The BAVARIA shipyard – insight into the yachtbuilding of a shipyard
It is the people who build boats in a shipyard. It’s the people that make the difference. Despite series production there is still a lot of craftmanship involved. And of course a lot of know‐how to develop new models at a shipyard.
Product Manager: Client in a shipyard for new models
What is a Product Manager? Well, this is the person who manages everything related to the product, and essentially the connection between all others who contribute to and work with it: Development and production, marketing and sales and so on. The product manager determines the broad idea for a new model, decides on pricing, the unique sales points and indeed the grand overall strategy. In other words: The product manager acts as a kind of in‐house client, who orders the new boat: This is the kind of boat that I would like to have. BAVARIA has two such product managers: Pascal for the sailing yachts and Siep for the motor boats.
From Lake Constance to BAVARIA YACHTS
As an engineer who studied shipbuilding, Pascal knows from first‐hand experience al that is required to turn a blank piece of paper into a fully‐grown yacht. Following his studies in Kiel he joined Wally Yachts, where he spent six years, before progressing to other challenges, including some time with BAVARIA. He then worked at another large series production yard before returning to BAVARIA. „I feel a special affection for BAVARIA. I grew up on the shore of Lake Constance and the largest BAVARIA dealer was situated in our harbour. Also, I live in Frankfurt, which is only an hour away, door to door.“ Despite this, he usually stays in Giebelstadt during the week.
Productmanager Siep Keizer at work. ©ocean7.at
Understanding yacht building and markets
His colleague Siep from the Netherlands is, geographically speaking, not quite as well positioned. Yet he takes it in his professional stride: „Oh, home is only 600 kilometres away!“ The two form a perfect team, completing each other’s competences and experiences. Pascal, the engineer, and Siep, who comes with valuable experience in brokerage and yacht sales. „You must understand the markets“, both agree. Also, regarding regional differences: Boaters in Norway for example will have a different notion of the ideal boat from those, say, in Australia.
Siep started more than 20 years ago as a yacht broker, but soon also developed his own yacht projects, for example, together with Dutch designers Vripack. Now with BAVARIA, he is responsible for the development of the motorboats. And he is full of happy anticipation: „There will be something new. And it will be very special!“ Alas, he can’t say more at this stage, besides this: The ideas for new models were developed during numerous meetings and workshops with dealers from various countries. „Maybe we can say more at one of the major boat shows in the winter!”
He loves his new mission at BAVARIA. „BAVARIA offers huge possibilities to create a new generation of boats, which will then be sold all over the world. This is something that one can be proud of!”
German engineering in shipbuilding
Pascal agrees. And says: „However, it is not about our personal tastes as boaters or designers. In production yacht building, you have to be pragmatic. Ultimately, everything must function perfectly. Of course, the boat should also look good, but as we know, this aspect is wide open for discussion. The real challenge for us is to create production efficiency, which has been the core of BAVARIA from the outset. The task then is to present a yacht that is at once beautiful and that makes the owner happy because everything is fully thought through and functioning perfectly. For me, this is what German engineering is all about!”
All this presents quite a steep challenge for both of them. But then, Siep highlights one key resource in plentiful supply at BAVARIA: „We have so many good people working here that it makes working a real joy!”