A tremendous know-how
The crew of YYachts has several hundred years of professional experience in yacht building.
We form a real team made up of the most diverse personalities and nationalities. We discuss with each other with enthusiasm and are only satisfied when the best solution has been found.
Our common credo is simple: only yachts that we would sail around the world ourselves leave the shipyard. Experience and reliability in the construction of fast luxury sailing yachts is essential for us.
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After graduating from high school and travelling extensively in South America, the accomplished sailor started a traineeship as a boat builder at YYachts. Apart from the product as such, Gappa was particularly motivated to apply for a job at YYachts by the diversity of the profession. In the meantime, he works primarily on the Y8 and installs the furniture on board under the direction of Tom Reinhardt. Gappa: "What excites me at YYachts is the modern yacht building and the super nice and cool team."
Christian Möller works as the second Managing Director at YYachts. Born in Hamburg, he is an experienced manager who has already held similar positions at various companies, including CFO at Procon Multimedia AG, where he also accompanied the company's IPO. At YYachts, the 56-year-old takes care of production, purchasing and project management and optimises structures with his expertise. "My dream has always been to work in yachting," says Möller, who has known YYachts founder Michael Schmidt since the 1980s.
Möller has already proven that he knows something about sailing at numerous regattas. Among others, he was a member of the crews of the "I-Punkt", the "Diva" and the "Rubin" and took part in numerous regattas around the globe. With his own boat, he undertook tours in Europe and the Caribbean.
Christian Schaaf, Warehouse Master at YYachts, is responsible for production purchasing. His duties include warehouse management and logistics, such as handling raw materials and procuring spare parts needed in production. Schaaf has more than 20 years of experience as a captain on a variety of traditional sailing vessels.
Dreaming of it as a child, he started to approach boatbuilding at the age of 18 and first spent a few years as a crew member until he finally became a captain. In 2020, he decided to move his life ashore and joined the YYachts team.
Dirk Zademack has been Managing Partner of YYachts since 2019. Since his involvement, the company has made a significant leap forward in terms of quality, reputation and the number of boats built. He is also pushing the digitalisation process of YYachts forward at full speed and is constantly developing further solutions on how the yachts of the shipyard can be produced even more sustainably.
Dirk Zademack has more than 13 years of experience as a manager in the marine and yacht industry, including at renowned German shipyards. Zademack graduated in industrial engineering from the University of Hamburg in 2002 and has been fascinated by the world of sailing since his childhood.
Guillaume Florent, Head of Research & Development at YYachts, joined our team in February 2021. He is responsible for Research & Development with a focus on developing technical innovations of composite materials and methods for the next YYachts projects.
The challenge at YYachts for Florent is to develop new breakthrough materials and processes to produce a higher quality hull and deck structure while reducing boat displacement and lead times.
Florent, incidentally, already looks back on a very successful sailing career. He stood on the podium at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with a bronze medal in Finn sailing, and he made his Olympic debut in Atlanta in 1996 in the Laser class. In his second Olympic appearance in Athens in 2004, he finished eighth in the regatta. His big-boat career took him to an America's Cup team and to the Volvo Ocean Race as helmsman.
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Italian-born Francesca Modica has been a member of the YYachts team since beginning of 2020 and is now the managing director of the YYachts office in Palma de Mallorca. Modica, equipped with two master's degrees (yacht design and architecture), came to YYachts with three years of professional experience at Lorenzo Argento Yacht Design, among others, becoming our Head of Design of YYachts brand.
YYachts founder Michael Schmidt: "Francesca brings a wonderful understanding of design from her work in various Milanese offices and that certain Mediterranean touch that is enormously important when building boats that are mainly used in the Mediterranean."
Georg Schmidt, who has a great deal of experience in yacht building, has been responsible for quality assurance and optimisation at YYachts since December 2022. He previously worked in AfterSales at another shipyard and brings a great deal of know-how to his new role. Schmidt, who was born in Wolgast and lives in Greifswald, is an enthusiastic sailor who began his sporting career in the Opti and now successfully sails regattas on large yachts. Schmidt's father obviously put his passion for water sports in his cradle - he runs a successful marina in the region.
Giancarlo is part of our yacht design team and works out of the YYachts office in Palma de Mallorca. Growing up on the coast of Peru, sailing has always been a great passion of Giancarlo's, 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 an operations manager of a Peruvian offshore 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.
To further his qualifications, he completed a master's degree in yacht design in Milan and since graduating has since become an important 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, allowing me to continue to improve and think and shape the future of sailing yachts."
Ina Schulze, Project Management & Wood Engineering, joins the YYachts team at the beginning of 2021. She has several years of experience working for leading global interior designers and has spent six years in China, three in Dubai and two in New York working for renowned shipyards and clients on the interiors of prestigious luxury yachts.
Among other things, Ina Schulze supervised the project management of the mega yacht "A" designed by Philippe Starck at HDW/TKMS shipyard in Kiel as well as the design coordination in Dubai. Ina was also a partner in the design and development of complex furniture for a 160-metre yacht designed by Terence Disdale and built at Blohm & Voss. She also led the development of the furniture design for a 141-metre yacht built in Abu Dhabi.
Janko Janzen, born 1986 in Wolgast, is a child of the region and a passionate boat builder. After completing a carpentry apprenticeship, he worked for various well-known carpentry companies until he finally joined the YYachts team. The married father of one holds the position of Y7 project manager, but is also called in for all other tricky issues at the shipyard. Janzen's credo is: "Constantly monitor and optimise the processes and modules in the interior construction. The technology has to be one hundred per cent right for a YYacht to become a YYacht."
Jens-Martin has been YYachts' purchasing specialist since 2019. He is responsible for dealing with suppliers and ordering boat components. Jens-Martin's role includes planning raw materials and sorting equipment on board, including managing everything needed in production for the building process. Schwer is originally from Kassel, Germany, and has a degree in economics - but sailing yachts have been his great passion since childhood.
Over the past 20 years, Jens-Martin has already been employed in the boat building industry. He started in after-sales service at one of Michael Schmidt's brands. He then continued his experience as purchasing manager at HanseYachts for six years and then at X-Yachts in Denmark. Before finally joining YYachts, Jens-Martin worked for Blohm+Voss as a special buyer.
Jens Renner, 37, has been Production Manager at YYachts since 2019. He has worked in the shipbuilding industry for 15 years, starting as a carpenter in 2006 and moving to the specialist logistics department a year later. Renner was responsible for boat handover to customers and the after-sales programme for boats ranging from 35 to 65 feet in length at a large shipyard.
Jens has now been working at the YYachts shipyard since the beginning of 2016 and is now responsible for production and after-sales. As YYachts Production Manager, he ensures that all construction phases run smoothly and efficiently. At the same time, he ensures that the work is carried out on schedule and in compliance with the highest quality requirements.
John Steinfurth started his professional career as an electrician in Hamburg before gaining experience in Switzerland and Australia, where he also worked in deep-sea fishing.
This activity in particular left a strong impression on him, so that he became interested in the yachting industry after returning to Europe. In 2017, he joined YYachts after having worked for other shipyards and is currently responsible for the construction and assembly of electrical components.
At the same time, he works closely with the project managers to optimise the design of the electrical components. John is responsible for everything on board that runs on electricity. His main concern is to combine aesthetics and functionality to create a high-quality yacht.
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Luca Giammattei has been working for 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 joining Greifswald, Giammattei was employed at several Italian shipyards, where he realised a number of large yacht projects and can already look back on 25 years of professional experience. He is one of the main pillars of the YYachts team.
Maik Ellen, a naval architect, originally comes from Oldenburg, and thus grew up very close to the renowned shipyards Lürssen, Fassmer and Abeking & Rasmussen. This is where his passion for ships and seafaring developed; 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 and later worked at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg as a project manager, most recently coordinating the shipbuilding interior design.
As an experienced yacht all-rounder, he was drawn to North America and Mexico before joining YYachts. His expertise lies primarily in technical project management; his passion is fast, beautiful sailing yachts.
Marc Dörband, 25, born in Greifswald, is a trained locksmith at YYachts. Marc pursued his great passion for building luxury yachts in 2019 when he joined YYachts. His main tasks are the assembly of heavy material - for example, the engines, the generators, the air-conditioning systems, the wiring and connectors, as well as the bathrooms and sanitary facilities. Marc loves working on high-end yachts, where every single detail makes all the difference.
Anyone who grew up on the water naturally feels particularly at home in a shipyard. Born in Anklam in 1986, the enthusiastic sailor Mario Foy completed an apprenticeship as a boat builder right after school and has remained true to his dream job to this day. He has been working for YYachts since 2018, where he appreciates the very varied tasks and, as project manager, primarily looks after the Y9 and supervises the installation of all components on board. He says: "Nobody builds even bigger and cooler yachts here far and wide."
Martin Petersen, 31, born in Demmin, is a trained electrical engineer with an apprenticeship as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician. He has six years' experience as a master car mechanic, but decided to make a career change in 2017 and started at YYachts.
As a master electrician, Martin Petersen is responsible for ensuring that the electrical work in production can run as efficiently and with the highest possible quality. Petersen has always been driven by the desire for improvement and the will to keep raising the bar.
"Working at YYachts is unique. I get to work closely with the whole team and the biggest reward is when the boat is finished and you can test and sail it. That's the icing on the cake."
Mirko Ihlenfeld is a carpenter through and through. After his apprenticeship in Lubmin, he gained professional experience in the Netherlands and then returned to his home country. Born in Greifswald, he has been involved with boats and yachts for more than ten years. At YYachts, he appreciates the challenge of implementing the interior in consistent lightweight construction and cooperating with world-renowned designers.
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Philipp Kottke has already passed through several stations at YYachts. After the native of Stralsund and trained boat builder started at the shipyard in 2019, he was initially employed in the deck construction team. After a short "excursion" into module preparation, Kottke is now in charge of deck building and is somewhat responsible for installing all the windows and fittings as well as setting the deck. At YYachts he likes the "super cool" team and of course the yachts themselves.
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 mainly creates construction drawings and plant plans. He says: "My first contact with a boat was a small unstable craft that we fled Syria with. Now I work on such fantastic and fast luxury yachts and I'm very proud to lead the technical team."
Regine Amon, a native of Greifswald and graduate in business administration, is head of accounting and controlling at YYachts.
She is responsible for contract and facility management, finances, accounting and safety regulations for staff and technical units. Regine has known YYachts founder Michael Schmidt for a long time and joined YYachts in 2016 to take on a new challenge.
Stefan Schöler works as Head of Marketing & Communications at YYachts and is thus also responsible for social media management, official press releases and website design. Schöler has been working in the yachting industry for more than 20 years and has known YYachts founder Michael Schmidt since 2004, when he joined HanseYachts as a marketing specialist. At the Greifswald shipyard group, he was responsible for creative marketing concepts, websites and stakeholder relations for the group's eight brands.
Schöler, 50, a business mathematician and scientist, has already founded and managed several digital companies during his career and - on a voluntary basis - also served as chairman of a sailing club for five years. He started sailing at the age of seven, pursued the hobby as a high-performance sport in the meantime and won a large number of inland and offshore regattas.
Tino Heckmann is YYachts' wood expert and responsible for managing the wood workshop at the production facility. Tino is a trained carpenter specialising in wood mechanics and is now one of the production leaders responsible for woodworking.
He supervises and coordinates the carpenters and is responsible for high-precision wood modelling according to interior and exterior design projects. Tino is extremely experienced in yacht building and participated in his first YYachts projects in 2017.
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