 75.7m yacht with an asking price of EUR 110 million, when, next door, the 65m Codecasa LADY LAU was less than half the price,’ Henry says. ‘Understandably, our client wondered why those ten extra metres had more than doubled the asking price. Amongst other factors one major reason was the gross tonnage. OCEAN VICTORY was only 15% longer but 75% larger by volume.’

In the way that a house is valued on a square scale, a yacht – a three dimensional object – should be valued by its cubic volume. ‘At Cecil Wright we conduct our valuations based on gross tonnage, and to my knowledge we are the only yacht brokerage to do it that way,’ he continues. ‘The market and certain variables will have an impact, but amid over-inflated valuations, we use maths and solid reasoning to give credence to what we’re telling the client their yacht, or the yacht we are looking to acquire, is worth.’ 

An interesting comparison is ATLANTIS II (at 115.76m she has a gross tonnage (GT) of 3,242) and the recently sold TURAMA (116.41m and 8,343 GT). ‘This sums up our point nicely,’ says Henry, ‘at only 65cm longer, TURAMA is 257% the volume of ATLANTIS II. This is why you simply can’t value yachts per metre, as many do.’

The gross tonnage is of course divided between guest areas, crew areas and technical space, and some shipyards are particularly masterful in apportioning this to the advantage of the owner. ‘Feadship are especially good at giving the team of engineers the space they need without unnecessarily taking away volume from the guest areas,’ says Henry. 

Here we look at how some yachts compare to one another – and you might be surprised by how they truly measure up.


On some production yachts, the teak decks are laid at approximately 6mm in thickness; on Feadships the figure is more like 26mm. Feadship also uses a method called ‘quartering’ which utilises only the central core of the tree, the part that is most dense and hard wearing. The result? Teak that lasts longer and is one less concern when assessing the yacht’s resale value.

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