A yacht or a boat valuation is no ordinary process and it can hardly be compared to other vehicles like cars or even planes simply because most boats are built in very small series or one-off and even those that do have a production line are hardly identical to one another. (exception made for some personal watercraft and a very few more modern brands).
A lot of vessels, often some of the most beautiful you will ever see, have only been built once and never replicated therefore it is hard to compare them to another similar vessel.
The way we approach valuations is essentially a combination of a technical valuation of the vessel and its status together with a market valuation based on some comparable boats from comparable [or the same] designer/shipayard. However, in this [apparently] simple equation there is one element we take into account very seriously and that is that the yacht market is relatively illiquid [not easily convertible into cash] at least in several size segments, therefore, the rarity of buyers gives them the opportunity to have an advantage on the price. On the other hand, it can be counter argued that those who buy boats, especially above the 50 feet segment, are generally not desperate for cash, and therefore can afford to play hardball on their sale price.
One more element that is to consider in terms of liquidity of the market is the very geographical area the vessel is located. For example areas such as the South of Florida in the U.S. are far more liquid markets than the UK, therefore you will often see faster transaction and less tiring negotiations than in other parts of the world.
This is not to say that you can’t get lucky and acquire a vessel for a significantly lower price that what a technical valuation would suggest. Our history is full of clients acquiring their vessel at 30-40 or even 70% their value however, these are often complex situations such as bankruptcies or even divorces at times and need to be handled with care. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find an owner who might not even know [maybe because he/she inherited the vessel] that the vessel actually comes with a £40,000 unpaid bill from the marina where the vessel was moored in the last 2 years.
Helping people acquire their favourite boat or their ideal charter vessel is something we have always been passionate about, therefore, we are in the process of building a free Yacht Valuation Form to help you acquire your next boat at the right price.