Read your Full copy
Read your Full copy
Read your Full copy
Read your Full copy

Asia's leading yachting lifestyle media

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Leaders

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of Thailand

TYBA President reflects on second Thailand Charter Week

TYBA President reflects on second Thailand Charter Week

SHARE

Ditapong Thitadilok, President of the Thai Yachting Business Association, talks about organising the first post-Covid Thailand Charter Week, which built on the inaugural edition in 2019.

  •  
  •  
  •  

 

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of ThailandDitapong Thitadilok, President of TYBA (Thai Yachting Business Association)

What were the major changes to this year’s Thailand Charter Week compared to the first edition three years ago?
The yachting industry has received more support from the Thai Government. Yachting has been included in the country’s strategic marine tourism plan and has been a critical mechanism for restoring the economy through tourism.

The Thai Government has officially allowed foreign superyachts to do charter business since early 2021. As a result, there has been much interest from superyachts to charter in Thai waters. The show also had a lot of interest and had three 30m-plus superyachts (click for article), which showed significant growth from 2019.

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of ThailandDitapong with Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn (second right), Minister of Tourism and Sports

What was the feedback from the Government Ministers, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Phuket authorities this year?
Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, fully supported the Thailand Charter Week and the yachting industry (click for article). He has encouraged Thailand Charter Week to become bigger and better next year. Images, video and other media content from this year’s Thailand Charter Week will be used to promote Thailand’s marine tourism globally.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Phuket province have also helped establish Thailand Charter Week on the event calendar. Thailand Charter Week has become a significant event for Thailand’s marine tourism.

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of ThailandVIPs at the Thailand Charter Week opening ceremony

What were the best aspects of this year’s Thailand Charter Week?
Support from government and private companies increased and there was a wider of variety of businesses, not just yachting. It means the marine industry has widened and can be a part of other industry groups. The best part of this year’s edition was the cooperation between TYBA members, the Government, charter brokers and local agents.

 

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of Thailand

 

Which parts of the Thailand Charter Week can be improved?
Announcing the event. We had limited time to prepare for this year’s Thailand Charter Week as there was still doubt about the exact plan to reopen Thailand to visitors and tourists. However, we expected to have more yachts and more international visitors. We will have more time to prepare for the 2023 edition. As organisers, we have already started a plan to make the event better.

 

Ditapong Thitadilok, President, TYBA, Thai Yachting Business Association, Thailand Charter Week, Thailand, Government, Phuket, Charter Week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of Thailand

 

Some potential exhibitors said they didn’t participate because all their yachts were being chartered. Do you think the Thailand Charter Week should be held at a different time?
We think this period is the best time for Thailand Charter Week. This year, some charter businesses were too busy because Thailand had just reopened fully since the Covid pandemic. We’re creating another marketing channel to allow companies and yachts that can’t attend Thailand Charter Week to communicate with visitors. Of course, all visitors can still contact the yachts, yacht management companies or central agents.
www.thaiyachtingbusinessassociation.com

SHARE

Julien Solari: Singapore thriving as a superyacht hub

Julien Solari: Singapore thriving as a superyacht hub

SHARE

In a Column for YACHT STYLE Issue 68, Simpson Marine’s Julien Solari reveals how Singapore is living up to its reputation as one of Asia’s key yachting hubs, with Sanlorenzo driving a lot of the city’s superyacht activity.

Julien Solari, Singapore, superyacht, hub, Sanlorenzo, Asia, YACHT STYLE, Issue 68, ONE°15 Marina, Sentosa Cove, Lady Candy, Benetti, Double Haven, Feadship, Petra Tara, Admiral, Alloy, 46Steel, SD96, SX88, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club

 

One of Asia’s leading financial centres, Singapore is a fantastic place for superyachts to dock and prepare for further exploration of the region. With its ideal location in the heart of Southeast Asia, it allows for easy access to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Last year, ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove – where Simpson Marine is based and has a dedicated Sanlorenzo Asia lounge – completed an upgrade and reconfiguration to increase the number of spaces for 80ft-plus superyachts from 15 to 33, including several 50m-plus berths in a dedicated superyacht area, facing the marina club.

This major project has significantly helped us to bring in more superyachts on a permanent basis, as berthing space is typically one of the major concerns of superyacht owners and captains in the region.

While there are many superyachts berthed at ONE°15 Marina including Lady Candy (Benetti), Double Haven (Feadship) and Petra Tara (Admiral), I am delighted to witness that Sanlorenzo superyachts currently take up almost half of the superyacht dock.

At present, Sanlorenzo superyachts include two 44.5m Alloy models, a 46Steel and an SD96, while an SX88 is joining them. One of the Alloy yachts features a custom layout, impeccable decoration by Christian Liaigre and a wide range of facilities that combine to give her owner an experience that might only be expected from a much larger yacht.

Among the Alloy model’s notable features is a 148sqm, three-level owner suite with a private terrace and pool. In recognition of her outstanding design, the Alloy was crowned as a winner in this year’s World Superyacht Awards, in the category of ‘Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts, 40m and above’.

Sanlorenzo has been building high-quality motor yachts since 1958 and has pushed its boundaries further and further since then, embracing languages and creative forms belonging to similar worlds such as design and art.

Aside from the global partnership with Art Basel, Sanlorenzo also works with world-renowned designers like Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Laura Sessa, Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel, John Pawson and more. With its growing desirability thanks to its uniqueness and limited production numbers, Sanlorenzo is currently the leading shipyard in the 24m-plus segment in Singapore.

In early October, we witnessed the arrival of two Sanlorenzo superyachts at ONE°15 Marina – an Alloy and the iconic SL86, while another Alloy is in Republic of Singapore Yacht Club. More will follow, with an SD118, SX100 and SX76 among models scheduled for delivery to owners in Southeast Asia in the coming months.

We’re also grateful to the owners and friends who have trusted us to help them find their dream yacht or their house on the sea. Our good relationships with owners have helped us in our continued efforts to grow interest for superyachts. We have some major deals for very large yachts that have not been announced yet and we remain positive superyachts have their firmly established Southeast Asia hub here in Singapore.

One piece of advice we usually share with future Sanlorenzo owners is to take delivery of their brand new yacht at the shipyard in Italy. It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy a season of scenic yachting in the Mediterranean, cruising around the Italian coast and south of France, visiting the likes of Sardinia and Corsica.

Other destinations include Spain’s Balearic Islands to the west or the Adriatic Sea to the east, with Croatia and Montenegro. Owners can enjoy gorgeous waters and a superb yachting lifestyle.

They can also attend the Cannes, Genoa and Monaco yacht shows on the Riviera in September and stay at anchor in one of the nice bays around the area. Subsequently, their yacht could head to the shipyard for a couple of weeks of warranty works before being shipped to its destination in Asia, just in time to enjoy Christmas and Chinese New Year festivities in the likes of Phuket or Singapore.

After two years of business impasse due to the pandemic, we’re observing much more activity than ever. The typical owner’s profile has shifted towards a younger buyer, active businessmen and entrepreneurs from various industries including tech.

Another interesting trend is the surge of Chinese citizens in Singapore, a trend that will probably continue to expand due to severe Covid-related restrictions ongoing in Mainland China and partially in Hong Kong. Singapore has smartly outpaced every major city in Asia, and that open, business-minded policy has been reflected in the superyacht industry.

There has never been a better time to consider your superyacht purchase in the Lion City. At Simpson Marine and Sanlorenzo Asia, we offer experience and expertise to make these projects a rewarding reality for our yacht owners.

JULIEN SOLARI

Julien Solari, Singapore, superyacht, hub, Sanlorenzo, Asia, YACHT STYLE, Issue 68, ONE°15 Marina, Sentosa Cove, Lady Candy, Benetti, Double Haven, Feadship, Petra Tara, Admiral, Alloy, 46Steel, SD96, SX88, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club

Julien Solari is Singapore Country Manager for Simpson Marine, Asia’s largest yacht dealership. Having studied business and management in France, Netherlands, Denmark and Italy, the Frenchman worked in Rotterdam for three years and spent four years as a yacht broker with The World of Yachting in Nice before joining Simpson Marine in Singapore in 2017. His recent sales have included several Sanlorenzo yachts. julien.solari@simpsonmarine.com / www.simpsonmarine.com

SHARE

Superyacht Financing, HSBC Global Private Banking, superyacht, market, rollercoaster, Jyrki Rauhio, Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific, Fraser, client, sale, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asia, megayacht, Hong Kong, Sai Kung, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Covid, HSBC Global Private Banking, risk

“You only live once” by HSBC Global Private Banking

SHARE

“You only live once” by HSBC Global Private Banking

SHARE

Even during a “rollercoaster” couple of years post Covid, the superyacht market in Asia has remained lively and HSBC Global Private Banking continues to help clients realise their dreams.

 

Superyacht Financing, HSBC Global Private Banking, superyacht, market, rollercoaster, Jyrki Rauhio, Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific, Fraser, client, sale, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asia, megayacht, Hong Kong, Sai Kung, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Covid, HSBC Global Private Banking, risk

Jyrki Rauhio, Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific, HSBC Global Private Banking

 

Asia may not be the world’s most developed superyacht region, but it does have a dynamic new generation of owners, many of whom have been inspired to purchase in the Covid era. In fact, a superyacht as a first boat is more common in this region than in the rest of the world, where owners typically upgrade through a series of increasingly large yachts before taking the plunge and buying above 80ft or 100ft.

 

HSBC Global Private Banking, which has a long history of helping finance and structure superyacht purchases around Asia, revealed that earlier this year it helped a client buy a 100ft-plus yacht valued in the region of US$10 million – impressive for a first boat.

 

“In Asia, someone’s first yacht may be a 100-footer and our client’s first was above that length. It’s a very nice vessel,” says Jyrki Rauhio, HSBC Global Private Banking’s Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific. “Usually, most buyers would have had several boats before buying a superyacht, but the fact he’s spending US$10 million on his first shows the difference in the market here.”

 

Stressing how Covid has inspired a strong feeling of carpe diem, he cites a Hong Kong-based tycoon who has been involved in a lengthier purchase of what could be termed a megayacht. Built in Italy, it should be delivered in 2023 and has a value close to US$100 million.

 

“He wanted to realise a dream,” Rauhio says. “His yacht is of a serious size, but it’s a great example of a project that has been built during Covid for somebody who wanted to realise their dream. Once he gets it, he can enjoy using it far more widely than just cruising around Hong Kong.”

 

ROLLERCOASTER MARKET

Rauhio, whose job scope covers Asia Pacific, says the mindset of people in the region has been influenced by a reaction to the Covid era’s restrictions, much as it has elsewhere in the world.

 

“Everybody’s world view has changed in the last couple of years. People have altered the way they approach life, family, work, holidays and so on. There has been a feeling of ‘you live only once’,” he says. “As such, many yacht dealers have done very good business and it has also been evident in the supercar market”.

 

For all the upsides in the ‘trophy assets’ sector, Rauhio admits that the overall superyacht financing market spanning the various countries and regions across Asia “has been a very interesting rollercoaster, with ups and downs”.

 

“We’ve closed deals and we’re working on more, but it has been an interesting two or three years and the gyrations have been huge, as have the regional discrepancies.”

 

In Hong Kong, the yachting market picked up quickly in 2020 after the initial fear of Covid waned, leading to record yacht sales for many dealers and brokers. However, Rauhio says the post-Covid boom in the yachting market has slowed a little, coinciding with more restrictions at the start of the year and a more unsettled business climate.

 

“Soon after Covid began, people started getting interested in boats and many were sold in the secondary market. This was when [interest] rates were still low. Our clients came to us for funding and there was a lot of activity; we issued plenty of term sheets and closed quite a few deals,” he says.

 

“People getting on their boats and cruising around Sai Kung or elsewhere was the closest they had to a mini-holiday for the first couple of years of Covid.

 

“However, that euphoria has cooled a little. Coming into 2022, we moved into higher rates and more uncertainty, with people wondering whether buying a yacht was a good idea. Quite a lot of the people looking at these large yachts had their businesses face headwinds and had better use for their cash, although we’re still working on multiple transactions in Hong Kong.”

 

Rauhio says his recent travels around Southeast Asia have given him cause for optimism and gives examples of how overall wealth in Asia and around the world continues to grow.

 

“I’ve recently been in Jakarta, Singapore and Manila, and business prospects look pretty good, people are enjoying themselves, so I think the superyacht sector will continue doing reasonably well, although it’s subject to the market,” he says.

 

“The number of people holding US$250,000 in Vietnam, the Philippines and India will more than double by 2030, according to HSBC research. It’s an example of how wealth in this region will continue to grow, despite how the markets perform and geopolitical happenings. It’s an unstoppable trend and with it comes a desire for assets like yachts and other items.”

 

Superyacht Financing, HSBC Global Private Banking, superyacht, market, rollercoaster, Jyrki Rauhio, Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific, Fraser, client, sale, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asia, megayacht, Hong Kong, Sai Kung, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Covid, HSBC Global Private Banking, risk

CGI c/o Fraser

 

QUESTION TIME

In Hong Kong late last year, HSBC Global Private Banking invited clients to visit and tour three motor yachts up to about 120ft in Deep Water Bay in an event organised with a local dealer. Rauhio was happy to see the reaction of clients, but believes potential owners should think long and hard before committing to such a purchase.

 

“The clients loved it, having champagne and canapes, and spending a day on a very nice yacht. It can potentially stir an impulse purchase, but clients should ask whether it makes sense for them on more than just an emotional level.”

 

He also cautions potential owners who may have first enjoyed yachting in the Mediterranean or Caribbean, especially if they assume a similar infrastructure for superyachts exists in Asia.

 

“If their first experience was on a holiday or charter in the Med or the Caribbean, they may have thought owning a yacht is a great idea,” he says. “It is a great idea in the Med, where you can easily go from port to port, but in Asia, you need to think realistically about how you can and want to use your yacht and where you want to go.”

 

A yacht is also very different from most other trophy assets, especially passive ones such as art or luxury watches. A superyacht is in a different cost bracket to supercars and is only partly comparable to a private jet. The rule of thumb for annual running costs of a superyacht is up to 10 per cent of the purchase price, once you include crew, insurance, berthing, fuel, maintenance and more.

 

“A yacht is a very complex asset to own, even more complex than a plane. You must keep a plane airworthy, but it’s highly regimented and regulated, and can be overseen by a management company. In the boat industry, certainly in Asia, it’s not plug and play, and it can be a complex process to find the right people, suppliers and support,” he says.

 

“The running costs are quite a large cash outflow, which is fine if you have enormous cashflow coming in, as many of our clients do. For most of our clients, it’s not a question of whether you’re rich enough but whether you really want to spend this kind of money on this asset. Do you want to get involved in all the costs and hassles of ownership?”

 

PERSONAL CHOICE

However, once a buyer has committed to purchase, HSBC Global Private Banking works with clients on how best to structure any purchase and how to set up ownership, and even – if needed – to help discuss the type of yacht they wish to buy.

 

Choosing a yacht can involve discussions about pre-owned, new or custom build, special features and size, which can be a personal choice or based on the owner’s plans, such as whether it will be used for long journeys and ocean crossings. The choices are far more varied and complicated than when choosing a private jet, when it’s far clearer how the client is likely use it.

 

“For a plane, a client may typically fly within Asia or to Europe or New York, and estimate that they fly 20 or so times a year, for example. Based on usage, you determine the size and narrow it down to a few options,” he says.

 

“Planes are more limited than yachts, where we have more of an advisory relationship. A yacht purchase is more emotional and the options for design and customisation are endless.”

 

He also cites a client in Australia as an example of someone who knew what he was looking for and how he was going to use it. Rauhio visited the client’s house in Sydney and was amazed at the personal involvement in the design of his upcoming yacht.

 

“He had a beautiful house and one of the rooms was full of blueprints of the yacht, which measures a couple of hundred feet. He had all these blueprints taped around the walls, so that was like his design room. He got very deeply involved in the actual customisation of his yacht.

 

“When you get to that level of involvement, you know all the questions have been answered. He then used this yacht to travel between continents, cross oceans, going up the coast from the Panama Canal to Alaska.”

 

Superyacht Financing, HSBC Global Private Banking, superyacht, market, rollercoaster, Jyrki Rauhio, Regional Head of Credit Advisory, Asia Pacific, Fraser, client, sale, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Asia, megayacht, Hong Kong, Sai Kung, Jakarta, Singapore, Manila, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Covid, HSBC Global Private Banking, risk

CGI c/o Fraser

 

STRUCTURING AN ACQUISITION

Once a yacht has been identified, discussions revolve around how to structure a purchase. For starters, HSBC’s yacht financing is not about enabling purchase. Clients typically can afford the outlay and the yacht sits within a large portfolio of hard and soft assets.

 

“The important question for the client is, ‘Do you really want to tie up your capital for the full value of the yacht? Then you get into what we do, and this is where the financing angle comes in,” says Rauhio, who admits such discussions are a little more complex now than even just a year ago, when rates were lower.

 

“If you’re a successful businessperson, tying up US$50 million in an asset that yields a negative cashflow is not necessarily a smart thing. You’d rather release some liquidity from that and invest it in something that brings you a positive cashflow to help offset the cost of ownership.

 

“As we stress, our yacht financing is not about enabling purchase but about making your money and equity sweat harder. If you earn a 10 per cent yield on your capital in your primary activity, then even with these rates, financing makes a lot of sense while using your hard-earned cash possibly doesn’t.”

 

The structures of yacht financing and ownership can vary widely. Rauhio says the tycoon who ordered a yacht valued at close to US$100 million was looking how to best finance it and structure the acquisition. HSBC Global Private Banking arranged pre-delivery financing, approving a facility against the project, and has separately arranged delivery financing.

 

“He’s a very good client of ours and has substantial assets. We enabled him to finance the entire construction period so when the project is realised, he will take delivery, but he has been mostly using our money to build it. He then effectively puts in the equity at the end,” Rauhio says.

 

“We take a fair amount of risk, but because of our deep and long-term relationship with this HSBC Group connected client, we were happy to take that risk.”

 

Otherwise, financing structures can be more straightforward, with options including placing the boat in a trust, depending on the client and family estate. Rauhio says the financing for the first-time buyer of a US$10 million yacht was about 50 per cent LTV (loan to value).

 

“Basically, we need a borrower and a guarantor. Typically, you establish an SPV (special purpose vehicle) to hold and own the boat. The SPV becomes the borrower and there’s a personal guarantee by the client,” he says.

 

“It can make sense for a family estate to hold it in an SPV, especially if you charter the yacht. All the running costs and assets are in one place, and it can be run as a mini company, which can be used to hire the crew and make and receive all other payments.”

 

HSBC has also, with prior approval, put clients in touch with other clients who have been through the process, for advice and learnings.

 

“We can connect you with others going through the same thing,” Rauhio says. “Maybe you want to have a discussion with a like-minded millionaire locally in Asia to discuss how they did this, as opposed to having a Zoom call with somebody offshore, for example. That’s an advantage.”

 

Ultimately, HSBC Global Private Banking has the on-ground expertise and experience across Asia to help clients make their money work for them, offsetting some of the large costs of what’s often seen as the ultimate trophy asset but also one that can be used as a working ‘home away from home’ when required.

 

“As a wealth partner, we’re here to help enable our clients to do it. We even had one client who had both a yacht and a plane, and if you want to go down the trophy asset lane, we can even finance the art you want to put in your yacht,” Rauhio smiles.

 

“It’s all part of your wealth and we want to accompany you on your wealth journey, whether it’s hard or soft assets, commercial or leisure. If you’re thinking about a yacht, I’d encourage you to engage with us. It’s worth a discussion.”

www.privatebanking.hsbc.com

 

Disclaimer: Investments in emerging markets may be extremely volatile and subject to sudden fluctuations of varying magnitude due to a wide range of direct and indirect influences. Such characteristics can lead to considerable losses being incurred by those exposed to such markets. This article is not a personalised communication from HSBC to you and does not constitute and should not be construed as legal, tax or investment advice or a solicitation of the sale or recommendation of any product or service. You should not make any investment decisions based mainly or solely on this article. All investments involve risks and may experience upward or downward movements and may even become valueless.

Issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

 

Meme Poon, Grandtech International Engineering, Volvo Penta, IPS, inboard performance system, dealer, Hong Kong, Tasha Ling, Ruby Law, Kolen But, Wendy Lee, Sun Hing Shipyard, Azimut, Absolute, Princess, Galeon, Sessa, Dufour, Jeanneau, Hanse, Rieckermann Pharmatech, Chun Yip Industrial, Jebsen Industrial Technology, Kwai Chung Container Terminals

Grandtech’s Meme Poon: Heading Volvo Penta in Hong Kong

Grandtech’s Meme Poon: Heading Volvo Penta in Hong Kong

SHARE

As founder and General Manager of Grandtech International Engineering, Meme Poon heads the Hong Kong dealer for Volvo Penta engines, a fixture for several leading luxury yacht builders.

 

Meme Poon, Grandtech International Engineering, Volvo Penta, IPS, inboard performance system, dealer, Hong Kong, Tasha Ling, Ruby Law, Kolen But, Wendy Lee, Sun Hing Shipyard, Azimut, Absolute, Princess, Galeon, Sessa, Dufour, Jeanneau, Hanse, Rieckermann Pharmatech, Chun Yip Industrial, Jebsen Industrial Technology, Kwai Chung Container Terminals

 

What services does Grandtech International Engineering provide for Volvo Penta?

Grandtech is the authorised dealer of Volvo Penta industrial and marine engines in Hong Kong, although over 95 per cent of our business is for private yachts and five per cent is for industrial engines.

 

We handle the supply of spare parts, while our service team can handle pre-delivery commissioning (PDC) for new engines, annual general maintenance, ad hoc repairs, replacing of long block engines and overhaul of engine services. We typically handle an average of 20 PDCs for new boats every year, but in 2021 we recorded over 30.

 

What are the most popular Volvo Penta products in Hong Kong?

Volvo Penta IPS (inboard performance system) is the most popular drive in Hong Kong. It has lower emissions, lower fuel consumption, higher speeds and lower perceived noise level. The joystick for easy boating is perhaps the most well-known feature of Volvo Penta IPS.

 

Which yacht brands and dealers do you work with?

We work with many dealers including those representing Azimut, Absolute, Princess, Galeon, Sessa, Dufour, Jeanneau and Hanse. All Absolute and Sessa models use IPS, while Azimut and Princess, for example, use a mix of IPS and other Volvo Penta drives.

  •  
  •  
  •  

Can you outline your boating background in Hong Kong and how you joined the yachting industry?

I had no idea about yachts before I joined Jebsen Industrial, although I had some experience of windsurfing and sailing boats during school summer holidays in Hong Kong. I later obtained an Advanced Diploma in China Business and a Bachelor of Management Studies.

 

I had been a Senior Secretary at Rieckermann Pharmatech and Executive Secretary at Chun Yip Industrial before joining Jebsen Industrial Technology in 2009 as Personal Assistant to the BU Director. Later our BU had a structural change and set up a new customer service team to handle the whole order processing including enquiries, quotations, preparations, contracts, logistics and billing.

 

As Head of Customer Service from 2012, I oversaw the operation team for China and Hong Kong. In 2016, I was promoted to Sales Manager of the Volvo Penta service team, which was my first time working in the boating industry. In this new post, I had to use both my experience of machinery service at Rieckermann Pharmatech and customer service at Jebsen.

 

What did you learn in this new role with Volvo Penta?

I learned a lot of new things, such as going to Kwai Chung Container Terminals to accompany yacht dealers receiving new power boats. Our team checked the engines and installed the propellers. I saw the surveyor inspecting the boat and shipyard workers installing the flybridge accessories. It was amazing teamwork between all the different parties.

 

Meme Poon, Grandtech International Engineering, Volvo Penta, IPS, inboard performance system, dealer, Hong Kong, Tasha Ling, Ruby Law, Kolen But, Wendy Lee, Sun Hing Shipyard, Azimut, Absolute, Princess, Galeon, Sessa, Dufour, Jeanneau, Hanse, Rieckermann Pharmatech, Chun Yip Industrial, Jebsen Industrial Technology, Kwai Chung Container Terminals

 

After Jebsen Industrial closed, how did you continue representing Volvo Penta in Hong Kong?

Sadly, Jebsen decided to suspend its cooperation with Volvo Penta in 2017, closing most industrial business lines. In Hong Kong, Volvo Penta had a third of the market share of marine engines, from sail boats to 100ft motor yachts.

 

We had loyal technicians who had been working on Volvo Penta engines since 1993. I believed our team could continue to support our customers in Hong Kong, so I established Grandtech and started to discuss the business plan with Volvo Penta and Jebsen.

 

How has IPS evolved since its introduction in 2005?

The first generations were IPS 1, 2 and 3, but now it’s IPS 10, 15, 20 and 30. IPS is always developing and the range is expanding. New advantages are related to electronic vessel control (EVC) and accessory functions.

 

IPS10, for example, fully integrates the engines, electronics and EVC features with the glass cockpit, and has joystick docking, electronic shift and throttle, low-speed control, and support for triple engine application. Options include the joystick, autopilot with joystick driving, and dynamic positioning system (DPS). There’s also support for the Easy Connect app and maintenance assistance with service alert.

 

Meme Poon, Grandtech International Engineering, Volvo Penta, IPS, inboard performance system, dealer, Hong Kong, Tasha Ling, Ruby Law, Kolen But, Wendy Lee, Sun Hing Shipyard, Azimut, Absolute, Princess, Galeon, Sessa, Dufour, Jeanneau, Hanse, Rieckermann Pharmatech, Chun Yip Industrial, Jebsen Industrial Technology, Kwai Chung Container Terminals

 

New features in the IPS transmission include a high-capacity oil filter with pressure sensors that detect a clogged filter, oil-level sensor and water-in-the-oil sensor, while the oil exchange is done from inside the vessel.

 

Why is IPS popular?

A few of the many benefits when comparing to inboard shafts are up to a 40 per cent longer cruising range, 20 per cent higher top speed, 30 per cent reduced fuel consumption, 30 per cent less CO2 emissions and 50 per cent lower perceived noise. It’s easy to install and allows for more onboard space.

 

Along with spare parts and repairs, what else does Grandtech offer?

We offer preventive maintenance, which Volvo Penta recommends every 12 months. We stock all regular items – engine oil, filter, belt, transmission oil, coolant, zinc anode and so on – that are required for general maintenance of inboard engines from D1-D13.

 

We also stock items like sensors, PCUs (powertrain control units), sealing ring for drives and steering cylinders for ad hoc repair services. I should emphasise that preventive maintenance is very important for the performance and shelf life of an engine.

www.grtech.com.hk

www.volvopenta.com

 

 

SHARE

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Covid

Aquila Power Catamarans: 10 Years, 10 Questions

Aquila Power Catamarans: 10 Years, 10 Questions

SHARE

With Aquila celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Brand Manager Alain Raas sits down with YACHT STYLE to answer 10 questions about the builder’s rapid path to the top of the powercat market.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Covid

Alain Raas, Brand Manager, Aquila

 

1. With Aquila marking a decade since it was founded by MarineMax and Sino Eagle in 2012, the brand exhibited all six of its current models together for the first time at this year’s Miami International Boat Show. What are the plans for upcoming shows?

Yes, we’re ready to again show all six of our models at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 26-30), so will be displaying the 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht and 70 Luxury. We’re also teasing two upcoming models, the 42 Yacht and the 47 Molokai, which are going to continue the amazing growth and success of Aquila.

 

We also have some very exciting news and information in terms of the development of our E-Motion hybrid power package on the 70 Luxury. The plan is then to show all six of our current models and the new 42 Yacht at the next Miami International Boat Show (February 15-19, 2023), while the 47 Molokai will also debut in 2023.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Covid

CGI of Aquila 42 Yacht

 

2. How does the 42 Yacht design make it different to other Aquila models?

The Aquila 42 Yacht will be a completely new model, with naval architecture firm VPLP (Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost) at the forefront of following in the Aquila DNA. The various cabin configurations and power-package options make her a unique offering for the private owner as well as yacht charter programmes throughout the world.

 

The 42 is also a new introductory model for our Yacht range, further enhancing our robust product offering and presenting our loyal client base with a more affordable opportunity to move up to our flybridge models. Aquila is excited to be leading the tremendous growth in the power catamaran market after 10 years, and we continue to push the limits of our design and development teams to remain at the forefront.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila 36 Sport

 

 3. Aquila’s best-selling models are the 36 Sport and 44 Yacht, which sit below and above the 42 Yacht in the size range. Can you indicate the sales to date of the 36 and 44, and how these models rank globally among cruiser and flybridge powercat models? 
Combined, the 36 Sport and 44 Yacht have sold 380 units, which is a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time. Both models are consistently at the top of domestic and/or global rankings and have helped Aquila become the world’s No. 1 power catamaran brand among private owners. Orders for both stretch into the later part of 2023 and we don’t see foresee demand waning any time soon.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Covid

Aquila 44 Yacht

 

Both models offer the Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™ option, providing clients with exceptional range and efficiency. Our 36 Sport owners can achieve up to 30-40 per cent gains in efficiency and range, which is amazing, while the heavier 44 Yacht gains roughly 20 per cent, tremendous for such a large yacht. Aquila’s belief is to build efficient hulls and then improve the platform with new technologies.

 

4. Can you tell us more about the Hydro Glide Foil System™, which was first made available as an option on the Aquila 36 Sport?

Aquila’s DNA includes focusing on hull designs that provide optimal efficiency, unmatched in the industry, at both displacement as well as cruising speeds. Our Hydro Glide Foil System™ is at the forefront of that innovation on our Aquila 36 Sport, resulting in a third of the model’s current sales selecting the foil package.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila Hydro Glide Foil system

 

Innovation and efficiency are symbiotic to enhance new technologies that continue to evolve at Aquila as we continue to expand the offering of this option on other models, including the 44 Yacht. In the recreational boating space, Aquila is the No. 1 manufacturer for the foil system on privately owned power catamarans.

 

5. Can you indicate how well the 54 Yacht and 70 Luxury have sold across the globe?

Both the Aquila 54 Yacht and 70 Luxury have had unprecedented success since coming to market in early 2021. Both models are highly sought after globally, with sold units on order for the next 24 months.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Covid

Aquila 54 Yacht with Aquila tender

 

6. Can you update us on Asia sales of these two large models. 
Sales in Asia and the Middle East continue to grow for our two largest models, with robust deliveries already on the calendar through 2024.

7. What has been the market response to the 28 Molokai, both globally and in Asia?

Having launched in December 2021 and debuted at the Miami show this February, the momentum for our two new Molokai offshore models – the standard version with centre console as well as the Cuddy version – continues to grow, with orders already confirmed for Australia, Malaysia and Thailand.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila 28 Molokai

 

Outside of Asia, we’re shipping to Italy, France, Spain, Canada and beyond. In the US, sales and deliveries are growing daily for both models.

 

8. Is Aquila looking to implement any ‘green tech’ such as solar panels and lithium batteries as a standard option on its models? 
As the technology matures throughout the world, Aquila is uniquely positioned to incorporate green technologies such as electric power, lithium batteries, hybrid options and others. However, it’s important for Aquila that these technologies can be supported throughout the world and don’t detract from the speed and performance that our owners demand.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila 70 Luxury

 

Aquila is a firm believer in partnering efficient hull designs, innovations such as our Hydro Glide Foil System™, and green technology to provide our owners with a unique ability to travel the world’s waters efficiently. As such, we’re very excited as we prepare to introduce the e-Motion Hybrid System into our Aquila 70 Luxury product line, with plans to expand the technology to other select Aquila models soon.

 

9. How do Aquila’s projected production and sales figures for 2022 and 2023 compare to the ‘Covid years’?

Pre and post-Covid production and sales remain strong and maintain Aquila’s position as the world’s number one power catamaran manufacturer. Global supply-chain challenges related or unrelated to Covid certainly have been exhaustive and challenging for every boat manufacturer.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila 32 Sport

 

However, Aquila has done an exceptional job leveraging our experienced logistics and manufacturing teams as well as unequalled distribution teams and partners throughout the world to mitigate these challenges. We continue to stay ahead of these challenges to ensure consistent and reliable delivery of our boats worldwide.

 

10. How do you expect the catamaran sector to continue growing within the yacht industry compared to the likes of monohull motor and sail boats? 
Depending on each owner’s need for their water adventures, there’s a boat for everyone today. However, you only need to browse through the pages of industry magazines or walk the docks at any boat show or local marina to witness the continued growth of catamarans around the world.

 

Aquila, Power Catamarans, 10 Years, 10 Questions, interview, Leader, Yacht Style, Alain Raas, 28 Molokai, 32 Sport, 36 Sport, 44 Yacht, 54 Yacht, 70 Luxury, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami International Boat Show, VPLP, Marc Van Peteghem, Vincent Lauriot Prevost, Simpson Marine, Asia, Aquila Hydro Glide Foil™, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, CovidAquila production facility

 

The growing popularity is understandable. The wide beam of catamarans offers both more stability and greater interior volume. I’d estimate that a 60ft cat is roughly equal in volume to a 90ft monohull. A catamaran also offers separation of guest cabins between the two hulls, which can be another plus.

 

Other benefits include a shallow draft, which means you can access areas monohulls can’t, while the catamaran’s length compared to its volume means good value in terms of by-the-foot berthing fees in marinas. In fact, the global growth of powercats is now being seen in the development and design of marinas around the world, as more work to accommodate catamaran designs.

www.aquilaboats.com

www.simpsonmarine.com


SHARE

Carmen Lau: Leading Lady

Carmen Lau: Leading Lady

SHARE

Having had a job offer with a ‘big four’ accounting firm, Carmen Lau instead decided to take “the adventurous route” by joining a Chinese shipyard in 2004. It was the start of a multi-faceted yachting career that has seen the Hong Kong-born, Canada-educated Lau develop into one of Asia’s leading superyacht specialists.

 

Carmen Lau, Senior Advisor, Camper & Nicholsons

 

Now a Senior Advisor at Camper & Nicholsons after working in the superyacht industry for 18 years, Carmen Lau still gets excited about the Monaco Yacht Show. She thinks she has attended the superyacht spectacle “over a dozen times” starting in 2004, when she was a wide-eyed Marketing Manager for Kingship Marine and new to the industry.

 

Celebrating its 240th anniversary this year, Camper & Nicholsons has a strong line-up at Monaco including the 65m Feadship Callisto, 55m Baglietto C and two of the largest sailing yachts at Quai l’Hirondelle – the 51m Royal Huisman Borkumriff IV (2002) and 45m Perini Navi Blush (2007).

 

“I’m excited every time I go to the Monaco Yacht Show, with new yachts and new ideas in the yachting world all showcased in a wonderful setting,” Carmen says. “It’s great to see the harbour filled with all these renowned superyachts because I feel like I’m watching horse racing and trying to spot the winner for my clients!”

 

START OF A LONG JOURNEY

Her own listings within Camper & Nicholsons have expanded this year to include the new 36.6m Tecnomar Evo 120 Lucy and the remarkable CLX96, the 29.5m CL Yachts flagship that will have its world premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 26-30).

 

Carmen in Monaco in 2022

 

Carmen, whose CAs also include the 41m aluminium powercat Royal Falcon One and 29.6m Horizon Victorious (2010), has come a long way in the industry. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she moved to Canada when she was 15 to attend high school and then the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Business Administration.

 

Returning to Hong Kong, she worked briefly as an accountant and helped set up an online book store before deciding to embark on a serious career path. Deloitte formally offered her a job as an auditor, presenting a secure career pathway with one of the world’s ‘big four’ accountancy firms.

 

Meanwhile, Roger Liang, who founded Kingship in 2004, was looking for a marketing manager who would spend much of the week at his shipyard in Zhongshan, a ferry ride from Hong Kong.

 

At the 2004 Monaco Yacht Show

 

“One job offered a steady career path, and the other was a very adventurous route for me,” she said of the Kingship offer. “I had to be based in China and sometimes in the Hong Kong office, but it promised a lot of travel, with the opportunity to work across Asia, Europe and US. I thought was a fantastic opportunity.”

 

With Deloitte pressing for an answer, Liang offered Carmen the position of Marketing Manager and it was to prove a fantastic starting role for an industry newcomer, even if it tested her nerves on occasion.

 

Three weeks after she started, she received an 8pm call in the office from a serious prospect asking about the Expedition 110 yacht. Excited by the call, she was later among a team who later met Kingship’s first client, his captain and his engineer at the 2004 Monaco Yacht Show, where Kingship had a booth.

 

At the 2004 Monaco Yacht Show with Yacht Style’s Olivier Burlot (second left) and Kingship’s Roger Liang (far right)

 

“I had a very hands-on job. My first role was Marketing Manager, but I also helped the sales team and became Sales & Marketing Manager. Roger gave me a lot of flexibility and responsibility,” says Carmen, who visited the Monaco show and Cannes Yachting Festival regularly with Kingship, also travelling to Florida for work.

 

“I was also working in accounts and purchase, got involved in production and the build schedule, and every day I would go into the shipyard and meet with the workers. Roger taught me a lot, including regulations from MCA to Lloyd’s.”

 

WING TAI TO BENETTI

Her career steadily progressed, as she was headhunted for a series of roles that all expanded her expertise across different aspects of the industry.

 

From 2008 to 2011, she was Manager of Wing Tai corporation, where she represented the Hong Kong company on their multiple yacht projects. Her first role was to retrieve a 45m superyacht from a bankrupt yard in Denmark and bring it back to Hong Kong for completion.

 

STCW course at Warsash Maritime School in Southampton

 

“My first task was to speak to the lawyers and various experts, find a settlement with the court, and extract the boat from the shipyard. I flew to Aarhus in Denmark, settled the crew and went through the papers,” Carmen says.

 

“I was working for a very experienced and knowledgeable owner who knows every aspect of yachts. From this experience, I understood the importance of contracts and details, the mentality of an owner, as well as various ways to negotiate contracts and prepare budgets.”

 

Carmen also acted as an owner’s representative on a 27m Kingship launched in 2010 and a 46m Sanlorenzo. Her responsibilities included overseeing the build processes, working with the captain to ensure the projects were on schedule and built to specification and class, take delivery of the yachts on behalf of the owners, and continue to manage the yachts after acceptance.

 

At the 2012 Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference in Singapore as Benetti’s Asia Marketing Manager

 

In 2011, following an approach from Benetti CEO Vincenzo Poerio, Carmen joined the Italian shipyard’s new Asia office in Hong Kong as its Marketing Manager, working in a small team under General Manager Giordano Pellacani. The role included managing all marketing and sales promotion activities, participation at boat shows and events, and supporting local and after-sales activities.

 

Within three years, the new office had sold four Benetti yachts to Asia including two 56m superyachts, while the role also included marketing Azimut’s new Grande range of superyachts.

 

“I helped with looking after the clients and supporting sales activities,” says Carmen, whose experience grew with an STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) course at Warsash Maritime School at Solent University in Southampton.

 

Enjoying the 2012 Benetti Yachtmaster in Italy

 

“I also learnt a lot about crew requirements and the maintenance of superyachts. In Hong Kong, many crew came from smaller boats and yachts and didn’t have formal training in terms of safety, maintenance and services on board. There weren’t many experienced crew in Asia 10 years ago and I realised there was a lack of yacht management services in Asia.”

 

CONSULTANCY TO CAMPER

In 2014, after three years with Benetti and following the birth of her first child, Carmen founded Lighthouse Yacht Management, starting with four yachts across Europe and Hong Kong for Asian owners including Lai Sun Chairman Dr Peter Lam. Lighthouse’s services included yacht management, property management, contract consultation, brokerage and charter.

 

“I saw a strong demand for a tailor-made yacht service for Asian owners who looked at yachting from an Asian perspective,” says Carmen, who also had a second child during this period.

 

Inspecting the 37m Zeepaard in Palma in 2015

 

“I managed the crews with the captains, helped to organise each owner’s trip, prepared the overhead budget, and managed the annual maintenance work for the fleet of managed yachts. Then, after Lai Sun bought Camper & Nicholsons, Dr Lam asked me to join him.”

 

Lai Sun Development, part of the Lai Sun Group, became a major shareholder of Camper & Nicholsons in October 2016 and early the following year Carmen was appointed to head the company’s new Asia business from its Hong Kong office.

 

As Managing Director and a Board Member of Camper & Nicholsons Asia, she helped the company expand its staff and enter new markets across Asia-Pacific, growing its charter, management and brokerage services among Asia-based clients.

 

Speaking at ASMEX 2019 in Australia

 

It was Carmen’s most high-profile role and required overseeing an experienced team including many seasoned industry veterans, while also travelling regularly to see her family and children in the UK.

 

“I’ve enjoyed being on the front line, serving the most top-tier yacht owners in Asia. I travelled regularly across the region including Australia, Thailand and Japan, and during Covid I kept travelling extensively, across Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong,” she says.

 

“It was a valuable experience working for a listed company in Hong Kong and finding the alignment with a now 240-year-old company in Europe. I prepared financial reports, business proposals and set budgets. It’s intriguing to work on the corporate side of business, but I find most enjoyment when I work directly with owners and talk about their yacht projects.”

 

As Managing Director of Camper & Nicholsons Asia at a company cocktail evening in 2020

 

After her four-year term finished in 2021, during a complicated time for business and travel due to Covid, her position at the company changed to Senior Advisor, so she could focus on attending to her clients’ needs.

 

MAJOR TRANSACTIONS

Carmen prefers the title ‘Senior Advisor’ to ‘Broker’, believing the latter has far more pressure to sell. She doesn’t see herself as a salesman but as someone who remains hands-on through all stages of a project, representing an owner’s interests before, during and even after ownership.

 

Carmen secured the 67m Global on behalf of an Asian owner in 2020

 

In fact, Carmen secured her first personal superyacht sale while still running Lighthouse Yacht Management, having travelled across Europe to conclude the deal for Zeepaard, the 37.2m JFA Yachts expedition yacht.

 

“This was a fun project. I travelled to Palma to inspect the yacht, then visited the yacht with the potential buyer in Italy, did her survey in Croatia and took delivery in Greece!”

 

Another of Carmen’s favourite transactions was the 67m US-built Global, which was launched in 1982, converted into a luxury expedition yacht by Shadow Marine in 2007, and features an enormous crane for a submarine.

 

The Azimut Grande 35 Metri in Hong Kong

 

Carmen secured the purchase on behalf of an Asian owner in Fort Lauderdale in January 2020 before the yacht eventually made its way to Asia during a difficult time for shipping due to the global spread of Covid.

 

In the past couple of years, she has been involved in a series of major transactions for Camper & Nicholsons including a 66m brokerage sale in collaboration with another brokerage house and consecutive sales of a new Azimut Grande 35 Metri.

 

Lau’s sales with C&N include the 43m Feadship Eclipse

 

Carmen also represented the buyer of the 43m Feadship Eclipse, which arrived in Hong Kong in early 2022 and was sold by C&N Senior Broker Alex Lees-Buckley, marking his fifth time selling the 141ft custom build from its launch in 1993.

 

Last year, Carmen handled the purchase of a newly designed 24m Gentleman’s Yacht being built by Codecasa and scheduled for delivery to Asia in 2023. Inspired by 1950s and 1960s designs, the yacht was conceived by designer Luca Dini, has an aluminium hull and features a mahogany finish.

 

The 24m Gentlemen’s Yacht by Codecasa is due in 2023

 

“The client is a very experienced owner who has owned a lot of yachts. Actually, he was the one who saw an image of the Gentleman’s Yacht, thought it was beautiful and asked me to follow up with Codecasa,” says Carmen, who is also currently handling multiple confidential new builds

 

TRUSTED REPRESENTATIVE

The number and scale of such transactions illustrate the respect and trust Carmen has earned in the elite world of Asia’s superyacht owners but also her wide-ranging experience that she has steadily built up across 18 years in the industry.

 

With C&N colleagues at Codecasa inspecting the 24m Gentlemen’s Yacht

 

“Some brokers can get excitable when they talk to clients, but I’ve been dealing directly with yacht owners since 2004,” she says.

 

“I’ve been lucky since I started with Kingship, because since then I’ve been headhunted for all my jobs so was trusted by my employer, who later became my client or vice-versa. I’m still around after 18 years and owners still call me about their yacht-related matters, which is my biggest achievement.”

 

Carmen says she doesn’t perceive any difficult being a woman in the industry but believes there can sometimes be a slightly patronising attitude towards superyacht owners from Asia.

 

With Dr Peter Lam, Chairman of Camper & Nicholsons

 

“Asia is a new market for superyachts compared to Europe and the US, so often people want to educate a billionaire owner in Asia how to use their boat. I think ‘educating an owner’ can sometimes be more discriminating than me being a woman or Asian,” she says.

 

“I’ve known Asian yacht owners for a long time and I’m here to work for the client. The owner tells me what they want and it’s my duty to get it done, either by working with the shipyard to find a solution or working with the owner’s team to find an alternative.”

 

Carmen says owners trust her not only because of word of mouth but also because she has worked on both the builder side, with Kingship and Benetti, and the owner’s side.

 

Carmen’s CA listings include CL Yachts’ flagship CLX96

 

As such, she’s able to offer balanced advice on any potential purchase, charter if required and yacht management, having also worked extensively on the financials of yacht ownership and crew requirements.

 

“I’ve even ‘unsold’ yachts when I didn’t think the yacht was right for the owner or if I didn’t have faith in the project,” says Carmen, who last year set up S&S Stratton to provide bespoke global investment services for select customers.

 

“Like everyone, I’m always learning. The business keeps evolving, a lot due to technology, but having a diverse background helps me to ask the right questions and manage situations. I’m a good mediator.”

 

With C&N colleagues and CL Yachts staff at the Hong Kong premiere of CLX96

 

Carmen, who continues to split her time between Asia and Europe, says her close connections to yacht owners may provide the most rewarding aspect of her job, but also jokes that they can provide some of her sternest challenges.

 

“As I’m Chinese and from Hong Kong, the yacht owners can speak to me in their first language,” she says. “They like having a direct connection, but this also means when they’re frustrated or need an answer, I’m the one they call in the middle of the night.”

http://www.camperandnicholsons.com

 

SHARE

Riva, 180, 180th, anniversary, David Beckham, Pierfrancesco Favino, Venice, Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group, Carlo Riva, Gran Teatro La Fenice, Charles Leclerc, The Persuaders, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Aquarama, Aquariva, Tritone, Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg, Prince Rainier, Peter Sellers, Britt Ekland, Ariston, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Sarnico, Lake Iseo, La Spezia Ancona, 50Metri, Corsaro, Dolcevita

Viva Riva: Celebrating 180 years in style

Viva Riva: Celebrating 180 years in style

SHARE

As Riva honours its 180th birthday in a year marking multiple anniversaries for the shipyard, Ferretti Group CEO Alberto Galassi talks about his special attachment to the brand, its yachts and Carlo Riva himself, as well as David Beckham’s involvement in the celebrations.
Words: John Higginson
Photos: Ferretti Group

 

Riva, 180, 180th, anniversary, David Beckham, Pierfrancesco Favino, Venice, Alberto Galassi, Ferretti Group, Carlo Riva, Gran Teatro La Fenice, Charles Leclerc, The Persuaders, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Aquarama, Aquariva, Tritone, Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg, Prince Rainier, Peter Sellers, Britt Ekland, Ariston, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Sarnico, Lake Iseo, La Spezia Ancona, 50Metri, Corsaro, Dolcevita