luxury market

Toys for Those Who Made it

Luxury boats are reflecting in the sunglasses of a visitor during the 23rd Monaco Yacht show in Monaco
Luxury boat makers worldwide compete fiercely for the bling buck. Source: Reuters

At Traun Lake in the heart of Austria’s Salzkammergut Lake District, a huge logistics center on the outskirts obscures the Alpine foothills. The highway to Salzburg drones in the distance. At first sight, the Frauscher boatyard has little in the way of romance to recommend it.

Yet inside, the factory makes made-to-measure luxury motorboats. Smooth-hulled toys for the ostentatiously successful. “Whenever I flip through a business magazine, I see many of our clients,” Michael Frauscher says. “But for reasons of discretion, we never reveal names.”

Michael and his brother Stefan are the third generation of his family to run the boatyard. Their grandfather, Engelbert Frauscher, started out modestly in Gmunden, the main town on Traun Lake, building small sailing boats. Nowadays, Frauscher is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury motorboats.

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