Wave Breaker

Interview with Dipl.-Ing. Marcus Schuldt, CEO of Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH

Reckmann sailing yacht PRANA
The sailing yacht PRANA by Alloy Yachts with reefing systems from Reckmann

Sailing ships moving through the blue sea with sails billowing exude an elegant charm and seem to glide almost effortlessly. Behind this are sophisticated handling systems based on the latest technologies. Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH from Rellingen has been an innovator in sailing sport products for over a century.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Schuldt, what are the most important product areas from your overall program?

Marcus Schuldt: For us, it's about sailing sport products including furling systems, mast-, rigging- and hydraulic systems, as well as accessories for the regatta sector. Besides these systems for handling sailing boats, shading systems for large motor yachts have developed into an important pillar of our business. We have recently also started offering land-based shading systems. This will be a growing area for the time to come. Our range is completed by solutions for the navy. On every German submarine, for example, you can find our products, as well as on German frigates.

Dipl.-Ing. Marcus Schuldt, CEO of Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH
Dipl.-Ing. Marcus Schuldt, CEO of Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH

Wirtschaftsforum: Do you also offer customized solutions to your customers?

Marcus Schuldt: Yes, we also provide tailor-made solutions. Currently, we are working on a project for a 125 m long ship. Basically, we are the right partner when it comes to specialized solutions with high standards.

Wirtschaftsforum: What topics are currently important to your customers?

Marcus Schuldt: For yachts, it's all about electrical technology right now. Everything is to be electrified. Solar energy is also a topic. With sailing ships, it's about propellers that spin and generate energy in the process. Everyone wants to make their ship as green as possible.

Reckmann Yacht Equipment Deck
The company equips the largest sailing ships and superyachts...
Reckmann Yacht Equipment Reefing System
...among others with reefing systems

Wirtschaftsforum: What actions are you personally taking at Reckmann Yacht Equipment to improve your ecological footprint?

Marcus Schuldt: Our products are extremely robust and durable. Moreover, they can be serviced and repaired. We sometimes undertake maintenance work for drives that are 30 years old. In addition, we have switched the lighting in our production to LED and have better insulated our buildings. We have many roof areas and will accordingly use photovoltaics.

Wirtschaftsforum: The company has a very long tradition. From your perspective, what were the most important milestones that have made Reckmann Yacht Equipment what it is in the market today?

Marcus Schuldt: Indeed, we look back on a long history. The company was founded in 1892 by the Reckmann family and has remained in family hands ever since. My grandfather joined in 1927, then my father in 1962. We started with professional shipping. We equipped the large cargo sailers like the Flying P-Liners or the Passat ships with sails and riggings. In the 1960s, we also entered the masts sector, in order to provide major shipping companies like Blohm & Voss with everything from a single source. Over the years, we have continuously developed with the market. The ships always got bigger, new technologies came onto the market. Ships were to be controlled with less and less personnel. Finally, the era of superyachts began. Here, we are now by far the world market leader.

Reckmann Yacht Equipment FESTO Building Shading
A FESTO Building Shading
Reckmann Yacht Equipment proSCREEN
Entertainment solutions for motor yachts, such as proSCREEN, are also part of the product portfolio
Reckmann Yacht Equipment Shading on the deck of a motor yacht
A shading on the deck of a motor yacht

Wirtschaftsforum: What sets Reckmann Yacht Equipment apart from other providers in the market today?

Marcus Schuldt: As the managing director and partner, I personally, and we as a team, rely on old virtues. We are merchants, think long-term, are persistent and consistent. It has always been important to us to have a solid economic foundation and to be independent. Last but not least, we are real entrepreneurs. We recognize opportunities and utilize them.

Wirtschaftsforum: What do you expect from the year 2024?

Marcus Schuldt: We want to remain as successful this year as we have been in the past years. 2023 was our best year in the company's history. We have some interesting projects in the pipeline. The boats are changing. In the past, it was primarily about the sport aspect, about sailing. Today, more and more people simply want to spend time on the water. For example, large catamarans that offer more space and are not as wobbly are coming onto the market more frequently. Beyond the boat sector, we also want to open up new markets for ourselves, for example with our land-based shading systems. We identify business fields into which we can transfer our know-how.

Wirtschaftsforum: So, you are geared up for future growth?

Marcus Schuldt: We already have a quite good position in the market. Over the past 30 years, the company has developed very well. We also want to continue to exploit potentials in the market, but not grow at any cost. It is especially important to us that we remain true to our values and remain a reliable partner for our customers, business partners, and also employees.