Dominator, headquartered in Austria, launched its first luxury yacht, the Dominator 65, back in 2001. From their shipyard in Italy, they have since built many more, ranging from 20 to 40m. Currently, all eyes are on the new 26m Ilumen, designed by Alberto Mancini. The Superyacht Owner speaks to Wolfgang Pernsteiner, who bought the company back in 2009.
You owned a Dominator yacht before deciding to buy the company. What motivated this decision?
Well, we have to go back a step. Before I owned a Dominator, I owned another well-known brand of yacht and whilst out at sea, suffered an electrical fault which nearly started a fire and also left us stranded with no back-up systems. On returning to land, I immediately set about selling the yacht and searched around asking everyone for the company with the best quality. This is how I heard of Dominator Yachts. My ownership experience of the Dominator was far better and I fell in love with yachting once again. When the opportunity arose to buy the company, I did not hesitate.
Tell us about the new Ilumen 28.
The Ilumen 28m was borne out of my ideas of yacht usage and our designer’s concepts of space and light. We raised the pilot house so that you can have a very large owner’s cabin on the main deck and a large salon. Further to this I believe we have the largest flybridge for a yacht of this size. So much thought has gone into the proportions providing all of these benefits. The owner cabin will have a very private area with sea views, a moon roof to watch the stars at night and even a bow terrace. There are a further four cabins on the lower deck. The total volume of the yacht compares with a 30m+ yacht, so this is very much the yacht of the future.
The company has won awards for design – could you tell us a little about this?
Alberto Mancini has worked with us for many years. He established two core themes for the new Ilumen series of ‘space and light’. Form and function have to work hand in hand. It is not good enough to have a beautiful yacht which is not practical. The owner enjoys the beauty and the practicalities that our designs create around them.
What changes or improvements would you like to see in the market in order to sustain and grow the ownership value model?
We find that only too often, owners or captains of older yachts tend to make decisions too quickly when it comes to servicing or maintaining their yachts. I would like to see more qualified engineers and service outlets out there. I think more accreditation systems also need to be in place to highlight to owners the safest places to go to.
What is the most important piece of advice you could deliver to a first-time owner?
There are many deals out there. the market is flooded. What I would say is, if you are going to spend the money, don’t just go for what seems like the best deal. It may seem wise at the start but then after the first season you regret that you did not find something that really fulfilled your needs. That is the mistake I made. It is then more expensive to correct that mistake. So think about investing the extra money to make the decision perfect to you. Then, once you have chosen - make more time to enjoy on your yacht! We have a client who changed one of the cabins into an office and this only on a 64 footer. He uses this open plan office to work 2 months of the year from and has the latest tele-communications systems onboard to help him do this. We think he has got it right!
What are the company’s plans for the future?
We are working hard on launching the first Ilumen and will be taking her on a tour of the Med next year. We are also in discussions with clients interested in larger Ilumen models up to 36m. So we can expect to see the launch of some larger yachts and we also have something up our sleeves for the other end of the scale.