Luxury Showplace chats to Matty Zadnikar, a prolific Belgian entrepreneur and founder of SeaNet Europe about the rise of the global sharing economy and how his experience and passion for the yachting world led him to create a business that seeks to make yachting more accessible. Matty sold Z-Safety Services in 2013 and since then has explored a number of ventures including creating the world’s first smart co-ownership model for luxury yachting.
Why did you create SeaNet Europe?
Throughout my life I have owned various yachts, starting from a young age with a small play vessel. Since then, as my achievements in business have succeeded and grown, as has the size of the boats that I have owned and with that, the increased investment, yearly running costs and hassle of managing larger crews. After the sale of my last business in oil and gas safety services, I decided to take some time off and enjoy life on board my yacht. It was during this time that I met many other owners who shared my frustrations of being sat in an office and being given invoice after invoice for boat maintenance, as well as having to manage the yacht and crew. The opportunity presented itself to pursue a business in an industry that I am passionate about and thus SeaNet Europe was created – offering the amazing lifestyle of owning a yacht without the excessive costs and hassle of running one.
How does the concept of SeaNet work?
It’s a very simple concept that enables a maximum of 4 co-owners to purchase a luxury Benetti yacht with SeaNet’s exclusive global partnership. Co-owners can choose 25%, 33%, 50% or 75% ownership of the yacht. The annual running costs of the yacht are then divided between the owners in direct correlation to their percentage of ownership resulting in a significantly reduced cost of running a yacht. SeaNet offers complete management of the yacht, from hiring the rotational crews and arranging moorings to ensuring the owners’ favourite food and drinks are on board when they arrive. One of the main selling points for choosing to become a SeaNet member is our excellent concierge service which takes care of everything from flights to the logistics of your chosen sailing route.
As a yacht owner, I understand the importance of feeling that the yacht is ‘mine’ and that is why SeaNet Europe offers complete personalization before owners step on-board, from favourite linens and art to family pictures and rugs, for all intents and purposes it is completely their own yacht.
How do you think SeaNet fits into the global sharing economy?
Not that long ago people would have laughed at the idea of people sharing their jets and yet companies such as NetJets have become global enterprises. The same can be said for yachts. People want to feel that they are spending their money wisely, and as anyone who has owned a yacht knows purchasing a yacht is an emotive experience, not necessarily a sensible one. SeaNet enables owners to enjoy the experience of owning a yacht and sharing it with friends and loved ones without the financial burden associated with owning one outright.
The global sharing economy is booming, and we hope that SeaNet’s unique model will make us market leaders in the yachting sector. Already our exclusive global partnership with Benetti has enabled us to position ourselves within the top sector of the yachting industry. For years people have been sharing information on social platforms such as Facebook, then sharing properties with the likes of Air bnb going from strength to strength and now we hope that more people will see yachting as the next area in the sharing economy, where fractional ownership of a superyacht is a sensible and enjoyable decision.
How successful has SeaNet been so far?
As with any new concept, it takes time to establish itself in the market and for people to understand the marked differences between what we are offering at SeaNet in comparison to previous models that have gone before us. These models offered shared ownership for 6, 8 even 10 people, on second-hand boats with no management services. From the start, we have worked with our American counterparts to create a business that offers complete peace of mind and confidence to the customer. The SeaNet model means that a maximum of four owners can own a luxury Benetti yacht with a simple yet foolproof rotational system of usage during peak European sailing weeks, ensuring that each member has maximum usage.
So far we have had two very successful sales and we have more in the pipeline. With three confirmed owners so far, I am actually investing in SeaNet myself with 25% in each yacht to demonstrate to others that it is far better to have 4 yachts in various global locations than one yacht in one place. At present, we only have 25% left in the current yacht and already have two confirmed owners for the next Benetti Delfino 95. We have boats in production and are excited for our next Delfino 95 to take to the waters. We have attended global yachting forums, boat shows and family office events where we have spoken about SeaNet and shared our story, from this we have quickly become a recognised brand in the yachting world and continue to go from strength to strength.
What are the plans for SeaNet’s future?
Our goal is to launch two new yachts each year in various locations around Europe. A core part of our ethos is to bring like-minded people together who enjoy the world of yachting and want to explore different destinations. So far we have gone from strength to strength and as the global mindset continues to shift in recognizing the value of the sharing economy, our aim is for SeaNet to become a global leader in the yachting sector. Having conquered America and Europe our sights are now set on Asia so watch this space.