Please select your home edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

In conversation with Barry Ashmore, Regional Director for Nautor Swan Northern Europe

by Nautor Swan 19 Dec 2022 11:52 GMT
Barry Ashmore, Nautor Swan Regional Director for Northern Europe © Nautor's Swan

The Nautor's In Conversation with Campaign continues and after interviewing the key people behind the scenes, it's time to talk about the trends and the feeling of the markets with the main actors - people "in front of the customers" - the Nautor ambassadors for these beautiful yachts.

Our first chat in this sense is with Barry Ashmore, Regional Director for Northern Europe.

Barry, please, give us an overview on Nautor Swan in Northern Europe? What is the brand awareness and how does it perform today on a worldwide basis?

Nautor Swan has a long-held presence in the key Northern European markets - obviously in Scandinavia, where our brand originated, but Swans also quickly became celebrated right from our early years among both racing and cruising yachtsmen, with sizeable fleets forming in the UK, Germany and Benelux too. Northern European sailors have always held Nautor in very high regard, valuing Swans for their build quality, fine performance and reputation for seaworthiness and reliability - these brand values are now appreciated world-wide.

How's the perception of the sport of sailing in your markets?

Well sailing in my opinion is the very best way of connecting with nature, fulfilling one's sense of adventure and enjoying absolute freedom. Sailing also provides the challenges of navigation, competition and seamanship and a Swan is a great choice - a boat you can absolutely trust no matter how ambitious your cruising or racing program. Swan Owners include family cruising sailors as well as keen racers but there's a clear division between those who sail in home waters, and those enjoying their Swans in the Mediterranean and further afield. Northern European local cruising tends to suit smaller Swan models so our Swan 48 has become incredibly successful with local sailors, as her size is perfect for smaller harbours and very easily managed by a couple or with a small family. The lovely thing about owning a Swan however is that it's a boat that can sail anywhere in the world, so it's wonderful to follow the cruising voyages of our Owners as they venture further afield. At the moment there is a definite trend towards more remote cruising including to high latitudes. Generally though, it's great that sailing is becoming more and more accessible and we see people progressing into larger cruising yachts after being introduced to sailing through charter, crewing or even dinghy sailing. For sure a comfortable cruising yacht adds a wonderful dimension to family life!

What are the activities taken by the Nautor on these markets? How is your agents' network organized?

We are very proud to work with long-established and very experienced partners in all our key markets, many of whom are able to offer 360 degree Nautor services to our customers and Owners - ie new yacht sales, brokerage, charter and service. They are all incredibly knowledgeable about our yachts - sailing them regularly at our regattas, being present at our events and regularly visiting our shipyard to accompany new Owners as part of the build process. They guide our clients through the whole purchase process and beyond.

How have the Northern European's owners have changed overtime? What are the main needs they have when they approach you for a new boat?

I think there's a trend where we see younger Owners who manage to purchase their Swan yachts earlier in their careers. They come to Nautor far more knowledgable of the market and already make detailed research about which boats they like before even approaching us, thanks to the internet. It's important therefore that our website and social media activity present the 'Swan World' properly to attract these buyers as they research. Of course, we still have clients who have long-time dreamed of Swan ownership from years back and have worked hard to get to the position of buying one. In all cases, we try and start with a visit to Pietarsaari - the very best way to showcase how we build the boats and to learn why Swans have the reputation they have. It's there that we fully explore their ideas for the boat and their sailing plans and start the process of specifying the perfect Swan to suit their needs. It's a very enjoyable and exciting process!

Charter, Brokerage new boats and Global Service: how is their journey in the sailing world?

Charter and Brokerage are key services offered by Nautor. Charter is a perfect way to 'try before you buy' and clients often charter several times in order to properly formulate their ideas for their own boat. They therefore come to us very aware of what it is to sail a Swan and live onboard which is already very beneficial. Our in-house charter team can find the perfect Charter for a client as well as enabling existing Owners of professionally crewed yachts to offset some of their running costs by offering their yacht for charter when not in use. Nautor also has an in-house Brokerage team which links in to both our worldwide Agent network as well as independent brokerage companies. Our brokers are the real experts in all of our models going back decades. Brokerage offers a great solution for those not willing or able to consider a new build. Nautor Swan Brokerage also steps in when it's time to sell your Swan and has an enviable track record. Nautor's Global Service is a real reassurance for our owners. They are properly the Guardian Angels for our Owners, able to step in whenever and wherever they are needed. This is a real plus for a brand like Swan - able to assist its customers at 360 degrees. Swan Yachts are complex and their Owners and crew are often time-poor so time spent onboard is precious. It's great Global Service is on hand, making the owner feel safe and always taken care of. Speaking of Nautor's wider services and divisions, we shouldn't forget to mention ClubSwan - our exclusive 'virtual yacht club' for all Swan Owners, their family, friends and crew. ClubSwan adds a wonderful dimension to Swan Ownership - warm camaraderie, great social events and the most spectacular regattas!

Related Articles

Boatbuilding Technology Centre Open Days 2023
Guests will be offered a complete tour of the yard As the 2023 launching season has started marking one of the most important periods of the year for Nautor Swan, the Finnish brand is opening the doors of its state-of-the-art facility, the BTC (Boatbuilding Technology Centre) in Pietarsaari. Posted on 25 May
My Song strikes another stunning result
At Tre Golfi Sailing Week in the Gulf of Naples The Tre Golfi Sailing Week, the beautiful regatta organized in the Gulf of Naples and hosted by Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italiana, ended on Sunday 21st and recorded a great participation of Swan yachts, in both the Maxi and ORC categories. Posted on 24 May
Close competition at the Swan Sardinia Challenge
Spectcular conditions deliver competitive and thrilling racing The Swan Sardinia Challenge delivered spectacular conditions and close racing for the owners and crews competing in the second instalment of the season-long The Nations League 2023. Posted on 21 May
Swan Sardinia Challenge returns to Villasimius
ClubSwan regatta will see three one-design classes in action The ClubSwan Racing family will gather again later this month for the Swan Sardinia Challenge, with a return to the magnificent setting of Villasimius in the heart of a marine protected area on Sardinia's picturesque southeast coast. Posted on 15 May
In conversation with Vanni Galgani
The Swan 108 is the fruit of an amazing research of talents Nautor Swan launched the Swan 108 project in 2021, during the Regate di Primavera in Portofino. How was the genesis of the project? Posted on 15 Apr
In conversation with Oscar Ibañez
Nautor Swan Global Service CEO This week's "In Conversation With" campaign sees Oscar Ibañez, Nautor Swan Global Service CEO. Posted on 8 Mar
10° S&S Swan Rendezvous at Marciana Marina preview
An important anniversary for the legendary Sparkman & Stephens yachts Circolo della Vela Marciana Marina is pleased to announce that it will host the 10th Edition of the prestigious S&S Swan Rendezvous. Posted on 7 Mar
RORC Caribbean 600 - An international affair
Seventy boats set to to start on Monday The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts on 20th February at 11:00 AST (UTC-4). Seventy boats from all over the world are ready in Antigua for the non-stop 600nm race around 11 Caribbean islands. Posted on 19 Feb
In conversation with Olivier Decamps
The Nautor's In Conversation with Campaign continues focusing on the Asia Pacific Area The Nautor's In Conversation with Campaign continues focusing on the Asia Pacific Area, one of the biggest developing markets for sailing yachts. Posted on 14 Feb
Nautor Swan at the Helsinki Boat Show
Presenting new products that suit the archipelago life Nautor Swan will take in Helsinki boat to present new products that suit the archipelago life, with Swan Shadow, Swan 48 and ClubSwan 43, and showing the opportunities for new talents to join the family. Posted on 8 Feb