Multihulls Magazine recently sat down with Hugh Murray, President of The Catamaran Company and discussed where the company has been and where they are headed.
Hugh Murray has been in the yacht sales and charter business since 1986. He certainly has been around for a while and Hugh explains how interesting it is to see the changes that are developing in the current marketplace.
“One of the things that The Catamaran Company has always managed to accomplish is that whenever something goes wrong, they have always been able to review the issue and see how it can be fixed and to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future”.
When The Catamaran Company got badly hit by the hurricanes in 2017 in the British Virgin Islands, which was the first time in 25 years that The Catamaran company ever really had any significant losses, they decided, in consultation with their insurance companies, that they were getting rather uncomfortable with all the boats staying in the Caribbean during Hurricane season. Back in 2008 when the last financial crisis hit, The Catamaran Company decided to broaden their horizons a little and bit by bit started to invest in marinas and service centers.
During hurricane season, The Catamaran Company continued to work with their insurance companies to put programs in place to encourage boats to come north and take them out of the hurricane zone.
Originally, The Catamaran Company looked to invest in Florida even though it was still unfortunately within the hurricane zone, but by moving further north to Annapolis to one of their company-owned marinas, Pier 7 Resort Marina, they were able to get the boats just about out of the usual hurricane’s reach. The Catamaran Company started this transition in 2019 and since then has managed to get a significant number of catamarans up north at Pier 7 Resort Marina for Summer 2020 and next year they have got even more advance reservations.
The Catamaran Company has taken care of customers in terms of selling their boats, managing their boats, and chartering their boats, but will now also focus on the service side of things.
A lot of the service work was done during summer in the Caribbean. When the catamarans were not chartering, that is when maintenance was performed on the boats. The Catamaran Company hauled them out of the water, performed the bottom jobs, and more. Hugh then decided to replicate the same service but with more amenities in Maryland. Today, The Catamaran Company has three marinas near, in and around Annapolis. Their largest marina is Pier 7 Resort Marina, which offers dockage for up to 150 boats.
The Catamaran Company made a large investment in the purchase of a brand new custom-designed and -built catamaran lift for Pier 7 Resort Marina. Unlike the travel-lifts that you will see in a lot of yards where they basically place bands underneath the cats and lift them up, the lift at Pier 7 Marina is actually done the correct way.
The proper way to lift a catamaran is how the manufacturers launch them: insert a hydraulic trolley underneath them, jack them up and then put them down a ramp, so this process was duplicated at Pier 7 Resort Marina. The Catamaran Company invested $400,000 to be able to lift their catamarans and it has allowed them to offer their owners the option to relocate their charter fleet from the British Virgin Islands in the winter to the Chesapeake Bay for the summer. When spending the summer at Pier 7 Marina, all types of maintenance work can be done. This has worked out very well when dealing with hurricanes and Covid-19.
The market is witnessing that new yacht sales and yacht charters have suffered pretty badly from Covid because a lot of our owners don’t want to travel internationally yet they are very happy to go sailing domestically. This has allowed The Catamaran Company network to move a lot of their fleet of new and used catamarans up to the Chesapeake Bay and offer their owners all the amenities and more at Pier 7 Resort Marina.
Another key factor in The Catamaran Company’s success is that they have been working in association with Multitech Marine Services, a service company that they have worked with within their Fort Lauderdale location for over a decade. Multitech Marine handles all of The Catamaran Company’s maintenance for their owners and is the largest and only factory-authorized repair facility for Lagoon, Nautitech, Fountaine Pajot, Bali and Gemini catamarans. Multitech operates facilities in the USVI, St. Thomas, Fort Lauderdale, and works with M-Tech in Annapolis. Next year they will be fully operational in the British Virgin Islands. This has allowed The Catamaran Company to offer a complete solution for their cruising customers.
“We feel that a lot of our clients are going to be spending more time locally and want to spend more time cruising for weekends rather than for weeks at a time,” says Murray. “The Catamaran Company believes that the size of boats that people buy is probably going to reduce so that they can actually keep the boat behind their house or locally in a marina rather than have a larger boat to keep in the Caribbean.”
Hugh feels that it will be very interesting to watch as this goes ahead and see how people’s attitude to long-distance flying, to long-distance traveling, actually works out…
About Pier 7 Resort Marina
Pier 7 is a fully renovated marina located on the South River in Edgewater, MD that offers over 150 slips and plenty of new amenities.
Featuring the most scenic views of any marina in the area, Pier 7 can accommodate a variety of different vessels. They are a secure, gated marina located on the South River in Edgewater just off the Chesapeake Bay. The location also makes the perfect place for deep-water draft monohulls and fishing boats. Specializing in catamaran dockage, they offer the largest selection of catamaran slips in the state.
Pier 7 has some of the best amenities of any marina in the area, which includes a center that offers a full range of in-water and out-of-water services, winterization, and the ability to haul out catamarans up to 65 feet operated by M-Tech Marine Services. A new boat ramp, waterfront apartment rentals, captained catamaran rentals, a private beach (with grills, fire pits, beach chairs, and picnic tables), yoga studio, jet ski rentals, and event opportunities. Visit https://www.piersevenmarina.com or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to start taking advantage of everything Pier 7 has to offer.
About Multitech Marine
Multitech Marine is the leading multihull specialist serving customers in South Florida. Factory-trained, certified, and highly experienced multihull experts perform all services.
If you are seeking superior results, the very best in multihull specialists, and a personal and friendly atmosphere, Multitech Marine is your only choice.
For more information, visit: https://www.multitechmarine.net/