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Maritimo 2023 S-Series LEADERBOARD

20th Anniversary Maritimo Chapter 4

by Maritimo 20 Dec 2023 16:34 UTC
Maritimo M51 © Maritimo

In the fourth chapter of Maritimo's 20th-anniversary celebration, Maritimo's global success takes the spotlight, as the brand is propelled into New Zealand, the USA and other international markets, always to owners with a passion for bluewater boating.

From the time of its launch in 2003, Maritimo attracted the attention of boat owners around the world.

Today, Maritimo exports around half of its annual production to international owners. The US is a powerhouse boating market which has taken to this proudly Australian-made motor yacht brand and is only increasing its passion and loyalty.

US boating proponent, Dave Northrop had collaborated with Bill since 1995, and marketed his unique sports cruisers and fishing boats in America under the Wellcraft Brand.

A decade later, much water under the bridge in terms of Bill's sale of his former business, Dave visited the 2005 Sydney International Boat Show representing an American boat brand and happened to bump into Bill at Starbucks.

"We share a passion for boats and coffee," recalls Dave with his customary humour. "Once we caught up on various events since we'd last spoken, Bill asked me if I'd seen his boat - which he described as being the boat he always wanted to build for himself: the Maritimo 60.

"It was the talk of the boat show, and it was very clear to me that it was perfectly suited to the American market."

And thus, recommenced the highly successful partnership between Bill and Dave Northrop that propelled Maritimo into the Americas.

"I could tell Maritimo was destined to have a major impact in the boating world," Dave continues.

"The Maritimo 60 was unique and superior to any other 60-foot motor yacht on the market because it offered several unique features that have become Maritimo hallmarks: a spacious enclosed skylounge that was comparable to much larger superyachts, an interior stairway that boaters or pets of any age could easily and safely use to access the bridge, an aft galley perfect for entertaining, and safe, recessed side walkarounds to the foredeck which suit ages 3 to 103!

"Clearly Maritimo was, as their tagline promises, 'Oceans Apart' from any motor yacht on the market. Most importantly, the Maritimo 60 was ocean-worthy, offering exceptional seakeeping and efficiency."

Introducing a new, unknown brand could have proven challenging, but industry veteran, Dave leveraged his relationships with the boating press, who were immediately impressed with the design, quality, creativity, and performance of Maritimo, and he secured cover features with every major US boating publication during 2006.

During that first year, Dave signed up seven dealers and introduced the Maritimo 48, 52, and 60 at six major boat shows.

As Dave explains, "Maritimo brand awareness progressed from 'is it Italian?' to "we love Maritimo and it is on our short list', which is extremely satisfying."

These pioneer models and Maritimo's commitment to the continual evolution of design and styling, based largely on owner input, paved the way for today's innovative model range, comprising the M55, M60, M600 and the flagships M75 and S75.

Concurrently with success in the US, Maritimo struck a chord in New Zealand and was making inroads into other international markets.

New Zealand dealers, Motor Yacht Centre and Ownaship in Auckland built an energetic owner community, active in Maritimo Musters and exploring the pristine cruising grounds of Aotearoa and beyond.

Ross "Rossco" Willaton, who was a contractor to Maritimo from the early days and joined full-time not long after, was responsible for overseeing delivery, warranty and handover of many of the Maritimos that made their way overseas - some into remote and unusual destinations.

A Marine Mechanic by trade and with a background in offshore powerboat racing, Rossco was part of Bill Barry-Cotter's race team, and his son, Andrew grew up with Tom Barry-Cotter - both of them inheriting their dads' love of racing.

Rossco has delivered Maritimos to intrepid owners in England, Canada, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Thursday Island and Vladivostok, Russia's bay city, which was a memorable handover that involved Rossco taking the helm while the new owner and his friends enjoyed a hunting expedition and many, many celebratory crates of vodka!

The advent of the GFC in 2007-8 impacted boat manufacturers around the world, but some markets flourished, as Dave Northrop recounts.

"The GFC stalled sales in the US just as the market was beginning to accelerate, however, while the US market was soft, Maritimo Americas recognised the comparative strength of the Caribbean and South American markets, where the boating lifestyle is popular as they are very social and family-oriented.

"Enjoying year-around perfect boating weather, the appeal of Maritimo was immediate for weekend excursions, large gatherings with friends and family and also popular for fishing."

Maritimo appointed dealers in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Panama and Venezuela which provided steady sales while primary markets were dormant.

Another Maritimo milestone Dave recalls with pride was the introduction of the revolutionary X60 and X50 Sport Motor Yachts featuring superyacht sized beach club cabins in a 50-foot and 60-foot coupe.

"Once again Maritimo shocked the market, and the competition. This accomplishment was still at fever pitch when the Maritimo design team launched the enclosed flybridge game changer, the M55 in 2021. The response was so overwhelming in the Americas and Maritimo sold 36 of this impressive model at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

"Clearly quality and innovative product has driven the success and satisfaction with American buyers to an unprecedented level."

Since then, Maritimo has strengthened its position in terms of brand awareness, respect and loyalty among owners, which have established Maritimo's standing as "the premier Australian-built motor yacht available in the Americas".

"Maritimo owners are all bound by a common bond for the love of the ocean," Dave states. "Maritimo Migrations and events have hosted over 100 attendees who are all enthusiastic about sharing their boating experiences.

"Whether the warm climates of the south-east US, and the Caribbean, or in the north from Maine to the Great Lakes, Seattle, British Columbia and Alaska, there are Maritimo owners keeping cool or warm to enjoy the best of yachting and exploring the endless destinations."

After 20 years of involvement propelling the Maritimo brand into The Americas, Dave is now preparing for retirement, handing the baton to a seasoned sales professional to lead Maritimo into its next phase.

Keith Teynor has been appointed Managing Partner for Maritimo Americas, overseeing sales, logistics, marketing and service for the company within the United States, Canada, and South America, while Josh Northrop, Dave's son, is now Factory Sales Specialist at Maritimo Americas, focusing on growing their sales and service throughout the Americas.

Of the appointments, Dave states, "I'm happy to pass the mantle to someone with the experience, acumen, and professionalism of Keith Teynor. Maritimo has a legacy of being a family-owned business, so it means a lot to have my son join the team.

"Keith and Josh know boats, they know our customers, and they know how to make sure that Maritimo's owners have the best possible experience. I'm incredibly proud of what we've done and confident that they'll help guide the brand on a steady course going forward."

With a focus on promoting Maritimo in South-East Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Derrick Nowak was appointed Global Business Development Manager in 2022, based at Maritimo's Gold Coast headquarters.

Derrick brings an extensive background in the marine industry, including a decade with AkzoNobel in Australia and the US, and prior to that, several years in sales and technical support specialising in pain and coatings in the yacht and general aviation segments.

"The entire Asian boating market is rapidly changing with the financial centre shifting from Hong Kong to Singapore," he explains. "This has created a hub for boating and boat sales. Customers come to Singapore from all over Asia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand for business interests and at the same time enjoy pursuing their boating dreams.

"We have partnered with The Yacht Sales Co. as they are perfectly situated to service the growth in local ownership with offices in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and agents in the Philippines and Malaysia. Their main office is in Marina One15 at Sentosa the centre of the yachting world for SE Asia."

The next phase of expansion in Europe is under way, and Maritimo has commenced the search for new dealers in Northern Europe.

"We have a dealer in Barcelona to service the Mediterranean and we are currently vetting potential partners for Northern Europe," says Derrick. "With their enclosed flybridge and covered entertaining spaces, Maritimos are perfectly suited for the challenging weather of Northern Europe and the Nordics."

Moving into the next decade, Maritimo has confidence in our people, processes and product, with investment in continual innovation and commitment to creating handcrafted, long-range, world-class motor yachts that are truly 'Oceans Apart'.

Stay tuned for next story as we take a look at the Maritimo Family. Defining the Maritimo Experience.

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