Multihull Solutions’ CEO on Brokering for the Asia Market
In recent months the team at Superyachts.com has reported heavily on the burgeoning strategic importance of the North American market for brokerage firms, which has been reflected in huge industry moves such as Fraser Yachts' return to US ownership. However, to focus solely on this continent would be to neglect the increasingly important Asia Pacific region; an up-and-coming market which is seeing increased investment and growth in the yachting industry. In line with this, we spoke to Mark Elkington, CEO and Director of Multihull Solutions – the leading catamaran and trimaran specialist for Asia Pacific – to glean a better insight into the services they provide to the Asian market.
Q. Tell us about Multihull Solutions and the services you offer.
A. We lead the industry in service and advice for buyers ordering new multihulls for delivery to Asia Pacific with commissioning centres in Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. Multihull Solutions introduced the first professionally managed “European Delivery” concierge service to support our Asia Pacific clients, to ensure the challenges of language, culture and setting up each owner’s multihull was as enjoyable as possible.
Q. How do you see the industry is changing since you took the helm at Multihull and how are you adapting business development to fit this?
A. The industry has changed a lot since we started in the multihull industry in 1997. In those days we basically sold new multihulls and handed them over to the few buyers that were in the market at that time. This “sales only” business model is still what most of our competitors do today, to run a lean business with few staff. However, the multihull market really took off for us in 2009, through establishing our new brand ‘Multihull Solutions” bringing together more professional and dedicated people to improve our customer service, education and advice.
Then there were the challenges with languages, currencies, culture and time zones, as we became the first multi-location, multi-branded multihull company in the Asia Pacific Region. Our European, Pacific and Asia deliveries are growing at more than 35% annually, with more buyers taking on the life changing adventure of completing half or full circumnavigations and newcomers to our multihulls growing at a greater rate than our production can manage. A frustrating but rewarding time and congratulations has to go to our dedicated team for the efforts and hard work in achieving what we have achieved.
Q. Any exciting projects on the books?
A. The most recent excitement is around a new brand that Multihull Solutions exclusively represents in Asia Pacific, ILIAD Catamarans. These are a long range, passage making or circumnavigation able, custom built power catamaran with great R&D in its DNA.
Q. Do you see the business expanding into other continents, notably the North American market?
A. We are regularly offered opportunities outside of Asia Pacific and have given serious thought and financial consideration to some of these, but we have made the decision not to become distracted, as is easy to do in this business. We have so much more to achieve in our region with the growing sales demand across new and pre-owned multihulls and ever-increasing demand for quality after sales service and support, there is a lot of hard work still required to remain the “go to” Multihull Company.
Evidently the Asia Pacific market is of vital strategic importance in today’s yachting industry, and one that is underestimated in today’s common conceptions. Multihull Solutions’ venture into the 24m+ market is evidenced by their most recent sales listing, the 28m catamaran Muschi Khan.
We at Superyachts.com are excited to hear more from Multihull Solutions, and will be keeping our ears close to the ground for further development from the growing brand.
"Our European, Pacific and Asia deliveries are growing at more than 35% annually, with more buyers taking on the life changing adventure of completing half or full circumnavigations and newcomers to our multihulls growing at a greater rate than our production can manage"