Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, where you’re from . . .
I’m born and raised in Pompano Beach, FL. I grew up on the water. I had my first little boat when I was about 8 years old and loved it ever since. I’m a true native Floridian, both my parents grew up in Pompano also.
Tell us about the story behind Yacht Management, how did it come about?
I started Yacht Management as a result of my first job pumping fuel at a Marina in Pompano. A gentleman in the marina had a Sea Ray and offered me $20/week to keep an eye on it. That soon progressed into here’s $200/month can you keep an eye on it, wash it, make sure everything’s working ok, etc. He was my first client. I saw an opportunity with 49 other boats in the Marina to duplicate a similar program. I noticed all the subcontractors coming and going (divers, contractors, detailers, etc) and thought to myself why don’t I create a plan that encompasses all these things and streamlines all the above into a monthly maintenance program, that would make it easier for the owner. One thing turned into another and here we are today.
What attracted you to the marine industry?
The love of boating and just being on the water. I actually went to school to become a firefighter/paramedic, obtained my certifications but I always gravitated towards all things on the water which kept me in the industry.
What sets Yacht Management apart from others in the field? How did you accomplish this and how do you plan to continue to do so?
Yacht Management encompasses a wide variety of services that none of our competitors fully provide. We are a true “one stop shop” for yacht owners. With five marinas, two fuel docks, a full service boatyard and a maintenance division, we provide everything under a single umbrella. Our competitors simply do not offer the scope and breadth of service that Yacht Management provides. We handle everything from dockage, to repairs, to accounting and everything in between. We have all the resources and relationships in place. We can react faster to our client’s requests.
How has Yacht Management evolved throughout the years?
In 2001, Yacht Management consisted of one employee (me) and a single client on a monthly maintenance plan. Presently, Yacht Management employs seventy-three full-time employees and has one hundred and sixty vessels in its monthly maintenance plan. In addition, Yacht Management has five marinas under management or ownership control and two fuel docks pumping approximately one million gallons of fuel each year. In short order, we have become an industry leader in what we do and how we do it. We also work to remain on the cutting edge in terms of technological advancements in the yachting world and utilize the latest programs and resources not only for our clients, but also to streamline our own business on a daily basis.
Tell us a few things that specifically ignite passion and excitement about your job?
The boat owners. With 160 clients on a residual monthly maintenance plan and over 500 clients served on an annual basis the clients keep it interesting and keep us on our toes. Every day is different, We are always modifying our services to meet our clients’ needs.
What do you love most about what you do?
It’s exciting, I really enjoy the diversity in that no day is ever the same. It’s a 24/7 job, boating is something that’s in your blood and you get addicted to it.
Do you have specific examples you would like to share with us on how you believe your company has enriched mariners’ experience on the water?
Yes. We believe we’ve made it easier for owners to enjoy their time spent on the water, we take care of the rest. In several instances we’ve had clients join the program with smaller vessels and because of our program, within a few years, they progress to larger vessels.
Example – We had a customer that bought a 42 footer, he said he would’ve bought a larger boat but he was apprehensive about all the factors that come along with the larger vessel, crew, etc, However, as a result of our services he recently purchased an 80 footer.
What should we expect to see from your company this year?
Yacht Management is currently in the acquisition process of several new marina locations as well as expanding within the industry. We are in a growth stage. I’ve added key personnel to assist with this growth and look forward to a great year.
Are you involved with marine organizations? If so in what capacity, what are some of the responsibilities and what do you enjoy about them?
We are active members of the MIASF, The Fort Lauderdale Mariner’s Club, Florida Yacht Broker Association, and Young Professionals in Yachting and are becoming more involved with these groups.
How involved in the boating and marine community are you? Do you own a boat yourself? If so what is the name and make, and what do you love most about being a mariner?
Yes, I’ve been an avid boater since the age of 8, I try to get out as much as I can to enjoy fishing, cruising with friends, and diving. I also like to go to the islands at least once/year. Personally I own a 31 Contender that fits my needs my needs perfectly at the moment and I try to get out on it weekly.
Nathalie Guillou, March 2016 Southern Exposure