Experience in building light and fast luxury sailing yachts
YYachts employees have hundreds of hours of professional training and many years of experience in yacht building under their belt.
We are a real team made up of a wide variety of characters and nationalities. We enthusiastically discuss with each other and are satisfied only when we have developed the best solutions. Everyone in our team has spent decades building boats and is still passionate about their profession.
The common belief of our most sophisticated team of shipyard Greifswald is simple: we let YYachts leave the shipyard only when we ourselves would sail that boat around the world. Experience in building fast luxury sailing yachts is essential to us.
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Christian Schaaf, Storage Master at YYachts is responsible for the production purchasing department. His tasks include warehouse management and logistics such as raw materials handling and spare parts planning need in the production plant. Schaaf has more than 20 years’ experience at sea as captain on a large variety of luxury private sailing yachts.
Since he was a child, he has always loved sailing, so at the age of 18 started approaching the boat building sector and years later became first crew member and then captain. In 2020 he decided to have a life-changer, so he decided to take a break from working at sea and joined the YYachts team just one year ago.
Guillaume Florent, Head of Research & Development in YYachts recently joined our team in February 2021. He is in charge of Research & Development with a focus on developing technical innovations of composite materials and methods for the next YYachts projects.
The challenge at YYachts is to come up with new breakthrough materials and processes to produce a higher quality hull and deck structure while decreasing at the same time boat displacement and lead times.
Guillaume is a very active and successful sailor. At the Olympic Games 2008 he won a bronze medal in the Finn class. But Guillaume's passion and experience started much earlier, in fact he made his debut with the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 in Laser class. While at his second Olympic participation in Athens in 2004, he finished the regatta in eighth place. His big boat career took him to the afterguard of an America's Cup team and in a Volvo 70 team as a navigator during the Volvo Ocean Race.
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Italian-born Francesca Modica has been a member of the YYachts team since the beginning of the year and she is working at YYachts Palma de Mallorca office. Modica, equipped with two master titles (yacht design and architecture), comes to YYachts with, among other things, three years of professional experience at Lorenzo Argento Yacht Design and will now support the Greifswald brand’s design department.
Michael Schmidt: “Francesca brings a wonderful understanding of design through her work in various Milan offices and that certain Mediterranean touch, which is enormously important when building boats that are mainly used in the Mediterranean”.
Giancarlo is part of our yacht design team and works out of our office in Palma de Mallorca. Growing up on the coast of Peru, sailing has always been a great passion of Giancarlo, who always spent his free time on the water with family and friends. At the age of 17, he finally wanted to greatly deepen his knowledge of sailing and began to participate in regattas and shortly afterwards work as a project manager for Peru's national sailing team.
At the age of 22, he was finally an active part of the team himself and gained his first knowledge of the business side of sailing. Being part of the team allowed him to gain a further foothold in the scene, meet experts and participate in regattas in other areas both locally and worldwide.
Back in Peru, Giancarlo founded a yachting services and hardware company, but wanted to expand his knowledge even further and specialise in yacht design. He completed a Master's degree in Milan and is now a key part of the design team at YYachts. Overjoyed, he comments on this position: "I can be part of an ambitious project again and work with a very professional team, which allows me to continue to improve and think and shape the future of sailing yachts."
Ina Schulze, Project Management & Wood Engineering at YYachts - recently joined our team in March 2021. Ina is an open-minded person with several years of background within the world’s leading interior companies and multicultural experiences. She has worked for renowned yards and clients for 6 years in China, 3 years in Dubai and 2 years in NewYork on interiors of prestigious luxury yachts. Therefore, she is particularly well versed in the wishes of clients who want something special.
Ina oversaw the successful projects management of the Mega Yacht A designed by Philippe Starck with construction taking place in the HDW/TKMS shipyard in Kiel, Germany and Design Coordination in Dubai/UAE. Moreover, Schulze partnered in the engineering and development of complex furniture for a 170m Mega yacht designed by Terrence Disable, with construction taking place in the Blohm & Voss shipyard, Germany. In the past Ina also led the development of furniture engineering fabrication efforts for a 141m private yacht with construction taking place in the LI shipyard, Abu Dhabi.
Jens-Martin is the purchasing specialist of YYachts since 2019, he is accountable for dealing with suppliers and boat components ordering. Jens’s function involves raw materials planning and onboard equipment sorting, including the management of anything that is needed in the production facility for the boat building process.
Schwer is originally from the town of Kassel in north-central Germany, he graduated in economics & trade and specialized in the nautical sector. Indeed sailing boats are his great passion since childhood.
Jens-Martin worked in the nautical industry for the last 20 years, he started approaching the boating industry in the after-sales service in one of Michael Schmidt’s brands. Afterward, he continued his experiences as a purchaser manager at Hanseyachts for 6 years and then in X-yachts Denmark. Right before joining YYachts Jens-Martin was involved in Blohm+Voss shipyard as a special purchaser manager.
Jens Renner, 37 years old is the Production Leader at YYachts since 2009. He has been working in the shipbuilding industry for 15 years where he joined Michael Schmidt. Jens started as a carpenter in 2006 and one year later he moved department specializing in the delivery center. Renner was responsible for boat handover to customers and after-sales program for boats ranging from 35 to 65 feet in length. Thanks to his great passion for sailing yachts, he continued specializing in the nautical field.
Jens joined YYachts shipyard in Greifswald since the very beginning of 2016, today he is responsible for the production and after-sales program. As YYachts production leader he is taking care that all YYachts construction phases flow smoothly and efficiently. While at the same time ensuring that the tasks are carried out on time, in compliance with the highest quality requirements.
John Steinfurth started his profession as an electrician thanks to an apprenticeship in Hamburg. John is determined and open-minded with an international background. He gained experience in Switzerland and also moved to Australia where he, besides various different jobs, worked for a deep sea fishery.
This left a massive imprint on his professional life and decided once he returned to Europe to work with boats. 2017 he joined YYachts but has previously worked 5 years for Michael. Currently he is in charge of setting up and assembling electric components.
At the same time, he co-works with project managers for design optimisation of electrical components. John is responsible for everything on board that runs by electricity. His primary concern is to blend together aesthetics and functionalities to come up with a superior-high-quality yacht.
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Luca Giammattei has been working at YYachts as Head of Production for four years. The Italian is responsible for the entire technical equipment of the yachts and has already developed numerous innovations for YYachts. Before moving to Greifswald, Giammattei worked at several Italian shipyards, where he completed a number of large yacht projects and looks back on 25 years of professional experience. He is one of the main pillars of the YYachts team.
Maik Ellen, Naval architect Maik Ellen originally comes from Oldenburg, very close to the renowned shipyards Lürssen, Lloyd, Fassmer and Abeking & Rasmussen. This is where his passion for ships and seafaring grew. His grandfathers went to sea as captains and were boat builders. At the age of 14, he was already sailing on the North Sea with his uncle. After training as a metalworker, he studied shipbuilding in Kiel. Later, he worked at the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg as a project manager, where he most recently coordinated the shipbuilding interior design.
An accomplished yacht all-rounder, he worked in North America and then hired on at YYachts directly from Mexico. His expertise is primarily in technical project management. His passion, however, is fast, beautiful sailing yachts.
Marc Dörband 25 years old born in Greifswald is a professional metalworker at YYachts. In 2016 he joined Michael Schmidt's company as a locksmith. Tanks to his great passion for building luxury yachts Marc moved to YYachts in 2019.
His primary tasks are the assembling of heavy equipment such as engine room, generators, air conditioning systems, wiring and connectors as well as bathrooms and plumbing. Marc loves working on boats of such prestige, where every single detail makes the difference.
Martin Petersen, 31 years old, born in Demmin, is a professional electro technician trained in automotive mechatronics where he got his automotive technician master’s degree. He has 6 years’ experience as master technician in the automotive sector, but he decided to undergo a career change joining YYachts 4 years ago.
Martin helms the position of foreman electrician making sure that electrical tasks in the production area can proceed as efficiently as possible. Petersen has always been spurred by the desire for improvements and the will to raise the bar higher and higher.
“Working on YYachts boats has always been unique, I can directly contribute to the whole team and the greatest reward is when the boat is finished, and you can test and sail it. That's the icing on top of the cake.”
Mirko Ihlenfeld is a carpenter through and through. After his educational training in Lubmin, he gained work experience in the Netherlands and then returned to his home country. Born in Greifswald, he has been working with boats and yachts for over ten years and at YYachts he appreciates the challenge of implementing the interior in consistent lightweight construction and cooperating with internationally renowned designers.
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Raeed Ghabra has been part of the YYachts team since 2016, having moved to Germany from Swaida/Syria a year earlier. Ghabra studied aerospace engineering and is therefore well equipped for all high-tech tasks. At YYachts, he primarily produces design drawings and system plans. He says: „My first contact with a boat was a small unstable thing in which we escaped from Syria. Now I am working on such fantastic fast and luxurius yachts and am very proud to lead the technical team.”
Regine Amon born in Greifswald and degreed in Business and Management is the Head of Accounting and controlling at YYachts.
She is responsible for contract and facility management, finance, accounting as well as safety regulations for employees and technical units.
Regine joined Michael Schmidt since the very beginning and in 2016 she moved to YYachts to start a new challenge.
Sandra Berger is a milestone of YYachts she has been the first employee following Michael Schmidt with his new YYachts project in 2015. Today Sandra holds the position of YYachts Management assistant also responsible for Human Research, Marketing & Sales and Administration as well.
Sandra is Michael Schmidt's trusted person with great experience in the Yachting industry and event organization as board’s Assistant. She has got her master’s degree in international management and economics.
Before approaching the Nautical industry, Berger held the position of store manager in a big German fashion brand for 5 years, before joining the events industry as fashion shows organizer.
Tino Heckmann is YYachts woodmaster, and he is in charge of overseeing the woodshop of the production plant. Tino learned carpentry specializing in wood mechanics and today is one of the leaders in production responsible for wood craftsmanship. He supervises and coordinates the carpenters and is accountable for high precision wood modeling according to interiors design projects as well as the exteriors.
Heckmann worked in Michael Schmidt companies for a very long time where he had the opportunity to specialize and train himself. Tino took part in his first YYachts projects in 2017.
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Dirk Zademack Managing Partner of YYachts joined Michael Schmidt Yachtbau in 2019. He is truly determined to boost up the prestige of YYachts. After his recent arrival, the company has made a significant leap forward in terms of quality, reputation and number of boats built. Moreover, he is really keen on carrying on innovation that features YYachts shipyard and the digitization process started by Mr. Schmidt. One of YYachts main pillars is Environmental Sustainability not as corporate greenwashing but as the core of YYachts projects.
This bright side of the company is strongly supported by Dirk's forward thinking. Dirk has more than 13 years of experience as Manager in the Naval Industry such as renowned German shipyards and firms specialized in Naval appliances. Zademack is graduated in Industrial Engineering at Hamburg University in 2002 and since his childhood has been passionate about the world of sailing and yachts.