The Catamaran Company is one of Reliance Yacht Management’s oldest clients, with a partnership spanning over 20 years. We interviewed the company’s president, Hugh Murray, to discuss what that relationship has meant to them over the years, as well as gain a deeper insight into the workings of the world’s largest catamaran dealer and charter company.
What are the origins of The Catamaran Company and how did you come to be a part of it?
The Catamaran Company was founded in 1989 and grew into the largest retailer of new and used catamarans in the world. I invested in the company and became President in 1996 – a role I continue to this day.
On The Catamaran Company website, you claim to be ‘the worldwide leader in all aspects of the catamaran market.’ What is the key to The Catamaran Company’s success?
We only do one thing and we do that better than anyone else. Most companies try to sell anything that makes them money, but we are solely about catamarans and catamaran experts. We focus entirely on catamarans and offer sales, charter, service, financing and insurance exclusively for catamarans.
How did you come to hear about Reliance Yacht Management and why did you choose to work with them?
Originally, we imported and sailed all of our boats from France using our own inhouse delivery teams. In the late 90’s we were approached by Nick Irving, the owner of Reliance, who offered to provide a complete delivery service to us. He highlighted that while we concentrated on catamarans, he concentrated on delivery and he was the expert at getting our boats from A to B. We agreed to give him a try and that has continued for over 20 years and Reliance are our exclusive delivery company.
Reliance has recently started working with The Catamaran Company in organising shipments of catamarans to California. But I want to ask, how important is Reliance’s captain-based yacht delivery service to The Catamaran Company’s operations?
We discovered many moons ago that we need to focus on what we do best and to use experts to do the rest. Reliancealways provided us with the best captains and crews for sailing deliveries so when he had to start freighting cats to California it was a whole new ball game. We had the actual shipping companies handle the first few deliveries ourselves to get a feel for it and quickly found out what it entailed and decided we needed someone we could trust to do it for us, so we immediately turned the task over to Reliance. They now provide all shipping services for us, whether on the vessel’s bottom or on a freighter.
You offer a wide range of services for your clients, going above and beyond charter and sales. What effect has the long-standing relationship between The Catamaran Companyand Reliance had on what you are able to offer your clients?
Business is all about trust so when you know you have a “partner” you can rely on; it makes the job a lot easier. It allows us to concentrate on our strengths and know that Relianceare taking care of their end. Their communication with us is exemplary. When problems arise, as they have a habit of doing, we are informed quickly, efficiently and with proposed solutions. That’s people working together, not simply trying to blame others or to cover their asses.
As I previously mentioned, Reliance has been involved in shipping more catamarans out to California for The Catamaran Company in recent months, what is next for you?
I wish I knew…. but I can promise it will be exciting!
At Reliance we make it our central goal to give our clients the smoothest and most efficient delivery service possible; we take care of all logistical concerns so our clients don’t have to, tailoring our service to meet each individual clients’ needs.
Last week Cpt. Justin did just that. While on delivery from Puerto Rico to Jacksonville, Fl, Justin and his crew were accompanied the yacht’s owners. Justin not only delivered the yacht with the greatest care and professionalism, but really showcased how important the client experience is to a Reliance delivery.
While the clients were aboard, Cpt. Justin took the time to make sure that they got the most out of their experience. They were not just simply passengers on Cpt. Justin’s logistical delivery, but active participants in discovering all the yacht had to offer under the guidance and helping hand of a professional captain. As the owners explained, Justin ‘is very knowledgeable of yachts and is an expert ship handler. He imparted much good, practical help and advice for our yacht and was overall a pleasure to sail with.’
Cpt. Justin provided a unique opportunity for our clients to gain tailored knowledge and experience of their new yacht from a professional who had sailed it right alongside them. By sailing with a professional, our clients have time to find their sea legs and learn about their new purchase while still finding joy in the experience.
The client was keen to emphasize how ‘safety conscious’ Cpt. Justin was, picking the best routes and providing a calming presence. He was especially ‘patient’ with one of the owners, ‘who was on her first multi-day passage.’
Our clients were provided with a professional but personalized experience, instantly set at ease by Justin and his crew who were not only knowledgeable and professional, but pleasant and ‘a good fisherman’, on Fabio’s part.
The client’s final remarks on Cpt. Justin’s conduct speak for themselves:
Cpt. Justin was a true professional in every sense of the word. His knowledge, expertise and skill were above reproach; coupled with his attitude and demeanor, he is a credit to your company. The mate Fabio was the perfect complement to Justin. I strongly recommend you endeavor to keep both in your employ, focused on delivery with owners on board.
Cpt. Justin went further than simply delivering the boat, but by accompanying the clients onboard their first journey, he tailored his own knowledge, expertise and skill around our client’s specific yacht, and their own personal needs. He was able to test the yacht, check its safety features, its engine, make sure if it was running at its optimum – an incomparable service.
If you would like to find out more about owner assisted passages contact us, all our details are on the website.
Following on from Captain Kenneth Hoiem’s safe delivery of a Saba 50 from Guadeloupe to Ft. Lauderdale, the client could not sing Hoiem’s praises enough. He said,
Kenneth Hoiem is a superstar!! Can’t thank you enough!!
The client was aboard with their wife during the delivery and was able to see first hand Captian Hoiem’s professionalism and skill. Hoiem helped the couple feel confident and excited about their new yacht; he really showcased what a gift it is to be able to sail in the Caribbean Sea.
While the client has already commented upon Hoiem’s ‘stellar’ delivery, he went out of his way to make sure we knew for certain that Kenneth Hoiem is a great captain.
Kenneth has just completed another delivery from Guadeloupe to Houston, Texas, and is now travelling home for some much needed rest.
Last week Captain Kenneth Hoiem completed a delivery of a Saba 50 from Guadeloupe to Fort Lauderdale. The boat’s owners were aboard, and from start to finish Kenneth greatly impressed them with his level of care and professionalism. They were above and beyond happy with the service he provided.
Captain Hoiem is absolutely stellar in every respect. Astounding professionalism. He inspires confidence.
Captain Hoiem aboard the Saba 50 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Delivering a boat by sail rather than freight stringently tests it, and by a seasoned professional in its natural habitat. Our captains ensure to deliver boats in better conditions than that under which they received them. They take every opportunity to clean, recondition and repair the boat along the way so that by the time it glides lovingly into the owners’ arms there is nothing left to do but enjoy!
The owners of this Saba 50 saw that process from start to finish and enjoyed every moment of Captain Hoiem’s ‘stellar’ delivery, inspiring their confidence and trust from the beginning.
Captain Hoiem and the owner enjoying the evening sun aboard.
In our industry often we do not meet our clients. Yet they trust us with probably one of their most prized possessions. I like to think that we are not considered strangers, randomly picked from some Google search but friends that are there to help. 90% of our business is from repeat customers. and it is those same customers that recommend us to new clients. New clients become repeat clients and so the cycle continues.
This was the case with the recent delivery of a new Fountaine Pajot 40 from la Rochelle to St Martin. We were recommended to the owner by the Caribbean broker. The delivery service experienced by the client far exceeded expectations. And we hope that he will want that experience again.
His email sent to the Captain and pasted below tells us that again we have achieved our objectives.
Phil and Cira:
Thank you for the letter regarding the issues. with Guadajuko. It was very important to me to meet you two. The people responsible for sailing my treasured yacht to me. Once again, thank you.
What’s more you provided valuable information based upon your knowledge and expertise (the main halyard).
I simply could not be happier with the fact that it was you two caring for my yacht. Nick has been super responsive to my questions and requests. Like having you use the Bimini.
Sorry you could not witness my joy walking onto a “cleaned delivered” yacht. I had to be in Florida. I assure you the thrill and happiness are there. Please let my appreciation in this letter demonstrate such.
Cira I love the thoughtful personal touch of the bag you crocheted. Very, very kind. You two will receive updates and pics. My joy and gratitude offered to you two and Nick.
Truly I hope our paths cross again. Such a pleasure meeting you two.
In good health,
Michael, Captain of the Fine Sailing Yacht Guadajuko
Our client continues
The videos and the updates were superb. I would always ask people at work and friends if they wanted to watch again so I would have an excuse to watch them again.
But I have to tell you tracking the boat made for the most fun and conversation.
Stuck in Spain due to weather. “They have your boat up for sale in Spain”
Guadajuko keeps sailing south. “They got a better deal in Morroco”
The list goes on and on. My close friends and I had a lot of fun tracking Guadajuko.
The last of 3 recent Nautitech 46s under contract with Reliance Yacht Management was delivered to Tortola this week. Summerwind was collected from La Rochelle, France where she was launched, commissioned and completed Quality Control. Leading delivery Captain Nicolas Boutteloup and the crew completed their preparations, departed France on the boat’s maiden voyage. The proud owner was in France to see the start of the delivery and he was there in Tortola to meet the crew on completion. The yacht arrived in immaculate condition.
Owner’s comments are;
enjoyed working with you and Nicolas…..it was a pleasure to work with you
Reliance Yacht Management is already tasked to move Summerwind later this year to Long Island NY
The other 2 Nautitech 46 catamarans on delivery at the same time were Razzmatazz from Tortola to Miami Boat Show and Hull #85 France to San Francisco.
Thanks to our highly experienced delivery Captain Marc Wroblewski and his crew for another successful Atlantic crossing.
The owner was able to follow the progress on line and be there to meet the boat as it arrived in the USA.
I just wanted to say thanks again. We met the crew in Annapolis shortly after they arrived, took them up to BWI to clear in. We found the boat to be in excellent condition given its voyage. Our inspection found very few issues that we’re not known ahead of the crossing. We also found the crew very willing to tell us their thoughts on the boat and such. Please let them know how much we appreciated the skill and care they took with our boat.