Simpson Marine superyacht cruising in exotic location

6 images

Simpson Marine: Why has the heritage firm continued to grow in the Asia-Pacific?

31 May 2023 • Written by Julia Zaltzman for Simpson Marine

It is nearly four-decades since Simpson Marine Group began its business operations in Asia, and the firm has been at the forefront of yachting in the region ever since. Having opened the Hong Kong office in 1984, the company has continued to grow year-on-year and has been responsible for more than 3,500 yacht sales.

Now with 11 offices, in seven strategic locations – including Hong Kong (HQ), China, Taiwan, Singapore (SEA HQ), Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia – Simpson Marine prides itself on its comprehensive portfolio of services.

The firm has expertise in everything from new build sales and brokerage to charter and yacht management, even extending to water toys, tenders and a new sailing academy in Thailand. With more than 300 listings for pre-owned yachts across Asia, it represents some of the world’s leading yachting brands, including Bluegame, Beneteau, Lagoon, Fairline, Aquila, Highfield and, most significantly, Sanlorenzo.

Strength with Sanlorenzo

Simpson Marine welcomed no less than 10 Sanlorenzo yachts to its Asia sales fleet in February and March of this year, along with new charter yachts available in the coveted cruising grounds of Hong Kong and Thailand, which are perfectly placed to tempt first time buyers wanting a bespoke experience before taking the purchase plunge. Among its exclusive Sanlorenzo yacht listings is the Alloy-built 44.5-metre motor yacht Kamakasa, the second hull in the builder’s 44 Alloy series, and the 29-metre SL96A, which challenges traditional yacht layouts with its asymmetric design.

Asia accounted for up to 23 per cent of Sanlorenzo’s total revenue in the past year, and the two companies’ strategic alliance continues to deliver innovative and creative experiences for Asia’s growing client base. One such example was Art Basel Hong Kong 2023 in March, which saw international visitor numbers return to pre-pandemic numbers and welcomed Sanlorenzo as its exclusive yacht partner. On display was Sanlorenzo’s original artwork entitled Landscape with Lighthouses that was created exclusively for the yacht builder by Chinese artist Li Qing. Curated by Flash Art, it reflects the relationship between humanity and nature.

Sanlorenzo offered a unique art display during Art Basel Hong Kong 2023

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in Art Basel Hong Kong 2023 and showcase Sanlorenzo’s art project, a part of the bigger Sanlorenzo Arts collection, to a global audience,” says Nick Stratton, sales manager for Sanlorenzo Asia. “Our yachts represent the pinnacle of luxury, design and innovation, and we are proud to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the yachting industry by bridging the connection with the world of freedom and creativity that art inspires.”

Sanlorenzo and Simpson Marine’s attendance at Art Basel Hong Kong was further bolstered by an elegant “Meet the Artist” event. Hosted at the Sanlorenzo lounge, it gave visitors an opportunity to learn about the fast developing world of art in modern China, as well as experience the quality and craftsmanship that Sanlorenzo is known for.

Enhancing the experience

Taking place in the same month was Sanlorenzo’s inaugural Captains’ Academy in Hong Kong, a unique activation in Asia aimed at providing technical workshops, seminars and practical training to all crew aboard yachts in the region. Hosted at the Aberdeen Boat Club, as well as on board three selected Sanlorenzo yachts, the event saw the Sanlorenzo Italy Service team, Sanlorenzo Asia service team and Simpson Marine’s vice-president of sales, Errico Riggio, welcome the captains and crew of Sanlorenzo and Bluegame yachts to three-days of hands-on learning.

Delegates attended Sanlorenzo’s inaugural Captains’ Academy in Hong Kong

“The workshop reflects our commitment to providing our clients with the highest level of service and expertise through their knowledgeable crews and Sanlorenzo’s After Sales and Service division, which is on hand to assist with any needed matter,” says Stratton. “We believe that by investing in the training and development of our captains and crew, we can ensure the safe and smooth operation of our clients’ yachts and enhance their overall yachting experience.”

Looking to the future

Following the global pandemic and what proved to be a challenging time for the entire Asian yachting community, Simpson Marine experienced a bumper year in 2022. It announced over 150 yacht sales, booked thousands of charter days and grew its team to 140 yachting professionals.

The company also recently launched its Simpson Superyachts website to cater to owners’ growing appetite for ever larger yachts, in both sales and charter, and the first Singapore Yachting Festival to take place in three years closed on a high. As the largest exhibitor at the show, Simpson Marine had an impressive 11 yachts on display, including two Sanlorenzos, with SX76 and SX88, and two Bluegames, with BGX60's Asia debut and BGX70.

With an understanding of the tremendous potential of yachting in the Asia-Pacific, Sanlorenzo is formally considering a strategic investment into Simpson Marine Group, which would further strengthen its presence and footprint in the region. A non-binding MOU between Mike Simpson, managing director and founder of Simpson Marine, and Massimo Perotti, chairman of Sanlorenzo, was signed in early April 2023. A further study on this potential investment is currently ongoing over the next few months.

In the nearly 40 years since its inception, Simpson Marine has grown to become a full-service, award-winning yachting company that assists and supports clients with every step of their yachting journey.

To find out more about Simpson Marine and its full range of superyacht services please contact the team directly here.