Published on Friday February 7, 2020
Get to know a little bit more about our CEO, Brendan Hunt
An enthusiast in life! That is the best way to describe our CEO, Brendan Hunt. Passionate about his work, he loves boats and he loves to sail. But that isn’t all, a very down to earth human being, Hunt also loves helping people – not only his customers, but lots of others in need of support and assistance. In addition, he tries to be as socially conscious as possible. “I believe we are here here to make life better for those around us.”, says Hunt.
In his spare time, he loves spending time with his family, his dog and his friends. Hunt enjoys his weekends with his wife Jo up the coast on the beach, a time for swimming & surfing and for sailing on one of his classic timber boats. He is a late starter with golf, but he is very honest about it: “I play golf quite badly, we get together once a week – joined by my wife Jo and a very old college friend -, no one keeps score, we have a really good time and we are not great golfers!”
Furthermore, his family has always loved skiing. Nowadays, with family based in Canada and New Zealand, Jo and Brendan take time to visit every year to spend time with family on the slopes.
Now, read our interview with Vicsail CEO Brendan Hunt:
What does “boating” mean to you?
I recall Jack Finlay once wrote a piece entitled “The Wind Calls the Tune” which describes me very well, My life have always been associated with music and boats. I’ve always played guitar and was a music teacher in the past – not a great one, and perhaps that’s why I’m a great yacht broker!
But both those things are still very strong in my existence, boats remain my passion, my business and my life.
How did you discover this passion for yachts?
Oh! I could find many reasons… But really, it was my mother. She was a librarian and she used to bring home books about sailing adventures and I loved them, their spirit, the ocean, the feeling of helplessness, the storms, the beautiful sunsets, and it all became a life path for me to follow.
What is the story of Vicsail?
In the late 70’s I was teaching music, loved it but yearned for adventure. I had a small yacht so off I went sailing. I spent a number of years dividing life between cruising, singing and surviving. After returning from the Pacific I looked around and decided I wanted to find a life in sailing, so I created a sailing school, I had some friends with boats for sale and this is how Vicsail was born. I became a yacht broker. The big landmarks for me were sailing the first Melbourne Osaka race, and then when I was approached by the group Beneteau to buy out their business in Australia. Perhaps my proudest moment in sailing was taking sailing as a family , to Hobart aboard the 120 year old Ventura for the Wooden boat festival.
Vicsail has been an investment in emotion, time, effort and finance and it formed the basis of a successful business. I don’t think I’m the best in business, but I am the most passionate for yachts and sailing and I think this passion, and the solid partnership with my wife has allowed a degree of success to be the sum of it.
What has changed in Vicsail since its concept?
The concept stays the same since its beginning: we’ve always felt that customers are the important people and we’ve always stated our position as an intermediary as well as a vendor’s agent. In this way we can bring all stakeholders together with aim of placing the right boat for our clients. We are not just good at sailing, and good at selling boats, but also at sourcing yachts around the world for our clients.
Our mantra is clear – “We sail the boats we sell” , so Vicsail will always be , “Your experts in Yachting”.
What were the big challenges you’ve faced during these more than 35 years in the market?
Obviously, the Yachting industry suffered a lot with the GFC in 2008 and that was a realigning of the stars for everyone and we are lucky to have gone through that and to still be successful.
Do you still remember the first boat you’ve ever sold?
I do, it was a Buchanan 33, owned by a doctor friend of mine back in Geelong, who had it on the market for several years and when I started my business, he asked me to help him sell it. I remember his words: “I’m selling this boat because I have a tax problem”, and my thought then, at 27 years of age, was: “Wow! I can’t wait until I’ve got a tax problem”.
What is your role at Vicsail?
As a CEO, I am the front of the company. But this company has always been the sum of people who work here. One of the most challenging but also exciting things about business, is to create a team that is heading in the same direction with the same sense of fun and passion about yachting and customer service.
My aim is to offer experience and expertise, guiding every sale scenario that you could wish to imagine.
What makes you a good yacht broker?
I like to think I am a good yacht broker and that is my everyday goal. For me, it’s the ability to see a sale process from all sides, to ask more questions, and to listen more than you speak, and when you do speak, you speak from a position of knowledge, rather than opinion. I also understand that I will never know it all, and l always be learning.
What do you like best about your job?
It is a most satisfying thing to have friends and colleagues all around the world. To be able to travel for Boat Shows, for sailing, for regattas and to visit boatyards in more places than you can dream and to feel that people are the same everywhere.
Last of all- What’s happening right now at Vicsail?
We are full of confidence moving into 2020. The first Eagle 44 has just been launched and handed over. We are completing sales on several large sailboats. We have customers in Valencia and Greece right now inspecting boats, and we have just listed the very bold and big Sunreef 80 “Bundalong”. With a really great team and lots to do – we look to an exciting future at Vicsail.