Drettmann Yachts On The Evolution of Brand

By Ben Roberts

After signing two new explorer yachts in 2013, Drettmann Yachts explains exactly what it takes to deliver a yacht which can navigate the globe in both style and comfort, and just how the company has evolved since it’s inception.

These two yachts from the Bremen brand have attracted a lot of attention since their announcement, but how has Drettmann Yachts reached a level of reverence in the yachting community?

“For a product to become a true brand, it has to deliver a number of benefits,” explains Albert Drettmann, “functionality and quality, but above all: character - a tangible, visible asset that has a vital effect on the customer’s decision to buy and subsequent satisfaction.”

The fact that Claudia and Albert Drettmann cultivate and embody this sense of brand identity is clearly evident from the positive development of their firm over the last few years, Drettmann Yachts.

Drettmann Motor Yachts (DMY) and Drettmann Explorer Yachts (DEY), which range from 20 to 45 metres, boast features that have never been seen before in this class: for instance, a beach club with bar, wellness area and direct access to the guest cabins or the sea, garages for tender and jet-ski or the new diesel electric pod propulsion systems with comfortable joystick steering, which makes manoeuvring the vessel fun, as it is both simple and safe.

This forms a new kind of maritime experience which thoroughly fulfils the wish for more comfort, the ultimate closeness to the water and maximum facilities on board. The highly committed owners behind projects such as this have succeeded in transforming the yard’s passion for yachts into an impressively thriving business.

In the last two years alone, the Drettmanns have not only sold 200 pre-owned yachts, but also excelled in the new-build sector.

“The wealth of innovative and ingenious solutions has obviously struck the right chord in the market,” explains Albert Drettmann, “the keel of the first DMY is about to be laid, no fewer than two vessels from the new Explorer Yacht series have already been sold in 2013 and other negotiations are in process.”

Needless to say, Albert Drettmann is delighted that Drettmann Yachts has picked up speed so soon; however, increasing interest means lower capacities for building new yachts.

“We have accordingly been keeping our eyes open for potential new partners all over the world, for people who share our ideas and can live up to our exacting technical standards. This search has been successful – and has taken us back to the Netherlands once again and also back to Asia.”

The Dutch shipyards are regarded as market leaders in international yachting circles, and back in the early days of the company, Drettmann already cooperated successfully with Neptunus Shipbuilding in the Netherlands. By the year 1998, Drettmann had commissioned and sold more than 700 yachts with lengths of up to 20 metres by the yard.

Asia is not “new territory” for the Drettmanns. For almost 20 years, up until 2010, Drettmann collaborated with the Taiwanese yard “Horizon”.

From the initial figure of 90 employees, Drettmann raised the workforce to a total of 1300 and, in its heyday, purchased 80% of the yard’s production. Drettmann commissioned a total of more than 300 Motor and Explorer Yachts from its own well-known “Elegance” and “Bandido” lines, in a class of up to 55m, and found satisfied owners for them on behalf of the yard.

The next chapter in this success story is now to be written in cooperation with shipyards in the Netherlands and Asia and – if all goes according to plan – will surpass the company’s previous performance.

“Our new partner yards belong to the top players in the high-end shipbuilding market. They have already delivered proof of their experience, skilled craftsmanship and quality awareness for many years,” explains Albert Drettmann.

By Ben Roberts
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