Bedell Trust’s clients spend up to £105m on superyachts

Date: 15 Oct 2015

Bumblebee Design

Janette Gabrielsson, director at Bedell Trust, talks about the trends in the yacht-building industry and gives advice on the purchase of a vessel.


Why do UHNW individuals buy superyachts?

The majority purchase superyachts as a status symbol of their wealth and success and to join with the rich and famous, who are often guests on board in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. There are also those who have a true love of the sea and sailing and wish to spend as much of their leisure time as possible enjoying their passion.

How much do your clients spend on yachts?

I would estimate the average cost to be £26 million and the highest over £105 million.

Tell us about the latest trends in the sector.

The size of yachts continues to grow, and there is a trend towards more environmentally friendly build materials and methods of operation. With regard to jets, there is a trend towards chartering over ownership particularly when operating in Africa.

Give us your three best tips for buying a yacht or jet.

Taking professional legal and tax advice before entering into a build or purchase contract can pay dividends as can employing a professional to project manage a new-build. So, when the UHNW clients decide to purchase a yacht, they should first of all do their homework about the costs involved in owning and operating a yacht or a jet, for example crewing, berthing, fuelling, maintenance, insurance, safety, and management. This usually equates to approximately ten percent of value.

Then it’s worth paying extra to attract and retain a good and experienced captain as well as other key crew members, such as engineer, first officer and chef, as this will ensure safety on board and enhance the owner’s enjoyment of the yacht or jet.

Finally, a good management company working alongside and closely with the owner will ensure that all matters are dealt with, leaving the owner and his guests to get on with enjoying their time on board.

What should be the UHNW clients aware of when purchasing a superyacht or a jet?

There are different maritime or aviation laws and regulations that owners will need to adhere to which differ for each jurisdiction. They will need good communication with the crew and relevant managers about the yacht or jet’s planned operations.

Owners should also appoint specialists to manage their asset, which may mean using experts outside of the family office or usual service providers.