Plan to launch pioneering yachting platform

Hong Kong-based ‘boating experience’ business, Nowboat, and Camper & Nicholsons International (CNI), the global superyacht services business now owned by a Hong Kong group, have announced a technology merger with the objective of launching a new platform for the international yacht market.

The collaboration will result in a platform that will deliver bespoke experiences and data to industry stakeholders, including owners, brokers, shipyards and guests. The platform was designed by a dedicated team of software engineers at CNI’s Monaco headquarters.

By Q4 2019, it will be accessible to every industry player across platforms and devices – from mobile, tablet and desktop. The platform will distil every item of yacht intelligence including fuel usage, marina logs, staff profiles, search history and social media presence into one simple-to-use tool with dedicated solutions for every stakeholder.

The first step of the merger was to establish a new website (www.camperandnicholsons.com), which went live earlier this week. The new portal redefines the digital customer journey by offering interactive imagery and a live chat option that immediately engages clients. Richer content, from drone footage to 360° onboard videos, will lend further depth to each yacht for sale and charter.

Lester Lam, chairman of Camper & Nicholsons Asia (CAN), says that C&N has introduced almost every industry innovation – from composite hulls to America’s Cup challengers. “More recently we have worked on several structural updates to equip the company for the radical market and customer behaviour changes we are facing,” he says. “This new platform, the first of its kind in the business, is a continuation of our pioneering spirit. Nearly 250 years since its inception, Camper & Nicholsons is sailing further than ever before.”

Giovanni Alessi, who joins C&N from Nowboat as chief innovation and technology officer, said: “By 2020 the global superyacht market will be worth $35bn*, but technology and data from all stakeholders is managed in an extremely hazardous way. For example, information from brokers, clients and shipyards is stored in Word documents, email archives and handwritten notes or through third-party service providers.

“As the industry’s leader,” he adds, “C&N holds market intelligence dating back 240 years. By collating and sifting that information we can provide a data-driven solution to almost every industry query.”

Paolo Casani, CEO of C&N, says requests for real-time data concerning broker history, port data, events in itinerary locations, weather projections and more have been requested by guests, clients and shipyard partners. “Our new platform will deliver that information to the entire yachting community, not only our sales and charter brokers across 12 global offices,” he says. “Most importantly, it will do so through an in-house tech team who will consistently improve the platform based on data from, but not limited to, customer journeys to incoming yachts.”

C&N say the new platform will have manifold uses. In the hands of a yacht owner it will deliver real time information concerning guest feedback; energy usage and comparative yachts competing for market share. A broker will be able to access a particular vessel’s engineering upgrades, port log history and the prices of similarly sized and aged yachts.

Luxury yacht guests will also be able to access the system via mobile or desktop. Besides information about a certain yacht’s heritage and its typical month-by-month itineraries, there will be statistics about how much it would cost to build or charter a similar vessel. The distillation of big data will even allow shipyards to receive projections of sales and technology trends based upon tens of thousands of searches.