We sat down with John Courtney, Managing Director at FunAir, to find out what the company has in store for MYS visitors this year, as well as how innovation is an essential ingredient in the success of the business.
He began by giving a brief synopsis of who the company are and what they do for anyone unacquainted. “FunAir is a leading manufacturer of sealed air inflatables for the superyacht industry,” he told us.
“Said more in a fun way, we have the privilege of making large slides, climbing walls, jet ski docks, blobs – all the really large things for the industry and quite honestly putting a lot of smiles on people’s faces, and that makes us happy too.”
So to what does he attribute the company’s enduring success, having been market leaders for many years now?
“We focus on innovation a lot. It’s kind of an edge for us, so we’ve innovated certain components that work with many of our solutions. Like rapid inflate, which allows us to inflate and deflate our systems six times faster than the conventional method, and sea stairs that let you come out of the water gracefully.
“But we’ve put those into all of the fun items that we have out there. Probably the most successful thing recently is the FunAir beach club sea pool. It includes a seatpool that has an extended deck area out, and our wave loungers, so you can actually lounge on the pool and enjoy the pool at the same time with a view of the yacht.”
What about the operations side of the business, how does that run and what are some of the main challenges?
“We like the fun side, we’re fun people, but the operational side of the business is extremely important too. So we spend a lot of time, whether it’s protecting from jelly fish, or protecting the boat from the jet skis, jet ski docking, organisation of the toys on the back of the boat."
And what would Mr Courtney say allows FunAir to hold the edge on their numerous competitors operating in this space?
“I think it’s engineering and relationships. So we’ve had just the greatest opportunity to work with so many people within the industry and build relationships – that make a difference, whether that’s directly with boats, other manufacturers, partner and distributors within the space. That relationship and professionalism is a real opportunity for us where we deliver an advantage.
"On the engineering side, we not only make the toys, and as you know some of them are quite large. We engineer them, so they blow up faster, they recover easier, we develop new materials to build these inflatables to make them lighter."