The ongoing Covid 19 pandemic also affected the business of Deutsche Yachten member Zucker & Partner. But not only in a negative sense.
Since its foundation in 1990, Zucker & Partner GmbH in Hamburg has grown into a globally sought-after contact for project management and consulting within the yachting industry. Despite this 30-year experience, however, even founder Stefan Zucker was not clear in March 2020 how the pandemic that was just beginning would affect the business and the entire industry. “We monitored the situation very closely on a daily basis, and understandably also had to cancel many business trips.” But instead of a feared slump, project business picked up. Zucker: “For example, an Asian client commissioned us to supervise the construction of a 32-metre yacht in the Netherlands. It was virtually impossible for him to travel to the shipyard, so he needed a reliable partner who could check progress regularly.”
Nevertheless, Zucker & Partner also encountered the opposite case. For a European client, the Hamburg office is looking after a new build Explorer in China, but was now unable to be on site at the shipyard itself. “We have to make do with a lot of online conferences and videos,” says Zucker. This would work for a while, but then personal visits would be necessary again – “hopefully soon”.
Overall, Stefan Zucker observes an increased interest in buying yachts in the category between 30 and 50 metres in length, but also in smaller yachts. “A certain now-first-right mentality has set in with some customers as a result of the pandemic.”
Claus-Ehlert Meyer, Managing Director of the German Boat and Shipbuilders Association and thus of working group Deutsche Yachten, is also pleased with the development at Zucker & Partner: “Expertise built up over decades often bears fruit even in major crises. Zucker & Partner is a very valuable company for Deutsche Yachten because project managers and owner representatives often act as multipliers and have broad knowledge of the industry.”