Retired New Zealand businessman John Herzog is a stickler for detail and much of his success running his family’s plastics manufacturing business together with his brother Rob – started by his father in 1940 – can be attributed to that trait.
Having spent his career making sure things were just right, it comes as no surprise that John took a very hands on approach when he signed a contract with Australian luxury cruiser manufacturer Maritimo to build his new boat, a C53 motor yacht.
John spent countless days at the company’s Coomera-based factory and was there every day in the final weeks of the boat’s construction. “My contract stated that I could go to the factory and inspect the boat once a week, but Bill Barry-Cotter said to me ‘come as often as you like’ and I did and the whole thing was a very rewarding experience,” he said.
“The heads of the various departments in the factory were very accommodating and Bill went out of his way to make sure that the things that I wanted were addressed and we made changes where necessary to improve the ultimate outcome.
“He helped me solve problems and was prepared to think outside the square with me and make changes where I thought improvements could be made.”
One area where John sought to step away from the standard was in relation to inspection panels accessing service items such as the air conditioning units, electronics and the black water tank. “Other than that and some cosmetic changes she is pretty much the standard C53,” he said.
John and his wife Jill’s pride and joy, called Topless, was delivered this month to their Paradise Waters home on the Gold Coast. It is the couple’s third Maritimo, the first two were M60 Motoryachts.
Their first, called Nirvana, was purchased in 2005 and shipped to New Zealand where they used it extensively to cruise the waters of the Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds.
Their second M60, called Foreign Exchange, was purchased just after they relocated to Australia in August 2008. In Foreign Exchange they cruised the Whitsundays, the Great Sandy Straits and around Moreton Bay extensively.
The couple sold that boat late last year and ordered their latest vessel from Maritimo.
John said he was first attracted to the Maritimo marque because of the ‘unbeatable sea keeping abilities of the range, the design, engineering and overall performance’.
“Apart from looking at a pure game fishing boat there isn’t another production boat manufacturer that comes close to Maritimo in terms of performance, in our opinion,” he said. “The M60 is the best offshore performer of any luxury cruising motor yacht by far.
“And we proved that in waters like the Cook Strait where it can get pretty rough.”
John said one of the contributing factors in him lining up for this third Maritimo was the company’s independent marine survey system where each vessel is thoroughly inspected a number of times during the build by highly qualified, independent marine surveyors who report back on the build quality.
“I liked that idea and it proved to be very effective and I think our new boat is a step up in terms of quality and finish as a result,” he said.
“The production heads all worked extremely hard to make sure their individual teams delivered a top notch outcome, but the surveyors inspections took it to an even higher level.
“It is a great system and makes sure no stone is left unturned in terms of the end product.”
John and Jill and their son Josh now plan to use Topless as much as possible and enjoy the Queensland boating lifestyle.
“When we first came over we lived on Foreign Exchange at Marina Mirage for 18 months so Josh is very much a boating boy,” he said.
“He has just started school so we are planning three cruises this year timed with school holidays, one to the Great Sandy Straits, one to the Whitsundays and one to Port Douglas.
“I’ll do the passage making with some mates and then Jill and Josh will fly in for the cruising in each area.