by John Curnow
Sometimes you hear of someone taking 30 years to become an overnight sensation. Maggie Beer went on record for saying just that, only the other day on TV. By that mark, Brent Vaughan has been building an experienced team for a long time and when the time came for the launch of Multihull Central, they too rapidly became a multihull sensation.
Multihull Central - Sanctuary Cove Boat Show special edition
A thorough understanding of sailing multis and also of the market itself has been essential ingredients in that success. Choosing the right brands to have in your stable has also been crucial and then offering Australia’s only dedicated multihull marina was a terrific coup, as well.
So what does Brent, himself, have to say of it all, 'Yes. It certainly has been extremely busy and a very exciting times. I had 12 or so years with Seawind, assisting Richard Ward in Sales and Marketing, then taking over that role. We had a lot of success and grew it all very strongly before the turbulent times of the GFC arrived. Production moved to Vietnam after that, which was a great move for them.'
'It was through this process that I set up Multihull Central and we took over the distributorship of Seawind into Australia. Part of it all was to also take over the sales team that I had built up over the last decade. I had worked closely with these experienced souls, a lot of whom were boat owners, sailing their cats to all sorts of places when they could. Once all that was achieved we set our sights on a broader spectrum, with brokerage and new brands like Outremer that operate in the 45-60 foot performance cruising cat market.'
Vaughan added, 'Seawind operate at 35 to 41 feet and we took over the Corsair Trimarans, as well. They have an exceptional entry level of sports and trailable tris at 24 feet and thence on to 37-foot flyers. So now we then had a wonderful range of new boats, suitable for any budget and experience level. You could go around Sydney Harbour or ‘round the world. They are all good performance craft, and with reputations to suit! We have brought it all together over the last year or so.'
On its own, all that is a pretty good scoreboard to reflect upon. Yet reflection is not where this story stops. Brokerage was the next piece of the proverbial.
Like the whole business it to have been growing, even in these most challenging of times. 'SE Queensland is a key market for us and just in this last week we have created Multihull Yacht Sales Australia. It falls squarely under the umbrella of Multihull Central in terms of ownership and marketing, but brings Phil Day, his decades of experience, multihull racing pedigree in events like the Brisbane to Gladstone and renowned offices at the Manly Boat Harbour in Brisbane.'
Multihull Central's Brent Vaughan helming the Outremer 5X at the Outremer Cup in La Grande Motte.
The synergy and links do not stop there, either, for many years ago, Phil used to distribute the Corsair Trimarans, so now he represents them once more. 'In joining the team he certainly brings a lot to the mix and I think we can now certainly claim to be number one in multihull brokerage. From Perth to Melbourne and on to Airlie Beach Multihull Central is there, with offices in Sydney and now Brisbane.'
So then, what to do if you’re over hoisting sails or have no interest in doing so in the first place? Multihull Central has also just announced that they have taken on the distributorship of Aquila power cats. 'I feel like this brand and the people who operate it really are ready to take over the world. There are three sensational model lines, which are ideal for cruising the Australia’s coast. Aquila cats will suit existing owners that don’t want to sail anymore, but are still looking for those unique attributes of stability, extra space and shallow draft. Feedback so far is that they will also serve charter operators well and offer good returns to boot.'
The very large Marine Max group from Florida is responsible for the Aquilas and they got the famous Seaway Designs, who were responsible for the Greenline boats amongst others, to do the concept. A significant facility in China produces all the boats.
'Yes. We’re excited by this, almost as much as they are. It is another terrifically fitting line for Multihull Central to be offering, so now we have just about everything covered. Multihulls may be the most buoyant segment of whole yachting arena, but it is trying times all around, so we’re delighted to be finding homes for new owners.'
Seawind 1160 LITE
Vaughan added, 'The new Seawind 1160 Lite is another highlight of our times. They have reinvented the wonderful design, made it lighter, faster and even more affordable, with a stepping off point in the low $400,000 mark. We have sold five, all sight unseen, unless you show up to the Sydney Boat Show, where we have the first in the country on display.'
'That certainly is exciting stuff and so too is that for the very first time we will be showing Outremer in Australia. We have a 49 on display. Outremer have been building high performance cruising cats in Europe for 30 years and have built 250 craft that are now cruising the world and winning design awards.' Look for the cool, curved daggerboards and you’ll find the Outremer 49, along with Multihull Central’s three other display vessels, which does make them the biggest multihull exhibitor at the show. 'Come and see us', said Vaughan.
Outremer 49 at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show
Sound interesting, but maybe don’t have the knowledge or experience to take your dreams into reality? Never fear. You are not alone.
'We’re continuing to focus on how to bring new people into cats. Unless you have friends who sail cats you need a pathway, so we have developed a free, Beginners Guide to Cats DVD.
It’s proven very popular, it has had significant traffic on YouTube, with other 10,000 views already. We have also developed a cat sailing school and have two courses coming up after the Sydney International Boat Show. There is one on the delightful Pittwater and then we head offshore the week after.'
In a way, you can watch the DVD, do the courses, charter a boat, and then ultimately buy a boat. 'Yes. Multihull Central is about getting you your first experience, then learning, dealing with maintenance, offering a marina berth and selling your existing craft when it is time to get ready for a new one. We do try to very much look after our entry level owners and also take care of those seeking even more performance, as this is a growing arena', said Vaughan.
The Seawind 1250 Platinum sailing on Sydney Harbour.
Elsewhere, it is terrific to see Seawinds heading into the USA, with an 1160 and 1250 off to San Francisco in the next few months. Quite possibly, the fact that boats have been delivered to Hong Kong and Langkawi speaks in even greater volumes as to the emergence of Asia as a market power. 'These are important sales, as they could well be the biggest markets in time to come, as Asia grows and they do not have preconceived ideas about sailing and boats, just want to get out and enjoy themselves.'
SAILING - Sean Langman's TEAM AUSTRALIA's attempt to break the passage race record from Sydney to Hobart - 22/02//2013 ph. Andrea Francolini Team Australia's finish time (to be ratified by the WSSRC) 16.51.20 elapsed time 29 hours 52 minutes and 23 secon
'Back in Sydney, we have one, perhaps two berths available at Australia’s only dedicated multihull marina in Annandale, which is very close to central Sydney. Last summer we ran a multihull twilight regatta and had 112-13 boats out there each time. One time, Sean Langman brought the ORMA 60 along, which was a hoot. Our rallies continue to be a huge success and we are getting behind the Multihull Clubs by sponsoring events, like the regatta on Botany Bay, where there were 15 participants', Vaughan finished by saying.
The Multihull Central Sales Team.
Now if you want to make your own story a good tale, then you need to see the team at Multihull Central, especially seeing that you are sorted from power to sail and two to three hulls. See them at the Sydney Boat Show, go to multihullcentral.com.au or phone 1300 852 620