things to consider when displaying fine art on superyachts


Proper insurance and security is important for keeping art on board your yacht

There is no denying the symbiotic relationship between superyachts and art. You have only to look at the number of yachts lined up alongside the Giardini gardens during the Venice Biennale art festival or that throng Biscayne Bay during Art Basel Miami Beach to know that superyacht owners are often art collectors too, and that the yachts themselves can be the work of artists. 

Wtih PAD London and Frieze Week offering plenty of yacht-ready works this month, many owners may have added a piece or two to their collections. But what are the practicalities of decorating a yacht with art?

With all the possible challenges – from theft to damage – is it ever worth housing a fine art collection on board? Given that the art collection is often worth more than the boat itself, are yachts the wisest place to keep them? The question is divisive, it seems, and depends on the yacht owner’s attitudes towards risk, culture and yachting.

Proper insurance and security is important for keeping art on board your yacht

A working alarm system is essential. Indeed it will probably be a condition of your insurance. The next consideration is whether the value of the art outweighs the value of the boat. Marine insurance policies are rarely standardised, so your art collection can probably be incorporated into it. However, if the art is likely to outweigh the value of the vessel, you may need additional specialist art insurance, in which case it would be rash not to consult a broker.

"Insurance companies expect owners to employ a professional art management service to guarantee maximum protection where all possible negative influences are avoided from day one," adds Aston Milan Salcedo of Yacht Art Management. "Many countries also have strict laws to protect their cultural property so you may also face legal issues if you're taking an important piece of art out of a country."

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