Superyacht owners are ambitious, charismatic and pioneering characters. In Issue Five of The Superyacht Owner, a handful of these inspiring figures share their thoughts, be it in their boardroom or on board their superyachts, as this issue presents stimulating features on the personalities behind these magnificent vessels.
Featured on this issue’s cover is Valentin Zavadnikov, a hardened Russian yachtsman who was joined by European editor Justin Ratcliffe on board his yacht for the first day of racing at the 2012 RC44 Championship Tour in Sweden. Zavadnikov, who was inaugurated as the first Russian ambassador for La Belle Classe Superyachts at the Monaco Yacht Show this year, spent several hours at the helm in the gruelling conditions of a capricious Swedish summer day, which belted rain on competitors.
Interviews with entrepreneur owners include former product designer Brian Benjamin—whose award winning yacht 25.1m Aegir II led to a new business and a whole line of yachts, Carbon Ocean Yachts—and with Thomas Flohr, owner of private aviation company VistaJet. Flohr, who owns the 42.2m Baglietto yacht Nina J, outlines the business axioms that have led VistaJet to dominate the long range category of private jet companies.
If the previous issue of The Superyacht Owner was informed by passion, this is the issue where passion moves into a practical sphere. As new buyers think of how to fund yacht projects that have caught their eye at shows, guest articles from industry experts such as Paul Swindale of Vantage Corporate Services will be enlightening. Swindale argues that there is still a prosperous debt market for new owners despite the rocky post-recession path experienced by many looking to find loans for their new builds. Also an option for new owners are opportunities provided by aborted builds, as nearly completed projects present dream yachts that can be shaped while avoiding the long waiting times of starting from scratch.
Unearthing new areas for charter or exploration, there is a report on Myanmar, South East Asia. After decades of isolation and brutal misrule, this country is on the brink of a renaissance. Eric Merlin, the owner of Calisto, a converted 42m 1940s minesweeper, explains why Myanmar’s charms should not be missed.

Calisto on location: Myanmar, a region "full of energy, of nice people, great food, and still undiscovered in many ways," says Owner Eric Merlin.

More is packed into this issue, including tenders of the future, a predicted new age of austerity for yacht management and an analysis of the likely impact of The Maritime Labour Convention.

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