America The Beautiful

Anyone who’s seen my social media feed or read one of my Forbes stories knows I’m as “American” as you can be. I just can’t help it. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely aware of just how crazy US politics is. And I’m sincerely embarrassed by all the stereotypical “ugly Americanness” that happens all over the world every day. But that doesn’t change the fact that even though I travel all over the world to write about superyachts, I’m still the same “kid from Boston” who first sailed away from the USA aboard a 65-foot-long Swan in the mid-1990s and never really looked back. I’d set my sights on an adventurous international life working onboard yachts in the Caribbean and beyond. I never would have imagined a life filled with beautiful yachts, beautiful people, and VIP access that I’m grateful to write about now.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: amidst the glitz and glamour, one of the best parts of my profession is being able to learn from and form real friendships with many of the people who own and build some of the most recognizable superyachts in the world. Take, for instance, my recent tête-à-tête aboard Heesen’s 50-meter Book Ends at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, with two industry stalwarts: Mark Cavendish, Heesen’s Chief Commercial Officer, and Thom Conboy, their US Director of Sales.

While Mark and Thom may not fit the mould of conventional attractiveness from the yachting crowd, their wealth of expertise and insight into the American superyacht market is unparalleled. As we filmed, it became evident that Heesen’s allure remains strong among discerning American clientele seeking bespoke vessels of Dutch craftsmanship.

One of the many insights I learned during our conversation was how strong the American market continues to be. Heesen continues to attract dynamic American owners who are looking for exactly the size and style of yachts that the Dutch shipyard is known for. Both Thom and Mark also shared how American yachting destinations that span the entire East Coast and include all of the Bahamas and Caribbean islands are attracting more yachts than ever before.

Thom also pointed out just how user-friendly buying a yacht in the US (especially Ft Lauderdale) can be. Thom not only brings decades of experience and intimate knowledge of how Heesen builds and services every yacht they build. He also provides all the extra insight new buyers need to make the process as stress-free and seamless as possible.

Both Mark and Thom agree that American yacht owners continue to evolve with the times. They report the people they met with at the Palm Beach Show and other venues are younger and more energetic than traditional superyacht buyers have been in the past. There’s a rising demand for yachts that offer tranquillity and family-friendly amenities, a departure from past preferences. Current American owners are also more conscious about the environment and look to the shipyard to offer sustainable yachting solutions that allow the yachts to reduce their environmental impact. And that makes perfect sense as broader trends show an increased awareness and responsibility from potential buyers. More and more Americans are not only learning just how special owning a superyacht can be and they’re exploring the Bahamas and the Caribbean because those destinations offer some of the best superyacht cruising in the world. Be sure to watch our video interview to learn more.

By Bill Springer





Mark Cavendish   Chief Commercial Officer

| Robert Drontmann   Sales Director

| Sara Gioanola   PR & Press Office Manager

Heesen Yachts North America

Thom Conboy   Agent North-America, Mexico, Bahama's & Caribbean