An Interview with Martin Holmes, General Manager of LEE Marine

LUXUO caught up with Martin Holmes, General Manager of LEE Marine at Phuket Rendezvous 2018 as he spoke with us in an interview, focussing on Thailand and the yachting scenes in the Southeast Asian region.

Jan 12, 2018 | By LUXUO

As Phuket Rendezvous 2018 came to a successful close on Jan 7 after four days of excitement, LUXUO caught up with Martin Holmes, General Manager of LEE Marine as he spoke with us in an interview, focussing on Thailand and the yachting scenes in the Southeast Asian region. As LEE Marine’s General Manager, Martin maintains the business practices and professionalism on which the company has built its reputation. He was the first to join LEE Marine, Thailand’s leading luxury yachting company as a yacht broker in 1997 and his extensive yachting experience has brought him to helm various roles in the UK, Europe, Mediterranean, Australia and now Asia. Holmes’ experience with the dealership brands and the intricacies of choosing the right boat to buy means he continues to enjoy a hands-on approach to the business.

An Interview with Martin Holmes, General Manager of LEE Marine

LUXUO: How had the past years been for LEE Marine as we witnessed a lot of activities and market sales? Tell us more.

MARTIN HOLMES: 2017 started slowly but quickly built momentum in both the sales and service aspects. Amongst the new boat deliveries, we also worked hard on brokerage and realised significant sales in the latter half of the year. Cannes boatshow was the highlight of the year and we were very pleased to confirm the sale of a Custom Line 33m to a Bangkok-based customer due for delivery in 2019.

The 20 year celebration of LEE Marine had been the company’s major milestone. Did you foresee the yachting scene evolving in Thailand and Southeast Asia?

We celebrated our 20th year in business and it was indeed a major milestone for everyone at Lee Marine. We were privileged to be part of the growing marina industry in Asia and had forged many great relationships with worldwide brokers and shipyards over the years, which were beginning to pay dividends. The yachting scene was certainly continuing to develop in Asia and we saw more clients looking to undertake larger build projects, which were exciting developments.

How have the latest Thai regulations helped boost the local marine industry? What had been the remaining regulatory challenges to address?

The Thai government had been very supportive of the marine industry over the past several years and, although there was still some way to go, the willingness to improve regulations did provide confidence. We would like to see the Charter License for foreign flagged boats come to fruition as that may well prove to be the ‘key’ to bringing larger visiting yachts and their crew to Thailand on a regular basis.

How would you describe the current portfolio of yachting brands which LEE Marine represented in Thailand and in Southeast Asia?

Our brands are the best available and they cater to a wide range of yachting tastes. Ferretti Group has been spending a lot of money on new models and R&D, which are now being seen at yachting events around the world, and are bringing interest back to the ‘Made in Italy’ concept.

Ferretti Yachts 850

Superb design and construction can be seen on many new models across the ranges, including the luxurious Ferretti Yachts 780, 850 and 920, the stunning Pershing 9X, the new Custom Line 33m and the amazing Riva revival, which is seeing some incredible new boats including Rivale 56, Corsaro 100 and more to come soon.

Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht

Riviera Marine (Australia) has also seen great success recently, with its Sport Yacht models (4800 and 5400) and the new Sports Motor Yacht 68 and 72, which are really incredible boats that have been designed with unparalleled amount of input from existing Riviera owners. Riviera is a passionate company that puts their heart and soul into manufacturing each and every boat.

Cantiere Delle Marche (CdM) are recognised now as the world leaders in the Explorer Yacht segment and their order book remained full and varied. Their boats are regularly awarded and continue to garner respects from experienced owners and captains alike. We will launch a 30m Steel Explorer Yacht for an Asian client in 2018 and are looking forward to seeing this amazing vessel in Asian waters.

What have been the major highlights for LEE Marine at the PHUKET RENDEZVOUS 2018?

This year, we had two ‘Thailand Premieres’ to showcase; the Ferretti Yachts 850 and the Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht. Both are fantastic new models and are sure to stand out in terms of quality design.

Share with us some of the exciting plans in the pipeline for LEE Marine for 2018 and 2019?

We look forward to working closely on several custom projects in the pipeline, as well as embracing our recent inclusion as Corporate Members of MYBA (Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association). We are proud to be the first company in Thailand to be accepted for membership and we will be working to develop new practices in line with this professional association. Let’s see what the beginning of our next 20 years will bring…

To learn more about LEE Marine, please visit its official website here.

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