The 50th anniversary of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show marks the launch of a dynamic new brand in the international superyacht industry: IMA Yachts. Created to fill the need for a firm with the experience and expertise to serve as an advocate for luxury yacht owners throughout the entire lifecycle of their vessel – from new construction and certification, to management and operations, to refit and eventual resale – IMA Yachts has evolved out of the established and respected Fort Lauderdale company, International Maritime Associates, LLC.
“Our ten-year anniversary is coming up in March of 2010; we felt it was time to review and reinvent our brand,” said Mark Tortora, Chief Operating Officer of IMA Yachts. “We are well known as a leading custom new build project management firm, but we offer owners and their captains so much more than just a few guys in hard hats overseeing a yacht’s construction at the shipyard. The new IMA Yachts is dedicated to working with an owner as an advocate, adviser and partner on any or all of a vessel’s many “life stages”, whether your yacht is still just a sketch on a cocktail napkin, a new delivery in need of a qualified crew, or an older boat that’s ready for an extensive refit.”
As a first step toward launching the IMA YACHTS brand, Tortora and his partners, Chief Executive Officer Adrian Farmer, Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Farmer, and their team took the unprecedented step of achieving ISO 9001: 2008 certification – something no other company in their segment of the superyacht industry has achieved. This rigorous third-party certification process by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) confirms that IMA Yachts operates according to best business practices.
“It usually takes between nine and fourteen months to implement – we did it in eight,” Tortora said. “Owners can feel confident that IMA Yachts operates to the same standards that they do in their own businesses. We are proud to be part of the ‘ISO culture’.”
IMA Yachts also unveiled a newly designed Web site (www.imayachts.com) featuring streaming video during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Designed to be elegant and easy to navigate, the site will give yacht owners, their representatives and other yachting industry professionals full details of the many services the company offers, including New Construction, Owner’s Agent and Advisory Services, Vessel Management and Refit and Repair Services. Through its recent Strategic Alliance with The Sacks Group Yachting Professionals, IMA Yachts also offers Luxury Yacht Vacations, Charter Marketing and Yacht Brokerage Services.
“Expressing their corporate culture and the unique ‘Owner Advocacy’ mantra were the essential driving forces in the branding of IMA Yachts,” said Bob Saxon, whose firm Bob Saxon Consultancy worked with IMA in developing its new strategy. “The company's entire marketing energies and focus were directed toward contrasting what one might define in the marketplace as the ‘standard approach’ to yacht management, with the more elevated programs that IMA Yachts provides to owners. As their consultant, it was a pleasure to work with a group of professionals that are driven toward client service par excellence".