Vivian Chan of VP Yachts Is Making Her Mark in the Yachting World

Vivian Chan of VP Yachts Is Making Her Mark in the Yachting World

Vivian Chan, VP Yachts
Picture: Ruby Regulation

Vivian Chan seems to be to be in her factor in what she calls the “glamorous aspect” of the yachting business, wanting each inch the mannequin as she poses for a photograph shoot aboard a Sessa F68 Gullwing as founder and Director of VP Yachts, which represents the Italian builder in Hong Kong.

For a few weekends earlier than that, she was mingling with representatives of the likes of Ferretti Group, Sunseeker, Benetti, Monte Carlo Yachts and Camper & Nicholsons aboard a Riva 110’ Dolcevita at two occasions hosted by Voyager Danger Options this summer time.

VP Yachts has already offered a number of Sessa motor yachts for the reason that firm’s appointment in November 2020, however for Vivian, the circles she now finds herself mixing in appear a world away from her ongoing function as Basic Supervisor of Solar Hing Shipyard, based by her father Chan Ki in 1981.

“I by no means acquired to exit on these lovely boats till lately. I usually go on a ship to see what must be mounted and the one instances I actually exit to sea was for sea trials. I’ve seen the hull bottoms greater than I’ve seen the interiors,” laughs Vivian, who manages her twin roles from the shipyard’s principal website, in Shum Wan on the east aspect of the Aberdeen Hurricane Shelter.

“After I began working for my dad, individuals saved questioning, ‘who’s this blonde Chinese language lady standing on the pontoon’? After I noticed my brother working for Simpson Marine, I noticed the glamorous aspect. I all the time thought it was a world I wouldn’t attain as a result of I used to be all the time on the opposite aspect, behind the scenes.”

A household disaster introduced Vivian Chan again house

Vivan Chan and family
Vivian together with her father and brothers William (left) and Eric (proper). Picture: Ruby Regulation

Vivian says it was her father’s hope that his youngsters would work in yacht gross sales, moderately than the restore and upkeep discipline he has specialised in since working on the Supercraft yard in Tsing Yi earlier than founding Solar Hing Shipyard. Regardless of the household enterprise, Vivian says she hardly ever spent any time on boats when she was younger.

“We didn’t exit boating and I solely visited the shipyard a couple of instances after I was younger. I didn’t know a lot about what he did. I knew he appreciated fixing boats, however he by no means talked about occurring them. I solely began occurring boats after I began working for him.”

Within the early Nineteen Nineties, the household moved to Canada, initially to Vancouver earlier than settling in Toronto, the place Vivian and elder brothers William and Eric went to high school. Nevertheless, unable to seek out related work in Canada, her father was backwards and forwards between Toronto and Hong Kong, whereas each her brothers returned to the town within the early 2000s after graduating from universities in Ontario.

Like Eric, Vivian studied at Ryerson College and gained a BA in Architectural Science. However in contrast to her brothers, she stayed in Toronto, even after her mom had additionally moved again to Hong Kong.

It was a household disaster that drew her again to the town to begin working at Solar Hing Shipyard in 2011. Throughout a making an attempt time for the household, her uncle determined to begin his personal enterprise, so the location and employees had been break up into two, with the shipyards remaining aspect by aspect at this time.

“We actually break up the shipyard in half,” says Vivian, whose first job was to place her architectural abilities to make use of by designing the brand new workplace and flooring plan. “I didn’t know a lot about boats, however I used to be simply right here to help my Dad together with the employees, as many have been with him for a very long time.”

Rising Obligations

Vivan Chan on board Sessa F68 Gullwing
Picture: Ruby Regulation

After the break up, Vivian labored alongside her dad within the workplace as Challenge Coordinator, alongside a crew of 5 service employees together with Chan Bong-wah, who nonetheless works at Solar Hing and has now been working with Chan Ki for 4 many years.

It was a shocking new function for Vivian, not solely due to her lack of expertise within the business however as a result of her father had all the time suggested his youngsters to work in different fields.

“My dad felt the shipyard enterprise doesn’t make some huge cash, so he by no means actually inspired my brothers or me to work right here. He’d say, you’re higher off going to a seller like Simpson Marine. My dad would like his youngsters to be assembly the homeowners of boats moderately than simply fixing the boats.”

To her father’s delight, Eric had joined Simpson Marine in 2010, working as a dealer for Asia’s largest yacht seller for 9 years earlier than establishing Deepsea Marine HK.

William, after over a decade working in different fields, additionally joined the yacht gross sales business in 2013, working for Jebsen Marine and Starship Yachts earlier than founding his personal brokerage firm, Sunshine Yachting, in 2017, with an workplace at Solar Hing’s unique shipyard.

In the meantime, Vivian had been making an attempt to make sure her father’s enterprise door, as her language abilities and abroad schooling helped her join with many worldwide sellers and firms.

“Numerous sellers got here to us as a result of I can converse English with them. I just about became a translator for my Dad originally,” she laughs. Vivian remembers attending her first worldwide boat present on the 2014 Hainan Rendez-Vous, having joined the supply journey of an 80ft-plus motor yacht from Hong Kong. Through the years her expertise and publicity elevated, together with attending the Cannes Yachting Competition in 2017 and 2018.

Moreover, her accountability and significance shortly grew, as she grew to become Basic Supervisor of Solar Hing Shipyard whereas her father slowly began handy over the reins.

Searching for different revenues for the corporate, she was concerned in profitable bids to lease shipyard tons in Ap Lei Chau, the place Solar Hing has a second website. New providers embrace boat accumulating, assembling and commissioning for yacht sellers, all now proving vital to VP Yachts.

Alternative Knocks

Vivan Chan on Sessa flagship
Picture: Ruby Regulation

Final 12 months, in an extra increase for the corporate, Vivian helped Solar Hing Shipyard turn out to be Dufour’s North Asia service centre, an appointment that started a sequence of occasions resulting in her new function representing Sessa.

Kevin Corfa of Dufour Asia remotely launched Vivian to China-based Brian Zhuang, whose firm Omnia Marine represents a number of manufacturers together with Dufour and Sessa, the inland Italian yacht builder he purchased in 2015. Zhuang talked about {that a} new Sessa F68 Gullwing was nonetheless in Hong Kong, unable to be imported to China as a consequence of Covid restrictions, so requested Vivian for assist in promoting it.

Final November, she exhibited the 21m flybridge motor yacht on the third HKCYIA-organised Hong Kong Yacht Present, an invitation-only occasion held for a second 12 months beside the Kai Tak Runway Park. The blue-hulled Sessa flagship proved one of many star sights among the many 17 boats on the present. Whereas representing the boat, she acquired a number of customer enquiries as as to whether she was the Sessa seller, so she referred to as Zhuang to ask how she ought to reply. He shortly confirmed her standing because the seller for Hong Kong.

“I felt this was a superb likelihood to show the Sessa 68 and it was the show-stopper. Our boat actually stole the present,” she says. “I discovered a lot throughout these three days. I had been to seller shows in Hong Kong, so I adopted what I’d seen about learn how to costume and current the boat, uniforms for employees and crew, invites, catering and so forth.”

Extra importantly, she was additionally making her first sale, even when she didn’t realise it on the time. Among the many guests on board the Sessa was a household pal, who talked about he wished the boat. “I assumed he was joking,” she laughs.

Nevertheless, he adopted up after the present to test if the yacht was on the market. “The boat had been in Kwun Tong for 9 months, so I assumed he wished to order a brand new unit, however he didn’t need to wait.”

Now becoming a member of her brothers on the earth of yacht gross sales, Vivian created a brand new firm, VP Yachts — named after the initials of her and her daughter — and needed to shortly rise up to hurry with Sessa.

Based mostly at an inland facility outdoors Bergamo, east of Milan, Sessa builds cruiser and flybridge motor yachts starting from the brand new C35 to the F68 Gullwing, a shocking design distinguished by lifting doorways on either side of the saloon. It additionally builds the Key Largo model vary of inboard and outboard cruisers starting from the 24 to the 40 that premiered ultimately 12 months’s Genoa Worldwide Boat Present.

VP Yachts’ first sale of this 12 months was an F47, certainly one of Sessa’s newer fashions, with supply scheduled for the primary quarter of 2022, whereas over the summer time Vivian offered a C38 to a first-time boat proprietor.

A full suite of providers from Solar Hing Shipyard and VP Yachts

Vivan Chan Sun Hing Shipyard
Picture: Ruby Regulation

In her temporary time as a yacht seller, Vivian has shortly realised the significance of her household’s shipyard, not solely in offering service and quick repairs however as a reassurance for potential consumers.

“The customer of the F47 was really helpful to speak to me as a result of now we have a shipyard so we will all the time take care of the boat,” she says. “I’m so glad I’ve a shipyard on this function. It saves a number of time in comparison with claiming warranties and ready for elements or a restore.

“Numerous the time we simply repair it immediately and cope with the follow-up later. You need a completely satisfied buyer, not somebody irritated and having to attend for somebody to repair the boat. The longer I’m on this job, the extra vital I realise my shipyard is.”

Now managing each Solar Hing Shipyard and VP Yachts, Vivian has three different employees within the workplace and 6 technicians within the service division, cheekily including: “My Dad is available in as soon as a month to select up his paycheque.”

Since Vivian grew to become a seller, Solar Hing has already been servicing different Sessa boats in Hong Kong, whereas VP Yachts additionally presents yacht administration and is already offering the service for the proprietor of the F68 Gullwing. Trying forward, Vivian is eager to continue to grow each firms’ choices.

“I’m actually having fun with VP Yachts as a result of it’s one thing I began myself. Now, I need to do every thing together with after-service, yacht administration and far more. I feel it’s vital to know the entire expertise of sailing and I’m studying one thing new on daily basis.”

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