Wednesday 1st April 2020
Celebrating Marianne Toft Hansen’s 25 years anniversary in X-Yachts
Marianne Toft Hansen – Sales Secretary
You started your X-Yachts career in 1995 on the 1st of April – and today you celebrate your 25 years anniversary onboard X-Yachts. Share with us – how has the journey been so far?
It’s been a really exciting journey. I moved to Haderslev from Copenhagen, where I worked in a large shipping company, to start working at X-Yachts. At that time, X-Yachts did not have nearly as many employees as we have today, and we only had 3 computers where I was one of the lucky ones to have one.
My first day at X-Yachts did not at all start as I had imagined it. Already in the morning, there was some panic when it turned out that a boat was missing in the harbour. People were running around and asking if maybe the boat had been handed over to the customer. However, it did not take them long to find out that this was not the case, so the boat had been stolen. Dan Pedersen, therefore, sailed with a few other employees out of the fjord to see if they could find the boat, and they had not sailed far before they found the boat anchoring, so they boarded the boat. Below deck lay some young boys with a hangover and still sleeping. Dan, therefore, locked them inside the boat and started sailing the boat back. In the meantime, X-Yachts had called the police, and as the boat got closer to X-Yachts, all the staff and police were ready in the harbour to receive them. The boys were of course quite embarrassed when they came off the boat and all the staff were standing at the harbour clapping.
In 1998, I was launching the first X-Yachting magazine and the X-Yachts Gold Cup in co-operation with Niels Jeppesen, which have both since become a huge success and something that we are also known for today. The first X-Yachts Gold Cup was held at the yard, and it was therefore so fantastic to see the Gold Cup back in Haderslev again in 2019 for the first time since 1999.
What was your first task/experience with X-Yachts?
When I started in 1995, we had recently launched the first X-612, which was sold to the Hanseatische Yachtschule in Glücksburg, Germany, and some of my colleagues and I were attending the boat christening in Glücksburg. The X-612 was just one of several boats ordered by Hanseatische Yachtschule.
We did build many popular boat types such as the X-442 + X-362 + X-332 back in 1995, but you do not get around the X-99, which at that time was a very active class boat. More than 600 were built before we stopped the production of it.
The timeline of 25 years – How has X-Yachts developed over the years?
As I mentioned before, we only had 3 computers, and all the drawings were drawn by hand. It was a very busy time where we produced close to 250 boats a year, but still, there was always a good relationship between the colleagues and we knew each other’s families well. Although the company has grown a lot over the years, there is still a unique community and it is probably difficult to find other industries where employees are so enthusiastic about their work, as for many it is also their passion to sail.
My work has changed a lot over the 25 years since there are some tasks I no longer have, and new tasks have been added. So, the 25 years have by no means been the same in terms of work.
Many of the dealers and customers are still the same and a few of the dealers are even 2nd generation now. The fact that many customers keep coming back to buy an X-Yacht means that you get to know them well.
What has been your best X-Moment so far?
It’s hard for me to mention one thing, but when I look back, it’s been great to meet so many customers who keep coming back to buy an X-Yacht. Again – in how many other industries do you get to know a customer so well and can follow them over the years. One of the most memorable moments must be when one of our good customers, who had also purchased several larger boats at X-Yachts, asked if he could hold his wedding reception in the showroom at X-Yachts as he enjoyed coming here. We at X-Yachts were invited, and it was an amazing experience to be part of and see the newlywed couple dance their first dance. This is something I will never forget.
Thank you Marianne, for your commitment to X-Yachts throughout 25 years, we look forward to working with you in the future.
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