Classic Yacht Partners formed to maximize value of yacht ownership
On August 5, 2009 a contract was signed between Alex Suarez, Managing Partner of CLASSIC YACHT PARTNERS, and Trumpy®Yachts, LLC, to build two new dramatic Trumpy Yachts inspired by John Trumpy’s classic pre-war designs.
Johan Trumpy, grandson and partner in Trumpy®Yachts, LLC, said, “When we decided to re-launch our brand and business, we believed very strongly that thoughtful yachtsmen would respond to our proven designs and our unique method of building custom yachts. It is a concept that makes yacht ownership smart.” According to Mr. Suarez, “It is a value proposition that is more buyer centric, classic, timeless, and responsive to the current challenges associated with luxury markets today.”
Catering to smart buyers that are difficult to motivate is part of what Mr. Suarez does for a living as a former bank CEO and current CEO of a multi-family office based in Atlanta, Georgia. Catering to smart money in the wealth management business that is sensitive to conflicts and excessive mark-ups allowed Mr. Suarez to see an opportunity. His observations in that client centric sector have allowed Mr. Suarez to see the need for a similar partnership structure and value proposition for his co-owners in the two new Trumpy yachts.
In Mr. Suarez’s view, fractional ownership of yachts has been largely over-priced, catering to smaller yachts, and anchored down with poor governance. In many cases, his partners have owned or chartered similar yachts individually. Yet they have chosen this new paradigm for its obvious good sense. Reducing one’s “carbon footprint” (and guilt in some cases), through smart/joint ownership has become a hidden attribute for many concerned with unfashionable conspicuous consumption. Great design has yielded features in both yachts that are characteristic of yachts in the 200-300 foot range, with no greater capacity to house guests, land aircraft, or entertain. Both combine to further an emerging yet challenging trend to be more “green friendly” in the sector.
Mr. Suarez said, “Many in the yachting industry still do not realize that it has become a buyer’s market, even at the highest end of the market. The generally established method of designing and building boats will continue to be challenged in a culture where less is becoming more. Our contracts with Trumpy, the unique design of the two yachts, and CLASSIC YACHT PARTNERS’ business structure, answer these realities. I view our role as lead aggregator and re-seller of that value, by offering each of our partners 25 days per year (plus five conditional bonus days) at a compelling value of approximately $1 million per yacht.”
Trumpy®Yachts, LLC offers a fixed fee arrangement on all Trumpy yachts over 100 feet (30 meters). As explained by Jim Ewing, CEO of Trumpy, “Our role as a Developer & Designer, under this agreement, facilitates cost savings and the selection of ‘best of breed’ vendors for each aspect of the build.” This new paradigm in yacht construction resonated with Mr. Suarez, who selects outside money managers on behalf of clients in a very similar fashion. Under this plan, several suppliers will be asked to bid on the project. Owner allowances will be made for all products or services not provided by Vicem Yachts. Negotiated cost savings, as they are realized, are passed on to the owner, without diminishing the fixed fee arrangement or the quality of each outcome.
Trumpy’s selection of Vicem Yachts, based in Turkey and the US, as its strategic partner, is a great example of this philosophy. Vicem offers unsurpassed value, quality, and true customization on each Trumpy. This is readily evident in their ability to deliver two classically designed yachts that are based in two distinct marine markets — power and sail. One-of-a-kind yachts are easily accomplished through Vicem’s cold molding process, which is not limited by expensive tooling. The net result is a cost-effective process that delivers beautiful mahogany tenders, classic motor yachts, and timeless sailing yachts.
“When I first met with Johan Trumpy and Jim Ewing, at the 2009 Palm Beach Boat Show, it was obvious to me that they had the vision and the necessary relationships to build the kind of boats our partners desire and current market realities dictate,” says Mr. Suarez. The look of the two new vessels together illustrates the best of the old married to the best of what is new in manufacturing, design, and owner mindsets. Trumpy’s 1928 Truant built for the Newbury family inspired the new 125-foot (38 meter) motor yacht.
The 138-foot (42 meter) sailing yacht was conceived because of Mr. Suarez’s long-standing interest in large sailing yachts. The design of the newest Trumpy sailing vessel was birthed from drawings from old John Trumpy sketches of his personal sailboats (four all named Sea Call) and input from Johan Trumpy, Jim Ewing and Bill Langan of Langan Design.
The end result is an elegant lady with numerous custom and unconventional features. Johan Trumpy said it best: “Working with Vicem, we can also build world class sailing yachts. I am honored to put the Trumpy name on this boat.”
Both yachts feature salons and below deck areas with the amenities that showcase Trumpy’s novel space design that caters to the owner’s taste and entertaining needs. These design elements include beam-to-beam master suites, tender wells that convert to lap pools, a 20s style smokestack that converts to a sun deck and Jacuzzi, a convertible landing pad for helicopters, expansive decks with numerous bars for large group events, raised panel libraries with fireplaces, wine cellars, and VIP guest quarters that can all convert to queen or king configurations.
Mr. Suarez believes many partners will elect to be owners in both types of yacht and use both at the same time for enlarged family cruises and business events. Both yachts beautifully showcase and amplify Trumpy’s rich history and pedigree, especially the brand’s golden era of large yachts of the 20s and 30s when the company catered to America’s wealthiest families. In looking at the designs of these yachts that included the Presidential Yacht Sequoia, one can see that in many cases “less was more” back then as well. According to Jim Ewing, this leverages an emerging industry “retro” trend that is classic in origin and in keeping with Trumpy’s now-fashionable-again “less is the new more” way of thinking.
When Mr. Suarez was able to see the two completed designs together, he said they looked like two beautiful sisters immaculately birthed by a Trumpy mother who happened to enjoy the collaboration of a few fathers. In keeping with this familial result and Mr. Suarez’s business orientation, one of the yachts will be aptly named in Latin Familia.