As the chief executive officer of international yacht and powerboat shipping logistics leader Peters & May, David Holley is a true globetrotter. Your chances of reaching him in the Pacific Northwest or Middle East are about as good as they are getting in touch with him in his office in Southampton, England. For business as well as marketing purposes, Peters & May has been deeply involved powerboat racing, especially Unlimited hydroplanes, during much of Holley’s tenure with the company. He’s become a keen observer of the sport. But beyond that, he’s a seriously well-informed observer on the international and domestic powerboat markets.
What do you see happening in the recreational powerboat and racing worlds in 2015?
Peters & May CEO David Holley (right with Scott Raney, crew chief of the U-11 Peters & May hydroplane team) is always thinking—and he never takes himself too seriously.
“This has been a very solid year for our business, and with the majority of the boat manufacturing markets forecasting positive figures we are confident that 2015 will follow suit. The performance boat market has evolved and as a result we are seeing more companies approaching us to assist with exporting their product around the globe. The growing performance center console market is a good example of what can happen when a number of manufacturers target a growing niche that attracts customers from within and outside the United States.
“Whether it is a 23-foot ski boat, a 60-foot cruiser or a 200-foot superyacht, 95 percent of our business is in transporting boats and yachts for the luxury market. The Northern European small boat market is still struggling and exports from the U.S. to that region are significantly down. However, exports to regions such as the Middle East, South America and the Far East are on the rise. So far this year we have exported more than 3,000 boats to and from global destinations. Of those, 14 have been yachts more than 150 feet in length.
“On the Peters & May Racing side we continue to support race teams and racers all over the globe. Our sponsorship program remains strong and we are seeing more and more race teams calling on us to handle their logistical requirements. I am personally excited to see what happens within the H1 Unlimited organization now that Steve David is at the helm and also on the offshore scene as OPGP steps up to put on its show. I believe 2015 will be an exciting year for powerboat racing at all levels, and as a fan I can’t wait for the season to start.”