Repeat shows are part of the job in Miami

Feb 15, 2014 by Guest Writer

M/Y Remember When is in the show again this year. It’s been a fixture on the South Florida boat show scene since it launched in 2010.

And while some yacht crew might dread boat shows, Capt. Hendre du Plessis wore a smile this week, his fourth Miami show in as many years.

“I don’t mind the shows, to be honest,” he said. “It’s a good change of scenery.”

Remember When, a 162-foot Christensen, is based out of Miami’s Fisher Island most of the year, with trips to the Bahamas or around South Florida. In summer, she travels between Newport and New York.

Capt. du Plessis has worked with the owner for about seven years, and boat shows are a part of the job. While the yacht is definitely for sale, he said the owner is happy to have the builder show her off.

“And the owner likes being at the shows,” he said. “He knows a lot of people and he likes to catch up with everybody. He likes to walk around, see what’s new, get new ideas, look at the new builds.”

For some yachts, however, being on the sales market for a year or more — especially if it’s not in use much — can be trying on the crew. Many won’t stay long, either eager for adventure or seatime.

The yacht itself may even begin to get weary.

“When a boat’s been for sale too long, it gets a cloud around it,” said Mark Elliott, a broker with IYC.

That cloud develops from doubt. Potential buyers start to wonder, what’s wrong with that yacht, why won’t it sell?

Thanks to the economic climate of the past five years, the one thing holding up many yacht sales is the price. Clients make offers — lower than asking price, for sure — but then owners won’t come down far enough to make a deal. Often, it’s those boats that repeat in boat shows.

“Sometimes it takes a while for the seller to come down on his price,” Elliott said.

A whole host of psychological factors come into play when that happens, not the least of which is the fact that owners are proud of their yachts and believe them to be worth more than what someone is willing to pay. Then, of course, are the owners who don’t really want to sell.

“Boats do sell at boat shows, there’s no doubt about it,” Elliott said. “But it’s all price driven. … I tell my clients they want to sell in six months. When you’re ready to sell, make the commitment and sell. If a boat stays on the market for a year, it starts to get that cloud. In that case, it’s better to take it off the market and regroup.”

Not all repeat yachts have that cloud, though. Capt. du Plessis said buyers can tell immediately if that cloud hangs over a yacht.

“The bad reputation is for the boats with skeleton crew that don’t show well, but not if you are kept up well and ready to go at a moment’s notice,” he said, nodding to his crew who keep busy cleaning and maintaining. “Our boat is kept up and we’re ready to go at any time.”

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today. Comments: