The Setag founder reflects on a highly successful career in the yachting industry – and the inspiration behind Setag Yachts.
The easy option would have been to retire. In my career, I have gone from Technical Engineering Apprentice to CEO. During my 31 years at Princess Yachts, I grew the company from a £30million to a £340million business, with a workforce swelling from 400 to 3,300 people – and leading the process of its purchase by the LVMH group in 2007. When I joined Princess in 1989, there were no bills of material, no planning system and no computers, mobile phones or emails. By the early 1990s we had implemented the business systems to enable us to build 1,000 boats in a single year.
So, when I decided to step back in 2019, reducing my involvement to a part-time role as advisor to the Chairman, it was with a view to finally enjoying my time in the sun after three decades building Princess Yachts towards record sales and profitability, with the strongest product offering, and represented by the world’s strongest dealer network.
This was the inspiration behind launching Setag:
The opportunity to offer a unique, unrivalled luxury refit service for pre-owned yachts, where owners can experience the same level of personal service and expertise they have come to expect from the leading yacht manufacturers.
Crucially, I have been able to draw on the best talent in the business thanks to the friendships I have developed during my time in the industry. When I first began my journey, a number of the extremely talented boat builders at Princess, realising they needed planning and organisational help, befriended me and taught me all aspects of laminating, furniture construction and the complexity of assembly.
Today, I’m proud to say that Setag can now deliver an unparalleled level of service and expertise in the pre-owned market, working alongside extremely talented colleagues from my one-time adversaries, offering our services to Princess, Sunseeker and Fairline owners.
This is a unique opportunity to deliver a refit service that allows you to personalise and refresh the interiors of your treasured yacht, as well as updating all technical functions through the expertise of our team of specialists who designed, engineered and built these three great brands for decades.
Redefined by Setag
Each project is truly bespoke, catering to individual needs. If you are moving into a new house, you naturally want to renovate to put your own stamp on it – to make it feel like your home. So, why would you be happy to live with someone else’s taste when it comes to your yacht?
To be a yacht owner is a very special feeling. To feel the freedom of being on the water, away from the pressures of everyday life, with no deadlines but those set by the sun, is a very unique type of escape. It offers you a sense of luxury that you can rarely attain from material products – the luxury of time and space.
One of the most common questions we are asked by potential clients is what we mean exactly when we talk about offering a refit service for yachts. There is a false impression about yachts that they only require a refit if they are on their last legs and are barely seaworthy. This simply isn’t the case.