Equanimity could be costliest yacht to be auctioned

Equanimity at Port Klang on Tuesday. VesselsValue, a ship-valuation database firm, said it valued Equanimity at US$175 million.
Equanimity at Port Klang on Tuesday. VesselsValue, a ship-valuation database firm, said it valued Equanimity at US$175 million.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PETALING JAYA • Equanimity could smash the world record for the most expensive superyacht ever to be sold at auction if it goes under the hammer.

With the vessel now in Malaysian custody, all eyes are on the fate of the luxury yacht reportedly worth US$250 million (S$341 million).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had said on Monday that his ministry wanted to get the best value from the Equanimity.

"Our aim is to draw back as much money as we can from the asset," Mr Lim had said, adding that the immediate plan was to ensure all paperwork was in order and all proper controls were imposed.

An online search of prices fetched so far by superyachts suggests that Equanimity could create a new record if the government decides to initiate an auction.

An article on the website of British publication Boat International listed the sale of the 72m Lurssen Apoise as the most expensive yacht ever auctioned. At an auction in 2010, it was sold for US$34.75 million, much lower than what Equanimity could be worth.

With the vessel now in Malaysian custody, all eyes are on the fate of the luxury yacht reportedly worth US$250 million (S$341 million).

VesselsValue, a London-based online ship-valuation database firm, when contacted, said it valued Equanimity at US$175 million.

"Looking through our system, we also have the Apoise as the superyacht which has achieved the most at auction," said VesselsValue associate director Claudia Norrgren.

The Apoise and Equanimity, at 91.5m, fall under the category of a superyacht or mega-yacht, which refers to a commercially operated luxury yacht over 24m long.

Asked about the long term, Ms Norrgren said superyachts do not really go up in value. "If it goes for auction it never realises its full potential as it is a distressed sale."

A luxury yacht broker said the selling price of a used superyacht such as Equanimity would depend on factors such as how many people have been on the ship and used it daily.

The broker said offering Equanimity for charter service could diminish its value. "The condition (of the yacht) will deteriorate. It will bring in charter income but the resale price of the yacht will be reduced," added the broker.

Still, Equanimity is not the most expensive superyacht out there.

In an online CNN article last month about the 10 costliest yachts, at No. 1 was the Serene, a 134m vessel that was reportedly bought by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman for US$550 million. In 10th position was Octopus, a US$200 million vessel commissioned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Equanimity could be costliest yacht to be auctioned'. Print Edition | Subscribe