by Bob Wonders
So, you’re in the market for a new boat? Prepared to spend some thing between $1 and $30 million?
Ferretti 881 Christina
Then head for Jones Bay Wharf, just a short walk from Darling Harbour, venue of the annual Sydney International Boat Show and make for the offices of Yachting Unlimited.
Yachting Unlimited is the Australia-New Zealand-Oceania distributor for the fabulous Ferretti family of prestige craft and although established only three-years ago has already made its mark at the ‘top end’ of recreational boating.
The Ferretti Group, founded by Norberto Ferretti in 1968 is a leader in luxury motor yachts, with a unique portfolio of exclusive brands in the nautical world: Ferretti Yachts, Pershing, Itama, Bertram, Riva, Apreamare, Mochi Craft, Custom Line and CRN.
The Ferretti Group is in the forefront of the nautical industry, thanks to a constant product and process innovation and a continuous technological research. Its luxury yachts are designed by a team of over 100 specialised engineers (Advanced Yacht Technology) and built in the Group's 22 production units by 3,000 staff.
In the year ending August 31st 2007 the Ferretti Group production Value was 933 million euros (1.644 billon dollar Australian), a gain of + 21% compared with the 770 million Euros (1.287 billion Australian dollars) reported a year earlier).
Ferretti yachts are currently sold in 95 countries, via an international dealer network of 85 distributors. .
Representing Ferretti in Australasia and Oceania, Yachting Unlimited is operated by the father and son team, John and Rob Sanders,
Yachting Unlimited will undertake a comprehensive expansion program through 2008, seeking to establish offices and service facilities on the Gold Coast and in New Zealand, to name but two ‘targets.’
It already has a presence on Hamilton Island, in Adelaide and in Noumea.
John Sanders, a New Zealander, still resides across the Tasman, but maintains an apartment within walking distance of the company offices at Pyrmont and makes regular trips ‘across the ditch.’
Son Rob lives full-time in Pyrmont and handles the office management and marketing for the company.
The company boasts some highly skilled personnel, including General Manager and marine electronics expert Guy Currenti and Joe Howard, a qualified skipper with many hours at the helm of superyachts worldwide.
Yachting Unlimited’s establishment is a story in itself; John Sanders was visiting the Dusseldorf boat show some three-years ago and had heard that The Ferretti Group was seeking to expand its dealer network into the Australasian region.
'What impressed me most in regards to the Ferretti breed was the display hosted by the company,' he recalled.
'Unlike some of the exhibitors, which had the bottoms of the hulls either enclosed or difficult to inspect, the Ferretti family boats on display were there in all their glory, their hulls unobstructed and full view, with spotlights highlighting their superb finish and gelcoats.
'I could see I was looking at pure quality,' he added.
The Ferretti ‘family’ marketed by Yachting Unlimited comprises Ferretti Yachts, Mochi Craft, Pershing, Custom Line, Itama and Apremare.
Mochi Dolphin 74
Simply put, the company offers the largest range of prestige power yachts available in the South Pacific region.
Retail prices of the company’s offerings range from about $1 million through to an astonishing $30 million.
With such a range, the company’s primary focus is straight to the point; 'To provide an unsurpassed level of sales and service to those joining the Ferretti family.'
In marketing the range, Yachting Unlimited concentrates on Australia’s ‘big two’ boating exhibitions, the Sydney and Sanctuary Cove International Boat Shows.
'We did have a presence at Melbourne last year,' Rob Sanders said, 'but certainly Sydney and the Sanctuary Cove shows are very important for us.'
John Sanders admitted the company would like to present the range at other exhibitions, mentioning Mandurah, in W.A., as a possibility.
'But the cost of getting boats over there just makes it too hard at present,' he explained.
Visitors to the 2008 Sydney International Boat Show will be in for a treat, with Yachting Unlimited planning to display a Ferretti 830 motor yacht, yours for just a ‘snip’ at $8.5 million.
One aspect of the business has surprised John Sanders.
'We established our HQ here in Sydney because we thought NSW would be the major source of sales,' he said.
'However, it has not quite turned out that way.
Sales are occuring around Australia and New Zealand. Although the company does not carry stock across Australasia, (not at those prices!), clients from around the region are looked after by either being brought to Sydney or taken to a vessel, whichever is easier or closer.
'We’re fortunate in having people like Guy Currenti and Joe Howard on call, with both having extensive time at the wheel aboard mega yachts,' John Sanders explained.
'If we have to take a boat to a client on its own bottom, it’s a simple task for us.'
John, Rob and the Yachting Unlimited crew are looking forward to 2008, with a number of prospects in the wings and the forthcoming Sanctuary Cove and Sydney International Boat Shows on the horizon.
'Yachting Unlimited is here to offer the best in a recreational boating experience,' John Sanders declared.