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In conversation with Olivier Decamps

by Nautor Swan 14 Feb 2023 10:34 UTC
Olivier Decamps © Nautor's Swan

The Nautor's In Conversation with Campaign continues focusing on the Asia Pacific Area, one of the biggest developing markets for sailing yachts.

Olivier, please, give us an overview on Nautor Swan in Asia Pacific? What is the brand awareness and how does it perform today on a worldwide basis?

The Asia Pacific Region is a vast territory but our region has principally pocket markets. Nautor Swan in the APAC was already recognized and very well accepted in the 70's and 80's as the top brand of sailing yachts particularly in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong.

Japan traditionally is a very mature yacht market and the marinas built then were for narrow classic yachts up to 15 metres in length. As these marinas got full very quickly, yachts were and are still stored ashore on cradles and launched only when their owners want to go day sailing.

Australia/New Zealand is different, the yachts are usually used intensively for local or long distance cruising to the South Pacific or racing in Sydney Harbour or entering the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race.

For the rest of Asia, the markets are relatively new and slow growing. Typically newcomers to yachting will first buy a motoryacht, then a sailing catamaran and then eventually a sailing yacht. We see markets emerging in South East Asia (Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia) where new marinas are being build.

We are still waiting for mainland China to develop but the economic situation and the Covid pandemic period, with major travel restrictions, has greatly affected growth.

How's your typical client and what are the 'must-haves' onboard for them?

The majority of clients in Asia want comfort such as tropical-grade air conditioning, generator, electric winches and most importantly to be hidden from the sun with proper bimini/covers over the cockpit.

How's the perception of the sport of sailing in your markets?

Large yacht sailing is still very elite and therefore discreet in most Asian markets except in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In some countries sailing is considered as a sport for the rich only so this is slowing down development.

Youth and students are coming to dinghy sailing so sailing schools are becoming very popular and Asian nations are getting excellent results in regional and international regattas.

We have seen during and now post-Covid an interesting trend for people wanting to spend the money they saved, especially with the low interest rates, to go on the water as it is the safest place to be (away from crowded places).

What are the activities taken by the Nautor on these markets? How is your agents' network organized?

As Regional Director of the area I'm constantly "on the field" to broaden the knowledge of our brand and the sport of sailing in the area by organizing presentations of new Swan yachts, by meeting the potential buyers and by visiting to support local Swan owners.

The participation at the major boat shows and events is a very important occasion to meet new clients passionate about yachting. It's by talking and giving the vibe of going at sea on our beautiful boats which is attracting new potential sailors from old and young generations.

The region being very big, we have also the support of our regional agents on site, very passionate and experiences sailors and brokers.

What are the next trends?

Most customers get experience by sailing their production yacht but sooner than later they want to upgrade to a more exclusive, bigger and better quality yacht.

We also sell yachts to customers who are first-time buyers and rely on professional crew to teach them how to sail. These customers are looking for quality and pay for the best: a Swan yacht!

The customers also enjoy the new trends in lifestyle and use their yachts like a floating home where they can entertain family and friends and enjoy the maritime life.

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