His tall figure has been a well-recognized presence around the typhoon shelter ever since he berthed his yacht alongside the Aberdeen Marina Club in Hong Kong almost 40 years ago. In those days, Mike Simpson was a one-man band, living aboard his boat, meeting fellow sailors and occasionally, over a beer or two, selling them a yacht. Now he heads one of Asia’s leading yacht sales, charter and management companies, with a team of almost 100 based in 12 locations across the region, from Singapore to Bali. And yet this freedom-loving Englishman had never intended to build a business at all.
Although Simpson says that he’s told his story several times, it’s a yarn well worth repeating. “If you want to start from the beginning,” he says, “I came to Asia to build a yacht for myself, in Taiwan, with the intention of sailing it around the world. For about 10 or 12 years before that, I’d been traveling in different parts of the world on foot and by boat, and I’d ended up in Greece running a yacht charter fleet.
“My girlfriend at the time was a keen sailor who’d helped to deliver a yacht back from Taiwan and told me what great boats they built there. In those days I wasn’t terribly impressed with the Taiwan-built sailing yachts I’d seen, which were clipper-bowed and heavily built, but one day a beautiful 46-foot, center-cockpit cutter sailed into Mandraki harbor in Rhodes, where I was working. I wandered over, introduced myself, and the owner showed me around – and it turned out that it was built in Taiwan.”
Convinced, the pair decided to head out to Asia, where they’d build their dream yacht; this was at the tail end of the 1970s. “The idea was to sail around the world – though, of course, we’d have to make some money to cover our costs en route. Maybe we’d charter the yacht or work on other people’s yachts, or in a boatyard – you did whatever you could to earn money on the way, that’s how it used to be.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Building A Legacy
As industry leaders and advocates, Harpreet Bedi And Nana Au-Chua are leaving behind beliefs, lessons and a better world not just for their own children, but also future generations.
Luxury Wellness Destinations To Help You Restore Balance And Vitality
These luxury wellness destinations tap into the wisdom and practices of millennia-old well-being philosophies to help you restore balance and vitality, discovers Crystal Lee.
Fanty Soenardy On Parenting, Her Values And Passions
Now that her two children are entering adulthood, Fanty Soenardy is also embarking on the next phase of her life. In celebration of mother’s day this month, she chats with annabel tan about parenting, her values and passions.
From Skin Tints To Blush, All You Need For A Flawless Visage
From skin tints to blush, these newest launches are all you need for a flawless visage.
Choi Seung Hyun Tells Where He's Been And Where He's Going
It’s been five years since South Korean rapper Choi Seung Hyun – better known as T.O.P of popular pop group BigBang – disappeared from the public eye. Now he’s back, with plenty to say about where he’s been and where he’s going. Prestige catches up with him over an artistic shoot.
And We're Rolling
Rolex has played a leading role in some of cinema’s greatest hits, but the Swiss watch manufacture’s relationship with filmmaking is cemented in a greater passion to further creative excellence in this field.
Call It The Swap Or The Hack
Call it The Swap or The Hack, a collaboration by any other name would be as sweet and significant, concludes Jacquie Ang
Crème De La Creme
After a two-year hiatus, Watches and Wonders Geneva 2022 made a triumphant return with a week-long exhibition this March. Brands impressed with a wide array of novelties ranging from additions to core collections to new movements to high-watchmaking objects. Here, we take a look at the most exciting releases in the first of a three-part report.
Antoni Gaudí's Life, Career, And Tragic Final Days
The Antoni Gaudí Retrospective, on now at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, shines a spotlight on one man's unique vision and lasting legacy. Bruce Scott takes a closer look at his life, his career, and his tragic final days.
Louis Vuitton's Latest Horological Objets
Louis Vuitton wows with its latest horological objets, which include three playful timepieces featuring its charming mascot, Vivienne, and a new iteration of the Tambour Spin Time that harnesses technology for an enhanced time display. Allyson Klass reports.
Yachting – 5 Expert Tips
How to put together a winning team
The Yacht Guide
The yacht space is getting bigger and better with time and with waterways being a safer way of commute amidst the pandemic, here’s a list of what is new for you or what has been updated or what a totally new segment has to offer.
How Do You Offset Making Too Much Leeway?
A question of seamanship
Premieres & Newcomers
Yacht Style provides an overview of this year’s exciting new models, with most on display at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival and/or Monaco Yacht Show, some having shown earlier in the year and a couple making their debuts in other autumn shows around Europe.
Rolex Fastnet's “Coup De Cherbourg”
Fierce sou’west winds gusting 30 knots greeted 337 yachts starting the Rolex Fastnet Race, as the 49th edition of this famous offshore classic set off not for Plymouth as usual, but for Cherbourg in France, via Ireland’s Fastnet Rock.
Technical Check For Water In Your Petrol
Petrol in tanks, whether for your yacht or tender, can go off. Ken Endean suggests an annual precaution
Success For The Spirits
Sailing And Sunshine Topped With Silverware
Embracing The Curves
Azimut’s new 38m Grande Trideck flagship brings the outdoors in with four terraces.
The Cat Meows
The era of the multi-hulled motor yacht has arrived.
The Theory Of Everything
Encompassing art, culture, science, and technology, CEO Aaron Olivera’s Earth 300 mega yacht could potentially herald humanity’s second renaissance