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Case Studies

Case Study 1 - 36 Metre Motor Yacht

How It Started

Simon met Mr T at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show about 8 years ago.  Mr T was a regular boater back home in Australia where he used to drive his own sport fishing boat.  He was planning on semi-retirement in the next 1-2 years and had previously been in St Tropez where he had admired the big yachts.  He told himself that one day he would own a superyacht.

The Brief

Mr T wanted a motor yacht in the range of 35-45 metres, something quite sporty with lartge open deck spaces and at least 2 decks.  The boat would be kept in Europe and would do extensive summer cruising with family and guests onboard for the majority of each summer. He would also consider sharing the yacht with a (yet to be found) partner to reduce costs.

The Viewings

Over the course of 3 years, we viewed over 20 yachts at the major US yacht shows.  Initially favouring a large 3 deck 40 metre motor yacht, we advised Mr T that he could achieve the same exterior deck space in a slightly smaller yacht which would have much lower operating costs and not give him the worry of having a partner, particularly since he and his family wanted to spend the great majority of the summer aboard.

The Deal

One fine day in November, Mr T called Simon and explained that he had sold part of his business and was ready to buy the yacht!  Simon had been keeping his eye out for deals and had recently been aboard a 36M yacht in Antibes.  Mr T liked the look of this yacht and so Simon carried out an initial inspection and recommended Mr T to make an offer, since the yacht was in good shape.

The offer was accepted though we found the yacht was actually under technical arrest due to a prior VAT violation.  Simon introduced a firm of marine lawyers from London who diligently looked at all the issues and came up with a clean mechanism that would enable us to acquire the yacht.  

The Sea Trial and Survey

The sea trial went very well though the survey showed up more than 30 (non major issues), mostly related to the lack of usage of the yacht in the last 2 years.  Simon negotiated that all of these issues should be rectified by the seller prior to completion of the sale.  Simon had already identified a Captain for the yacht who was introduced to Mr T and was hired.  He was present at the sea trial and survey to ensure he understood every aspect of the yacht prior to the season starting.  This was all done by the end of January and Mr T enjoyed his first cruise on the boat in February.

The Refurbishment

The yacht was acquired at a vastly lower budget than originally planned and this left plenty of funds to be put into the boat to have the style and facilities the owner wanted.  This included the installation of a very large jacuzzi!  The interior was completely revamped with all soft furnishings changed, all wall and ceiling coverings renewed and the whole technical and engineering aspects of the yacht overhauled.  

The Experience

By the start of the high season in May the yacht was ready to cruise and the owner and family joined the boat for the start of 6 months wonderful cruising.  Over 3 years, Mr T and family cruised an average of over 5,000 miles each summer and visited so many countries including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.

The Exit

Having had so many guests aboard the yacht, Mr T decided to upgrade to a large yacht and so the decision was made to sell this boat.  She was listed for sale with Iconovista and a buyer found at the end of the 3rd summer (after the owner had enjoyed another wonderful summer).  The sale was completed with minimal fuss and at a price aroun d 12% lower than the original purchase and refurbishment cost, a more than acceptable result after over 3 years of wonderful ownership.

Case Study 2 - 35 Metre Sailing Yacht

How It Started

Simon was listing a 37 metre Ed Dubois designed sailing sloop for sale that was located in Thailand.  Mr C enquired on this boat and we quickly established that it could be a good deal for Mr C.  Simon gathered all of the latest information regarding the yacht and did a live video call with Mr C from aboard the yacht.  During that call, it was deemed that this yacht was a little too old.


The Brief

Simon then undertook a detailed exercise with Mr C to fully understand his needs.  The core of the brief was to have a “floating apartment on the sea.”  For sure a sailing yacht, a sloop and with classic lines, but a yacht that would be very comfortable for Mr C and his family to cruise around the Mediterranean and beyond.


The Viewings

Simon inspected 5 yachts, all based in the Mediterranean, over the next 6 months.  He was made aware of a yacht that had been repossessed by the lending bank.  Simon & Mr C quickly flew in to see the yacht and for sure his family fell in love with the style.  Like many bank repossessions, the yacht was not in great condition and it was essential to strike a good deal.  Both Mr C and Simon agreed that an offer of €1.5m should be accepted.  However, despite extensive negotiations with the bank, they had a minimum value of €3m for the yacht.  Simon advised Mr C to walk away from the deal and we started to look elsewhere.


The Deal

A yacht previously inspected by Simon was brought into consideration again as she had classic lines though a very old style interior.  By this time the owner was very keen to sell the boat and we made an extremely low offer, less than 50% the list price.  The offer was accepted and the deal was completed in July after a relatively straight forward survey.


The Refit

After just a few simple cosmetic changes (new fabric coverings), Mr C and his family enjoyed their first summer aboard the yacht.  This enabled them to create a vision for how the interior of the yacht should look.


Lead by the brilliant Italian Captain, Simon and his team supported a planned 6-8 month refit project to fully overhaul the interior.  A space in a shipyard in Italy was booked and a project team put together.  4-5 months into the refit, it was clear that there were many other opportunities to upgrade the yacht and change more of the technical systems.  What started out as a refit eventually turned into almost a complete rebuild of the yacht.  This meant that a whole cruising season was lost.  However, when the refit was complete, the yacht was absolutely stunning and was reviewed with great acclaim.  She immediately entered a sailing regatta and then Mr C and her family had several wonderful summers aboard.



The plan was always to charter the yacht when not being used by the owner and the Iconovista team was able to leverage the new refurbishment and immediately gain charter business.  Charter operations accounted for approximately 50% of the annual operating budget and yet the owner was still able to use the yacht in prime time in July and August.


The Experience

Mr C and his family absolutely loved the experience and cruised extensively around the Mediterranean for 3 years with a great fondness for Sardinia, The Amalfi coast and St Tropez.


The Exit

One new addition followed by another was made to Mr C’s family and they decided that they could not best make use of the yacht with 2 new babies.  The yacht was cautiously put up for sale and after about 9 months a buyer was found by Iconovista.  Exceptionally, due to the wonderful refit, a profit was made on the original purchase leaving a very happy Mr C.  Since the sale, this yacht has gone on the sail around the world.

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