Power & Motoryacht: How does your passion both for boating and business feed innovation?
Jeff Druek: I am hugely passionate about boating. I got into boating as a business by default; one of my competitors didn’t want to build a boat for me the way I wanted her to be built, so I built it myself. This incredible experience was born out of a need to be heard…to be reassured of possibilities instead of told it wasn’t possible because it hadn’t been done before. I am grateful for this experience as it continuously resonates with our team, helping us to see things through the eyes of our customer. We can never go wrong with this approach! For this reason, we’ve evolved into what I call a custom, semi-custom builder. Our latest launch, a 580 Long Range Motoryacht, was completely different than any of our previous Classic Series builds, especially as this was the first Outer Reef 580 Long Range Motoryacht to be built. Her owners are life-long sailors who shopped tirelessly for the perfect powerboat to transition into. After their extensive research, they were convinced Outer Reef checked all of their boxes, and not only would they purchase the 580 Long Range Motoryacht, they would live on her nine months of the year! There is no better statement of satisfaction than this in the yachting industry.
Power & Motoryacht: What lesson from your past has helped move your business forward?
Jeff Druek: Throughout my years in business, I’ve always inquired as to why things are done a certain way. And often, the answer has been, “because that’s the way things are done around here.” That answer never boded well with me—and I naturally feel compelled to dig into the subject matter to figure out a more streamlined, efficient and attractive outcome. It’s just the way I’m wired. When I started Outer Reef Yachts in the early 2000s, I applied this line of thinking throughout all facets of our business. Today, our team is constantly challenged to think outside the box rather than get too comfortable with things simply because that’s the way things were done yesterday. Most recently, we went through an extensive review of our growing business, yacht collection and brand, resulting in tangible improvements to the yacht—changes the customers can benefit from day-to-day, from technology systems to storage design. And, in terms of company image, we looked forward and envisioned Outer Reef as a newer, fresher organization. This impactful rebranding exercise resulted in a complete update of our brand image, and the introduction of a new and contemporary long-range motoryacht series called the Trident Series. The customer feedback has been immensely positive—beyond our expectations.
Power & Motoryacht: How will your products change to meet the needs of the evolving marketplace?
Jeff Druek: The yacht purchasers of today are very astute. They do their research, they dig into the facts and figures, they shop the competition, and they come prepared with a stable of information at the first face-to-face meeting. We respect this process, and encourage it. This savvyness on the part of the yacht owner helps our clients appreciate the quality of Outer Reef Yachts. We especially enjoy the sea-trialing phase, where the rubber meets the road and we deliver what we call the Outer Reef Experience. Sea trialing an Outer Reef solidifies the reasons why Outer Reef has won various build awards, or why our customers stay as loyal as they do. With the question of quality proven in all types of sea conditions, you can see the relief in the prospective customer’s eyes, along with intrigue—they are feeling a sense of absolute joy, having found the boat they were hoping for. You can see their heads spinning with cruising plans, itineraries, and wish lists…and when you are as passionate about yachting as we are here at Outer Reef, that’s exactly where your head is supposed to be.
- Builder: Outer Reef
This article originally appeared in the January 2016 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.