November 30 2012
The process of appraising a yachts value is exactly what you think it would be. Simply analyze the condition, and equipment, of yachts built in approximately the same year, with a similar level of engineering, similar interior layout and exterior aesthetics, then identify the tightest cluster of actual selling prices and voila! You have just determined the fair market value.
For the past 4 years I have been successfully appraising yachts for the Southern District Court System and a large number of maritime law firms. The need for accurate appraisals using the aforementioned methodology has increased greatly in recent years as the enormous fluctuation in selling prices has occurred.
I found the work can be challenging for vessels that have very little accurate data available. Fortunately, here at Luke Brown Yachts, we have our ‘Update System’. The LBY ‘Update System’ offers me insight to confirmed selling prices of yachts, along with reports of yacht conditions based on the personal inspection of the broker authoring the ‘Update’. LBY yacht brokers have been contributing to this ‘Update System’ for the past 20 years. I have been fortunate to have access to this empirical data to build trend lines, and cluster charts for various boats that would otherwise be an anomaly to anyone who needs to determine the real value.
The method commonly used to prior to my involvement in yacht evaluations, was to hire a surveyor who would inspect the vessel, look at Yacht World MLS system and make an educated guess at the fair market value. Sometimes an accurate guess is produced, but nevertheless it is just a guess. By no means do I wish to discredit the expertise of good surveyors, they truly know a yachts condition better than anyone (outside some of the owners and crew), but they are limited to the empirical selling prices on a large spectrum of yachts.
I have found that verified selling prices, and the use of our ‘Update Systems’ condition reports, allow me to weed out the inaccuracies. Inaccurate information published on MLS web sites like Soldboats.com or yachts that have been repossessed, abandon and/or have excessive damage, need to be identified and properly quantified when evaluating a yacht.
I take great pride in my ability to find a yachts fair market value with a high rate of probability. In this difficult and confusing market, I believe I can do this as well or better than anyone.