FMY: So Matjaz, what exactly is your role now at Focus Motor Yachts?
MA: I operate as a consultant. I have 25 years experience in every area of marine leisure, from charter and service to refit, production, sales, marketing and development, so when anyone at Focus Motor Yachts needs me, I’m here to help.
FMY: What part does yacht charter play at Focus Motor Yachts?
MA: When I started out in boating in 1997, I quickly realised that sales and charter are at their best when they go hand-in-hand. If you give a potential buyer the chance to charter a boat with his family, then he will know for sure whether it works for him - and if he decides to go ahead and buy it, you can deduct the cost of the charter from the purchase price. Customers obviously love that approach and it also enables us to sell boats with the utmost openness and transparency, so it’s a business model we continue to use.
FMY: Is feedback from charter guests used in the design process too?
MA: Absolutely. After a week with the boat, you really get to understand how the guests feel about it – and by listening to feedback during check-in and checkout, I get some vital information about what works and what doesn’t; about how the boat feels to use and to live with. That puts me in a great position to provide input on product development both for my son, Matej, and for our longstanding designer, Tony Castro – and ultimately, it enables us to build boats that look better, feel better and perform better.
FMY: Is that what makes Focus Motor Yachts different?
MA: That’s certainly a key part of it. By listening to our customers and leveraging that input in the refinement of even the tiniest detail, we are able to create boats that truly excel. And critically, they don’t just excel on a quick customer demo. They excel day in, day out, season after season. So it’s not simply about the details themselves. It’s about how the details impact the customer and how they increase the long-term quality of the ownership experience.
FMY: What are the key features you try to factor into your motor yachts?
MA: A walkaround is very important for security and sheer ease of use. And it’s also important to introduce versatility into the design. Yes, the customer wants protection, but he may also want a sunbed in the cockpit and comfortable lounging or dining areas in the open air. Yes, he might need the layout and facilities to provide his family with a confidence-inspiring cruise but why not combine that with the style, the sporting ability and the prestige to appeal to young couples and to those who want to entertain friends as well as family?
FMY: So what’s you own favourite boat?
MA: Tony Castro’s work on the new FP36 has been outstanding. Like the Porsche 911, it’s a timeless design. In addition to a slick hardtop, a versatile cockpit and a proven hull, it has the benefit of proper cruising accommodation, plus the leather-trimmed luxury of a high-end sportscar. It looks superb too and, with authentic 50-knot ability, it has more than enough performance to back it all up.
FMY: What will we see from Focus Motor Yachts in the future?
MA: With its beautiful design and ingenious innovations, our new flagship Forza 50 is an important statement. We’ve seen strong demand for a fast open platform with a T-top and a closed bow; one that can combine a lavish cabin, shower and galley with a huge external cockpit. The Forza 50 provides all of that to thrilling effect, so we will definitely be giving our new Forza line the attention and investment it deserves…