American Marketer


WOW Yachts enters market with focus on sustainability

February 10, 2016

WOW Yachts promotional image WOW Yachts promotional image


Newly established yacht brand WOW Yachts is hyping its series with a promise to “inspire, educate and evolve” consumers.

WOW Yachts, which will make its official debut at the Sunset Harbor Yacht Club in Miami Beach, FL during the Miami Boat Show is entering the market by emphasizing sustainability and education. Carefully designed yachts are plentiful, but standout hooks and a clear demonstration of values could help WOW make a successful entry into the crowded field.

"I believe in the idea that you have to teach somebody to fish, not give them a fish," said Sandra Yawn, co-founder of WOW Yachts. "The sustainability is in education and awareness. Our mission statement is to 'Inspire, Educate and Evolve.'"

Inspire, educate, evolve
The line is the creation of Ms. Yawn and Claudia Potamkin. Ms. Yawn has been a yacht captain for 27 years and been in waters all around the world, while Ms. Potamkin has been a yacht owner for 30 years.

The brand will offer yachts in three sizes with multiple color and design options. Interior designer James Kieran Pine, a creative director who has worked with top real estate developers in New York, Miami and Europe, will design the interiors.


WOW-47 yacht

The founders are positioning their yachts as “Vessels of Discovery” with the help of the International SeaKeepers Society, a 501(c)3 organization founded by yacht owners and scientists in 1998 that promotes oceanographic research, conservation and education among yachters. WOW yacht owners can, at their discretion, join the International SeaKeepers Society on missions and enjoy other related benefits.

WOW Yacht rendering

WOW Yacht rendering

The line’s debut will occur on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 8-11 p.m. at the Miami Boat Show. Celebrities will join media as attendees, and Willie Stewart and Friends Ambassadors of Music will provide entertainment.

The focus on sustainability is in line with trends visible across all industries. Many fashion brands have moved away from the use of fur in their clothing and are looking for more sustainable modes of manufacture and production, while hotels are organizing volunteer-oriented programs and making efforts to conserve water.

Sustainability initiatives within the yacht industry are not pushed quite as commonly, but marine biologists have long been expressing concern over the ocean’s ecosystem related to overfishing. Bringing relevant organizations, including the International SeaKeepers Society, to the attention of yacht owners rather than hoping that the owners will learn about the organizations independently is a step in the right direction.

Vessels of discovery
Miami is an ideal place for the debut, as the city is in the midst of a transformation.

Miami has recently seen an influx of luxury brands opening boutiques as the city rebrands itself as a true luxury hub.

Now the city is continuing its development to cater to affluent residents and guests with the upcoming opening of the Deep Harbour at Island Gardens marina. Set to open in December, the marina will help Miami to position itself as the newest super yachting capital in the world (see story).

Other yacht companies are finding other ways to stand out in the field and cater to consumers’ changing wants and desires.

Dynamiq yachts cutomization

Dynamiq yachts cutomization

For example, Superyacht builder Dynamiq is breaking new ground in the yacht industry with customizable, made-to-order yachts.

Clients can customize everything from paint scheme to finish and amenities on Dyanamiq’s Web site and, for the first time ever, build the yacht of their dream. According to the brand, consumers have never had such control over their boats before, so Dynamiq’s model may provide a new benchmark in high-end yachting that empowers the consumer and eases the transaction model (see story).

"A strong component of the brand focuses on ocean advocacy and research, Ms. Yawn. "WOW Yachts and ownership will enable the yachts to become 'Vessels of Discovery' with International SeaKeepers Society."

"The name, "WOW," is about empowering Women On Water," says Yawn. It's about the experience of being an integral part of this World of Wonder...The Ocean," added Ms. Potamkin.