I have just returned from another fantastic trip to Europe for the international dealer meetings of Jeanneau and Fountaine Pajot. Both offered a look at some exciting new products, important developments on production and outlook for 2019 and 2020, and exciting awards for the Atlantic Cruising Yachts team.
Jeanneau International Dealer Meeting: Port Bourgenay, France.
Our East Coast of Florida Regional Manager, Josef Buxton, and I joined approximately 300 other dealer representatives in Port Bourgenay, located in the Vendee region of France. The location is the perfect backdrop for idyllic summer cruising.
Jeanneau has had an exciting year of new product launches with the revolutionary 440 and 490 designs, both of which have become top-sellers around the world. The highlights of these new designs are extensive. For starters, they include a revolutionary deck design allowing unimpeded, continuous access from deck to cockpit. They feature cockpit coamings that convert into sun-lounging areas. There is the integration of a structural arch into the forward bulkhead, which allows for much greater space including pocket doors to the forward cabin. Lastly, the new hull design features a reverse bow for increased performance. Jeanneau continues to gain market share with these new designs, while other manufacturers have lost ground.
Further expanding this new line of performance cruising yachts, Jeanneau has introduced a new 410 model with similar features and innovations. We were able to go aboard Hull Number One at their factory in Cholet, France. Hull Number Three will be joining the Atlantic Cruising Yachts family and was on the production line where we were able to have a look. We are all excited for her arrival to Annapolis in September, in time for this year’s United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis.
We also sea trialed the new NC 37 motor yacht prototype at Port Bourgenay. This new inboard model offers continued design enhancements and fits nicely between the NC 33 and NC 14. The sea trials took place on a beautiful blue ocean with warm breezes and flat water, – perfect conditions – with a stop for lunch in Les Sables d’Olonne.
One of the big highlights of the Jeanneau International Dealer Meeting was the gala dinner and awards ceremony, where Atlantic Cruising Yachts was once again awarded top performing Dealer of the Year for North America. We have been fortunate to regularly win this award, but it never gets old! It’s always great to have this recognition of our team’s efforts for sales and service. And it never hurts when we have to go to bat for our clients.
Fountaine Pajot International Dealer Meeting: La Rochelle, France.
The following week I headed to La Rochelle to see my friends at Fountaine Pajot and meet up with a large contingent of the Atlantic Cruising Yachts team for the International Dealer Meeting. Most of our sales team flew in to attend, along with Marty Naegelin, Sales Director, Baptiste Bardout, Commissioning Project Manager, Ken Krasko, Commissioning Director, and Kris Vereen, Sales Administration Manager. Jean-Francois Fountaine joked with me that my team would need to purchase a jet next year to fly our growing team out to La Rochelle!
A highlight of the meeting was the introduction of a new sailing catamaran to replace the Hélia 44 (more details will be available in September). Atlantic Cruising Yachts has secured production slots for three of the first four boats to be built. We were also treated with the completion of the first Flagship 67 sailing catamaran, which we were able to visit with Yves de Karegnat, Fountaine Pajot’s Project Manager. It is a pure statement of luxury and comfort that is sure to be a great addition to crewed charter fleets around the world. We are returning to Cannes, France in September for sea trials.
This year Atlantic Cruising Yachts won the two top honors at the dealer awards ceremony: Best Dealer for Sailing Catamarans and Best Dealer for Motor Yachts. It was wonderful to be able to invite our large group on stage to accept the awards with me. Our entire team has worked so hard this year and they deserve the honors.
After the meetings, I met privately with the executive team of Fountaine Pajot to map out our mutual production commitments to one another. I am pleased to announce that we have made another huge financial commitment to Fountaine Pajot for a substantial share of their total production capacity for 2019 and 2020, thus ensuring our clients extensive access to their vessels.
While at the Fountaine Pajot event we met up with two of our clients onboard their new Fountaine Pajot catamarans in the harbor of La Rochelle. We enjoyed celebrating their incredible new boats and wished them well on their adventures.
Mediterranean Cruising Concierge Services
We are excited to announce a new partnership exclusive to Atlantic Cruising Yachts clients providing Mediterranean Concierge Services to those who want to spend a season cruising the Mediterranean Sea. This service includes the following:
- A local captain to meet you onboard and assist you with your initial delivery from La Rochelle, France to your final Mediterranean home port.
- Dockage for the season at several premier marina locations of your choice including:
- Cannes and St. Tropez, France
- Tuscany and Sicily, Italy
- Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Full-service concierge for provisioning, itinerary planning, receiving, and shore excursions.
We will announce full details and pricing of these packages shortly. The packages can be added to your boat purchase at the time of contract. I did a week of due diligence after the Fountaine Pajot dealer meeting with my family in beautiful Taormina, Sicily. Crystal clear waters and sunshine every day, friendly locals, incredible food and wine, and breathtaking scenery await. I can’t wait to return next summer.
See you on the water!