The Wealth Scene recently spoke with Patrick Coote, Sales &Blohm & Voss – World Leading Superyacht and Ship Builders; Marketing Director at Blohm and Voss Shipyards about the company’s recent changes and what they have got planned for the future.
- Please tell us how long you have been with Blohm + Voss, what your current role is and have you held any other positions within the company.
I have been Sales & Marketing Director at Blohm & Voss Shipyards since October 2013. I joined the company from Fraser Yachts where I was the Global Marketing Director since 2006, with responsibility for Fraser Yachts along with various other business units within the Azimut Benetti Group.
- Can you describe what Blohm + Voss does, what is its core business?
Blohm+Voss are one of the leading shipyards in the world with a build history of almost 1,000 vessels over the last 137 years. The business is focussed on two main areas, new construction and refit activities. New construction involves the design, engineering, construction and outfitting of military vessels (currently 4 x 149m frigates are in build for the German Navy) and also superyachts from 80m upwards (Graceful 82m was the last delivery in 2014). The shipyard is widely regarded as representing the pinnacle of superyacht construction worldwide in terms of overall quality. Many of the world’s largest private yachts were built and launched by Blohm+Voss over the past 30 years. The refit activities cover oil and gas vessels, cruise ships and merchant vessels but also the refit and repair of very large yachts.
- You have recently appointed a new CEO. Can you tell us a little about his background and why he is the right man for the job?
Blohm+Voss appointed Fred van Beers as its Chief Executive Officer Management Board (CEO). As of 1 March 2015, Fred van took over from Dr Herbert Aly as CEO to lead Blohm+Voss’ growth strategy. His focus will be on developing the luxury yacht business. He will also work to strengthen the leading position of Blohm+Voss in general repairs and conversions with a specific focus for cruise ships and vessels for the off-shore industry.
Fred van Beers (52) has held senior leadership positions in the maritime industry for more than 15 years. He joins Blohm+Voss from his current position as Vice President Services Northern Europe at Wärtsilä, the global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the maritime industry and energy markets with a presence in more than 70 countries. Fred van Beers is a qualified ship engineer, went to sea for four years, and has led all stages of design, engineering, production and aftermarket services. He has a proven track record in delivering profitable sales growth.
Throughout his career at Wärtsilä and his positions in various maritime industry organisations in the Netherlands and Europe, Fred van Beers built up an extensive international network within the community of yacht and ship owners, yacht designers, shipyards and the maritime supply industry.
For the past 20 years delivery of systems and services for yachts has been part of Fred van Beers’ responsibilities. Ernst von Freyberg, Head of the Supervisory Board of Blohm+Voss, said: “We welcome Fred van Beers. He is an exceptionally skilled leader with a long track record in the maritime industry. As owners, we are committed to a long-term viable growth plan for Blohm+Voss.”
- Can you explain what BV80 is all about?
Blohm+Voss is renowned for fully-custom, one-off designs but has now entered the semi-custom sector for the first time with an exciting new design called the BV80.
Blohm+Voss have developed the BV80 superyacht with high appeal, but also be highly customisable and flexible. As long as deck supports remain intact and windows stay as they are the general arrangement is offering total flexibility for how accommodation and interior design is arranged. Special attention was paid to the configuration of the indoor/outdoor areas. With a 50:50 ratio between interior and exterior space, BV80 offers the elegance of yachting on any conditions.
The flexibility of the design enable guest to stepping form the glass-panelled pool house to the vast deck area to dip into the pool, to lounge in the sun or to have a cocktail at a seated bar. To let the evening end as harmoniously as it began the guest can join the fire pit on the aft deck. On the interior the customisation is also boundless. A nightclub area, indoor garden, sliding roof in the master suite, customized spa or a beach club with hull open doors – just to name some options – can be integrated. And as a unique feature, an atrium will impress the guest while entering this astonishing superyacht.
Wings of elegance mark the overall exterior design. The corrugated “waterfall” that’s flow down from the mast base throughout all the aft overhangs is a beautiful standard future of the BV80. The exterior decks are connected by generously wide staircases that integrate with the superstructure side walls; the decks appear to be extensions of each other. Two arms reaching outboard and aft, creating elegant wings for the satellite domes and providing framework for the glass windbreakers. Just a few design feature to carry out the Blohm+Voss DNA in superyacht building.
Blohm+Voss chose the London-based Eidsgaard Design to create its first semi-custom yacht. “As our history shows, we have already worked with some very respected designers, but we want to develop a product that represents the next generation, we should be working with a design company that we feel represents the next generation of our fantastic design” explain Patrick Coote, Director of Sales & Marketing at Blohm+Voss.
The Eidsgaard design of BV80 fits ideal in the Blohm+Voss portfolio of superyachts. This design continues the line of iconic yachtsbuild by Blohm+Voss such as the 119m/390ft “A” by Philippe Starck, the 95m/312ft “Palladium” by Michael Leach Design or the 75m/244ft “ECO”.
The decision for Blohm+Voss to build semi-custom superyachts came from a market research in which a huge market for semi-custom yachts in the range of 75-90 metre was identified. Also the demand for a fast delivery of such yachts was detected. Blohm+Voss can meet this demand. “If we took a contract on a BV80 before the summer of 2015, the yacht would be delivered in spring 2018” commented Patrick Coote, Director of Sales & Marketing at Blohm+Voss.
- You have had many celebrity clients over the year. One in particular is Mr Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea Football Club. Can you tell us a little about his superyacht Eclipse, what input did he have with the design and build etc.
We regret that we cannot make any comments with regard to our clients or their yachts.
- Which leading designers do you use to help design the Yachts or is it all done “in-house”?
Blohm+Voss have worked with many of the top superyacht designers including:
- Tim Heywood
- Martin Francis
- Terence Disdale
- Mike Leach Design
- Philip Starck
- Johhny Horsefield (H2)
- Eidsgaard Design
- What has Blohm + Voss got planned for the future (company structure, new technology etc.)
Blohm+Voss will be developing further semi-custom platforms over the next 24 months as well as working on some highly innovative custom projects that push the boundaries of design and technology.
- It will be the company’s 140th anniversary in 2017, how do they plan to celebrate it?
The plans are under wraps for now but you can bet it will involve a very BIG PARTY!
Please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Coote directly by telephone for any further details +33 678634951
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