November 13, 2023

Interview with Superyacht Times

Founded as a superyacht supply company in southern Florida, over the past 28 years Yacht Chandlers has transformed into a leading full-service yacht supply company with international offices and an international reputation. Regularly the first choice for captains, owners, crew and charter management companies, Yacht Chandlers is now expanding its portfolio of services again, and opening new offices across Europe.

We sat down with Brenda Van Zoeren, Managing Director of Yacht Chandlers Europe and of YC Interiors, the company’s interior outfitting wing, to find out more about this latest expansion and to understand what it means for the company’s extensive client portfolio.

Please share some insights into the expansion and the new office in Port Gallice in Antibes?

Over the past four years, Yacht Chandlers Europe has expanded rapidly, doubling the number of employees, tripling the number of shipments and quadrupling the sales turnover. Subsequently, we’ve acquired more work and warehouse space and while we had expanded into several locations in Antibes with an interior showroom, extra storage area, demo & meeting spaces, we wanted to centralise our team under one roof again.

At the same time, we have been seeking new opportunities to better service our customers in an innovative way, taking inspiration from a beautiful environment. We believe that the location in Port Gallice is the ideal setting to offer our clients exceptional services – for example we now have a tender service and are able to deliver directly to the yachts at anchor.

You are also building a new showroom in the Netherlands for YC Interiors – what will the new space look like and why have you decided to grow?

The interior outfitting aspect of new-builds is often overlooked or not picked up early enough. It has become our mission to gradually raise awareness about the relevance of the interior segments by exposing different interior facets and when they are needed. We envision that the new showroom will reflect this by serving as an educational and inspiring space, that will stimulate the client at different stages of the building process. From the first line on the paper, to when the steel is being cut, all the way through to the delivery and beyond into the operational stages.

The concept is simple: we are seeking to combine the forces of equally minded services with the same vision and motivation, which is to offer our clients tailored support throughout the building process. Think for example of insurance companies, crew agencies, training companies, smart technology integrators, medical equipment suppliers etc. In the end it is more cost effective and more sustainable for all parties involved.

Why are Yacht Chandlers looking into expansion within the Middle East and do you foresee this to be an important region in the future?

Unfortunately, the war in Europe has continued for far longer than anyone predicted and naturally, it has had a knock-on effect for the new-build market. In conjunction with this, the financial uncertainty that comes with the war has disturbed us all and has made everyone including Yacht Owners more cautious with their purchases.

The Middle East has, of course, always been a region with significant and consistent purchasing power, so it comes to no surprise that we see a shift from Europe to the Middle East. The region itself is anticipating this by investing in infrastructure and marinas, encouraging the tendency. At the same time the situation in Europe has given Owners and Charterers a push to explore ‘new’ waters other than Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, not only in the Gulf region but also further afield, like Asia, the Pacific Island and even Australia and New Zealand have seen an increase in yachts in their waters.

So yes, I definitely foresee that with all that is happening the Middle East will have an even more dominant role in yachting in future. We already notice that within our own business as we are shipping more and more to the UAE and are looking forward to expanding our business to this exciting area and growing alongside the industry needs.

Can you give a run-down of the services the company currently offers and the new services it is looking to provide its clients to create a 360-degree approach to the supply chain?

Yacht Chandlers and YC Interiors offers a full range of marine supplies for yachts. Spare parts, deck supplies, water toys, safety equipment, interior supplies, galley equipment, provisions, wines, art work, furniture, medical equipment, cleaning products: you name it and we supply it. ‘Anything Anytime Anywhere’! But we can always improve on our quality, which is why we also seek to work together with some other key-players in the industry to be able to offer additional expertise in areas outside of our scope.

With our three main locations in Florida, France and Holland we have built up an unmatched logistical network that supports our clients throughout their operational lifetime. This helps get products, services and support quicker to our clients, wherever it has to come from or wherever on our globe our client may be cruising and we have built an unmatched level of expertise to service new-builds and crew alike.. At the moment we serve over 300 operational yachts, and counting!

Why is it valuable for clients to centralise operations with one company like Yacht Chandlers?

Having been in business for almost 30 years we have captured extensive experience and expertise in all segments of the yachting industry. Since we developed our European division 12 years ago, we have also been able to fully develop and incorporate YC Interiors, the highly tailored and super luxury interior outfitting service within Yacht Chandlers.

The fact that we are able to deal with every single facet of the yachting industry combined with worldwide locations and longstanding relationships with distributors empowers us to deliver any of our client’s requirements in a centralised fashion in the most time-efficient and cost-efficient manner.

Our ability to consolidate shipments for different departments is not only a more cost-effective option, it also has a sustainable aspect. Through using the full capacity of just one shipment we are able to leave a smaller environmental footprint. For captains and management companies dealing with just one source has the added advantage of having fewer invoicing companies and bank transfers, which again is more cost effective.

How do you expect the company, both Yacht Chandlers and YC Interiors, to expand over the coming year and do you think the services offering will continue to grow?

In a world where everything is becoming digital, we believe that personal contact remains key. Therefore, we focus on building personal long-term relationships with our clients. One way to get closer to our clients is to globally expand our business by spreading our locations. As previously mentioned, we already seek to grow our services and product packages in different directions. We also pursue the growth of our team from within, with which I mean investing in our current people to make the individuals flourish. Improving our own personal skills will make us perform better, resulting in better service for our clients.

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