Riding high on luxury
Yachts, the ultimate symbol of luxury, sail into the changing lifestyle of Kochiites, finds K.PRADEEP
Stylish zip Many city businessmen are moving on from boats to yachts
Kochi is fast turning into a hub of the super rich where a young generation that loves to flaunt and enjoy this status has emerged. There is a visible change in lifestyle choices and attitude towards leisure. From diamond jewellery, airplanes, Merced
es, branded clothes; you have a society that is seeking new lifestyle statements. And owning a luxury yacht is the ultimate status symbol.
The city, with a long sailing history, had it coming. Some of the waterfront clubs, like the Yacht Club, have sailing facilities with small Marinas where members have their speedboats moored. With a burgeoning yachting scene perhaps most of these owners will now replace the boats with swanky yachts. Soon you will find these clubs offering a great opportunity for people to socialise around the yachting theme. The Volvo Ocean Race in December and work now on at the proposed Marina is set to get a huge boost.
Conditions also favour this activity. Slicing through the ocean waves, floating on the tranquil backwaters in these plush, luxurious yachts can be a mind-boggling experience.
To beat traffic jams
“More than all this yachting is the best way to beat the horrible traffic snarls that have now spread from the city to the highways. The roads are all messed up; your car is tested to its limit in the choking chaos. A yacht is a logical option for those who value time. Yachting is fast gaining popularity not only for leisure, but also business. People elsewhere use yachts for a fishing vacation as well as for a business meeting,” says Captain Mathew Cherian, president, Nautilus Yachts, a luxury yacht building company. The company promoted by NRI Malayalis, headquartered in the UAE, has set up operations in India. The yachts are produced to strict European standards by an Italian team at the company’s offshore facility in Thailand.
“Until now the yachts available in the country were from Europe or the United States. The customer requirements, conditions and style of sailing are different here. This allowed little room for customisation. Moreover, these yachts were highly-priced. Our attempt is to fill this gap, providing our customers with yachts that are tailored for Indian waters, at a competitive price.”
The company has launched two models, N 36 Cruiser and N 27 Coupe Cruiser, specifically designed for Indian waters. “The N 36 can accommodate 12 passengers and the second, a more compact one, eight people. Both these yachts offer the owners high levels of luxury that are typically found on a luxury cruise liner. They come at a price of $104,000 and $272,000 respectively,” informs Joseph Jacob, Director, Nautilus Yachts.
There is an increase in the number of people getting into yachting or sailing. “Kochi is well positioned to support this growth. It has the natural resources, a steady development of infrastructure and of course spending power of the people. We find builders showing interest in yachting as a value-added product for their projects. The response towards this activity has been encouraging. We have already got a lot of orders from city-based customers. It is not just those with waterfront facilities that have shown interest. Along with our promise for effective after-sales service we have also located private Marinas where owners without a private jetty can moor their yachts,” says Donny Mathew, Director, Nautilus Yachts.
Old-fashioned holidays and business meetings are also giving way to more innovative ones. Tagged on to this is the elitist status of a yacht. Passion for boating is not the only reason for city folks jumping the yacht-wagon. It is more an icon of lifestyle, the best way to express one’s individuality.
“Along with all this there is the linking of yachting and the hospitality industry. With more and more people having access to yachts a new concept of vacation on water in the absolute luxury will fall in place. It is a novel way of vacationing. Instead of staying in hotels you could cruise the islands, lakes, backwaters or other lovely locations. Many resort owners have evinced interest in our yachts and also for our N Jet water scooter. Entertaining guests, clients, holding meetings are what businessmen want from yachts. A couple of businessmen have ordered for our yachts demanding a change in design to include a board room,” says Jacob.
One factor that can be a deterrent is the cost.
“One way that people have found to overcome this is fractional ownership. A doctor called up to say that he is trying to convince a group to buy a yacht. Along with minimising investment, they can eliminate hassles of managing a major asset,” reasons Cherian.
Log on to www.nautilusyachts.com for further details.
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