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Yacht Bon Bon sells for $4.95 millionFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - On the eve of the world's largest boat show, a new method of selling megayachts earned its stripes Wednesday when the 122-foot Bon Bon sold at auction for $4.95 million.
Bidders and observers gathered at Lauderdale Marina for the event, sipping champagne and enjoying such exotic hors d' oeuvres as kangaroo while taking a last look at the yacht, which was sold by the newly formed Yacht Auction Group.
'It's a good number. I'm happy. We showed today that the auction process is a very powerful tool for getting a boat sold,' said seller Steve Hudson, president of International Yacht Collection.
Auctioneer Craig King predicted the success of the closely watched auction will spark more interest in yacht auctions.
'Almost from the day we announced plans to auction Bon Bon, we've been getting calls from other yacht owners interested in using the auction method to sell their yachts,' said King, president of J.P. King Auction Company, one of the owners of the Yacht Auction Group. Other partners in the venture are Fort Lauderdale yacht broker Kelly Drum, and Kaye Pearson, president of Show Management, which produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
'The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is where everybody comes to show off their new ideas and innovations, and I think this is one innovation people will be talking about for a while,' said Drum.
During the 30-minute bidding contest, King peered over the audience from his perch on Bon Bon's deck. When the bidders were done, the high bidder was Jim Glidewell of California, represented by broker Kevin Merrigan of Fort Lauderdale brokerage Northrop and Johnson.
King, whose 89-year-old firm has been selling mansions and other luxury assets for more than two decades, said the idea for yacht auctions began to develop three years ago when J.P. King and Drum's real estate brokerage worked together on the sale of a Fort Lauderdale mansion.
'There are so many similarities that it made a lot of sense. The price range for mansions and megayachts is similar. The cost of ownership is comparable. And in both cases, ordinary sales channels can often be frustratingly slow,' said King. 'An auction sets a date on which the yacht will sell, and that's attractive to a lot of people.'
First built in 1993, Bon Bon features four large bedroom suites with king-size beds, a formal main salon, and a dining salon separated by a floor-to-ceiling oak paneled divider. The main foyer has marble flooring and oak paneling.
The master stateroom has two large cedar-lined closets and adjacent 'his & hers' baths, each of which has built-in cabinets and cultured marble sinks. Between them is a large Jacuzzi tub with shower. Each stateroom has an entertainment center with state-of-the-art electronics, including a television and satellite TV and radio receivers.
The yacht has an 8,000-gallon fuel capacity and cruises at 14 knots, with a top speed of 16 knots.
Individuals interested in more information about future sales may contact the auction company at (800) 662-5464.
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