Here is our exclusive interview with Michael Schmidt. We will not only talk about the super-boats that are built today by his shipyard Y Yachts, but about Schmidt’s story, from his first steps as a sailor to Admiral’s, from the creation of the Hanse empire to the last adventure with Y.
WHO IS MICHAEL SCHMIDT
But the man in front of us is certainly one of the greatest protagonists of the nautical world of the last 30 years. First he was a yachtsman and racer, protagonist of the German challenges at the Admiral’s Cup in the 80’s, then manager and boat builder, founder of a world colossus like Hanse, and then again creator of a “visionary” brand like Y Yachts. Michael Schmidt’s story is that of a man who has managed to combine passion and business in his work.
THE FALL OF THE WALL AND THE CREATION OF HANSE
At the end of the 80’s he smells the positive moment after the fall of the Berlin Wall and in what had been East Germany, in Greifswald to be precise, he founded in 1990, in an old warehouse, the Hanse shipyard. Initially the shipyard was mainly involved in repairs, but soon the outlook changed. His goal is clear: the pure cruise boats up to that point were slow and sometimes not very up to date. Schmidt wants to propose something new, not racing boats, but comfortable models that sail very well, but only if they are cheap. To do this, he needed a model of industrial production and innovative designers: the choice fell on two names that would soon become important: Friedrich Judel and Rolf Vrolijk. He bought moulds from a bankrupt Swedish shipyard, Rex Marin, and produced the Hanse 291, which was to be a success at the 1994 Hamburg Motor Show. The foundation stone of a construction site that will become a colossus.
THE BIRTH OF Y YACHTS
In 2011 Schmidt decides to leave and sell Hanse, but he has something new in mind, he does not intend to stop. He wants to continue to produce boats, but this time not worrying about the market, or rather, not having the market as his main focus. He simply wants to produce his boats, the ones he likes, boats with a very refined design, with unconventional, fast, luxurious stylistic touches.
This is how Y Yachts was born, which in these early years has had among its protagonists designers such as Lorenzo Argento and Luca Brenta. A brand outside the box, which will not stop surprising us also in the coming years. Boats that will carry the DNA of Michael Schmidt: a bit racing, a bit visionary; an imaginative yachtsmen.
Event Dates21 October 2020-1 January 2021