Sunseeker Trending in South East Asia Published: 03.04.2017
The Singapore Yacht Show team caught up with Douglas Culverwell, Regional Business Manager Middle and Far East, Sunseeker International Ltd, he shared some valuable insight with us ahead of the Singapore Yacht Show
Q) How long has Sunseeker had a presence in Asia and how does Sunseeker look to grow this market in the future?
We have had a presence in Asia for some considerable time. Head quartered out of Hong Kong with our Distributor Sunseeker Asia since 2002, we now have a strong dealer network across South East Asia including of course Singapore. Daniel Au, Dealer Principal and Peter Mahony, Sales Director together manage Sunseeker Singapore from their office in ONE°15 Marina, coincidentally also the home of the Singapore Yacht Show! They both have a wealth of experience both in the brand and region. Sunseeker International has a real focus on cultivating the opportunities we know this region presents. My appointment as the regional business head I suppose demonstrates that commitment.
It’s a region I know well as a number of my 19 years working in this industry have been spent helping to develop the boating business here, either directly in the market, or as part of a wider team. My experience has shown me that there are some fundamental aspects to growing a region and Asia is no different. Having a strong, professional network of dealers providing exceptional sales and support is of course critical, but without a strong recognised brand and a continual supply of truly leading edge products you will very quickly fail.
I am extremely lucky to have all of those things around me already, and it is now my role to ensure we continue support and strengthen our distribution network at this exciting time. The Singapore Yacht Show is a great platform for us to grow. The Show has become one of the most important yachting events in the region and has a true international pull with visitors throughout South East Asia. I know that we will be meeting the region’s key influencers and clients during the show.
Q) Is Sunseeker seeing any new trends in the market? Are there any new demands in terms of technical requirements, design and entertaining options?
In short, the key product trends are related to space, light, comfort and luxury. So many owners are using their boats almost as second homes and hence are demanding more and more ‘home comforts’. That does not just mean they are requesting the latest audio visual technology, or domestic sized kitchen appliances, (but of course they are), but it also means not having to compromise on space, whether that is for entertaining guests, or simply enjoying time with the family.
This is not simply about moving up the size range. Although many of our owners do decide over time to upgrade to a larger yacht, we ensure we can provide more space within the same package. Take our new 52 Manhattan for example.
The amount of space our designers have managed to allocate throughout is incredible, whether it is the expansive saloon or the vast cabins with full head height throughout, you will find yourself thinking you are on a much larger boat. This is also true of the exterior space as we’ve even managed to provide private seating, dining and sunbathing areas on the foredeck which is pretty unique on this size range.
The use of natural light is also key and our latest designs maximise this with huge floor to ceiling glazing, cut out bulwarks and fully opening doors to seamlessly connect expansive cockpits to interiors which create truly massive spaces. We find owners are looking to personalise their boats far more today.
Sunseeker was one of the first to truly recognise that this requirement is not exclusive to owners of superyachts either. So, while we offer our ‘bespoke’ service across our 95, 116, 131 and 155 Yachts, we also pride ourselves in offering the widest personalisation offerings throughout the entire size range.
Q) Are there any useful pointers Sunseeker can give to first-time buyers?
I like to think there are three key considerations – Lifestyle, it sounds quite obvious but what are you going to use the boat for? Will you be staying on board frequently? How much space will that require, and is that large enough to handle yourself or will you need crew? A good dealer will help you with this to make sure you buy the right boat for your needs. Heritage, buy from a reputable brand.
It’s not a short-term proposition, and strong brands like Sunseeker will only improve your ownership. Dealer - always buy from an experienced dealer with strong aftercare.
Boat ownership for first time buyers should be a truly exciting and wonderful experience, but it can be also be very daunting. A good dealer will help you through the process, help you with training to ensure you can handle the boat, and have the correct equipment to ensure that you fulfil your dream in the best possible way.