Looking to the future of yachting, YATCO interviews several fresh faces in the industry to discover how they got their start, their career highlights so far, and what they predict for the future of the yacht market.
Featured Photo Credit: Mirka Formanová
Featuring Rodrigo Nicholson, Yacht Sales Advisor of Camper & Nicholsons
How did you get your start in yachting?
My path to yachting began at a young age, when my father proudly explained the history behind Camper & Nicholsons and put me to work visiting shipyards, working as a day worker, and accompanying him to whatever he needed to do.
I was always learning something – how to interact with clients, captains, brokers; what yachting is, materials, quality, etc. and what owners look for in a yacht – it was always a lesson.
Pursuing studies in Marine Biology and Ocean Chemistry, I eventually racked up multiple years of experience at sea and opened my own charter agency and a non-profit called “Ocean Defenders” out of Miami, Florida in 2020. In 2022 I moved to Monaco and officially joined Camper & Nicholsons in late 2022 but am now based back in Miami, FL.
As a younger professional in the industry, what trends have you seen, and what do you predict for the coming years?
As a young professional in the industry, I have noticed a couple of things, such as the application and use of artificial intelligence or AI to better enhance the safety and quality of guest experiences, Virtual Reality showrooms are now being used by many yachting houses to better understand the interior of a yacht and how it would feel to be inside pre-build, also different fuel cells have been engineered such as diesel – electric propulsion and hydrogen propulsion.
This industry is growing and changing every day, so it is hard to pinpoint predictions. However, my predictions in this industry would lean more towards increased automation in order to reduce operating costs for yachts, shipyards, and brokerage houses; and the use of renewable energy on yachts and adoption of electric or hydrogen propulsion reducing the noise and carbon emissions released by yachts. This results in yachts being more cost-effective in the long term, and most importantly, enhancing guest experiences.
What kinds of challenges have you faced in yachting, and how have you overcome them?
The challenge I have faced in the industry was my worry that I would knock on a yacht’s door and pitch my first Central Agency listing, only to get rejected, or worse, laughed at, because after all, who’s going to trust the experience of a 21-year-old? So, I played my chances. The lesson I learned that day was that confidence is the key to opening doors.
What are some of your most memorable and successful moments?
My most memorable moment so far was when I finally (and formally) became a part of the Camper & Nicholsons family.
What advice would you give to someone looking to join the yacht world?
My advice to someone new to yachting would be to work very hard and to not be afraid to think outside the box, because odds are, it works. Know what you are selling, and always bring something to the table. And finally, to be patient – patience will help you a lot!
What do you aspire to for the future?
In the future, I aspire to continue the Nicholson name and carry on the legacy.