It was my belief in 1998, when I first visited the Voiles de Saint-Tropez as a tourist and saw an incredibly beautiful ship, the J-class yacht, Endeavour... I was so entranced that I would have given absolutely everything to be allowed to sail on this ship. But such mega yachts were and are usually only chartered entirely as ship (full charter).
The idea of organizing sailing trips on large, real sailing yachts for single bookers or as a cabin charter then haunted my mind for years. In 2005 there was a career change and the opportunity to do something completely new. That this would have to do with the sailing and with this concept, was very clear to me, because the sailing fascinated and occupied my mind since childhood...
With many sketches and ideas I went to Klaus Röder (Carpe Diem Yacht Design). He later confessed to me that he thought the idea was quite crazy. Nevertheless, he drew me a beautiful hull, the first yacht KAIRÓS. Also the blueprints of CHRONOS and RHEA come from him. With my specifications, I finally landed at a Turkish shipyard in Bodrum and a very young shipbuilding engineer named Ayberk as a project manager, who later became self-employed and finished the KAIRÓS.
Before that, this Swabian was fortunate enough to get to know an upright northern light. Barbara promised to help me and still manages the sales, marketing and PR of Sailing-Classics.
The start of 2007 was more than a little bumpy. We had rigging in the Caribbean and then in 2009 the KAIRÓS hit a reef off Corsica. We managed to do it anyway, also because many customers – some of whom I did not even know – left their down payments and said: Repair it, then we will come back... And Ayberk repaired it. The insurance eventually paid, as well. And after starting again in 2010, it got better and better, with many guests who came again and again!
In 2012, we succeeded in finding new investors, founding the new Sailing-Classics CV and starting the construction of CHRONOS. Today, after RHEA's commissioning, we have over 60 employees (some part-time) and Mariusz, our oldest employee, rightfully says: "We share many stories..."
But ships are very capital intensive and the operation and logistics in the many shipping areas is very complex. The marketing of such a niche product is also advisory intensive and time-consuming. So there is much to be improved. But even after ten years, the enthusiasm of our guests and the commitment of our crews drives us to continue sailing...