The Renaissance Of Bespoke Client Management

By Ben Roberts

Launching only just this week, 8 Yachts is a brand-new boutique superyacht management firm led by Jim Passmore and Guy Waddilove - two experts in their field with over forty years of experience between them, both promising to bring concentrated quality service to a very select group of superyacht owners.

What was the leading inspiration behind setting up a new yacht management firm?
"A frustration with how the current yacht management ‘norms’ are accepted and our belief that owners deserve better. Yacht management by some of the larger agencies results in one manager being shared between up to 10 yachts. This means they have little time to truly represent their owners’ best interests; it is impossible for them to focus on quality and detail whilst reducing the cost of ownership. We felt the industry and the owners deserved better value for their money."

How does your approach and expertise help set 8 Yachts aside from other firms?
"It’s in the name. The two founders, Guy and I, are limited to managing just 8 Yachts between us. This means each owner and their yacht gets the focus and time they need, giving owners total peace of mind that their boat is being managed effectively. The fact that yacht management is all that we do also means we have no conflicts of interest. Our soul source of income is from our owners; we don’t broker or charter and we don’t take commission payments or kick-backs from suppliers, so our owners benefit from transparency and can be confident that we are working solely in their best interests."

How are you saving the owners money and providing a better service?
"We aim to reduce the cost of ownership by 30% for our owners, not through compromising on quality, but by smarter management, smarter procurement and due diligence on suppliers and crew. We also procure direct from manufacturers."

Where do your areas of expertise lie?
"Guy and I have worked on all sides of the yacht management equation. Our formal qualifications including an MBA, a Master 3000T (Yachts) ticket, a Marine Surveying Diploma and a Project Management Diploma. As for practical experience, I have over 100,000 sea miles and have captained yachts for many years. Guy has 200,000 sea miles and has worked as captain in many roles on vessels to 43M. We have both overseen new builds in the role of client representative and project managers from inception so understand how to get the best value and the best outcome for our owners through working with yards. We have also overseen and commissioned refits with the same attention to detail."

What key services do you offer any owner?
"We offer end to end yacht management for existing yachts and new projects. Whilst owners get the best value from us when we are retained to oversee the ongoing management of their yacht, we do offer new build management and refit management as project based work."

How will an exclusive cap aid both yourselves and the owner?
"It means better service, attention to detail and more transparent representation than they have ever had before. We get the satisfaction of effectively managing 8 yachts, giving 100% commitment and getting fantastic results for our owners."

How does a diluted management firm hold potential pitfalls for the owner?
"Good question. The devil is in the detail with yacht management. Owners may feel like they are getting value and service but in some cases the manager is not motivated to reduce costs whilst improving service because they just don’t have the time to do it. Many yacht management companies also sell and charter boats which can result in basic conflicts of interest arising. Given the budgets, staff levels and role these yachts play in the owners’ lives (i.e., they are supposed to be fun), we take a lot of this conflict away so owners can enjoy themselves while we take care of the often time consuming, stressful and costly details."

How does limiting the fleet size benefit the owner?
"How can a £30m asset with an annual cost of £2.5m and a crew of 7 be effectively managed by 10% of one person? By limiting our fleet we have more time to focus on adding value for our clients and protecting their asset rather than paying lip service. High network individuals expect this level of service and management in other areas of their life; we believe that they should expect it when it comes to yacht management too. Our boutique approach means we are proud to be small, we are proud to be proactive and we are proud to be hands on."

For more information on 8 Yachts, click here.

By Ben Roberts