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As the parties of New Year’s Eve become but a distant memory and we find ourselves back at our desks attached to intravenous coffee drips, we asked a cross-section of the industry how this new decade is shaping up…

Geoff Moore | Managing Director at West Nautical

What was your highlight of 2019?
2019 was a transition year for us. Following a very successful 2018, we used it as a year to build our workforce and open a new office in St Petersburg, as well as form a Cypriot company ready for a new office in Limassol. We recruited several new employees and are in a far stronger position going into 2020. The highlight of the year was the sale of the 32m Princess MY SEABEACH, a central agency that we captured and sold quickly with a very happy customer and delighted new owner!

We’re at the start of a new decade, what advice would you give your 10-year-younger self?
Great question! I would say SLOW DOWN, enjoy life a bit and get the work/life balance in order! I was always a workaholic and that has enabled me to be in the position I am in now but, looking back, I do have some regrets that I did not enjoy life’s journey as much as I could have. It’s something I am now trying to correct – to take time away from the phone and laptop to enjoy the real world.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?
We have a number of new central agencies in our charter fleet, and we have targets to bring several others in also. Therefore, we are looking forward to seeing the success of our charter division, along with a larger number of retail charter bookings through our enhanced workforce.

Where would you like West Nautical to be, 10 years from now?
I would like West Nautical to be a well-respected multi-service provider in the superyacht industry, standing shoulder to shoulder with the top tier of brands in our sector and having a presence at all the world’s boat shows. At the moment, we are fully focused on just two markets; Russia and Europe, and so we would like to expand into the US and possibly Australia in the next decade.

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Julie Tucker | Managing Director at Design Unlimited

What was your highlight of 2019?
My highlight of 2019 was racing on SY Pink Gin at the St Barths Bucket and seeing what an amazing machine she really is. Until you see such a yacht being properly put through her paces on the racecourse, you do not fully appreciate the engineering and design that goes into such a project. Just seeing how many crew it takes to raise and lower the spinnaker in proper race conditions is eye opening. It was an amazing experience.

We’re at the start of a new decade, what advice would you give your 10-year-younger self?
Make sure you employ the right staff. In a small studio like ours, having a cohesive and cooperative team is essential and if the team is not working well together a great deal of time can be expended trying to sort the dynamics out. We are lucky that we now have an extremely dedicated and professional team, many of whom have been with us for a long period and work well together, whilst taking a great deal of pride in their designs.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?
The launch of the new Sunseeker superyacht range – the 161 and 133, which will be huge milestones for both Design Unlimited and Sunseeker.

Where would you like Design Unlimited to be, 10 years from now?
In 2020 Design Unlimited will have been running for 20 years. I think that is a major achievement and when we look back on the fantastic projects that we have produced in those years, we can’t help but feel incredibly proud. In another 10 years’ time, I hope that we will have increased our portfolio with similarly wonderful projects and still be pushing the boundaries in innovative, client-centric designs.

53.7m Pink Gin VI, built by Baltic Yachts

Sara Duncan | Director at Crew and Concierge

What was your highlight of 2019?
We had our most successful year to date. We launched a new database back in September and this is going to allow us to implement new features easily throughout 2020 and the years to come.

We’re at the start of a new decade, what advice would you give your 10-year-younger self?
Where to begin? It’s a never ending learning curve; I guess just to keep working hard and striving forward – it eventually pays off. Enjoy the highs and power through the lows, there are always better days ahead.

What are you looking forward to in 2020?
The opening of our new premises, which we are in the middle of renovating. I’m also looking forward to attending new shows as an exhibitor, and we’ll be running a Chefs campaign.

Where would you like Crew and Concierge to be, 10 years from now?
Personally, I’d like to be more focused on business development rather than the day-to-day running of the business. I’d like to have seen my young team develop and grow in size and as people. I’d like Crew and Concierge to still be key players in superyacht recruitment, and be working with more new projects to build teams (as we certainly have the crew for it)! That market is monopolised by management company’s and their in house recruitment departments at the moment – it would be nice to see the big guns using independent, smaller agents for those that solely specialise in recruitment. 10 years from now, I would also like to have at least see five other companies using our bespoke recruiting software, off the shelf recruiting packages do not work with yacht recruitment and do not record the information to make them MLC compliant.

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Ed Thomas | Managing Director at Gym Marine

What was your highlight of 2019?
As always the year flew by and we barely had time to stop! Launching our new GM Custom range of luxury gym equipment has been massive for us and we have just shipped our first sets of UK-made walnut wood and stainless steel dumbbells to Madagascar and Falmouth respectively! We also exhibited at out first ever trade show, taking part in METS in Amsterdam. The company doubled in size for the second year running in 2019, and I am really proud of everyone in the team for making it a brilliant year.

We’re at the start of a new decade, what advice would you give your 10-year-younger self?
Well, 10 years ago I was just on my way to Southampton to do my first yachting-related training courses, with a one-way ticket to Antigua in my back pocket – so I would say “you’re on the right track Ed!”

What are you looking forward to in 2020?
The New Year brings about lots of changes for us as we welcome new team members, and open our new office in Amsterdam. We are rapidly expanding in the residential market, which has been a big part of our growth. Clearly our pedigree in yachting translates well ashore, and I am looking forward to doing more on dry land in 2020.

Where would you like Gym Marine to be, 10 years from now?
I would love for us to be working hard for our customers in the same way as we are now, just on a larger scale! Ideally we would have offices in the United States and the Middle East, and have an established range of our own products installed in gyms around the world. Oh, and we would have a company jet. Obviously.

Gym Marine’s custom range

Richard Faulkner | Founder and CEO at Compass Tenders

What was your highlight of 2019?
There were many highlights at Compass Tenders during 2019, not least delivering four limousine tenders with lengths between 9m & 10.8m and four open tenders with lengths between 7.5m & 10.5m. There was also the delight of signing a pair of 12.5m limousine tenders for a high profile Lurssen build, and an additional 12m limousine tender for a very high profile individual. If I had to pick one stand-out highlight it would be the successful delivery of the Limousine and Open Tenders to the OceanCo 90m DreAMBoat, a project we achieved in a limited time to an extremely high standard, resulting in a very happy client.

We’re at the start of a new decade, what advice would you give your 10-year-younger self?
In Jan 2010 Compass Tenders was in the process of building our first limousine tender (this was for Tango and was 9m long). In the intervening decade we have delivered 12 limousine tenders with lengths ranging from 9m to 14m and have three further limousine tenders on order, which I think is a great feat, and which in Jan 2010 I would not of believed could happen. In hindsight, I should have believed and possibly expanded my business quicker. And, also, possibly started exhibiting at the Monaco Yacht Show, sooner!

What are you looking forward to in 2020?
We’ll be delivering our 50th bespoke tender, which will be for a Feadship superyacht, launching in the spring. We’ll also be finishing and delivering our first large 12.8m Catamaran Tender – both things I’m very much looking forward to.

Where would you like Compass Tenders to be, 10 years from now?
10 years from now, I would like Compass Tenders to have continued developing our reputation product-wise, while retaining financial stability through a positive order book. Design has always been an important focus of Compass Tenders, so continuing to innovate to satisfy our client’s requests and expectations is key. I don’t foresee any further expansion of premises and staffing levels in the next 10 years, just streamline what we currently have at our disposal.

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