Monachus shipyard is located in an industrial zone of the inland Dalmatia. It is about thirty kilometers from Split and about 15 minutes drive from the highway. Immediately upon arrival, the beautifully decorated, modern and technologically well-equipped production hall left us with the impression that this producer is not too big in terms of production volume, but in a way very special. In that ambience, we were warmly welcomed by the founder of the Monachus brand, Mr. Hari Tabak. NAUTIKA had already had the opportunity to present Monachus motor yachts in previous years, but for many years we did not meet at boat shows, nor could reliable news be heard in the general nautical public. Therefore, the somewhat mysterious atmosphere created around Monachus further encouraged us to the action of preparing this report. Our conversation started in that direction.
N: So what has been happening with Monachus in recent years?
“We haven’t disappeared really, we just withdrew from the public eye, a little bit tired of presenting the fact that we offer to the nautical market in the domestic environment a product of high exclusivity and quality for the usual price of serial manufacturers, according to the parameters of comparative dimensions. So in May 2016, with one Monachus 45, we decided to sail from Split to Rimini. Our only contact was Marko, a broker from Ancona whom I had met earlier that year helping a friend buy a workboat in Italy. Then what I wished for really happened. On a Saturday, Marko invited a few friends for an informal gathering in order to take a look at the Monachus and their reactions were fantastic. We had lunch with the gathered company in the marina restaurant, and the last guest expressed his determined intention to make the Monachus, which we came to present, his boat on Monday. The story went further along the path of good word-of-mouth recommendations. That is why we have been more present in Italy in these recent years than on this side of the Adriatic.Hari Tabak
N: A very interesting and inspiring story related to Italy, but we have also heard that you had a delivery to the US last year?
“Actually, the delivery was at the end of 2019, but yes, that’s also interesting! For years, as a team, we had been trying to get an order from America, but our efforts fell through due to the prejudice that we were a yacht manufacturer from the Balkans, even though the product seemed quite exclusive. However, there is one old unwritten rule in the nautical industry. It says that Italians are the creators of the yachting industry and as such are very proud of their own brands, so the doors of the world are open to anyone who delivers a new build to an Italian customer. And that’s what happened. The inquiry came on the recommendation of our Russian representative, and the fact that we export to Italy was important for the buyer to choose a Monachus”.Hari Tabak
N: Did you continue working in America after that delivery?
“We agreed with the buyer to lend us the delivered boat for presentation at three boat shows in Florida over the next 6 months from delivery. So we exhibited the Monachus 45 Issa in November 2019 at Fort Lauderdale. We were delighted with the exhibition position assigned to us by the organizers of the world’s largest nautical event. Namely, Monachus got a place next to their national pride – the brand Hinckley Yachts and ‘vis a vis’ Palm Beach Yachts. That confirmation from the organizers made us so happy that we almost flew back home believing that the task was successfully completed without actually doing the show – but of course, we didn’t. I mean, we didn’t fly away, we did the boat show very seriously”.Hari Tabak
N: And what were the reactions and interest of the visitors?
“They mostly wondered who we were, where we were from, and how it was that they had never heard of us before. There were concrete interests, but at that time we could offer the first next delivery in 7 months, including the time needed for transport, and in the meantime, the situation with COVID-19 started, so I can say that the top quality wine has turned into a watery bevanda”.Hari Tabak
N: How was the last year for you?
“When the lockdown started due to COVID-19, we had one boat in the final stage of construction for a customer from Italy, and the rest of the time until the autumn we decided to dedicate to making the Monachus 45 facelift tools because we did not expect additional demand. However, if we could have had three boats for Italy in June, there would not have been a surplus. After the spring lockdown, the Italians decided to indulge themselves as much as possible.”Hari Tabak
N: In the yard of your shipyard, we saw quite large molds, about twenty meters or more. Can you tell us what this is about?
“Yes, I can tell you now, because it’s no longer a secret! This is our new model Monachus 70. This project started a long time ago, but we have been working on it intensively since the autumn of 2018. I know that it is a very long period compared to today’s super-fast creation of new models from major global manufacturers. However, we are not worried about that because we did not register for a race. We are the biggest competition and criticism to ourselves because we function in such a way that we must first trust ourselves to be doing a good thing in order to leave room for the next step.“Hari Tabak
N: Is there any news regarding the internal organization within the Monachus Shipyard?
“Our biggest refreshment is Anita, she is a shipbuilding engineer, and she joined us last year, so now we have our own project design studio. The three of us, Anita, Bojan, Production Manager, and I are at the work meetings. We start with the elaboration of an idea, talk, shout, wave our hands describing different shapes and elements, and when my practical experience at sea, Bojan’s technical-performance abilities, and Anita’s vocational education are finally in harmony, Bojan and I go about our business, and Anita starts with virtual 3D modeling to see if we have imagined it all well. Now it is really fun in comparison with the previous work with external collaborators, and now we are faster and better at delivering the client a proposal solution regarding specific wishes. The next news is that two months ago we received to our team a new colleague with the task of taking care of the presentation of the Monachus brand. His name is Oliver, and he came to us from the Harley Davidson – Split branch. You know, in fact, in the entire previous period, I didn’t have enough time to deal more seriously with marketing and presentation, so I often wondered how some customers manage to find us and how they get to us, and I thank them very much for doing so.“Hari Tabak
N: Describe to us a typical customer of the Monachus brand.
“I would briefly describe our customer as a mature person with experience, not only in a nautical sense but primarily in terms of a comprehensive life experience regardless of age. Among our customers, there are persons with a bachelor’s degree as well as those without it, but they are equally adorned with a high level of intelligence, and by that, I mean emotional intelligence without which it is impossible to truly succeed in life – the foremost and highest level of intelligence in my opinion. The expectations of such a person are clearly synchronized with the moment of time, without excessive doses of delight or falls. In a word: calm people. And they find us mostly by recommendation or perhaps by that Bible saying ‘Strange are the ways of the Lord’!Hari Tabak
We expect customers to think similarly to us, and that just came true at the end of last summer. Our old customer, the owner of the 2010 Pharos model, unexpectedly and without any prior notice, foreboding or the like ordered the Monachus 70 / No.1, which we are working on for delivery next April.”
N: The range of yacht models you produce is actually small, how come that you produced the first Monachus 45 Pharos in 2007 and only 7 years later developed the Issa 45 on the same platform, and now you are preparing the Monachus 45, Issa, with a flybridge ‘, again on the same platform? What is the concept or what is your philosophy of the current and future product range? It certainly does not resemble this conventional one, which we have been accustomed to following in the course of the nautical industry for the last twenty years.
“You see, I have been an active professional in the nautical industry since 1985, and at least ten years before that, I was also a sports sailor and then a diver and fisherman. I have been engaged in the production of boats only for the last 15 years, but I have previously worked in all other segments of the nautical industry, and I have personally been a great consumer of nautical pleasures all this time. Production was not my initial intention, so in 2004, with the help of a friend, I decided to design a boat to my liking, a boat that I would entrust to someone to build for me, and so I thought that would be the end of the story. I was then a co-owner of a trading company, we represented the sale of 6 prestigious brands of motor yachts and two brands of sailboats for wider commercial use. As the design of my ship was coming to an end, one of our clients came to my office in the ACI marina Split and saw the drawings on the table. My then heroic trading heart could not refuse his offer and that is how it all started. Now comes the answer why 3 models 45 on the same and similar platform. As I used to sell boats from other manufacturers with my old company 14 years ago, I was constantly bothered by the fact that after a few years they all replaced the existing model with a new model of the same or similar size, while in my opinion there was still room for improvement in the former – in that case, it would have been superior to the new one. On that detail, I decided to create the concept of our timeless philosophy, and that is to constantly, in accordance with the times, improve the model that we initially devised in the best possible way.”Hari Tabak
We didn’t have much time left for further conversation with Hari, so we asked him to take us through the production. Although several different woodworking machines worked during our tour, there was no fine sawdust or dust, so we concluded that industrial vacuum cleaners and a ventilation system with filters were doing a good job. The workers, whom Hari prefers to call associates, were doing their jobs with diligence.
All in all, we got the impression of a very calm and organized work atmosphere in which each person diligently and dedicatedly performs their work tasks.
Na kraju je došlo vreme da se pozdravimo sa našim domaćinima i poželimo im puno uspeha u njihovom radu i napredak u ostvarivanju zacrtane vizije razvoja brenda Monachus yachts.
Contact: Monachus yachts