In conversation with Roy Capasso

After the overview by Barry Ashmore on North European markets, the Nautor’s “In Conversation With” campaign sees the turn of Roy Capasso, Regional Director for SEMEA and Americas, and Commercial Director for the Motoryacht division, with Swan Shadow and Swan OverShadow.

Roy, your experience in the motor yacht segment goes back 25 years now, plus 6 years in the sailing yachts sector. Can we have your opinion on the two worlds?
Sailing and Power yacht owners share the same love and passion for the sea, but in different ways… I think this is an important point to start with.
We are talking about two completely distinct ways of going to sea, due first of all to a different knowledge of the products and their use, but also in terms of vocabulary. The words you use when talking about sailing are completely different to those used in motor yachting, and when I joined Nautor, it felt like I was starting again from scratch! The passage from motor to sailing was a big challenge in my career. It was difficult but very fulfilling.
Until ten years ago, the two sectors were completely separated. It was uncommon to find a power yacht owner switching to sail, and vice-versa. Sailing was conceived more as a lifestyle pursuit, enjoying the journey more than the destination. Owning a poweryacht was more considered as a synonym for comfort at the destination rather than the feeling of enjoying the ride.
Today the situation is changing, with more clients passing from one to the other, to enjoy a different experience.

Roy, now that you have a complete overview of the Marine clients, those preferring sailing and those motoring. Can you please give us your opinion about it.
From my experience with typical Swan owners, “sailors” tend to be fully involved from day one. They go a bundle on the process of design, construction and customization solutions, not only for the interiors, but also for deck and sail plan specifications, manufacturing their own dream boat.
To match this, Nautor Swan’s strategy in terms of products, goes from full racers, with the ClubSwan yachts range, to the more bluewater cruiser and performance yachts, from the Swan Line up to the Swan Maxi.  We offer a product that can answer almost every Owners’ requirements and give the full tailor-made experience.
The power yacht customers, on the other hand, are looking more for performance, comfort while at anchor, volume and storage – also for toys to enjoy their days at sea. The inclination is to recreate their home on the water – a kind of a “floating villa”
Lately both worlds are closely regarding each other to borrow solutions and ideas to use across sectors. The theme of sustainability and green sailing, for example, is one of these.
Sailing is by definition a very sustainable way to go to sea, but the first hybrid solutions were implemented on motoryachts.  Now both sail and power are taking advantage of the developments made in this field and implementing them across the range, not only on yachts up to 24m.
The Sailing yacht sector is now adopting more comfortable options in terms of volumes, accommodation and innovative solutions to enjoy a perfect stay at sea. Think about the opening transom acting as a beach club that we have on the Swan 55 and on the Swan Maxi, borrowed from motor yacht “cousins”.

When Nautor Swan launched the motor yacht division, which was the strategy?
The motor yacht division was born from the passion that Leonardo Ferragamo has for the marine world, and the Swan Shadow, the first motor yacht by Nautor, was meant to broaden the range of vessels we offer to our customers, perfectly aligned with the core elements of our DNA: Performance, Quality, Elegance, and Reliability. With the continuous interaction we have with our owners and discussion about the experience of sailing, we decided that it was time for a ‘chase boat’ to provide an added dimension to Swan yacht ownership. This was the starting point. By making a further analysis of the competitors we understood that most of the products currently on the market are limited to just a single specific usage of the boat. The Motor Yacht division by Swan aims to fill the void of a true multipurpose yacht range and aims to provide models that meet all owners’ needs, giving the opportunity to choose and change on demand the accessories that define their use.

When designing the Swan Shadow and then the Swan OverShadow, what aspects of the sailing world have been taken into consideration and used as a source of inspiration?
Nautor’s Design DNA is built on a strong heritage and the motor yacht division has to meet the expectations of a clientele accustomed to luxury and performance sailing yachts. The design of Shadow and OverShadow incorporates features that customers might generally expect to see in larger full-custom or semi-custom yachts. Together with Jarkko Jamsén, our designer, we studied the main design features of ClubSwan Yachts, and incorporated them into our power boat range. We wanted to create something sporty and fun, without compromising on the elegance that customers expect from a yacht branded Swan.

Now on top of the experience you gained, what is your feeling about the market trends in the next 5 years?
These days there is a great attention and commitment towards the world around us. There is a tendency to study and develop efficient hulls allowing reduced fuel consumption and  carbon emissions. Many shipyards are introducing new hybrid and electric models with eco-friendly materials onboard, offering a luxury object with an ethical provenance.
The green approach complements the trend to have a user-friendly boat, to be easily managed when cruising and especially docking.
Also, with the spread of the pandemic and the need for remote working, owners have become fond of having a floating home where they can conduct their daily activities – both professional and personal. A yacht represents the perfect means of escape and exploration but also  serves as a place to work and live, assuring total privacy, comfort, and protection.
The communications systems onboard will become more technically advanced with lower costs, enhancing the potential for conducting business as well as enhancing leisure time onboard.
Design-wise, priorities will move towards increased hull volumes for both comfort and more storage space. Opening sterns in order to facilitate more enjoyment and the feeling of being closer to the water, modular spaces for more flexibility of use onboard, usage of glass for natural light –  these are just few of the ‘must- haves’ in the upcoming models.