Yachting World – Taking Ownership – Will Bruton on buying a 10 year old boat.


If you’re looking to buy a pre-owned boat, working out how old to look is a key decision. Yachting World’s Will Bruton speaks to brokerage and refit experts to find out why 10- to 15-year-old yachts can be a sweet spot for diligent buyers.

With new build waiting listings growing at an unprecedented rate, buyers are turning to the used boat market to get on the water without the wait. But if you’re looking for a pre-owned yacht, what’s the best age to aim for?

Ten to 15 years in the life of a yacht is a key juncture where some spending will often be needed to maintain value, but initial depreciation has levelled out. It’s also a part of the market with big variations in price. Two identical-looking prospects can sometimes be seen listed for very different prices: making it hard to determine the true value. Broker Alex Grabau suggests it’s an ideal age to buy at, however. ‘We have 10- to 15-year old yachts listed now that are either extremely well maintained from new or have been upgraded ready to go on an adventure with all of the major jobs taken care of; they don’t stay on the market for long though.’…

…Alex Grabau also highlights how younger yachts can be easier to upgrade. ‘A lot of the yachts we are now selling around the 10- to 12-year mark are already equipped with digital wiring. This generally makes even putting the latest generation of instruments in easier.’

One To Consider

2008 Grand Soleil 56 MAD MONKEY

Having completed an ARC World Rally circuit, MAD MONKEY is well specified for bluewater cruising with a fast turn of speed.

A Buying Experience

Emily and Dave Birch were in search of a yacht to take them on a sabbatical with their seven-year-old daughter. “We were looking for a yacht that would look after us and hold valued if we looked after her. It put us into a market with big variations in price, but also usage. Some bluewater yachts have been lived aboard full-time, regularly crossing oceans, while others had been sitting in a marina despite their ocean-going credentials. 

“Each scenario presented different challenges in terms of keeping seaworthy. Due to the pandemic, we also found ourselves in a period of unprecedented demand; we weren’t the only people wanting to sail off into the distance,” Dave recalls.

They found MANKETTI, a rare 2005 Sparkman & Stephens-designed Hylas 49 berthed in Vigo. “The broker’s (Alex Grabau of Grabau International) proposal was clear: definitely priced at the top end, but in turn-key condition. A conversation with him reassured me this was genuinely the case, so i started to work through the inventory to build a clear picture. I was looking for indicators of what we might still need to spend.

For further details on any of the yachts offered for sale through Grabau International, or to discuss the sale of your existing yacht, please contact Alex Grabau at alex@grabauinternational.com or call +44(0)1590 673715.

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