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 Boats Interviews

Alain Maarawi
22nd of May 2009

The sailing world is ancient, but most of the Lebanese are unaware of this great world. What are the reasons?
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 Marina?
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 exhibition?
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 best seller?
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 Parade.

 Boats Interviews

Charles Maarawi
Vice President
22nd of May 2009

What are the true reasons to organize the exhibition at this time despite of the world financial crisis?
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 efficient?
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. 

Itís surprising!
Yes, it is. We are opening now in Egypt, in the region of Algona, where there is a considerable demand for yachts.  

What about the Marina exhibition? Was there a significant presence?
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

Francesco Frediani
VP Sales & Marketing
23nd of May 2009

Mr. Francesco, why everybody compares Riva to Rolls Royce?
Actually, 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 in Lebanon?
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

Marco Segato
VP Sales
24nd of May 2009

Do you think that Lebanon is a good market for you as a Ferretti customs lines?
We 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 broaden  way.

 Boats Interviews

Dirk Boehmer
Director of Int. Sales
25nd of May 2009

You have the lux to have fishing boats not only luxurious one?
Bertram 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 Lebanon?
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 Economic Crisis?
Everyone was touched by the crisis, but we are working harder theses days. We are confident that we going to get through this period.   

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