Year after year, women in yachting have taken a larger and more significant role in the industry. They are emerging as powerful, effective, and efficient – as much as men in yachting, and have gone beyond the role of charter broker. Here, YATCO takes the time to get to know some of these women – whether they are yacht sales brokers, shipyard coordinators or marketing masters. Below, get to know the Managing Director of Moonen Yachts, Marianne Hendriks.
Featuring Marianne Hendriks, Managing Director of Moonen Yachts
What drew you to the yachting world?
I worked with a large system integrator in the Netherlands for almost 20 years. The company supplied systems to various types of ships like naval vessels, river cruisers, dredgers and workboats, but also yachts. From a technical perspective a dredger might be a bigger challenge to build than a yacht, but from a customer perspective a yacht is such a great asset to own. I was always fascinated by the fact that a single owner, when purchasing their yacht, is the major driver behind a huge industry. I value that, but I also love the yachts as they are. Beautiful pieces of art that shine in the water.
How did you get your start in yachting?
Like I explained, I have worked in the industry for a long period, but always on the supplier side.
“My driving force to switch career was to work with a superyacht builder. In 2018 this opportunity crossed my path at Moonen, and I stepped in immediately. It was a perfect switch and I feel honoured.”
Today I am the Managing Director of the company, and I am so proud to be a part of the process to create the ultimate dream for our owners, to build them the best superyacht.
Who are some influential people in your life that you look up to?
I have many people that inspire me. Some for their achievements (Mr Baxter, our investor), others for their impressive speeches (President Barak Obama) or people that have that magic touch like our Empress, Her Majesty Queen Máxima.
“But in fact, there is only one person who has been my guide, my driver, my inspiration, my buddy, my sparring partner and my best friend for ever. It is a person who I admire most because of his decisiveness, his passion, his intelligence, his friendliness, and his perfect view on situations. This person is my father.”
I must say, was my father. He passed away in 2011 after a great and inspiring life.
What are some challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
Challenges are part of my day-to-day life, but I love them as they can make you happy when you succeed or improve you when it didn’t go completely according to plans.
“It is very important to face the challenge, judge the situation and deal with it. To emphasise on one of the major challenges of being at the helm of a shipyard is to keep the train rolling at all times.”
We guarantee our customers that our yachts will be delivered on time and according to their wishes. This requires a well skilled staff, a good working environment, capital, and good planning. To make this machine work like a Swiss watch, the biggest task is to be in control of the business and anticipate unpredictable situations, like the Pandemic or the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal, that have an immediate or a causality effect on our yachts in build. I must be able to adapt to the situation quickly. So, yes in today’s business climate I am definitely facing challenges, but together with my well skilled team I manage to stay in control.
What are you currently working on and how do you stay inspired?
Currently we have three yachts under construction; a third and fourth 36 metre Martinique and a 34 metre Moonen 110. Our Martinique models have been immensely popular over the last few years with a lot of enquiries coming in regarding this particular platform. It’s fantastic to see each evolution of this build as each owner has a different vision, giving every yacht its’ own unique mark. The Moonen 110 is the first yacht of this build and draws inspiration from its predecessors, the Moonen 97 and Moonen 84 builds. Construction of the hull is now well underway, and we are on track for a 2023 delivery. In addition to those who I mentioned earlier, my team certainly inspires me. They are so passionate about what they do and give 110% each day, that it’s hard to not have that rub off on you. I’m very proud of them.
“I also stay inspired by the enthusiasm of our yacht owners. The ideas they bring to the table that make each yacht so unique, can challenge our team in the best way possible and it makes seeing the end product even more spectacular.”