From the Flybridge- Episode #5 – Angel Veliz
HMY Yachts “From the Flybridge” is back with podcast episode number five. Listen in as we talk with Angel Veliz, three-time new Viking owner, and business tycoon. Hear his inspiring story of how he built his success from humble Cuban immigrant beginnings. Angel is a long-time family friend of ours who enjoys tournament fishing, spending time at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club, and teaching his grandkids about the joys of being on the water.
Here is a preview of the podcast below. For the whole episode, click here.
Angel: I only owned the 45' for a year or a year and a half, and we were using the boat a lot. I remember we put like 800 hours on the boat in a year or something and everybody was amazed. They thought I was a commercial fisherman or a charter boat or something, but we were having a lot of fun in them. We bought the 52'. We really didn't look at anything else and I honestly haven't looked seriously into another boat at all. The amazing part about Viking is not how the boat looks. It's the service that they give you; how they stand behind their product and the brand that they've become, and how innovative they are. If you look at a Viking that was four or five years old and you look at not only the looks of the boat but the engineering, they're an incredible company and so is HMY. Steve and all his people that work with him and around him to support him are incredible.
Alexie Creary: So the 45' and 52' were both new boats, right?
Alexie Creary: Did you build those out or?
Angel: The 45' was a boat that I believe was coming into HMY and sometimes there's a bit of a waiting list, and I wanted to have a boat sooner than later. So we went ahead and got the 45'. The 52' we had we were able to build it, and it was a lot of fun. My wife loves going to Gretna and we went like three times there. She loves to have lunch at the cafeteria over there at the factory, she thinks it's the best one in the world. It's very impressive how they build these boats and how they're able to come out with an incredible product.
Alexie Creary: So you said you've flown up to the factory? What is it like, you know getting to walk down the line and see the boat where it's at, and production? You see every dynamic that goes into building your boat. What were you most impressed with at the factory?
Angel: You know, the factory has changed a lot from the time that I went to see that 52' to the time from the 55' that we have now, that we bought three and a half years ago. That was a boat that was being finished to go to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and Steve called me and told me about the boat and we fell in love with it. And again we were able to agree on a number and we bought the boat.
The thing for me that impressed me the most, I know people are gonna think I'm crazy, is how they lay out the wiring.
Alexie Creary: Yes!
Angel: It's like, you know, it's unbelievable and you look at where all these wires are going to, and am I really carrying all these wires when I'm going out there fishing and just the overall attitude of everybody that works there. The people there work as a team and they get along with each other. They are treated incredibly well by Viking. I think that everybody is happy there, you don't go there and see people that are unhappy. I think those are a lot of the things that I remember and took out of my visits.
Alexie Creary: Building a brand new boat has to be a huge decision and is something you worked really hard for what does that feel like when you finally see that boat on delivery day?
Angel: It's pretty neat and as you know when it comes out of Viking it goes to Palm Beach, you still don't have your tower so that was put on later. So once you actually see it, they're coming out of Palm Beach. That's a very neat feeling. I remember I took my parents when we got the 52' to the marina to see it and they got so emotional because they thought the boat was so beautiful and they were very happy for the accomplishment that I had. Being able to buy the boat, but you know, it wasn't a hard decision to build a new boat with Viking because once you develop the relationship and the trust, it's not like going to someone and saying, "okay I want to build a boat," but you're not sure what's going to happen. You knew what was going to happen. You know, we're going to get a great boat, you know you're going to get the backing of Viking and HMY, and so it was a very easy decision for us at that point.
Alexie Creary: That's a huge testament to Viking. They have a well-oiled machine going on there and they're really dialed in. I couldn't agree more with that.