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IYBA Sailboat Broker of the Year: Michael Bach

Sarah Nadler | February 10, 2023

Denison Yacht Broker Michael Bach Wins IYBA Award for Commendable Sailing Yacht Sales.

Denison yacht broker Michael Bach has had extensive experience in boating–between racing yachts, sailing collegiately, working at shipyards, and, more recently, selling those very yachts. For over 25 years, Michael has represented new build and service yards including the likes of Palmer Johnson, Intermarine, and Rybovich. He has worked with the brokerage community, dealt with yacht owners and managers, and participated in marketing events and sales efforts. His biggest advantage as a yacht broker is that, because of his extensive service background, he knows exactly what the costs are in building or maintaining a boat.

This year, in recognition and as a result of these accomplishments, Michael was honored at the IYBA Annual Awards–winning the award for “Sailboat Broker of the Year.” It comes to us as no surprise that Michael received this prestigious award. He has made a number of remarkable sales, including two large sailboats, ISLANDIA and ECLIPSE.


136' Jongert sailing yacht ISLANDIA / ABIDE

When reminiscing about his sale of the 136′ Jongert sailing yacht ISLANDIA, Michael highlighted his strength in closing the deal: “I have an advantage having worked for so many years in shipyards, and I know how much things cost.” This came in handy with this sailboat, in which he helped the buyer, someone he worked with for a number of years, find just what he was looking for. “He was looking for a fixer-upper, something that was traditional and had good bones. He knew I’d know how to budget it and get the boat in the right yard for the right scope of work.”

136' Jongert sailing yacht ISLANDIA / ABIDE interior

And he did just that. “I worked with the owners for over a year and we viewed at least seven boats until we landed upon the 40m Ketch. With a steel hull and accommodation for up to ten guests, the owner will have a world cruiser for his family to enjoy.”

S/Y ISLANDIA, which will be rebranded as S/Y ABIDE, has been in Maine since May 2022 and is still in progress, with anticipated completion this Spring.

136' Jongert sailing yacht ISLANDIA / ABIDE interior

Regarding his buying experience with Michael, Bill Drury, the new owner of S/Y ISLANDIA, wrote: “I had the great pleasure of working with Michael recently during my effort to purchase a long-range cruising yacht. After a detailed worldwide search, he made use of his wide range of industry contacts to successfully locate the ideal vessel, the Jongert 40-meter ISLANDIA, now renamed ABIDE. Michael also managed the refit specification and identified the shipyards most suitable to do the extensive overhaul. Michael’s sailing expertise, knowledge of the people and places in the industry, and negotiating skills were all vital to the success of our ABIDE project. I will gladly work with him again in the future.”


106’ Alloy sailing yacht ECLIPSE

Michael’s other recent large sailboat sale was of the 106’ Alloy sloop rig, called ECLIPSE. With a three-stateroom layout that sleeps seven, this beauty’s performance includes a 10-knot cruising speed and a maximum speed of 12 knots. Representing the buyers, Michael recounted: “We found the boat in San Diego, and it took about three to four months back and forth to come to a deal, including a survey and sea trial in San Diego.”

106’ Alloy sailing yacht ECLIPSE interior

The buyers of ECLIPSE, Dean and Michelle Lobdell, were thrilled with Michael’s service. “In May of 2021, my husband and I contacted Mr. Michael Bach to interview him as a potential representative for our purchase of our first fairly large sailing vessel,” Michelle wrote. “We had already spoken to several brokers but did not feel that they possessed either the knowledge or professionalism that we knew we would require. We were searching for an individual with a great attitude; a polished and professional command of language; extensive sailing knowledge and experience; as well as a deep understanding of the ‘rules’ of yacht sales, management, and decorum to assist us in a process that has become at least ten times more difficult and complicated than we ever imagined. After a spirited discussion with Mr. Bach, we felt very comfortable that his knowledge, experience and attitude were the combination we had been looking for. We were wrong. Michael not only met, but exceeded our expectations in every way.”

106’ Alloy sailing yacht ECLIPSE interior

“I am ecstatic to say that Mr. Bach exceeded every expectation we had of our broker during; and subsequent to; our purchase experience,” she continued. “He is the consummate professional, to the extent of staying patient with over nine months and a library’s worth of questions (no small feat). He has the rare gift of discernment and was able to ferret out issues with the selling broker that gave us a competitive advantage in our negotiations, with which he is a master. He is knowledgeable about the smallest details, as well as being vastly connected with and able to connect us with other high-quality specialists as were needed. He was responsive on a level that we have almost never experienced with any of the so-called ‘professionals’ we have worked with (and there have been many); responding to calls, texts, and emails that were sent at all hours of the day and night. He would respond as soon as he was able; usually immediately; and always with either a direct answer or a resource where we could find an answer. We felt completely confident that he ‘had our back’ at every turn.”

It comes without surprise that Michael received yet another glowing review for this sale. Between his service, experience, and skill, the title of “Sailboat Broker of the Year” is well-deserved.

Michael shared his overall sentiments regarding the honor and his role as a yacht broker: “I take pride in the fact that I can draw upon my 18 years in shipyard repair and refit in order to help my clients in evaluating the true condition of a vessel as well as potential budgets to bring a boat back up to her full potential for their enjoyment.”

We, too, take pride in Michael and in sharing the news of his IYBA award. Congratulations to him and the whole Denison team!