Design and Technology
In Conversation With: Daniel Küpfer
Yacht ownership is about the pursuit of pleasure, but careful management and support are required. So explains Daniel Küpfer, Head of Yacht Management at Ocean Independence.
Superyachts are significant investments, requiring unrelenting attention and scrupulous management. For owners to make the most of their time on board, it pays to have all of the associated headaches of ownership removed. Enter the Yacht Management Team of Ocean Independence, with over 250 years of collective experience. The Management Division was set up more than twenty years ago to address the fact that yachts were becoming increasingly complex, without an experienced support network to handle the new challenges they presented. Our Managing Director, Daniel Küpfer, Master Mariner and former Yacht Captain looks back on 35 years of experience in yachting – and although the industry has welcomed more and more management companies as it matures, he believes Ocean Independence stands apart. “We are truly international", explains Küpfer, from the company’s head office in Switzerland. “Also, we put the client at the centre of all of our activity, and we’re independent, so we’re not bound to any brand or product.”
The services provided by the yacht management team of Ocean Independence are wide-ranging and impressive. Their unrivalled team of technical and operational managers are capable of anything from complex financial management – taking into account an ever-increasing raft of regulations and tax changes – to safety and security management according to international standards and employment services, covering more than 300 crew members at the moment.
In addition, there’s support on the construction side for new builds and refits, including specification and contract development as well as technical management. Everything, essentially, to ensure that yacht ownership is a pleasure rather than a pain. “It can be hard, as a private Owner, to keep on top of all of these management aspects,” adds Küpfer. “The past few years have seen things become increasingly complex, especially as yachts get bigger and become more technically advanced. We provide all these services so that they can focus on more important activities.”
Technological advances, despite their complexity, also offer a helping hand to yachts, aiding the way they are managed. “The biggest difference technology has made to us is via communication and IT,” says Küpfer. “We manage to stay in close contact with the vessels we look after and provide on-time IT solutions for the challenges onboard. Enhanced communication technologies have also resulted in massive improvements for Owners and guests as they are able to stay on board for longer without loosing contact with their organisations or neglecting their business. Today we are able to have video conferences via satellite on board. Those sorts of things just weren’t possible in the past.”
For owners, then, engaging a good yacht management company is a wise move, leaving them free from administrative hassle – and able to get on with the serious business of having fun.