When you think of Tahiti, you think of palm trees and reefs and beautiful people living the simple island life. All of this is true, but French Polynesia is a semi-autonomous territory of France and it's a slick operation. In the words of Etienne Boutin, CEO of Tahiti Ocean, "When it comes to superyachts we've got everything covered!" We recently caught up with Etienne in Tahiti's Marina Taina to find out more.
How did you start out in the yachting industry?
I started to work in Tahiti as a shipping agent and I serviced my first large yacht some twenty five years ago when asked by Allan Jouning and Phil Tomlinson from 37°South, then the only yacht agent in the South Pacific, to deliver a package to a new build from kiwi yard Sensation Yachts, which was stopping briefly in Papeete en route to Europe. It was a bit of a luck as these guys picked me up in the phone book!
What was it about Tahiti that made you want to stay?
After that first encounter with luxury yachting, I bought a small sailing yacht and lived aboard at Marina Taina where yachts of increasing size came by. It was great to make friends with the crew and feed my growing passion for sailing adventures. I didn’t go very far with that boat but I heard many amazing stories and saw life though them.