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C&N - New Build & Brokerage
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C&N - New Build & Brokerage

Tristan Rutherford with Fabio Ermetto
7th August 2018

Camper & Nicholsons has sailed strongly through every current since 1782. The firm has built yachts for every ocean, and brokered sales in every sea. Any managerial role like mine is that of a custodian. We are here to navigate the industry’s most iconic marque into new markets and fresh ports.

When I joined the company in 2017 I feared my position as Chief Commercial Officer might be a double edged sword. You may have visited our offices in Mayfair or Monaco. Each of them is decorated with portraits of classic Camper & Nicholsons
yachts that we delivered to the globe’s greatest sailors. Each employee wears the DNA of our founders. Fortunately, their ethos encompassed innovation as well as integrity. is lodestar allows us to advance with new collaborations and designs.

In many ways the illustrious legacy of our company makes my job easier. I am free to innovate, while our forebears keep a hand on the helm. Furthermore, any responsibility I bear is outweighed by the respect felt for the brand. I spend a third of my time in shipyards across Northern Europe, Asia, America and my native Italy. When I sit down with their teams of designers they grasp the brief from the outset. ey know that our clients demand pioneering products that are built to perfection, yet are timeless enough to sail through countless decades. Just like the brand itself at said, many facets of the industry would surprise the Camper & Nicholsons directors from a century ago. One aspect is the rm’s global reach. Our next yacht owner might be from mainland China or Latin America. ey might wear Church’s brogues or a pair of Tod’s.

Camper & Nicholsons has sailed strongly through every current since 1782. The firm has built yachts for every ocean, and brokered sales in every sea.

 

 

That’s why we match our client base with a network of 14 offices that stretch from the palm trees of Phuket to Miami’s golden sands. Our sta speak a total of 21 languages. Some were born in the 1940s, while our latest trainees were born after the millennium. ey all contribute to a market that has become universal, unbounded and increasingly borderless.

The firm’s greatest yacht designer, Charles E Nicholson, was a forerunner in composite woods and racing Marconi rigs. But even he would be shocked at technology’s place at our strategic core.
Take, for example, the classic motoryacht Marala. She was built by Camper & Nicholsons in 1931 to one of Charles E Nicholson’s designs. In 2017 my colleague Jean-Marie Récamier sold the refitted yacht – with her original 750hp MAN diesel engines – to another cherished owner. Yet the photographs we shared of Marala were likely taken by drone. Words and images would have been shared in a dozen languages within the industry’s most comprehensive database. The marketing package has been viewed on tablets and smartphones of every manufacture. Such technological upkeep has allowed us to maintain 22.7% market share among the industry’s top 10 performing brokerage companies. Quite simply, we are luxury yachting’s unrivalled leader.

Given this pairing of timelessness and technology, my biggest drive since I was invited to join Camper & Nicholsons has been to expand our successful new builds division. I worked for many years with Benetti, from project managing their early builds to selling their most recent – I remember Eliza Jean, which is now called Brunello, and currently for sale with Camper & Nicholsons. I was project manager for the construction and the owner was represented by one of our brokers, Alex Lees-Buckley. It was a great experience working with him then, and now we work together. Alex has sold more custom built Benettis than anyone else, including the recently delivered 90 metre, which is the largest to date. By coincidence, Alex’s son has also forged a successful career as a broker, so like our company founders, we build knowledge over generations not years.

Another of my favourite yachts is 50m Satori. I also have a personal interest in her because I started my career as a naval architect in Holland, later rising to the position of Director of Sales & Marketing at Dutch shipyard Heesen, where the yacht was built. With sweeping lines, gigantic sundeck and unrivalled speeds for her size, Satori broke the mould. She picked up two major superyacht awards.

Imagine discussing early aeroplanes with Marala’s original owner Sir Richard Fairey. In 1930 he had the presence of mind to purchase a flying eld near London from a local vicar. It’s now known as Heathrow.

 

 

Once again the collaboration between client, shipyard and broker, together with the French designer Rémi Tessier who styled the interior, made this unique build a possibility. I still see her while sailing all over the Mediterranean.

A final new build project of which I am particularly proud will launch in summer 2020. She is a 40m custom motoryacht built by Cantiere delle Marche on Italy’s Adriatic Coast. She is also a fine example of how an owner can place his trust in our brokerage skills. e client had previously purchased several yachts with Camper & Nicholsons and also asked us to serve as technical advisor. She will be the first yacht to be commissioned and built entirely by our new builds division. I raise a glass of Prosecco – or more likely a ca e macchiato, as my work is far from done – to many more.

ere’s little time for daydreaming right now, nor in the 17 years I spent working in shipyards across Europe. at said, my fantasy would be to travel in time and spend one day with every Camper & Nicholsons client. For instance, just imagine discussing early aeroplanes with Marala’s original owner Sir Richard Fairey. He was an aviation inventor who designed the world’s first ship-borne seaplane. In 1930 he had the presence of mind to purchase a flying eld near London from a local vicar. It’s now known as Heathrow.

Alas, while I can’t go back in time, I can recall our 230 years of experience to build ever more graceful yachts in collaboration with compelling owners and designers from across the globe. I see clear water ahead.

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