Marcus Overman, sales & business development manager for ILIAD Catamarans, takes the time to discuss his role with the company, the market response to the brand and what is ahead on the horizon for ILIAD Catamarans.
1. Can you tell us about your role with the company?
My position as sales and business development manager for ILIAD Catamarans has many facets, but my most important priority is handling the enquiries and sales across the range while also working closely with the marketing team to ensure buyers and other boating enthusiasts understand what ILIAD Catamarans is all about.
Since our launch in 2019, we have been concentrating on the Australian market, as our head office is on Queensland’s Gold Coast. However, due to an increase in demand from the international market, particularly the US, we will be expanding our activities into new regions in 2022.
My role also includes a lot of communication with the Chief Operating Officer and the shipyard’s onsite Production Manager to ensure we keep our buyers well informed with the progress of their build. Our customization flexibility – the Power of Choice – means every boat we build it distinctly unique to each client, and this is one of the big features that sets us apart from other brands.
As Covid restrictions lift around the world, I will also have a lot more travel on my agenda, which I am quietly looking forward to after more than two years of relative isolation in Australia! In addition, I am on the lookout for new opportunities through a hand-selected process, to create new partnerships that can assist in sales, service and support, to deliver the highest level of service and boat ownership experiences, once the client’s boat is delivered.
2. Tell us more about how your journey led you to ILIAD Catamarans.
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in the marine industry for 25 years, both here in Australia and overseas. I started out in the yacht charter industry, worked as a captain, and have primarily been in sales for the past 15 years.
My passion has always been selling powerboats, and my experience working as a dealer for Riviera, Ferretti, Custom Line, Pershing, Riva and my time selling 24m-33m semi-custom steel explorer yachts built in Italy, has taught me the how to successfully manage the process of walking a client through the important design process and then ensuring a stress-free build of their new boat. This is hugely rewarding for me, as each boat we build is different from the next. Most of our owners have had boats before, so they are able to explain what their cruising lifestyle needs are, and we can then design a boat that fits perfectly with their individual requirements and style.
I much prefer to be involved in this process rather than sell a full production boat, as each sale is so individual and unique. My experience really helps bring a project together, from initial concepts on paper through to the reality of a yacht’s handover.
3. Can you explain the key differences between ILIAD Catamarans and other vessels on the market today.
This is one question I am asked regularly. The main point of difference between ILIAD Catamarans and the main power catamaran market is that our boats have been designed from the ground up with a sole objective: to take our owners safely and comfortably off the beaten track while being simple to maintain with as practical systems onboard as possible.
All our boats are beach-able in the event of an emergency, with protected running gear to minimise any problems when in remote locations where you may need to do an unexpected underwater repair. The boats are not designed for the charter market which most of our competitors seem to be focusing on, meaning our range appeals to those looking for a strong, capable boat designed to tackle extended periods at sea. We do, however, offer commercial-compliant construction for any classification internationally, if that is what a buyer requires.
4. Is there a typical ILIAD Catamaran buyer?
Generally, I’m finding our clients have owned a few boats before, but not always powerboats. In fact, half of our clients have come over to the ‘dark side’ after owning a sailing cat or even sailing monos. They all see the advantage in a power cat for its use of space, natural stability, fuel economy and the ability to carry lots of tenders and toys.
Most of our clients are not after high speeds, but all acknowledge that a comfortable, fast cruise offering good range is more important – they all want to feel they are getting somewhere without draining the tanks. The ILIAD 50 has been very popular with couples that now have more time on their hands and are looking for a comfortable boat to do some coastal cruising or a circumnavigation.
Our new ILIAD 62 (which will be launched at the 2022 Sydney International Boat Show) is proving popular with a younger demographic of boat buyer who is seeking a family boat that can carry loads of watersports toys and still have plenty of living space, so they don’t feel like they’re living in each other’s pockets.
5. What is on the horizon for ILIAD Catamarans?
As previously mentioned, we are very excited to launch and present the first ILIAD 62 in 2022. We had recently referred to this model as the ILIAD 60, but we have made the change to reflect its status as a true 62’ – 62.17 feet LOA to be exact. We will release this new model at the Sydney International Boat Show in July this year, and pre-launch sales are already proving the ILIAD 62 will fill an obvious gap in the market. She is a boat that can be handled comfortably by a couple but is also big enough for the whole family to enjoy. It has an incredible amount of space on board and is great for entertaining large groups of friends on those special occasions.
We are also looking forward to launching the new ILIAD 53 Sport, which is a sporty coupe-style boat ideal for either coastal cruising or days out in the bay or harbour. She will come in either a three or four-cabin layout with athwartship-facing master cabin bed, a sunroof on the main deck saloon and 3500 litres of fuel, so she will have class-leading range if you do want to cross an ocean.
Being a non-flybridge boat, the 53S will also appeal to those boaters living in colder climates or with bridge clearance issues in their cruising area.
6. Where can our clients inspect ILIAD Catamarans?
Currently, most of the ILIADs sold to date have been to Australians, with one ILIAD 50 heading to Singapore and due to arrive in a few months as well as an ILIAD 70 under construction for a client in South Asia. Interestingly, our prototype for the ILIAD brand that we used for 12 months of initial testing is now in Mexico.
One of our first ILIAD 50 owners has recently upgraded to a purpose-built ILIAD 62 that will be used for luxury, high-end crewed charter in Queensland’s Whitsunday islands and will start operations in 12 months. That will be a good opportunity for clients – both local or international – who are considering purchasing an ILIAD, to fly in and experience life onboard one of our catamarans and effectively compare us with other models they are looking at.
Contact Marcus Overman on +61 (0)499 989 559 or email email@example.com