22nd of May
The sailing world is ancient, but most of the
Lebanese are unaware of this great world. What are the
Unfortunately, things were
not advanced in the past, and long time ago there were no
yachting exhibitions in Lebanon, subsequently, the Lebanese
were not informed of the latest technologies and new boats.
That is the reason I wanted to organize this exhibition in
order to highlight all modern technologies and inform all
the Lebanese of the new products.
What are the latest things we can discover in
First, we are exclusive
agents of the Ferretti and all the groups; there is also
Riva and Bertram. All these boats are universally famous but
unfortunately were not known in Lebanon. For this reason, we
have come with a large number of these boats to the
exhibition in order to be represented to the Lebanese. There
are boats I wanted to present for the first time in Dubai,
but I adjusted the idea and presented it in Beirut. We
desired to show the new boats for the Lebanese interested in
the sailing world and explain in details about it.
What were the prominent innovations in the
In fact, each brand has new things. The
Ferretti for example possesses the exclusivity of a special
system stabilization of boats at sea to avoid crisis of
nausea and dizziness. This system is not available on all
boats in Lebanon. As for the Riva, beside the special outer
design, new colors are used to variation from its classical
colors like white and navy, and that is not common for the
Riva, known as the Rolce Royce of the sea. Notifying also,
the Riva was famous in Lebanon in the seventies, but it
turned away for a period to return after with new models. On
the other hand, we have the Pershing boats, well known by
its speed, but this feature could not affect on its comfort,
pleasure and high performance. A 27 meter boat, able to
arrive to Cyprus in 2 hours and a half, capable to move from
Jiyeh to Jbeil in only 7 minutes, while other boats needs
about an hour for the same distance.
After the end of the exhibition, what was the
most prominent polarization in it? And which brand was the
Honestly, the exhibition was very useful for
us; there were a large number of sales especially by the
Gulf customers. They were attracted the most by the Bertram
fishing boats due to its luxury and expensive price. It was
a fruitful exhibition; sales varied between Pershing, Riva
and Ferretti, also successful especially the Saturday
| Boats Interviews
What are the true reasons to
organize the exhibition at this time despite of the world
There is no doubt
that the crisis has a big effect, but life must go on and
people have to live their life and benefit from available
things in it. As for the exhibition timing, we hoped to make
it during the Beirut Yacht Exhibition, held once yearly. But
after its cancellation we decided to do an exhibition on our
own. Itís the Yachting Event. We invited our clients and
sent private invitations for persons that are interested in
this kind of exhibitions, and cares for this business. We
hope it will be successful.
What are the characteristics of this
exhibition? Might it be the fact that it is ďTop of RangeĒ?
No, in fact we have everything in this
exhibition, you will find from smallest yachts with a 19
feet length to the luxury 40 meter yachts. The prices vary
between 40000 USD and 22 million USD. There is also the
sport fishing boats, the fast speed boats, the high
performance open boats and the mega yachts.
In addition of the importance of exhibiting
these yachts in Lebanon, do you think the Lebanese market
can hold a 20 million USD yacht?
Lebanese market is not stranded for Lebanese
only; there is also Arab and Gulf customers that benefit
from its location. Not to forget to mention that in Lebanon
we have many marinas that offer all the facilities, services
and latest equipments to the customers. Also the easiness to
move inside the basin of Mediterranean from Lebanon to
Cyprus, Greek islands, Italy, France, Tunisia and Egypt. All
exotic destinations encourage boat owners to lay their boats
in the Lebanese marinas.
Does that mean that the Lebanese market is
The Lebanese market is very good, and we, as
exclusive agents of Ferretti in the Middle East, can assure
you that now the Lebanese market is the best.
Yes, it is. We are opening now in Egypt, in
the region of Algona, where there is a considerable demand
What about the Marina exhibition? Was there a
It was crowded. But as I told you, we do not
care for the number of customers; we care for the quality,
for customers interested in new boats.
| Boats Interviews
VP Sales & Marketing
Mr. Francesco, why everybody
compares Riva to Rolls Royce?
itís a long story. In 1990, Riva was owned by Vigaís group,
and Vigaís group included the Rolls Royce. This should be
the main reason. However, all over the years, there was
always a combination between the two luxury brands, and the
fact that they have some issued items that really
distinguished themselves including the timeless design. That
is a reason to combine Rolls Royce to Riva Yachts.
What about this exhibition? What Kind of Riva
Boats are exhibited there?
We have quite a different and full range of
our boats represented here in Lebanon. Starting with Riva
Rama which is our 44 foot, it represents the spirit of Riva.
Also we have the 75 foot yacht which is one of our biggest
products. This boat is very special and well organized, and
that is the reason to be here again and to improve our
relationship with Alain, a person able to represent the
spirit of Riva and the Ferretti group.
This privacy includes also the motorization
of the Riva yachts or no?
Yes, we pay a lot of attention to our
motorization. We also tried to use the best engine available
in the market and we combined engine options together with
special features including the two speed gear which is
something similar to the automatic shift for cars and that
we have sold as a standard in AQUARIVA and Riva Rama.
So, is it like Rolls Royce heavy but fast?
We combined speed with comfort; this is our
main target today.
What was your main goal here in the boat show
Again, thanks to Alain, our main reason to be
here was to present four different Riva models to the
Lebanese market which is one of our best potential markets
in the region. And with Sea Pro, we are very well
represented in Lebanon.
| Boats Interviews
you think that Lebanon is a good market for you as a
Ferretti customs lines?
considered Lebanon one of our best markets, first of all
because of our products that are made especially for
families and people who understand the sea. It is perfect
partner for the Mediterranean culture. We have a great
relationship with our dealer in Lebanon Alain Maarawi and
Sea Pro, which makes an important fact in dealing with our
clienteles. These facts combined make our products in the
market in a perfect combination. This relation with Sea Pro
started a few years ago and the results we had so far are
demonstrates that we are in the right track.
What about the future?
For sure there is a crisis world wide; we are
counting on countries where passion is overcoming all the
problems and Lebanon is one of those countries.
So does that mean that this financial crisis
is a big problem for your lines also, especially that you
are a luxury market?
Everybody is headed by this crisis, and I
think that this luxury items are one of the first items
heated by the crisis as everybody else, but the economic
crisis would be a lie for me to say that boating wasnít
affected by this crisis as everybody else but obviously we
think reasonably about how can solve this difficult moment.We believe that that in the next few months
we are going to see some recovering markets like this one in
Lebanon that demonstrated that passion on boating in a way
to solve part of the issue.
Do you think that it is possible to have a
Ferretti trip in the Mediterranean Sea?
Our clients with a higher range of boats use
it in all the Mediterranean area. The idea is to offer a
wide network of services of points around Europe and the
Mediterranean in general to allow our clienteles to leave
the boats not only in specific places but also more in a
| Boats Interviews
Director of Int. Sales
have the lux to have fishing boats not only luxurious one?
is a legendary brand known for its boats speed, comfort and
fishing purposes. Of course not all of our customers use our
boats for fishing, but approves that these boats are
suitable and good for fishing due to its hall shape, its
speed and the luxury provided.
And concerning the prices?
Whenever you need to buy a car or a boat, and
you choose the top of range, you should consider paying a
higher price. Our customers are buying the Bertam, the best
yacht in its range.
Do you have luxurious boats or are you
selling only fishing boats?
Boats can combine both cruising and fishing.
Boats coming to Lebanon have been chosen by customers for
its fishing purposes, by taking off things like tuna towers
and changing for a large choice of fishing and entertaining.
But is it difficult to have tuna fishing in
Itís something that people notice, thatís why
the boats are sold in Lebanon.
What about the Lebanese market for you?
Itís a very important market for us and we
are very happy of our partnership with Alain Merawi and Sea
Pro, not only for the success, but also because Alain has
passion for fishing, itís important to be professional, it
gives motivation for the customer and helps to convince,
and subsequently to buy Bertram boats.
Finally, did u have problems with the World
Everyone was touched by the crisis, but we
are working harder theses days. We are confident that we
going to get through this period.