So what enticed him to the superyacht industry? An avid car collector, where there's clearly a higher return on investment, what made him take a gamble on owning a yacht? As he mentioned at GSF, "there is a direct correlation between the passion to collect cars, actually driving supercars and then starting a business, which is basically manufacturing supercars. Then of course you run into a wall because you want a yacht, and then it's official. You're totally mad." Speaking about the similarities between the classic car world and yachting, Muller is on something of a campaign to highlight what owning a superaycht opens up to you - a private group with limited membership. For example, people who buy a Ferrari 250GTO, Muller says is "the key to a certain lifestyle." "They're not just buying the car," he said. "I think this is very much true for the classic Feadships."
As a child, Muller's father would take him to different shipyards throughout the Netherlands, leading him to acquire the tugboat operator Wijsmuller in the early 1990's. With yachting always a part of his life, Muller felt it was only natural to take the next step. After owning a number of smaller yachts, "by 2007, great timing by the way, just on the verge of the biggest crisis ever, I wanted to a canoe-sterned Dutch built superyacht ... because of their elegant designs. Generally speaking, I'm not very impressed by modern day design yachts, and I love the way they used to be designed".
The rest, as they say, is history. Muller acquired The Highlander later that year, now sits as Chairman on the board of the Feadship Heritage Fleet, and following some work in the US, The Highlander will be making her return to the Med, where Muller hopes to spend more time on board later this year.
If you've found this story to be 'a report worth reading', and you would like to enjoy access to even more articles, insight and information from The Superyacht Group, then you may well be interested in our VIP print subscription offer. We are inviting industry VIPs to register for a complimentary subscription to our print portfolio, which includes the most insightful information on the state of the superyacht market. To see if you qualify for our VIP subscription package, please click here to fill in an application form