Profile: Yacht Sourcing making it happen in Indonesia
The Covid era has been challenging for Yacht Sourcing, but recent sales of new Fountaine Pajot catamarans, the launch of the 50m Vela, and Bali opening to international tourism point to positive times ahead.
Boum Senous (centre) and office staff at Yacht Sourcing’s head office in Bali
In contrast to some yacht dealers in Hong Kong and even in Singapore, Covid hasn’t given Indonesia’s Yacht Sourcing a record surge in boat sales over the past couple of years. With business led by the company’s two Bali sites and its shipyard in Sulawesi, the company decided to close its smaller Jakarta office.
“It has been tough,” admits Boum Senous, co-founder and Director of the multi-faceted company, which has been headquartered in Bali since it was formed in 2016.
However, due to a knock-on effect of the pandemic, Senous is quietly confident Yacht Sourcing and the general yachting market in Indonesia is on the cusp of a new wave.
Yacht Sourcing recently launched the 50m Vela from its South Sulawesi shipyard
Two recent sales of new Fountaine Pajot catamarans to clients in Bali have been among highlights, while the Belgian is also happy to announce that he plans to re-establish Yacht Sourcing in Jakarta by opening a new office in the current capital later this year.
“It has been a difficult time for the industry in Indonesia, especially on the charter side, but I feel like there’s something happening here. I don’t think we’ve ever had as many leads as we’ve had recently. I feel like people are more interested in yachting because Covid has changed people’s way of thinking,” says Senous, who has lived in Indonesia for well over a decade.
Yacht Sourcing’s recent sales to clients in Bali include a new Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42
“Post Covid, people are realising how appealing having your own boat is, to sail away and sleep in a beautiful bay instead of being confined in an apartment in Singapore or Jakarta. The awareness of yachting is building here.”
BALI’S STOCK RISES
While Jakarta remains the country’s business hub and its biggest city, with over 10 million people, Senous is most excited by notable changes in Bali, which has over 4 million people and will host this year’s G20 summit from November 15-16.
Senous believes Covid has led some high earners to move from crowded cities to the ‘Island of Gods’ in a bid for a more relaxed lifestyle, with beaches, mountains and water close by. Meanwhile, ongoing developments include the high-profile Bali International Hospital in Sanur, which is set to be the country’s largest international hospital when it opens in 2023.
Senous has lived in Indonesia for well over a decade and co-founded Yacht Sourcing in 2016
“I know plenty of CEOs and bosses of big companies in the palm oil, coal and mining industries who have moved to Bali with their families over the past year or two. Many have moved to Bali and commute to Jakarta by plane. I even know a senior employee of a major bank in Hong Kong who moved to Bali because he wanted the change of lifestyle,” Senous says.
“I believe Jakarta will continue being a business hub, but Bali will increasingly be the place to keep boats and sail from. That’s why we need offices in both places, while we’re also noticing more interest from Kalimantan.”
Yacht Sourcing’s head office is north of Kuta and oversees new yacht sales, brokerage, charter and yacht management, while maintenance and repairs are handled by the company’s well-staffed service facility in Serangan harbour.
The 16m Kelana was refit by Yacht Sourcing and is also available for charter
Compared to the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore and Phuket, Bali remains small-scale in terms of yachting infrastructure, which includes the likes of the superyacht-friendly Benoa Marina and the nearby Royal Bali Yacht Club.
Facilities in neighbouring Lombok include Marina del Ray in the southwest and Marina Del Ray in the northwest, while across the water from Bali’s western tip is Boom Marina in Banyuwangi, on the east side of Java.
However, the most exciting potential is within the enormous Kura Kura development on Serangan Island, which is linked by a bridge to mainland Bali and its capital of Denpasar.
Kura Kura is set to transform the yachting scene in Bali when it opens
One of the country’s largest master-planned communities under construction, Kura Kura is a 500-hectare, tree-covered ‘eco-development’ including housing, shopping, cultural hubs and a marina slated to have over 100 berths.
“We need a big marina for Bali to move to the next level in yachting,” Senous says. “It’s all part of the government trying to make the island even more appealing to locals, foreign residents and visitors, with international-standard facilities.”
In fact, one of Yacht Sourcing’s new Fountaine Pajot owners is a newcomer to Bali who chose to move to the island from one of Asia’s big cities. The client ordered an Astrea 42, one of the two Fountaine Pajot sailing cats sold by Yacht Sourcing in the past half a year.
Yacht Sourcing sold a new Fountaine Pajot Tanna 47
The company’s recent sales also include the first unit of the Tanna 47 to be sold in Asia. The model is so new that the client, a long-time Bali resident, purchased it based on CGI renders of the model, which replaces the Saona 47.
“Both buyers trust the brand and bought models that suit the size they wanted for their family,” Senous says. “We’re having a lot of leads for Fountaine Pajot, both for sailing yachts and motor yachts.”
A Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42 has also been sold to Bali
Senous says catamarans could have a strong future in Indonesia and follow the likes of Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, where catamarans have proved very popular ways of cruising and exploring long coastlines and island chains.
“I believe Fountaine Pajot will do really well in Indonesia and we do have huge interest, as people are attracted to the basic benefits of catamarans, such as stability and far more space,” he says. “The other major selling point for powercats is fuel economy, which is why I think the brand’s motor yachts will also do well. There’s a bright future for catamarans in Indonesia, but we’re still at the beginning.”
The MY4.S is the new entry model for Fountaine Pajot motor yachts
Senous attended last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, where he saw the brand’s models and was particularly taken by the MY4.S, the new entry model for its motor yacht range, while other recent developments including an upgrade of the interiors of the MY5 and MY6.
“The new MY4.S is a beautiful motor yacht and I noticed they’ve really upgraded the interiors. I think their powercats work well for Indonesia because they’re ideal for people not that comfortable on a monohull, yet you’re not compromising on comfort because Fountaine Pajot has reached a high level of finish and luxury. We really want to push the motor yachts along with the sailing cats.”
Yacht Sourcing is particularly keen to promote the MY4.S in Indonesia
To build on the new interest, Yacht Sourcing is planning a major promotional event for Fountaine Pajot in Bali mid-year, having represented the brand in Indonesia since 2019.
Yacht Sourcing, whose portfolio also includes Dufour sailing yachts and Outborn RIBs, is distinguished from most dealers by owning a wooden-boat shipyard.
Yacht Sourcing also represents Dufour (above) and Outborn (below)
Located in Bira on the southeast tip of South Sulawesi, about 600km northeast of Bali, the shipyard builds yachts custom designed for clients and can work on up to three 30-60m hulls at a time.
Even during Covid, the construction and refit businesses have remained active and the shipyard recently launched the 50m Vela, which follows iconic charter phinisis such as the 55m Prana launched in 2018 and The Maj Oceanic, the 47m phinisi that splashed at the end of the following year.
Accommodation on the 55m Prana built by Yacht Sourcing
Prana and The Maj Oceanic are among yachts that Yacht Sourcing lists for charter, while the company still manages the 60m, 15-cabin Aqua Blue, set to resume operations on April 30.
In a similar way that the charter business has been slow during Covid due to the dramatic reduction in visitors to Indonesia, even local cruising has been hampered by changing regulations and different rules for different areas.
At 47m, The Maj Oceanic is among superyacht-sized phinisis built by Yacht Sourcing
Always looking forward, Yacht Sourcing has used the downtime to prepare for the future and is in the process of reorganising all its charter and management operations under a new company, By & Large, a collaboration with the company behind the popular Eight Degrees South restaurant in Bali.
“Yacht charter has been quiet for everyone here,” says Senous. “Now, with Bali opening to travellers from Singapore and elsewhere, I’m hoping we’ll receive a lot more visitors and people will start to look at chartering in Indonesia again.”
The French catamaran builder has extended its agreement with Yacht Sourcing as its dealer in Indonesia.