Power & Motor Yacht
Sean Robertson, President, Sunseeker USA Sales Co. Inc.
PMY: How will your products change to meet the needs of the evolving marketplace?
SEAN ROBERTSON: Anticipating an evolving market has been a key driver behind the success of Sunseeker since its inception. We constantly strive to develop new, exciting products and have probably had more industry ‘firsts’ over the past 50 years because of that pioneering philosophy. There are some clear trends in the market at the moment, not least the desire for greater space, whether it is increased useable areas on deck or the greater feeling of light and volume internally. We have been at the very forefront of these trends increasing glazing areas, creating desirable entertaining spaces out of underused foredeck areas or transforming the otherwise unused bathing platform areas into a comfortable place to enjoy the water. We have done this throughout our model range transforming segments with incredibly successful models like the Manhattan 52 which has features previously unheard of in that size range before. It is not just how we adapt to meet these trends though, it is how we predict future trends and build these insights into our future models. We operate a rolling 5-year product plan and so are already defining models for 2023. Being able to anticipate future trends or even create them has long been a strength of Sunseeker and we are confident that our next generation of new models will continue to innovate. Space, light, usability and technology will remain important of course but it is how we use these to create something truly special that will keep us ahead of the competition. PMY: What lessons from the past has helped move your business forward?
SEAN ROBERTSON: I suppose the most important thing is know your client. It sounds obvious but if you are able to truly understand your customer, interpret their needs and anticipate how they may change then you will always lead and never follow. This was the philosophy of Robert and John Braithwaite and it has made Sunseeker what it is today. From the very beginning, they recognised the potential of the French Riviera and its desirability for the new ‘jet-set’. This was their customer, not the traditional UK boater and they set about creating fast open boats deigned for ‘fun in the sun’. The rest as they say is history. This philosophy has kept Sunseeker at the forefront of the industry ever since and that pioneering and visionary drive of Robert and John remains as strong within Sunseeker as it ever did. PMY: How have your customer demands shifted in recent years?
SEAN ROBERTSON: As mentioned previously the demand for greater space, light and comfort on board is driving changes in motoryacht design. The real catalyst for this though is we are finding owners are spending more time on board their boats and wanting to cruise further, which is driving the need for greater space, longer range and more ‘home comforts’. From larger appliances to greater connectivity, owners are expecting a far greater level of technology and convenience on board but there is also a desire for a greater sense of connection to the water too. Larger, better equipped exterior spaces on deck and an increased focus on ‘wet’ areas and toys. We have once again lead the way with this, from the incredible Manhattan 52 which revolutionised the sub-60 foot flybridge segment to our new flagship the 161 Yacht with its exceptional beach club.