CV: I grew up in Devon, sailing as a child. After graduating, I began working for a yachting magazine. I progressed into yacht sales before settling on the French Riveria in 2002. Noticing an opportunity, I started importing full-displacement explorer yachts from China. This developed into a business with more than 50 new boats built over the eight years. The move into selling 30-metre-plus yachts was a natural evolution and is now my primary focus.
My most memorable sale: This is the sale of a new-build contract explorer yacht to a casino owner. After all had been agreed by email and phone, I flew out to meet him for the signature on the contract. It was supposed to be a one-day visit coming home in the evening. Two weeks later I was still there.
Each day the customer would meet me for lunch and in the afternoons we’d hand around in the casino talking about boats and playing games of chance before going out into the early hours. In the end my wife started to get quite upset. But each time I tried to get the order the customer would say: “Let’s go out for a drink tonight and discuss it!”
In the end, it was settled by a wager: we played a game of poker – if I won, he signed. If I lost, I went home. Luckily, I won (I am quite sure he lost on purpose!) and I went home to a very angry wife who didn’t let me out for some time after.
The one I wish I had kept: Symphony, a 2000 35-metre Benetti Classic. In the current market, you cannot beat a timeless full-displacement yacht with low fuel consumption and huge volumes.
Yacht of the Month: TJ Esperanza, a 50-metre Amels from 1999. Fresh from a major refit this pedigree yacht has charactereristics that will never go out of fashion.