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Slovenia Business Week no. 44/2004: Seaway Launches Mega-Yacht

Slovenian boating company Seaway has launched the most expensive mass produced boat in Slovenia, a 50-foot yacht featuring all the latest gadgets money can buy.

The 800,000 euro Skagen 50 yacht was launched on Thursday, 21 October in the coastal resort town of Portoroz in a ceremony attended by famous Slovenians from all walks of life.

Among other things, Skagen 50 is the world's first boat to feature a fully integrated mobile office, made using technology by American IT firm Cisco.

Speaking at the ceremony, Japec Jakopin, one of the two owners of the family-controlled boat producer, said the boating industry in Slovenia is small compared to those in other developed countries.

Jakopin said Slovenia could tap into a niche market by producing high-end boats and offering services for owners of such boats.

He called on Janez Jansa, the man most likely to become Slovenia's next prime minister, who attended the ceremony, and other Slovenian politicians and key business officials to work on improving the business environment in Slovenia. Meanwhile, Jansa used the opportunity to criticise the Slovenian business environment, saying it fails to promote the development of small and medium-sized companies. Despite being a member of the EU, Slovenia has not created a business environment that promotes entrepreneurship, Jansa said. According to Jansa, Slovenia needs to change several things, including its mode of thinking, if it is to produce an environment conducive to entrepreneurship.

Seaway is expected to produce ten Skagen 50 yachts this year, with buyers expected to come from around the world.

Seaway says it is the world's leading boat development company. In the past 20 years it has worked for 34 boat-builders from 17 countries. Seaway projects have received 20 Boat of the Year awards in the EU, France, Germany, England and the US.

Seaway has annual revenues of EUR 9m, which it hopes to double in the next two years.

Its sailing yacht the Shipman 50 was last year awarded the European Sailing Yacht of the Year award at the Duesseldorf "Boot 2004" show.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: Branka Murn