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There is no bad weather. Just bad boats!

 

Really now? “No bad weather, just bad boats?” It’s an old Danish expression, but I heard it for the first time in Holland. Sure, it’s a little bit ….  judgmental? But I’ll give the Danes this: When you boat on the North Sea, and have since the time of the Vikings, I say you’re entitled to judge all you want. Because as Dizzy Dean once famously said,

“It ain’t boasting if’n you kin do it!”

As the fish swims, it’s only 375 nautical miles miles from southern Denmark to Urk, Holland. Urk is home port of Hartman Yachts, builder of, among other things,  the Livingstone 24:

I’ve done enough sailing in Denmark over the years to see a certain shared yachting culture with the Dutch. My respect for those shared values has led me to connect so well with Hartman, and with  Long Island Yachts.  It’s why, when bringing these lines to America, I now summarize their offerings to America this way:

“From the North Sea, to your sea!”

Which brings me today to….

I. Sold!

Keep your eyes open this summer and you’ll see a brand new Long Island Yacht 33 Classic whizzing by on Long Island Sound!

Don’t blink, because she’lll be moving fast. The owner (a race car driver and bad-ass waterskier)….

Not yet behind a 33 Classic, but soon enough…

…. has the need for speed. That’s why he opted for the largest engine that fits the 33, the Yanmar 370, which will top her out at 32+ knots. As he put it to me, “Upgrading to the V8’s additional torque was a no-brainer for me.”

In regard to that performance, you’ve heard on my Tom Brady Goes Dutch podcast about the recent sea trial of a Long Island Yacht 25 Sportsman in New Jersey:

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

25 Sportsman

Before our sea trial her owner was glowing in his account of the boat’s handling. In particular, her solidness in a chop. So we went out on a brisk fall day, and I quickly understood his point. Zooming with the Dutch the next day, they answered for me a question that had been on my mind for awhile:

Why are Long Island Yachts heavier than the competition?

 

Their answer?

 

Because they are supposed to be!

 

All things being equal, we like heavy boats because,

  • When you fall off a wave, that extra mass cushions the blow, and leaves your boat standing on her feet.
  • When you crash into a wave, that extra mass helps crush the weight of what’s coming straight at you (at 64 pounds per cubic foot!)
  • And when that 64 pounds per cubic foot of wave falls on top of  you? Well, best to be pushed around as little as possible.
  • Simply put,  weight delivers stable and able.

The engineers at Long Island Yachts explained that the net additional weight comes from their use of solid fiberglass construction (no foam or balsa cores) below the waterline. That extra mass, down low, is the secret to their handling. And if you are a speed demon, you can make up for that extra weight with a bigger engine (or even twins).

Personally, I think this is an optimal design choice. Especially, when you run aground (see this post on Long Island Yachts’ protected underbodies) …

 

 

… and listen to a great story about a damage-free, high-speed nighttime grounding here. A grounding, by the way, that left the boat 50 feet up on the shoreline (no one was hurt).

For your Long Island Yacht, the next open production slots are for September delivery. But demand is high so please call for your availability update.

II. Next up…

With one hundred of these small luxury yachts having splashed since 2006, the 33 Classic is a perennial best seller. But my innovative friends wanted to tweak the design a little, presenting a more curvaceous look in a slightly smaller design. So they brought some rough plans of a 29 Classic to the Dusseldorf Boat Show last year to gauge client interest. It must have been high, because they’ve already sold five from the plans alone!  Hull #1 will finish in a couple of months, and I will have a full report for you. Meanwhile, here are some CGI’s to tide you over:

 

 

Long Island Yachts commitment to growing their USA fleet has led them to move into their new and larger factory in Holland this week. I look forward to seeing it myself this spring, and I welcome you to come over with me. In fact, let’s sea trial the entire line together…

 

Here is a little of what you can expect at the factory:

III. Hardtop and Other Options

Something else you can expect from Long Island Yachts is some new Hardtop builds. This option is now available for the 29/33 Classic models:

And, so impressively, for the 40 Classic:

 

I’ll take this opportunity to say that the pricing on the hard top option is quite reasonable.

Actually, the options pricing across the entire LIY line is unusually reasonable for our industry. I always take it a little personally when builders pump up their options pricing  ($30,000 for a generator? Really? Do they thing my clients won’t notice?). So hat’s off to Long Island Yachts (the rare builder for whom teak decks and bow thrusters are standard equipment) for keeping their little luxury yachts affordable. Your cost for the generator option on the 40 Classic, you might ask? An eminently reasonable $14, 300. That’s what I’m talking about…

The Long Island Yachts 40 Classic: Quality, Performance, and Value!

40 Classic

IV. What to Build, and for Whom?

 

I’m gonna take a  deep dive into the belly of the beast today, loyal clients, and talk about how builders decide what to build, and for whom. Some of it will be a bit arcane, some of it a little obvious, and some of it (sorry) will come close to boring. But stick with me here, because I think it can add real value to your decision making process.

It starts with yet another restatement of The Fog Warning’s core mission, it’s dedication to answering these questions:

What makes a yacht great, and why? Who makes a great yacht, and how?

 

And for today’s discussion I will add this little postscript:

… and how not to!

 

Obviously, building a great yacht takes a great team.  It starts with the builder, of course  – the owner or the CEO.  But then add:

  • The designers;
  • The bean counters;
  • The naval architects;
  • The parts suppliers;
  • The subcontractors;
  • The service teams (a huge resource when designing and building the yacht in the first place); and,
  • The marketers.

Team assembled? Now the first critical decision:

Exactly what are we going to build, and for whom?

Here’s an illustrative but hypothetical story about the range of possible answers.

Let’s say sales have slowed at a storied builder of big boats. The reasons could be all over the place, but for the purposes of this discussion let’s say:

  • Maybe their designs have gotten stale.
  • Or, they haven’t kept up with the competition.
  • Or, changing trends in the industry (outboards, anyone?) just passed them by.
  • Or, human nature took its course and leadership got too comfortable for too long (when I call the owner or CEO I’m delighted to catch them out on their own boats, using and testing their own products. Catching them out on the golf course ….. um, not so much).

And now their CFO (or maybe the smartest member of their Board of Directors) notices that 18 to 24 months out their cashflow is looking a little shaky.

No need to panic! The solution is well known and well used, practically shouting itself from the rooftops of every boatyard in the world:

“We need a new model!”

Okayyyyy, but what should we build? Keep in mind that tooling costs for a 60 foot yacht are huge. The molds alone for fiberglass construction can run over $2,000,000.

As a brief aside, these tooling cost are one reason I love well-built aluminum and cold molded yachts. Without having to make a huge investment in molds (trust me, you have sell a small fleet of yachts to make that investment back)  all of that value stays in the boat! It stays in as design enhancements, higher-end components, and higher levels of performance and finish. Vanquish Yachts, for example:

… is coming on strong is America with their new, hot aluminum luxury day boats, with at least 20 deliveries here in the last year or so.

But any way you cut it, it’s a big decision. Margins are low, capital costs are high, and not many builders can survive a $2,000,000 mistake. Which leads to question #2:

Do we build down to a price, or build up to the best possible yacht?

Stated another way:

Do we build a yacht generally good enough to meet the needs of the largest pool of potential owners, or do we build a great and more expensive yacht for a far smaller but far more discerning class of owners? 

Biz-wise, neither answer is wrong. Both can succeed. But only one answer consistently and dependably produces a great yacht. Which, as my loyal clients know, is The Fog Warning’s whole raison d’être.

But let’s stick with Track One first, “build down to a price.” And since copying is cheaper than innovating, the project usually moves on to this question:

Who’s doing well, and what marketshare can we grab from them?

It’s a comparatively low-risk play. Why not leverage your competition’s expenditures on costly R & D and marketing? Well, there’s one obvious “not.” Walk through the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show’s lineup of 4,000 largely look-alike, perform alike offerings, and you’ll get what I mean.

But even copying is hard, biz-wise. If competitor X’s yacht is selling well at $2,150,000, the obvious approach for a builder becomes “Let’s move into that space, do it just differently enough to distinguish ourselves a little, but use our smarts to do it more efficiently, say for….. $1,999,000. We’ll clean up!”

Sometimes they do. But that doesn’t mean they produce a great yacht.

And let’s be clear – saving that $150,000 is nowhere as easy as you might think, because:

  • The basic material costs of yacht construction are roughly the same, planet-wide.
  • Even if you can squeeze out some cost advantage on these basic materials, the cost of the hull and deck itself is no more than 25% of the overall build.
  • The core components (engines, electrical, plumbing) are all sourced from the same suppliers, at the same cost unless you are pumping out a thousand boats a year (hello, Azimut!).
  • Basic labor rates don’t vary by county. No matter where you build in China, your base labor rate will be $4.85 an hour. Taiwan? $5.20. Turkey? $4.95. The US or EU? $22. Once you’ve built an elaborate factory, there is no easy way to reduce labor costs. Even robotics (except for making the molds) are not all that applicable to yacht construction.

So, cheaper is harder.

And doing it better and cheaper is way harder.

Which leaves the Goldilocks middle path: More-or-less match your competition’s costs, price point and quality. Then pressure your world-class brokers and cracker jack marketers (who these days are way closer to data scientists than traditional marketers) to leverage the great value of your brand name.

It works.  Does it deliver a great yacht? Sometimes. Not often enough.

More often it takes Track Two: Building the best yachts for the most discerning owners. It’s still a really hard path (after all, if it were easy, everyone would do it). But the best builders in the world continue to produce the best yachts, year in and year out. How do they do it? What skills do they bring to bear?

What I’ve seen is this: They use the best installed option available to species Homo Sapiens:

 Come Again GIF - PeeWeeHerman What Huh GIFs

A world class set of ears!

 

I mean ears (as is said of great jazz musicians) that can hear paint dry.

The builders who turn those ears unwaveringly towards their current and past owners, they get to grab the gold ring. After all, who better can identify what’s missing from their boats, and from their yachting lives, than the owner’s themselves? That kind of market knowledge is invaluable, and all it takes is Pee-Wee Herman-sized  ears.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s not done as often as you think, or as well as it should. The boat biz can be very much an ego-driven dynamic, rife with the “I know best” syndrome. Trust me, nobody in this biz knows everything. So nothing beats a goods set of ears.

What else works? Builders who:

  • Are emotionally and intellectually wired for innovation;
  • Who prioritize a direct connection to a yachting life – They use their yachts just as their owner’s do. A lot;
  • They work hard at staying small. With great product that takes discipline (you have to be good at saying no). It’s hard for big conglomerates to build great yachts;
  • Their pockets are deep enough to avoid chasing the latest trend; to weather downturns (in fact, downturns are exactly when you should be working on new models); to provide great service to their owners; to operate without significant debt but with great partners; to take as much pride in the quality of their yachts as the quality of their balance sheet; and,
  • Most of all, they have the skills, confidence and integrity to…

Say what they build, and build what they say!

 

By this I mean they define right up front the core functionality they want to bring to their yachts. And they stay true to that from first drawing to first splash.

Builders with integrity build yachts of integrity. They don’t dwell on labels or depend on slick marketing. What they depend on is the good judgement of knowledgeable yachtsmen and women who know what they are looking for and what they are looking at.

God, I love this business.

V. Explorer Yachts, Expedition Yachts, and other Assorted Labels

Which brings me, finally, to our last chapter today: Explorer and Expedition yachts (whether mini, maxi, or pocket). And I’m going to apologize in advance for being a little strident here. But in this sector the dollar costs can be as high as the physical risks. If you’ve been following the damage done to the Vendee Globe racers this winter, you know that some 10,000 shipping containers a year get jettisoned at sea. Any one of them can sink an under-built ship:

 

But no nautical authority – not Lloyds of London, nor MCA, nor anyone else – has technically defined what constitutes an Explorer or Expedition yacht. Unless and until you get up into Ice-Class classifications, any builder can call anything that floats anything they want. And since this has been a very hot build class over the last five years, builders everywhere have rushed in with their own offerings, definitions and labels.  The build space is now occupied by at least 18 builders around the world, and five times that many designers. The best of the best stand out. Some don’t (fiberglass expedition yachts? Really?).

Who builds what I would take anywhere, anytime? For me they are builders of ships. Ships that get through almost anything, for as long as it takes, with sufficient space and range for crew, guests, toys, supplies, and refuse. Ships strong enough to handle things like semi-submerged shipping containers, with commercial-level damage control systems when things get wrong. Ships that can safely provide the offshore experience that very few people get to have, much less own.  They include:

Holland’s  Damen Yachts (the world’s largest commercial builder, from freighters to naval ice breakers):

 

Feadship (Royal Dutch Shipyards), who have been building Super Yachts almost since the time of Superman:

 

Italy’s Cantiere delle Marche (CDM), who’s Darwin class Expedition Yachts blew me away in Cannes last year:

 

And Heesen (yes, that’s her Long Island Yachts 28 Sportsman tender alongside):

 

The Fog Warning Blog and Podcast is going to spend the coming months exploring this world, and I hope you enjoy the ride. Maybe you can tell that I’m taking the lack of authenticity in this sector a little ….. personally. Sure, I could probably lighten up a little.  But to me, if a client is going to spend $5m, $10m, or far more on a true ocean-going vessel, it’s  because they want the challenge of rounding Capes – not puttering though canals. They don’t need slick marketing or magazine cover shots,  convenient labels or copycat builders. In my humble opinion what they need is:

  • A ship, not a boat.
  • And that ship should be built in a shipyard, not a boatyard.
  • And it should be a Dutch ship, or one that aspires to that level.

And, if they’re going Dutch, I want them to take a very close look at my Dutch ships. Those built by the shipyard of Hartman Yachts:

 

What can I say?  I’m a true believer. Why? I’ll leave that to Dizzy Dean again…

“It ain’t boasting if’n you kin do it!”

As always, thanks for listening. And launch a flare if I can help with anything along the way.

 

Big Wave Dave

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

Tom Brady Goes Dutch!

Welcome to the launch of The Fog Warning 2.0. The new website allows us to share our stories with you in more helpful and engaging ways.  You’ll find more exciting high-value content, more informative videos and special reports, and most of all the latest in compelling story-telling platforms:

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

I’m also tremendously excited to share with you how The Fog Warning has become the first in the industry to offer carbon neutral yacht ownership to our clients.

It’s all quite a story.  Enjoy the ride!

I. Tom Brady Goes Dutch

The Fog Warning’s mantra is becoming more widely recognized with every passing day. The latest “If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much” convert is Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who last month took delivery of his Dutch yacht – A Wajer 55:

 

Here’s the sports media’s amusing take on his choice. While these sportscasters get most of the details wrong, you can’t fault them for their excitement. Or their envy!

 

 

Long time readers of The Fog Warning know well my passion for Wajer Yachts. Pronounced “Wire“, they are still largely unknown here in the States (I believe Brady’s Wajer is just the fourth USA model). I find their quality, engineering and performance to be all I have learned to expect from the Dutch. I‘ve gotten to know the yard and its management team quite well. I’ve run these yachts in Holland, the Med and in the States, and I am exceedingly impressed. They have become quite the phenom in Europe, to the point where they pretty much own the day boat market there. Their biggest challenge has been building enough to meet demand, but their recent expansion should do the trick.

Their “entry level” offering is their W38:

 

 

And a much bigger [currently hush-hush] addition to the line will splash shortly. If you would like to hear more about Wajer, just launch a flare. I am here to help.

Interestingly, this makes Brady the second NFL quarterback to recognize the quality and value of Dutch yachts. John Elway, of Denver Bronco fame, bought a Zeelander 44 a couple of years ago. Like Brady, he keeps it in Florida:

 

Zeelander 44’s are no longer in production, but there are always a few available on the brokerage market. Last November I made my way up to Maine to see this 2013 model, currently asking $775,000:

large photo Photo 0

Just launch a flare for my observations, and feel free to check out her complete listing.

II. A Brave New World

Wajer, Zeelander, Pardo, Van Dutch, Vanquish, and of course Hinckley and Riva have essentially created their own new class of yachts. Three years ago, while selling Hinckley’s, I began calling this the “Luxury Day Boat” market. I’ve been watching this sector quite closely these last few years, proudly observing its growing market share.

While the success of this sector started and continues in Europe, it has begun to positively explode here in the States. In Florida and the Hamptons, of course (in Sag Harbor you can almost hop straight across the harbor from day boat to day boat without wetting your feet), but now the Luxury Day Boat tide is indeed spreading across America (lately, notably, the Great Lakes)!

I’m particularly excited by this because of my representation of Holland’s Long Island Yachts:

 

 

With seven models between 25 and 40 feet, I find Long Island Yachts hit the exact sweet spot of the rapidly growing Luxury Day Boat market:

 

Long Island Yachts, Holland's premier yacht builder.

The Long Island Yachts 33

 

Long Island Yachts Sportman 25 is a touring yacht built in the Netherlands.

The Long Island Yachts Sportsman 25, just delivered to her thrilled NJ owner.

 

Long Island Yachts Sportsman 28

The Long Island Yachts Sportsman 28 tours Antarctica

 

The best-selling Long Island Yachts 33

 

The Long Island 40 – with optional IPS drives

LIY is about to deliver its one-hundredth yacht in Europe. I firmly believe they will splash even bigger here in the States, and I’m putting all I have behind them. I’ve been to the the LIY factory many times, have worked closely with their design and production teams to better tailor them to the US marketplace, and I’ve run their yachts on the North Sea, the Med, and our Atlantic coast.  I find their styling, engineering and build quality to be top-notch, as well as a tremendous value in the Luxury Day Boat market.

What Long Island Yachts does better than almost anyone in the industry is merge quality with value. For example, in both their Traditional (cuddy cabin) and Sportsman (center console) lines, they deliver bow thrusters and teak decks as standard equipment.

I’ve also come to appreciate a pivotal design feature of both lines: Their shallow draft abilities. You’ll see here their fully protected underbody, perfect for exploring skinny waters from the  Chesapeake to the Bahamas:

The Long Island Sportsman 25’s underbody

Or, to safely slide over errant icebergs:

LIY 28- Antarctica

 

If you’d like to learn more about the LIY story, your timing is excellent! I present you now with Episode #1 of The Fog Warning Podcast. My interview with LIY founder Onno Laardhoven covers the LIY story at length, as well as our predictions and observations about the Luxury Day Boat market in both Europe and the USA. You can find it here:

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

 

As you can tell, I am completely thrilled and proud to represent Long Island Yachts in America. For a deeper dive into all things LIY – including pricing, options, and delivery dates – just launch a flare. And of course explore the brand new Fog Warning website.

And the same goes for my representation of Holland’s Hartman Yachts, builder of the Livingstone and Amundsen lines of explorer yachts:

 

Our commitment to carbon neutal emission standards that apply to yachts.

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24

 

Hartman Yachts Livingstone 24

Hartman Yachts Amundsen 26

You can learn more about the Livingstone 24 in my snoozeagram, below.

III. You Snooze, You Lose

As detailed in Episode #1 of The Fog Warning Podcast,  what you have been hearing on the docks is not just hype – brokerage yachts sales have been record-setting during the pandemic. There is now a real shortage of quality brokerage boats out there. The public (and not just the traditional yachting-buying public) found that Yachting = Social Distancing. I’ve sold three brokerage yachts in the last few months, including Mahogany Rose:

*** SOLD *** Mahogany Rose – Vicem 67

*** SOLD *** Grand Banks 42

*** SOLD *** Island Gypsy Trawler

 

I’m also knee-deep in helping clients search for just the right Vicem. Check out the stunning woodwork Vicem is famous for in our just-explored Windsor Craft 36  in CT:

large photo Photo 15

 

I’ve also been carefully evaluating the considerable value in Hinckley’s early series of Picnic Boat Classics:

If you can be flexible about the wide range of jet control systems (Generation 1, 2, or 3) on these early models, there are still real opportunities to discuss. Just launch a flare!

As or my own inventory, well, there’s not a lot left. But foremost among them is this 2017 Livingstone 24:

 

 

Stunning photographs, interior plans, and a thrilling 360 degree virtual tour right HERE.

As always, just launch a flare.

IV. The Podcast and You

So why, one might ask, a podcast?

 

The Fog Warning Podcast

 

I started blogging over a decade ago, with my Vicem Blog.  And while that particular blog has been on the shelf since 2012, it still continues to rack up an enormous number of hits. Not a month goes by where I don’t receive Vicem inquiries through it. I’ve learned a lot about blogging over the years (which is why The Fog Warning now gets 10,000 readers a year). And the main lesson is this:

Knowledgeable yachtsmen and women hunger for quality content.

And with traditional publishing’s challenges (just see how skinny the boating mags have become) I’m told The Fog Warning fills a valuable need. I’ll say this: It certainly helps me sell a lot of boats ($50 million at latest count).

I recently read that podcasting today is where blogging was back in 2005, and that we are about to enter “the golden age of podcasting.”   This was on my mind when I recently met a quite knowledgeable client aboard his yacht, as he’d begun to think about selling her.

Our highly-substantive talk ran over three hours. Reflecting upon it later, I realized that however valuable a blog’s content, there are limitations to the written word. Perhaps a supporting forum (one, lets say, that you can listen to on your boat, bike or commute) could provide greater value to more people.

So there’s your answer!

I’ve got the next six months of podcasts mapped out. You can expect wide-ranging discussions with builders, designers, naval architects and brokers as we seek to answer (you’ve heard this before) the two eternal questions of yachting:

What makes a yacht great, and why? Who makes a great yacht, and how?

I also realized  that no one – not even the world’s top brokers – can tell the story of a fine yacht with the same knowledge, passion and enthusiasm as her owner.

So I am throwing the Fog Warning Podcast open to my owner’s as well. If you would like to tell the full story of your brokerage yacht to a world-wide audience of qualified yacht buyer’s, I am here to help. Please call me for the details.

V. Tom, Giselle, Me, and now You?

 

I expect that Tom and Giselle will dock their Wajer 55 at their new Indian Creek home:

Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen Buy Miami Property

 

Frankly, I didn’t know much about Giselle before Tom bought his Wajer. But I’ve since learned a lot about her efforts to combat deforestation in the Amazon, including the planting of hundred of thousands of trees to replace those illegally cut down by loggers. I’ve done a small bit of this kind of work in the hills of eastern Haiti while building a school in the mid-2000’s:

 

And I’ve seen how quickly embattled environments can bounce back. If you give Mother Nature a chance, she fights hard! Which is in part what led me to our latest and best initiative: The Fog Warning is the first company in the industry to offer carbon neutral yacht ownership to its owners: 

  • Why? Because our quality time on the water directly depends upon the quality of our marine environments. We’ve all become aware how that environment is changing due to climate change. We see it with rising water levels at our docks, and with more extreme weather patterns inshore and off.  Most recently, the link between climate change and the rise and spread of pandemics has become increasingly clear. So I feel that our industry has a responsibility to do more to assure safe, quality yachting experiences for our owners, and for subsequent generations of yachtsmen and women.

 

  • How? Buy a yacht, new or used, from The Fog Warning and we will provide you with a carbon-neutral ownership experience. Just send us your fuel receipts at the end of your boating year, and we will buy offsetting carbon credits to make up for your fuel use.  What’s more, we will do this for as long as you own your boat. 

 

  • Who? Our first partnership is with The Ocean Foundation’s Sea Grass Grow project. By planting and nurturing coastal sea grass acreage, shorelines are preserved and additional carbon is naturally absorbed, as demonstrated here:

 

 

That’s the plan, my friends. And while I’m proud and pleased that The Fog Warning is  the first carbon-neutral dealer in the industry, nothing would make me happier than knowing we are not the last.

So please consider spreading the good word. In my experience, no one – not builders, dealers or designers – has more collective power in this industry than yacht owners. So even if you choose to buy a yacht outside of The Fog Warning,  consider asking that builder or dealer to follow The Fog Warning’s way.  They can contact us directly for the details.

Thank you! And, most importantly ……

 

 

Big Wave Dave

From Newport to Cannes, to … Newport?

I. Summer in Newport

I am so pleased to report that our Zeelander Yachts “pop-up” boat show last month in Newport Harbor was a wonder and a joy – an [almost] living, breathing example of the “If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much” dynamic.

We had a brand new Zeelander 72 available for sea trials all weekend. Here she is, directly in front of a brand new Dutch “Mystery Ship,” and behind her smaller siblings, the Zeelander 55 and Z44. All in all (except for some pea-soup fog) it was a fabulously successful event.

I venture to say you are going to see a lot more of these pop-up, invitation-only events from more high-end boat builders. Builders are taking increasingly closer looks at their “bang for the buck” returns from traditional “big-box” boat shows.

As attendees, you’ve seen it all first-hand. Shows have gotten so big (think Miami, or Fort Lauderdale), that builders are finding it increasingly hard to make their quality products stand out in the marketplace. And even more importantly, among the crowds they struggle to provide you with the quality viewing and buying experience you deserve. So you can expect to see far more private, invitation-only showings like ours. In fact, this year and next you may be surprised about which high-end builders choose to skip the big box shows altogether. A brave new world….

I mentioned above that our pop-up was a “fabulous success.” Well, here is how I measure success:

We sold hull #2 of the new Zeelander 72!

I am pleased to say that she will be berthed in Connecticut next season. And that in anticipation of your order, Zeelander will be starting construction on hull #3 as you read this!

You can view an informative video review of this amazing yacht right here:

https://youtu.be/JfNChyl3HNU

And if you’d like to really poke around her, here’s a fun virtual tour:

The Virtual Tour

So, that brand new Dutch mystery yacht, immediately aft of our Zeelander line in Newport? She be Scout, a Hakvoort 64 meter explorer-class yacht:

I last saw her in the Haakvoort yard a couple of years ago, where she had been sort of …. abandoned? Her Russian owner-to-be had defaulted mid-build, so she sat for a while until her current Palm Beach owner could finish the project to his highly-customized liking:

https://youtu.be/edIIraSLFt4

It was a thrill to see Scout’s before and after, and I give great kudos to Hakvoort for riding the someway bumpy Scout project out right to her final home port. The Hakvoort yard, by the way, is in North Holland, not far from my friends at Wajer Yachts (it’s pronounced “Wire“).

I stopped in to see that factory a few weeks ago, as I wanted to get a better handle on the Wajer build process. Unlike most builders I know, they choose not to use subcontractors. Management explained to me that they are willing to take on higher labor costs, as they feel quality is better guaranteed by in-house staff! I was very impressed, particularly by their Wajer 55:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZGYiRjpBsc

Last year at the HISWA show in Lelystad, Holland I saw the W55’s oh-so-innovative fender system. I expect that this will certainly get your attention:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivn6AQpT9Ec

The Wajer Yachts motto is “Without a worry in the world.” I can’t think of a better representation of the entire Dutch approach to building quality yachts.

II. Fall in Cannes

I’ll be in Cannes on September 10th for the show’s opening, and I hope you will meet me there. What draws me there, however briefly, is to see and show two steel yachts that loyal readers of The Fog Warning have been following with me for some time: The Hartman Yachts Livingston 24, and the AvA Yachts Kando 110.

The Livingston 24 has just this week made its way from Holland to the south of France:

Hartman Yachts Livingston 24 entering Nice Harbor
Anchored at Cap Ferrat

I would delight in showing you this amazing yacht at Cannes. Just launch a flare for an appointment. Until then, the full listing can be seen here:

The Livingston 24 Yachtworld Listing

Later that day I will be aboard a yacht I have been following from the time her deck was first layed in Antalya, Turkey – The Kando 110:

Aluminum Deck to Steel Hull!

This will the first time I’ll see her afloat. Why not share this Cannes adventure with me? Just launch that flare…

III. Back to Newport!

From Day One of Cannes, I race back to Newport for Day One of the Newport Boat Show, which runs from September 12th through the 15th. The lineup there? Exactly what you saw (or missed!) at our July pop-up event: The Zeelander 72, 55, and 44:

To jump from one Zeelander to another, in size order, is a fabulous experience. Regular attendees at the Newport Show know how crazy the crowds can get. So please call me for a private viewing of these three spectacular yachts early or late on show days.

So, as usual, loyal readers, I’ve spanned the globe to bring you the finest yachts to be found anywhere. And for one of those yachts, I’ll leave you now with my final “mood piece,” one that I hope sets a tone for our next get-together in Cannes or Newport:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n0FbzLJm5A

Thanks, and enjoy!

“Big Wave” Dave

April 13th, for all you father’s-of-the-brides!