Yachting Pages recently spoke to Elizabeth Noles from leading passerelle company Phoenix Marine Solutions. In this Q&A we discuss the challenges, latest developments and the new buying behaviour of clients in the yacht industry and how Phoenix marine is adapting.
In your own words how would you describe Phoenix Marine Solutions?
Established in 1981 we are a mechanical and hydraulic engineering company who design and manufacture complete solutions for the yachting industry.
We work both in superyacht new build and refit. Our in-house capabilities include the latest 3D design of all moving systems to include tender lifts, hydraulic bathing ladders, passerelle, bathing platforms, folding balconies, beach club systems, winches, cranes, rotating hydraulic boarding stairs, stainless steel cylinders and the complete hydraulic and electric power system to operate them.
Is Phoenix Marine Solutions working on any new gangway or passerelle developments at the moment?
We have just developed a new passerelle system that works purely on hydraulic cylinders due to marketplace feedback on the failures of existing belt/chain driven solutions.
We have eliminated belts/chains/pulleys which makes for a trouble free, smooth operating, reliable service life. We have also recently developed a new hydraulic bathing ladder, which can be incorporated, into our bathing platform systems. Our latest products can be seen at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam in November.
What are the biggest challenges that gangways and passerelles manufactures are facing at the moment?
Price vs quality. There are a number of cheap, low quality solutions available on the market and our challenge is communicating to the market that we have a high quality reliable product that will leave the client free to enjoy their yacht rather than constantly chasing suppliers to repair poor quality systems.
We know that your time on your yacht is precious and that you would prefer that all systems have a trouble free service life.
What is the latest passerelle technology? Is it having a big impact on your business?
There are always new technologies coming along in hydraulic systems and in high-tech materials suitable for the marine environment. It’s still a very price sensitive market place, which can sometimes delay the introduction of new technology.
Our research and development team is busy keeping up with new products, technologies and trends in the market and incorporating them in our portfolio where commercially viable.
What are your top tips for buying, maintaining and installing gangways and passerelles?
Research what is available in the marketplace and ask around. Try to understand the products that you are buying and make sure you are comparing apples with apples.
Read the maintenance manual and follow the instructions to keep your product in tip-top shape. Hydraulic systems need careful maintenance to keep them contaminate free. Keep the passerelle clean with fresh water to keep corrosion at bay.
Is there any current trends in your industry at the moment?
There are more boats being manufactured now than at any time since 2008, which is keeping our customers demanding more products. The boat builders are always trying to differentiate themselves from one another and we encourage them to work with us at the earliest stages of planning so that we can help them to design bespoke and state of the art boarding systems.
How is buyer behaviour changing?
Buyers are working more closely with suppliers to keep up to date with the latest products available.
For more information, visit Phoenix Marine Solutions
For more information about passerelles, gangways and boarding systems click here.
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