HCB Center Console Yachts, formerly known as Hydra-Sports Custom, has officially renamed the company as part of a five-year plan to evolve.
The newly recapitalized company said it is enthusiast-owned and “recognizes the need for a new category in the marine industry.”
The new direction will be showcased at the 2018 Miami International Boat Show and the Miami Yacht Show at Collins Avenue.
The strategy includes a new model year 2019 collection focused on “refined luxury;” the next generation of the retooled Sueños; information on the new 65-foot Estrella yacht, which will seek to appeal to center console and sportfishing customers; and a customized build and ownership experience.
The company said it will create HBC Factory Annexes, a global extension of its factory experience.
The model year 2019 portfolio includes the next generation of the 53-foot Sueños, a revised 42-foot Siesta, a reinvigorated 39-foot Speciale and the introduction of its largest center console yacht, the 65-foot Estrella.
“We’ve taken every aspect of our product to the next level,” CEO Elias De La Torre III said in a statement. “In places and in ways the discriminating custom boat buyers will appreciate when stepping aboard. You might think you’re boarding a center console at the dock, but once aboard, you know you’re on a yacht.”
HCB said it has created a customized and exclusive approach called the Crucero Experience that runs from customer courtship through the build process, commission and ownership.
“We knew we had the right product — the fact we had a backlog on orders told us that,” product strategy vice president Mike Yobe said. “The challenge was making the pre- and post-sales and delivery experience match the world-class yachts we are building. Crucero is the Spanish word for ‘cruise’ or ‘journey,’ which is precisely what building and owning a yacht of this caliber is like. Our buyers are among the most discriminating in the world, always looking for something newer and special — this is just another dimension of how we will deliver that to them.”
The new annexes are meant to address the “major challenges” in traditional dealer networks, the company said. The annexes are meant to help extend the awareness, influence and customer experience of HCB to a wider audience while remaining factory-partnered with the HCB culture and spirit.
“Our focus on the customer experience will remain a central component of our business for years to come,” De La Torre said. “As such, we understand the need to have physical locations in key markets to raise awareness of our brand and make the buying and service process as seamless, simple as possible, and more intimate. As such, we are searching out those locations and their leadership teams to help us extend our global presence for HCB.”
“We looked around and noticed that the sportfishing yacht market was dominated by size, comfort, customization and sophisticated styling, mainly through the use of premium materials and features,” De La Torre said. “On the other hand, the center-console segment brought performance, ease of use and ownership, and superior functionality to the marketplace — thanks in part to outboard propulsion and boat designs. Our ‘aha’ moment was realizing that if we merged these two products together and with lasers focused on being an experience-based brand with all the luxury, we would really be able to take on the big sportfishing brands. We aren’t making center-console boats anymore; we are making center console yachts.”