Far too many years ago to mention, Sue Grant joined Berthon International in Lymington as a trainee yacht broker, with a brief to make the tea for everyone in the office, and to learn the business. To make things easier Berthon bought her a typewriter… The rest is history!
She writes: “I have always been a terrible tea maker, but always yacht mad. I was lucky to be taught by the best. Starting with small sailing yachts, I learned the craft of yacht brokerage and in 2008 I took over the helm of Berthon International. On the crew were two other yacht brokers, four support staff and the business sold about twenty yachts a year.
Since then the Berthon Sales Group has grown exponentially, with a team of six brokers in Lymington, plus our great marketing team, and with offices in Mandelieu in the South of France, Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Henån in Sweden and Newport, Rhode Island in the USA. I am particularly excited about our service facility in Palma de Mallorca – a 2000m squ facility that makes storing, servicing, refitting and cherishing our clients’ yachts in the centre of yachting in the Mediterranean a reality.
The full crew over five countries in two continents now numbers forty amazing and skilled colleagues. I was always told to try to employ and work with people who are smarter than I am, and I have followed this piece of advice to the letter!
These days we expect to sell 200 yachts each year and also have a wonderful stable of new yachts – Windy, Solaris, Pearl, Iguana, Marex, Moody, Rustler and Sealine. We are the go to yacht brokers for bluewater cruising yachts, working closely with World Cruising who run the ARC and World ARC. We are also the experts for the sale and purchase of pre-owned Windy Boats and Discovery, as well as working closely with Dashew Offshore on the sale of their FPB fleet of explorer yachts.
The unique thing about the Berthon Sales Group is the people. We have a strong and united team – more of a family really. We work together every day to understand and reflect the market. Our clients can be sure of our total support when they are buying a yacht from the South of France, dealing with our Rhode Island office, or wanting advice about selling their yacht in Sweden via our Spanish office.
We try harder, and whilst we recognise that the voyage to excellence is never ending, there are now a significant number of miles beneath the Berthon International keel, and I remain as excited about yachts and the possibilities that working at Berthon offers, as I was when I made my first round of tea for the team in Lymington all those years ago.”
More recently, as of 2019, Sue has taken her tea making skills (now honed) public by opening her garden at Ferns Lodge via the National Garden Scheme. Her quintessential NGS open garden experience includes the aforementioned tea, cake and an appearance from plucky companion Ghillie the Labrador. Gardening knowledge is NOT essential but we highly recommend you give her ongoing blog a read to get a lay of the land. Further details available here – fernslodge.co.uk.