Passerelles, hydraulics and the superyacht industry: An interview with SEA&BOAT

Mr Venieris Nikolaos, founder/owner of SEA&BOAT, one of the world’s leading companies in passerelles, boarding systems and other hydraulic equipment, recently spoke to Yachting Pages offering more information on the demands required within the superyacht industry today.

When was your business founded and how has it evolved?

SEA&BOAT was established in 1986 providing high quality nautical accessories to the Greek market, manufactured by the top European companies in this area. With 20 years’ experience in the nautical industry and with the support of top-level European manufacturers, in 2008, SEA&BOAT proceeded in the construction of the hydraulic systems NV, which included products such as gangways, boarding ladders, deck cranes, hydraulic platforms, flaps, travel lifts etc..., persisting in quality, excellent design and technical support, while maintaining the most competitive prices in the market.

Working on luxury yachts, excellence has always been what we’ve aimed for. Excellence in the equipment provided, but also incorporating a high responsibility in the technical support we provide. These features are the reasons why our company created a loyal clientele of demanding yacht owners, as well as a co-operation with the best Greek shipyards.

2008, the year-landmark when SEA&BOAT started the construction of the hydraulic systems NV, was the beginning of a new era for us. Being a manufacturer, the sky was the limit. From the moment we’d started the production, we have had the opportunity to create equipment and boarding systems ‘sur measure’, including special constructions that would meet the high standards of our customers, while covering their own needs.

We’ve worked hard to find the best quality raw materials and to offer powerful boarding systems that meet the special needs and high standards of superyacht owners and constructors in technical features and aesthetics.

What makes you different from your competitors?

The fact that we design and create special constructions meeting the needs of each customer (superyacht owners or shipyards) is our point of differentiation. We always work on our customers’ unique needs and we offer them a wide range of choices for each construction, while giving attention to detail, ensuring the end product is a true reflection of the owners’ expectations.

There are customers with high-aesthetic standards who want their gangway to be glorious and to show off the luxury of their superyacht.

In 2009 a superyacht owner from Dubai asked for his gangway to be sparkling with stones and gold. We designed a luxurious gangway with gold-plated parts and we filled the NV logo on the gangway’s surface with Swarovski elements. It was exactly what he wanted.

Since then, we’ve created a special edition for our standard gangways range with gold-plated parts and Swarovski NV logos with a small extra cost for customers who want a touch of glow on their yachts. But there are also customers who need more than a gangway. They need a multi-function (transforming) boarding system, such as the NV Apollon 5 special folding gangway which is a special internal gangway that transforms into a luxury swimming ladder.

Are you working on any new developments at the moment?

We always stay updated with any new materials that will potentially upgrade our new constructions as we want to give the best to our customers, using the latest avant-garde equipment. Also, we continually work on new partnerships creating a distributors’ network that will provide our special products and services all over the world.

Is there anything that people don’t know that you would like to announce?

All our products are handmade; they are supported by EU certification, while they come with a two-year guarantee. Apart from our basic element of production, which is the yacht gangways and boarding systems, we also construct deck cranes, hydraulic platforms, travel lifts, as well as working on special stainless-steel constructions and hydraulic multi-function superyacht equipment.

Who is your key target audience?

Our basic gangway range is aimed at yachts of 10 to 25m in length. While we mostly work with superyacht owners (yachts over 25m) and shipyards for special constructions.

What are the biggest challenges that you face in the superyacht industry at the moment?

To provide high quality, multi-functional equipment in short delivery times, while keeping the cost low, without lessening the quality. You see, the market has been dramatically changed in the last few years. It is quite difficult to find raw materials in the quality of past years and with quick delivery terms, especially when you need special parts for a unique construction. Fortunately, we have chosen the best suppliers for the raw materials we use. Though the prices for one unique part can be quite high, we still try our hardest to provide clients with the best deal.

Have you been effected by the recession?

It’s difficult to say. There is a big decrease in the number of the gangways that we construct, especially the ones for yachts under 30m that belong in our standard range. Though there is a significant increase in the special constructions for superyachts over 35m. So, ultimately, it has only been the nature of the work that has changed.

What is the most bizarre client request you’ve received?

The gangway that was requested to be sparkling like a jewel as I mentioned earlier was a surprise for us, for sure. Although we always see the requests of our customers as a new challenge because every request needs a solution and that’s our job; as I said, “the sky is the limit”. We perfectly understand that luxury is a part of our work. Technical design always comes first, but aesthetics in our constructions is also important.

What are the current trends in your sector at the moment?

The body lines of yachts have become more rounded, their design has become more minimal. So, we follow their lines and style in our designs.

What superyachts/big clients have you worked with that you can share?

We have worked on the yachts of the greatest owners in Greece, such as the S/Y Adamas II, the M/Y Six Plus Two, the M/Y Bella Stella, the M/Y Harmony G, the M/Y Magna Grecia and the S/Y O’Mega. We also work with the best Greek shipyards and yacht management companies such as Hellenic Shipyards, PrivatSea, etc... for special constructions and multi-function equipment on superyachts, such as the S/Y Al Salamah, the M/Y Lady Sarya, the M/Y Blue Desire, the M/Y Samhan etc…

Are you attending any upcoming boat shows?

We are currently scheduled to attend the Athens Boat Show, which is on the 15 to 19 October 2014.

Who would be your dream client?

A dream client for us is somebody that gives us challenges to overcome. Fulfilling different and unique requests makes us better.

For more information, visit SEA&BOAT.

See a video of NV Apollon 5 Special Folding after installation testing :

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