Diane Byrne of MegayachtNews.com – September 23th, 2022

Diane Byrne

Diane Byrne tells stories based on her experiences as a highly respected yachting journalist in the global cruise business. Diane explains how to combine the various cultures, languages, and nations with multinational crews from all over the world, the majority from third-world nations, and English as a second or third language.

Highlights:

Introduction to Diane Byrne

Cultural issues when you have a multinational cruise, with multinational crews.

Examples of cultural misunderstandings and business misunderstandings.

The cultural differences in handing our business cards.

Diane Byrne Bio

Diane M. Byrne is one of the best-known and highly respected yachting journalists worldwide. Among her 33 years of overall reporting and editing, 29 of them have been in yachting, involving international travel. She founded MegayachtNews.com in 2007 and continues to operate the site today, overseeing all aspects of content creation and design.

Connect with Diane:

Full Transcript

Hello everyone. So, since today’s guest is interested in the oceans, I thought it would be appropriate to quote a few words from a Spanish seafood menu that said, “Rapé a la Marinera,” which translates to “monkfish and seafood. Rapé, on the other hand, was spelled “Rape the sailor” on the Spanish menu in English. That looks delicious.

Today’s guest is Diane M. Byrne. She is one of the best-known and most highly respected yachting journalists worldwide. Her 33 years of overall reporting and editing have been in yachting, which requires international travel.

She founded megayachtnews.com in 2007 and continues to operate the site today, overseeing all aspects of content creation and design. Welcome! I am delighted that you’re with us.

Thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here.

Perhaps you could start by telling us a bit about your background. Yachting is not a common profession. So, it’s certainly intriguing, and I know you’re involved in yachting publishing. But still, how did you get involved with all of this and your international travel?

Well, I have a bit of a personal tie to the industry. I grew up in New York on Long Island. And the beauty of growing up on Long Island is that you are always within the water, north-south, east or west, so I was lucky enough to grow up with a boating-loving dad who introduced my sister and me to fishing, actually when we were little kids, and I never thought about making it a profession until I learned that there was a yachting magazine owned by the same big publishing company that I had started to work for a few years after I graduated from college.

It turns out they were looking for someone who was a good writer and editor, and they felt they could teach boating. If you had boating knowledge, great, but if you didn’t, no problem. They felt they could teach you that versus really teaching you the skills of journalism. I applied to them. I was probably about four years or so out of college when I applied to them and never looked back.

Wow, that’s great, so it’s a magazine and a website, or is it just the Website Magazine?

Yeah, we’ve been asked several times over the years if we would launch a print edition, and I don’t see the purpose of it right now. There’s so much in the print world in the yachting industry actually that for us to do it, we would need to bring something completely different.

And really, the online world is the way to go because we can also act a lot quicker in terms of getting news out.

Very true. So, tell me a bit about your international background. Yachting is mega-yachting, of course, it is the highest class of people, the wealthiest people, and it’s very international. You must have had some very interesting international interactions with a lot of people.

Yeah, absolutely. This is an industry in which one day you could be interviewing an American couple who bought a yacht that is being built in Italy with a British naval architect and Dutch interior designer.

Another day you can be at one of these shipyards, say in Holland, and there’s another multinational team attached, and the owners and their representatives. The multinational crew members are international. You can have crew members from New Zealand to the United States, Austria, and Spain, all living and working together in peace and harmony. So, it’s an amazing little microcosm in a lot of ways.

That’s fascinating. What kinds of cultural interactions do you think they’re having? You know, the Dutch interior designer might want one style or the Italian builder may want to build something very different or whatever… How do you mesh the two or how do you work with them?

Well, the way it works in this industry is that the design is done according to what the owners want.

So, you can have full custom, which means everything is to the owners’ wishes, including the equipment. Then you could have semi-custom where there may be certain requirements. Things that are said, the technical platform, essentially the engineering platform, is set, but then in terms of the layout, the look, the feel, that’s all tailored to what the owners want. So, these companies and these shipyards do understand the difference; American ways of living versus the way that Europeans might have versus the way that South Americans might have, etc.

And I presumed they would talk to the owners and decide what the owners would say and what they would be looking for. It’s very much like a house, right?

Right, right. They sit down with the owners and their team because the owners usually have representatives who help them with all these decisions.

And they say, “How do you like to live? What kind of look and feel do you enjoy? Are you a casual person? Do you like more formal entertainment?” So, they go through all of those questions and try to suss out the most minute details as to even textures and colors, and everything that’s going to influence the ambiance on board.

Yes, you had written to me about some of the yacht builders in Italy that they might have. In a press release, the company said the yacht represents the contamination between the worlds of X and Y. I think what they meant to say was a combination, not contamination.

You know, I’ve read through the press release so many times that I thought I must admit they must have meant a combination. But on rereading, I still couldn’t figure out what they meant, because there were just so many different words that could have possibly worked there. It was a combination, a confluence. Even taking it into context, into the entire press release, it still wasn’t entirely clear what they meant, but there had been some strange things. I mean, you never want anybody to feel bad, of course, but when you see somebody like that, you need to reach out and say, “Can you tell me what you mean?” I’ve even tried to reverse engineer it, so to speak. Look up that word in Italian and see if there’s a way to go back and figure it out.

Right.

But that didn’t quite work either, so it’s just one of those things that all of us in the journalism world tend to just kind of chuckle about.

Of course, you can ask the Italian writer what he meant to say in Italian, and then go from there, but it is hard to find these people. 

What about the cruise, the multinational cruise? You know, on ocean liners, they often have multinational crews from all over the world, mostly from third-world countries, and these people presumably speak English. Have you encountered issues about how to meld the different cultures from different countries and the cruise?

Well, in yachting, the crews tend to be from the United States, various places in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; some are Ukrainian, some Russian, over the years. But they’re pretty much from more Western countries in a lot of ways. So, there’s already kind of an understanding of a certain level of service that would be wanted onboard and that would be needed. It’s more a matter of having them go through the proper safety training than it would be cultural training.

Of course, there is always an adjustment that needs to be made if the owners are American, if they’re European, or some other country that maybe not all of the crew members might be familiar with. There are also interpersonal relationships to consider, as well as people who may speak different languages. Or even when English is the native language, American English is so different from British English in Australia, New Zealand, etc. So, to some extent, there is a learning curve among the crew members.

But by and large, everybody is a quick study because there’s that common bond that underlies everything, and the common love of yachting and wanting to learn and experience with the owners, with the guests, and the way that they like to live on the water.

And are these yachts usually like floating homes, or are they just occasional weekend adventures?

I wouldn’t say it would be an occasional weekend or it’s days and weeks at a time, and that’s changing even more, so it’s becoming more and more of a second home in a lot of ways compared to when I first got into the industry, in a lot of ways.

It was not uncommon for these large yachts, and you’re talking about yachts of around 80 feet or so the terms “mega” and “superyacht” both apply to that size range, so it wasn’t uncommon for the owners to use the yacht for four to six weeks a year, and then the boat would either sit in a marina or be chartered out by other people looking for a vacation.

These days, the owners, probably because of COVID, are changing a lot of people’s attitudes about what is important in life, and are spending time with family, protecting their leisure time, etc. Owners are using the yachts a lot more, so it’s many more weeks and even weeks at a time. On the yachts and also offering the boats for charter for people, you see charter guests doing the same thing, booking two consecutive weeks, for example.

And the crew is the same, for the crew stays with the ship, I assume.

Yes, the Crew is with the yacht. So, if you think of it beyond almost like a floating business in a sense, the way that a land-based business would have the same managers and employees, the yacht is the same way, and it’s extra important in the yachting industry.

At this end of the market, particularly because you are giving that personalized service, yes to the owners, to their friends and family, and to the guests who come on board, to constantly change the crew, they’ll have to re-familiarize themselves with all the spaces where everything is and then try to understand who the owners are, and there’d be too much re-learning over and over, and you’d lose that service.

However, if you have different guest nationalities, as in our case, Chinese one week, Arab the next, and Brazilian the third, then they are, in a way, the owners, and you’re the tailor. The crew has to adjust to the different cultures, right? So, have you had any issues? Have you had any experiences or stories where those issues have arisen?

I’m not aware of any offhand in terms of owner/guest interaction because if there is a problem, it’s usually kept quiet. After all, discretion is very important on these yachts. I can say, however, that when it comes to the crew’s training, as much as there is safety, there are also interpersonal skills to consider. Training that goes on, for example, with the stewards and the stewardesses.

They will learn bartending skills. They learn service skills. And there’s a difference between, say, French dinner service and Russian dinner service or even American dinner service. So, they learn those differences. And they can adjust accordingly.

To the owners when they send the guests, of course, and the charter guests when they come on board, the crew makes sure the proper service is being done according to what the people enjoy knowing. If somebody from Europe comes, obviously they’re going to be doing more of that French. So certain things like that, the crew just kind of knows how to adjust to them automatically.

There is a story, though, that I can share from a good friend of mine who did work on board yachts for many years. It was, uh, a misunderstanding due to accents and not being fluent in a particular language. So, my friend happens to be American. And even though she studied Spanish in school, as a lot of people do, it was of no use to her on board a yacht where her colleagues were French.

So, one day, one of the stewardesses said to her in her beautiful French accent that she needed my friend to go ashore and pick up something. The owner’s wife – and they were in the South of France – the owner’s wife had gone shopping, and the shops held onto her packages. When the boat was going to depart, it was a matter of practice to alert the shops and say, “We’ll be leaving within the next 24 hours” and the shops would gather everything to be picked up and brought back, so my friend was asked to go pick up all the items that Madame had shopped for.

And your friend was a stewardess on the boat?

Yes, she was a stewardess on the yacht, so she was told which stores to go to. So, she’s walking up and down the main boulevard, looking at the signs and thinking, “I don’t see anything that sounds like… She kept thinking it was Hermes. Part of the instructions was verbal, and part of the instructions was handwritten because there were several shops to go to. So, they gave her a written list of all the shops, and she’s looking at the list and she’s looking at the signs, and she’s thinking, I can’t figure out where this one shop is!  OK. Well, I’ll just do the rest of the list and come back. She does the rest of the list, and still cannot figure it out. She goes back to the island, speaks to her colleague, and says, “I can’t figure out where this shop was. I know you said it’s on the main boulevard, but for the life of me, I just didn’t see anything that said that. You know, that said Hermes.

And their story looks at her and says, “It’s HerMES.” So, she misunderstood the proper pronunciation of the store.

I think it’s sort of like a murky apostrophe S or something.

Yeah, she just could not figure out why there was nothing that matched what she was thinking in her head and what she thought it was supposed to be pronounced how it was supposed to be pronounced.

It’s funny.

We also talked separately about the construction of the boats; the Europeans tend to want the galleys on the bottom. Is that correct? The galley is the kitchen at the bottom of the yacht and Americans and others would prefer it on a higher level.

Is that right?

So, traditionally, the Europeans have wanted a lot more separation between the guests and the crew. So, the galley, and as you’ve rightly described, the galley is the kitchen on board a yacht. The galley has been relocated to the lowest level of the ship, amid the cruise’s quarters, their staterooms in their little lounge area, and they’re dining in a small dining area.

Americans have long preferred a galley to be on the main deck because, in our culture, everybody flows into the kitchen, right? Think about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and major get-togethers with family and friends. Inevitably, half the guests end up in the kitchen talking and enjoying each other’s company. So even though you have a formal crew with a chef on board, yeah, it’s still true that Americans do tend to like that more casual lifestyle approach.

So that’s one big reason why there’s such a difference in terms of where they’re laid out now. And interestingly, more Europeans have come around to the idea of a galley being on the main deck in terms of it being better for the crew and therefore better for them, so that food can be delivered a little bit more swiftly, either straight out into the dining area or to the upper levels of the yacht.

Now that the cultural mix is done, you have a case where, for example, let’s just pull a country like Fiji. The owner for the week, the person who rents the yacht for the week, is from Fiji or some culture that the crew knows nothing about. Do you have any idea how they deal with it in that case?

Well, if there is a culture that they’re not so familiar with, the captain, ahead of time, has already received what they call a preference sheet from the owners. Actually, or not the owners, I should say, the charter guests will fill it out, and it’ll describe not just the foods and the activities that they prefer, but it’ll also give a sense of how they want to live during the week.

For example, are they looking to just relax and not do much, really not be bothered, so to speak, very much? Or are they looking for a much more active and interactive experience? Are they very social? Would they be interested in even just sitting in the wheelhouse while the captain is driving to the next destination, so to speak?

So those little hints go a long way toward helping the crew figure out the right way to approach everybody when they first come on board. And of course, in the ensuing hours and days, they also get a sense of whether they’re open to having certain suggestions made or if they just want the meals and the drinks and things brought in or if they’ve had their private time and just be left all to themselves.

It’s fascinating to have a cheat sheet at the start.

Yeah, yeah. And it is so helpful on so many levels because they do strive to provide that personalized service. It’s really unlike anything you would ever have in a resort. For example, even the most exclusive resorts still have large groups to a certain degree, so there isn’t that much of that one-on-one attention. But with these guests on these yachts, you can have a one-to-one crew-to-guest ratio.

Approximately how many guests and how many crew members are on a typical yacht? I don’t know what “typical” means, but 80 feet or whatever.

You could have said anywhere from six  to eight crew on the small side and easily about eight guests, including the owners, up to 36 passengers, including the driver. And you know, owners and the crew complement can be even higher than that. The larger the yacht, the more technically advanced it is, and therefore also the higher the manning requirements are according to international regulations that are in place.

So, you could have doubled the crew complement to the guest complement. In cases like that, you could even have more than that too because there could be personal assistants involved as well. So, you’ll have the crew who are safely minding the vessel, and then additional crew, additional staff, and even just straight up the staff who are personal assistants, etc. Nannies, for example. Also, with families, in certain areas, there may even be a need for an additional staff.  There are certain areas of the world where large vessels are permitted. Whether they are yachts or commercial ships, you need a pilot to bring the vessel into the port. The pilot is someone that the port designates as someone who knows the area, knows the waters, and knows the trickiness of coming in and out, so the port requires this individual to come on board and do the driving as the boat comes in.

It is often thought that the pilots are like little tug boats or something near the cruise, the cruise liner or something sort of steering or guiding the ship out to sea.

Right, right.

Yeah, it’s a regulatory requirement for certain regions of the world and they do it based on the volume of the vessel. These cruise ships are a great example. A cruise ship is a massive, massive vessel, so it has a significant amount of volume. I guess, depending upon your experience, maybe it’s not as easy to steer something like that compared to your average little 20-footer, right?

So, they want someone who’s got a lot more years of experience and who knows those waters like the back of their hand to bring those vessels in. It’s not that they encounter issues, but it’s just the regulations of the region. They really want a specialist to come in and bring this very large craft in, and then the vessel can stay, and the guests can go ashore and enjoy as much as they wish.

Do women occupy the posts of pilots and captains on these yachts, or is it mostly men?

Traditionally, it has been mostly male, but thankfully, yachting is evolving, just like the rest of the world. One of the perfect people I can point to is Captain Sandy Yawn. Sandy is well known for yachting. She’s been a phenomenal captain for many, many years, and some people who are listening to this podcast right now may know her name if they’re fans of the television series Below Deck Mediterranean.

Since the first episode aired, Sandy has been the captain of the Below Deck Mediterranean. She is exactly as she appears on TV. She’s a rock star, and she wants people to succeed. We need men and women alike. She loves mentoring young people and she loves the yachting industry.

That’s great. I’m glad to hear that. Are the crew primarily servants, or are they also trained to run the boat? You know the mechanics of, I don’t know, electricity and plumbing and whatever it takes to run a ship itself.

The crew is akin to if you want to take a real-world, regular-world example. They’re akin to the crew of an airline. Even though someone may have the title of stewardess first and foremost, their role is to ensure your safety and the safety of your fellow passengers. So, they need to have that safety training in terms of a yacht. It’s on fire, it’s sinking. All those God-forbid scenarios that thankfully don’t occur that often. 

But secondarily, of course, they are there for personalized service. So, it’s kind of like safety training combined with a five-star resort or five-star restaurant experience; knowing what you want, anticipating your needs, making sure that your vacation or when you’re the owner, your time aboard, your time with your guests, your family is as relaxing as possible.

It’s great. So, are they so, in addition to safety training?

Are they double trained in terms of, again, electricity and plumbing and I don’t know what else, what else can go that, you know, the food, food preparation or whatever?

Different crew members receive different training as far as that’s concerned. So there would be an engineer, for example, on the yacht. The engineer will understand the engines, of course, and the different systems in the engine room and should be able to troubleshoot things of that nature. The captain will also be very familiar with those because captains tend to come up through the ranks of the yachting industry. They’ll start as, say, a deckhand, where they’re handling the lines while the yacht is docking and undocking, things like that, and then they get to know the systems a little bit more, and then, as they become more experienced, they decide they want to pursue a higher challenge in their career then they go and get their captain’s license, so they’re the ones who are going to primarily know the systems. Other crew members absolutely can. It’s completely their choice if they want to understand the plumbing systems, the engines, things like that, but it’s not a requirement for them to be able to troubleshoot those things.

 With the chef, of course, the chef is going to have to know everything in the galley, and then everybody is going to have to understand fire safety. So, God forbid something happens in the galley. If a fire breaks out, everybody on board is supposed to be able to understand how to put that fire out. What to do if the fire does not go out? Get the guests off safely and get the fire brigade [fire department] from land to come and assist them. All of those different things.

And hopefully, the crew is trained in these emergency procedures more than once a year or something like that.

Yeah, they have to recertify. I mean, they’re trained every few years.

Hopefully, when you invite me onto a yacht, then the crew will be very, very trained to know what to do in case of an emergency, which, of course, will not happen. That’s good to know. I guess with yachting in terms of cultural misunderstandings, you gave the hiring example, but are there any other cultural misunderstandings or business misunderstandings?

You know, there was one experience I had. Oh gosh, this has to be close to 25 years. So, something I actually learned ahead of a business trip and then saw in practice that I’ve not forgotten, obviously, to this day because I found it so interesting. So it was that I was preparing to go to a show, a yacht show. That was in Germany. I hadn’t been to Germany before. And thankfully, as I registered for my press badge, the media team for the show sent a whole packet of information about not just the local area, but also how to do business in Germany. There was a brochure in the packet as soon as I opened it up. It was right on top, and it said how to do business in Germany.

I thought, “Oh, this is interesting.” I’ve never received this type of information from anybody, any other cultural team before. So it’s the first thing I decided to read, and I remember so vividly what they were saying. “When you’re doing business with the Germans, you never hand your business card to them first at the beginning of a meeting.” And I thought to myself, “Well, who does that?” How could you just essentially, before you even have a conversation, say, “Here’s who I am,” because you don’t even really know each other yet?

But apparently, that was pretty common from what they were telling me, and I was still pretty young in my career, so I had never thought that that was appropriate. I always thought you would just naturally wait until your conversation is over. There’s a little double lesson learned there, but the other part of it was that you wait until the meeting is over and then if the other person, the German, hands you their business card, that is a sign that you can now hand their business card to them. Essentially, you’ve been accepted as someone that they could do business with, and I thought, “Oh, OK, good to know.”

I certainly wouldn’t want to be rude on my first trip, especially going to this event. So, during the show, I was with some of my colleagues, one of whom was our publisher at the time. And of course, I’m sitting here assuming that since he had been to Germany and my other colleagues had been to Germany, they all knew what the way to do business was and that I was the only one who needed to learn the lesson. We had a meeting with a company that happened to be a German company, and we went to sit down, and he had gone to hand in his card. They didn’t reach out to take it, and I don’t think he registered what was going on, so he just put it on the table in front of them.

We continued to give our sales pitch, and the car just sat there the entire time, and I remember thinking, “Oh, this isn’t good. This isn’t good.” The meeting ended, and they didn’t take the card. And he didn’t notice this straight away. And as they left, he said, “Oh, they forgot the card. And I said, “Well, I don’t think they forgot it.” And I explained to him that I had read it in the brochure, and he looked at me and said, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”  

And I thought, I wish I knew that he didn’t know, because I wouldn’t have given him the packet to review, but yeah, the lesson learned there for him too is at a pretty important juncture in his career.

Yeah, very much so. I’ve never heard that story before. That’s fascinating also.

It just struck me as being so smart and so strange at the same time. It was smart because, of course, when you’re first meeting somebody, you don’t know enough about them. You may think that they’re perfect for you, but ultimately the conversation is what gives you. That final hunch, you know, is the final confirmation of your hunch. Sometimes I know I’ve experienced meetings where I’ve sat down with somebody, and I’m convinced going into the meeting that we’re going to do business with each other. And then during the conversation, they say something, and I think “Oh, wow. How did I not know that?”

Oh, you know what? We’re not the right fit for each other, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just information I didn’t have previously, so you really can’t ever just kind of go in guns blazing assuming everybody is going to be the right fit for you. So, it does make so much more sense to wait until that conversation is over and then say, “May I have your card” and then take their card and, you know, hand your card in return.

Right.

I just assumed everybody did that, but I sure learned that they don’t.

Well, Americans tend to meet someone and give the card immediately. Americans also tend to receive a card and not look at it. They just take the recipient’s card and put it in a pocket. And that’s generally very bad manners, especially in Asia. And just, you know, not done, but that’s again, that’s an American approach, but it’s not considered “polite,” shall we say.

Right, right. I had a trip to Taiwan, and I learned the two-handed approach of handing a business card and receiving a business card, and I loved that. I thought that was just so gracious. It’s not like usual. “Oh, here’s my card.” It’s very personal.

Yeah, and they bow.

Yeah, wonderful traditions that I think we’re also fortunate to learn about as we travel the world.

Yes, very true, and also, there is the issue in Asian business cards; it’s true in American and European cards also, but not as much as you know. Asia is much more hierarchical. So, the title on the card is very important to you. Do you know the person’s hierarchy? 

Assume you are a sales manager who needs to travel to Europe. The company may allow him to elevate himself on the card as sales director because that’s the highest status, of course, and will command more attention and respect and honor and all of that. So titles in the United States are, let’s say, more fluid and not as critical. I mean, everyone has a title, but many of them don’t mean what we think they do. And some are extremely cryptic, such as “client satisfaction manager.” OK, what does that mean? So yes, titles are very interesting in the business world.

Is there anything else you’d like to add before we close?

I’m just really constantly fascinated by all the different cultures that I get to interact with and the people I get to meet. As much as yachting is still very traditionally Western, there’s always something that you learn the more you speak to people. I’ve been meeting with Dutch and Germans, Brits, and people from the Bahamas for well over 25 years by name or region. And there’s always, and I mean always, a moment where I learn something different. So that’s what keeps it fascinating and that’s what I think kind of keeps all of us engaged, right? It’s that opportunity to continuously learn and continuously grow and appreciate that as much as we are so different, we’re still all pretty common. We have a common love of what we do, a common belief in what we do, and a common desire to see each other succeed.

Well, I don’t know that we want each other to succeed. Some people, you know, have huge egos and, you know, they’re very competitive in all areas of life. Underneath the surface, all humans have the same needs. Do you know love and acceptance and want trust and friendship?

Friendship, yes, yes, yes.

It’s not the top of business people’s needs.

Some businesses can be, and some individuals can be quite cutthroat. That’s for sure. And yachting, of course, has those elements to it, but interestingly enough, there is also an understanding, and it’s true for example, if one segment of the market, say, 11 yacht builders, goes under, that can have devastating ripple effects across the entire industry because of how many different companies are involved, you know?

And it goes beyond the designers and the owners’ team. There are suppliers from around the world too, so. If a big builder goes under or a big project gets canceled, there are hundreds of small businesses that are all just devastated because of that, and that has such a strong impact on everybody that nobody can afford to be affected.

Perhaps they’ll still do it, but nobody can afford to be that cutthroat. Because if you’re that vicious, then it comes around to you and you suddenly don’t have a yacht builder to go to. Some suppliers are no longer in business. So as a representative for an owner, that doesn’t do them any good.

Ah, very interesting. But even so, these small businesses could still sell their products to other yacht builders. Right?

Well, if they’ve custom-made something for a particular project or a series of yachts, they can’t necessarily just turn around and give it to somebody else because it’s not off the shelf. Oh, but yes.

Right. So that can be devastating. A lot of that goes on in yachting, even in serious production. It’s not off the shelf, so they can. It may be designed for ten yachts that will be built over the course of three, four, or five years, but it is still only for those projects.

Very interesting. So, it’s a very different kind of international business.

It’s fascinating that, as large as it is in terms of an international footprint, it’s still very, very small.

And are most of these manufacturers in the Western world? Or are they scattered all over Latin America and the Arab world?

Yeah, they’re primarily Western. So, um, Holland, Italy, Germany, a few Americans, and England. Those are the primary countries. You’ll also see a number in Taiwan. Those are the primary countries where the app builders are.

And the yacht builders and the suppliers.

Yeah, the suppliers are in the same countries. There are often nice little communities right near the shipyards. So, the suppliers are within a few miles to a few hundred miles. In a country like the United States, of course, it could be much more spread out, but you see it pretty commonly that there’s kind of like little yachting worlds in a sense. Within each of these countries ….

And where are they in the United States?

In the United States, we have strong yacht building in the Pacific Northwest. Service is a huge part of the economy in the Midwest as well. So, we have served companies in South Florida, again, the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, the San Diego area, and NE of Savannah. From the coast to the Mid-Atlantic, going on up into Maine,

It seems like the whole country in some ways, yeah.

If it touches water, pretty much. Yeah, I can get there.

Thank you, Diane, so much. It’s been a great, wonderful pleasure to speak with you, to meet you, and to learn about this very different international business that I think most people here know nothing or little about.

Well, thanks for having me. It’s been great to explain it, and I hope people learn a lot from it.

Thank you.

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