A client bought a yacht to ‘blast’ into Ibiza for parties

Date: 30 Mar 2016


James Jaffa, lawyer at superyachts department, TLT Solicitors, also says financing of superyachts is seeing a revival.

How much do the UHNW clients spend on superyachts?

We typically advise clients who are spending anything between €5 and €100m on a superyacht. Some owners will charter their yachts to third parties when they are not on board for several hundred thousand Euros per week, whereas others will reserve them for private use.

Tell us about your clients.

They are chalk and cheese. From one who purchased a yacht specifically because it has enormous engines and large outdoor entertaining spaces and he wants to blast into Ibiza at 40 knots, party on-shore and then retire with his guests to the yacht to continue the celebrations. To another who is a keen wildlife observer and is currently building two almost-identical explorer yachts, one of which will cruise to high-latitude destinations and the other to long-longitude destinations. Both yachts will cruise sedately at 12-14 knots but with enormous, trans-ocean range, and whilst they will look the same, one will have heavy-duty air conditioning and the other will carry a snow-mobile.

What new features have you seen this year?

Financing of superyachts is seeing a revival. Pure asset-finance remains rare and lenders generally require clients to bank with them on a personal or business basis, beyond the acquisition of the yacht. We are working with several financial institutions but they have strict criteria on the type of yachts against which they will lend, including the yard at which the yacht was built, where in the world it will cruise and its age.

Give us your best tips for buying a yacht.

Our clients consistently tell us that working with a knowledgeable and reputable yacht broker is essential. Also, ensure your contracts are robust and accurately reflect the detailed intentions of all the parties. Too often we hear of owners who relied on goodwill and handshakes, only to find that twelve months later, nobody can quite agree on what was promised.

What trends do you see in the sector?

We are working with clients from the Far East, who are demanding superyachts of the highest quality and either sailing them in the Mediterranean or taking them back to the Far East. The requirements of these owners tend to differ from European and Middle-Eastern owners. Taking a holiday is very much a new mentality and the yachts tend to be viewed as extensions of offices.

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