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Meet the Princess Team – Alan Knight in Swanwick, Southampton

Meet the Princess Team – Southampton is a key boating hub for marine businesses, whilst also offering some of the most beautiful cruising in the UK for yacht owners.  Princess Motor Yacht Sales has long had a strong presence in Southampton in Swanwick, Ocean Village and a service and retrofit centre at Saxon Wharf.

In 2022, Premier Marinas completed a significant redevelopment programme in Swanwick, including the launch of the new Saltings Sales Pavilion which now includes new offices for Princess Motor Yacht Sales and sister company, Argo Yachting.  Swanwick Marina is a sheltered spot located on the upper reaches of the picturesque River Hamble with easy access to the Solent, the South Coast and the Isle of Wight.

The Princess team in Swanwick take care of new and used boat sales, brokerage, offer advice on finance and insurance options, YachtQuarters fractional ownership and charter.  They also assist in hosting customer events and boat shows such as the British Motor Yacht Show held there every May.  My Princess magazine spoke to Alan Knight, Brand Sales Manager for the Princess Yachts range of boats…

Meet the Princess Team – Alan Knight

Name                    Alan Knight

Job Title                Brand Sales Manager

Office                    Princess Motor Yacht Sales, Swanwick, Southampton

What is your role within Princess Motor Yacht Sales and how long have you worked here?

‘I originally joined the Princess family in 1990, where I started on the valeting and boat preparation for the sales side of the business.  Over time I assisted with the aftersales and service department, and then following on to managing some of the UK and European contractors and our aftersales relationship with the Princess Yachts factory from one of our sites.  Whilst building relationships with our customers, I naturally began to firstly be a conduit to the sales team, before starting to sell boats directly.  In 2007, I was fortunate to become the Sales Manager at one of our sites, a role which has now evolved to being the Princess Brand Sales Manager, assisting the Princess Motor Yacht Sales Group with their requirements, from the sales of Princess craft throughout our territories to marketing and events.  It’s great for customers to meet the Princess team.’

Have you always worked in yachting and the luxury sector?

‘Growing up by the water, I worked with boats before I left education so it was an easy choice.  After working a few days on site, I was introduced to the local Princess dealer, where my journey with Princess began from the age of 16.  Throughout this time, my journey has placed me at the heart of the luxury sector where I have been able to meet people from the top levels of almost every industry, which has been a fascinating insight into how they have found their success.’

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

‘In our industry, we often see the private family space of a successful person.  Watching families taking delivery of their new boats and seeing those families enjoying valuable time on the water has always been rewarding and as the years have gone by, the children of some of those earlier families have grown up and I am now experiencing them returning and buying boats to continue enjoying their time on the water with their young families.  The down side of this is the realisation that I must also be getting a little older!’

What’s your favourite yacht and why?

‘Working with the brand for so many years makes this question almost impossible to answer.  From my earlier years, the Princess 266 Riviera was such a fun boat to drive and it was the first that I ever sold on the last day and final minutes of the London Boat Show.  From the current range, I am excited for the new Princess S65, which offers a superb balance of performance and space for an owner skippered yacht.  Princess design every model with a particular customer in mind, so whether you are looking for that luxury apartment on water or a timeless design with a heritage of performance and quality of build, there will be a Princess for you.’

Can you tell us about a favourite moment at Princess Motor Yacht Sales?

‘I joined the team that led several customer boats from the UK on a cruise that took us up the River Seine in France, almost to the centre of Paris.  The scenery was amazing and the flotilla of boats was magical for not only us to see, but also for those passing by.  Whilst I could only be a part of the journey there and had to jump on the less exciting Eurostar home, the round trip took them roughly two weeks and I doubt that anyone on that trip will ever forget the experience.’

Where would you recommend yacht owners to explore?

‘Swanwick Marina forms part of the River Hamble, and the entrance leads out on to the Solent, which offers a fantastic variety of boating, from the picturesque Beaulieu River to the more lively scenes that can be found in Cowes, especially during the famous Cowes week, when the Solent truly comes alive.  There are so many places to explore if you can only escape for a few days.  With more time available, you have the option to take your yacht across to France and the Channel Islands, or head West, exploring the Jurassic coastline and further to Devon for the beautiful surroundings of Dartmouth and Salcombe.’

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

‘With two children, my wife and I lead a busy life outside the world of Princess, but when time allows, I enjoy a mixture of activities, from fun cars to a rekindled connection with motorbikes.  And on the right days, we like getting out on the water in our RIB, which is a favourite with our dog who gets super excited when she sees her lifejacket!  Living close to the coast allows us to enjoy the beaches and we are also very lucky to have the New Forest National Park on our doorstep.’

For further information about the Swanwick office in Southampton, and to meet the Princess team, visit: