25th Jul 2017 by Rightboat

Interview with Head of Global Sales at Kraken Yachts, Mark Williams

​Q.Tell us a bit about yourself Mark.

I started sailing with my father at the age of 10. I progressed onto keel boats, sailing around Chichester harbour and the Solent before joining the Army and gaining more experience in a multitude of watersports activities. I joined the Kraken team with 18 years experience in the marine industry, 3 of which I was running my own business. The last 8 years I have been selling luxury, high quality sailing yachts. I have sailed extensively in Northern European waters, so I appreciate all the safety features that are incorporated into the Kraken range. I hold the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, and I recognise that the Kevin Dibley design offers easy handling for short-handed sailing, without compromising comfort or sailing performance. Having worked with many luxury brands of sailing yachts, none, in my opinion, offer such great value for money as Kraken. Kraken Yachts have a unique position in the sailing yacht market where the pricing level is nearer the mass-produced yachts, but the build quality and design match the mainstream blue water cruising brands.

Q. Who are Kraken Yachts?

Dick Beaumont (Chairman) and Roger Goldsmith (MD), the founders of Kraken Yachts, have a passion for sailing and between them have extensive sailing experience mainly in the Southern latitudes. They realised that there was a gap in the market for a good quality cruising yacht, but at a price that was more affordable than the mainstream competitors. The yachts are built in the award winning Hansheng ship yard, with the central office in Hong Kong and new international sales office based in Southampton, Kraken are making good in-roads in the Asian Pacific and North European yachting markets.

Q. What sort of buyer do you hope to attract?

The type that recognise quality and value for money. Usually the more discerning sailor.

​Q. How did your relationship with the award winning Kevin Dibley come about?

Chairman, Dick Beaumont, was aware of Kevin's talent from many years ago and approached him to design the Kraken range of yachts. Kevin Dibley is a New Zealand based Yacht Designer with a design portfolio that is as extensive as it is varied. Whether racing or cruising, Kevin has been involved in most areas of yachting throughout his 30 plus years in the industry, both as a sailor and a designer. Kevin has worked alongside America’s Cup Hall of Fame yacht designer Laurie Davidson on various high-end racing and cruising designs over the past 20 years. He also has a close association with a number of other international designers that gives each project a synergism that is rare in modern design studios.

Q. Your unique selling point for the boats is 'built for purpose' what does this mean?

Our ethos is born out of the passionate belief that yachts should be designed, built and delivered with a single purpose in mind. Many yachts are now marketed to be all things to all people, resulting in compromised safety requirements or performance. There is no such thing as a yacht that is suitable for all purposes. Kraken strives to design, develop and build the best yachts for their defined requirements. We believe that to achieve and incorporate all the attributes required in a yacht for a considered purpose, the yacht should be designed and built solely for that use. To this end, we have developed our range of yachts to be the best in their class. Kraken Yachts’ founder and chairman Dick Beaumont has strong views on blue water cruisers, writing in the Australian magazine Cruising Helmsman: ‘As a lifelong and experienced sailor with over 100,000 nautical miles under my keel, I believe that the responsibility for making sure you are choosing the right yacht begins with the decision about what you actually want to do with this yacht. There is no such thing as “one yacht for all purposes”... You cannot have the best of all worlds, whatever the salesman tells you.’ Beaumont adds: ‘When the time comes to purchase a new yacht, you should look at the build and design and how the yacht will perform in heavy weather... how comfortable its motion is and how easily it can be controlled. Why would you risk sailing across oceans in a yacht that is only suitable for recreational shoreline sailing or racing – rather than for true blue water cruising?’ ‘The first consideration will always be safety, which must never be compromised’ Beaumont wrote, adding: ‘I separate this into five distinct areas: (1) hull, keel and rudder; (2) cockpit and deck; (3) mast, rigging and sails; (4) interior; and (5) systems engineering.’

Q. How do Kraken combine ultimate comfort on a bluewater cruiser and still ensure the boats are safe and efficient as well?

When the time comes to purchase a new yacht, you should look at the build and design and how the yacht will perform in heavy weather... how comfortable its motion is and how easily it can be controlled. Why would you risk sailing across oceans in a yacht that is only suitable for recreational shoreline sailing or racing – rather than for true blue water cruising?’ A safe and secure cockpit is essential for blue water cruising. Many modern cruisers opt for very wide aft cockpits that are well suited to sunbathing and cocktail parties; but less so to speeding down the trade winds at night, in safety and comfort. A Kraken’s centre cockpit is spacious and comfortable for socialising in port. But above all, it is a safe haven in heavy weather at sea. It is deep, well protected and has many well-positioned handholds. The seat backs are high for security and carefully angled for maximum comfort, while the large cockpit table acts as an excellent foot brace. The same attention to safety is applied to a Kraken’s deck. High bulwarks prevent crew from slipping off the side. A Kraken’s stanchions are higher than the norm and incorporate three (not just two) guard wires on the 58 and 66 models, and well-positioned handholds ensure safe and easy movement around the deck. As ever more UFOs (unidentified floating objects; including shipping containers) litter the oceans, unprotected spade rudders are at ever more risk. This applies equally to single central rudders and to increasingly fashionable twin rudders. Without a full-length skeg, there is nothing to protect the rudder’s leading edge or absorb the shock that an impact with a UFO will transmit to its stock. A skeg that is an integral part of the hull adds to cost. But it’s an essential safety feature that no blue water cruiser should be without. When combined with an easy and sea-kindly motion and minimal pitching and slamming in large seas, a Kraken’s carefully designed centre cockpit and decks give you the perfect yacht for safe blue water cruising.

Q. What are the benefits of this relationship?

Prices are kept lower as no dealer margins to add onto price. The customer is in direct contact with the people in charge of building their yacht – the experts. As a semi-custom manufacturer – the customer can have a greater say and influence in what goes onto/into their yacht, which means that they end up with a boat that fits all of their requirements with no compromises. The customer can also be involved more with the build process, and is kept informed with weekly reports on the progress of their yacht. Factory visits to see their boat in build are encouraged.

Q. Zero keel technology - what is this and why does it make such a difference to this type of boat?

It is named the ZERO keel system “because it has zero bolts and zero risk of falling off the hull. The encapsulated lead bulb also provides a low centre of gravity and a sleek hydrodynamic shape to enhance performance.” The lead ballast bulb is situated inside the base of a long and robust GRP fin keel that is moulded as an integral part of the hull. The leading edge and the bottom of the keel moulding are further strengthened with an extensive external multiaxial laminate incorporating Kevlar™ reinforcement. This also gives maximum protection against impact while the length and shape of the keel ensure good directional stability and low drag.

Q. When can I have one?

Summer 2018 delivery ​

Q. Let's get to know you a bit more, if you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you have to have?

Waterpolo ball, goggles and a Kindle (pre-loaded with 1000 books)

Q. Number 1 all time album?

​Pink Floyd – Dark side of the Moon Thanks Mark. To find out more about the range, you can download a brochure by visiting the Kraken Yachts showcase, here https://www.rightboat.com/manufacturers/kraken/rb-yachts/rb179333


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