Tim Quinlan bio

As a standout character in the yachting industry, Ocean Independence sales broker Tim Quinlan knows a great deal about the world of sailing.

Regularly indulging his all-encompassing passion for the sea, Tim is an enthusiastic and capable yachtsman with a list of notable highlights under his belt. Since 1987, when his sailing prowess was put to task as a charter skipper cruising extensively across the eastern Med, Tim’s diverse nautical career has included more race weeks, refits and yard visits than most people can claim in a lifetime. As race crew in the Jubilee Regatta, La Nioulargue, Antigua Race Week, Cork Week, Cowes Week and an unfurling list of significant races, he has a wealth of hands on experience and the in-depth knowledge that comes with it.

From a technical perspective, Tim has fully immersed himself in all aspects of yacht building, amassing an intricate understanding of the construction process and fostering ongoing relationships with yards worldwide. Today Tim is an authority in this arena, offering expert knowledge on all aspects of building, refitting and operating superyachts and is well-versed across a wide variety of topics including European VAT and import/export issues.

Pinpointing his expertise even further, Tim specialises in yachts from the well-known performance sailing shipyard, Nautor’s Swan, making him the go-to source for those looking to buy or sell within this range of luxury sailing yachts. Successfully selling over 100 Swan yachts so far in his career, his proven professional and individual service is highly valued within the sailing yacht industry.


Tim Quinan Sunreef 43M Eco sailing catamaran in build 2023/24/25

Due for delivery at the 2025 Monaco Yacht Show, the 43m SUNREEF eco-yacht, is a catamaran that makes use of ultramodern technology to produce the most autonomous, emission-free luxury cruising yacht available on the market. A remarkable story that started six years ago at a Client meeting in London ended with the signing of a contract to build this eco-yacht at the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show.

We met with our very own Tim Quinlan (the broker behind this incredible story) to find out more about how he and the Ocean Independence Team made it all happen.


Back in 2017, a long-standing Ocean Independence charter Client expressed an interest in making a step into the world of superyacht ownership to their Ocean Independence Charter Broker (Rebecca Pattinson). The brief was specifically for a large catamaran with the romance of sailing, and the space of a motor yacht for the best of both worlds.


Nautor’s Swan sailing yachts in regatta​

Drawing on his personal love for Swan yachts, Tim remembers how his father described them as the finest sailing yachts in the world. It is notable that all classic offshore global races still feature large numbers of Nautor’s Swans racing, including the RORC Fastnet and the Sydney Hobart races, to name but a few. Having participated on board Swan 65’s, 44’s and 45’s in offshore races and completed the 1971 ARC trans-Atlantic Race in his own Swan 40, Tim’s affinity with these remarkable vessels is tangible. “It is exciting to think that Swan have won numerous prestigious races including Cowes Week in 1968 and the Bermuda Race in 1972. This was followed by even bigger success in 1974, when a ketch rigged Swan 65 named SAYULA II won the first ever Whitbread Round the World Race. There is even a feature on it in a 2016 documentary called The Weekend Sailor.”

Started in 1967 by Pekka Koskenkylä, the Nautor’s Swan shipyard in Pietarsaari, Finland has been one of Tim’s regular haunts for many years. both with clients and to manage new builds. Here he has met German Frers and his son Mani, who have both designed some of the most iconic Swans spanning over 30 years.

Indeed, over the years Swan have been associated with the world’s finest yacht designers, such as the legendary talent of Sparkman and Stephens who have been involved with offshore racing success, the Americas Cup and a huge number of cruising yachts. Appreciating the pleasure of owning two S&S designed yachts, one of which was a classic Swan 40 from 1971, it is easy to understand the circumstances that underpin Tim’s brand loyalty.

“People often ask me what my favourite Swan yacht is”, says Tim. “Looking back it has to be my very own Swan 40, FINNDABAR OF HOWTH, with fond memories of our Atlantic adventures. Today, for sale, CHILD OF LIR is definitely top of my list.”

Tim’s many experiences of successful sales and proud owners are testament to the quality and versatility of the Nautor’s Swan range. “My last visit to the yard was to launch the new build Swan 82 PTARMIGAN. The owner was a previous swan owner (I also sold his Swan 77 previously) and he and the family were very proud of their new yacht. She was also available for charter and, after a very successful four years, I then sold her to an American client who has cruised her in the Med, across the Atlantic and up the US eastern seaboard to his home port near New York.”

Swan yacht Island Fling​

The Swan legacy is supported by passionate owners and crew, fuelled by a strong sense of family and unified in the culmination of Club Swan, where like-minded sailors join together for global regattas. Indeed, Swan were the first yard back in the 1980’s to start a regular regatta in Sardinia, which has now become a time-honoured tradition for these performance vessels.

As a club member himself, all aspects of ownership are fully appreciated by Tim, and he reiterates that buying a Swan is about more than just owning a yacht. Upon delivery, you are custodian of a beautiful piece of yachting history to pass on to the next generation. Superbly designed with unmatched build quality and sailing performance, the 50 years of Swan heritage continues to go from strength to strength.

As part of a diverse range of yachts, Tim regularly represents Nautor’s Swan sailing yachts for sale, offering a wealth of dedicated knowledge and experience to those looking to join this exclusive club. Get in touch for more information.

A masterpiece of unpretentious luxury and a symbol of exceptionalism, DREAMCATCHER is no exception to Nautor’s Swan’s strong reputation for sailing performance and luxury. Equipped with a 119’ carbon mast, a carbon Park Avenue boom and a full set of North 3DL sails, DREAMCATCHER’s performance and speed are something to behold.

Recounting yet another Swan 82 he has worked with, Tim mentions, “a memorable visit to the yard was to launch the new build Swan 82 PTARMIGAN. The Owner was a previous Swan Owner (I had sold his Swan 77) and he and the family were incredibly proud of their new 82. She was also chartered, and after a very successful four years, I then sold her to an American Client who cruised her in the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, and up the US eastern seaboard to his home port near New York.”

Sold as an Ocean Independence in-house deal, Tim clearly has an eye for quality. Boasting a timeless German Frers design, 1993 CAPERCAILLIE’s elegant shape, smooth surfaces and clean lines still look as good as ever.


Few vessels stand out for their exquisite design and performance quite like 39m TENAZ (formerly known as S/Y Mamamouchi). Expertly crafted by the acclaimed Pendennis and Dubois team in 1996, TENAZ was born with an ambition: to merge supreme seaworthiness, breathtaking speed under sail, and unparalleled elegance. Effortlessly combining modern design sensibilities with traditional yachting values. A glance at her sleek, minimalist profile confirms these objectives were more than achieved; they were surpassed.

Tim’s involvement with TENAZ isn’t just a one-off. He has had the distinct honour of finding a new Owner for this stunning yacht on two occasions, underlining his eye for quality and knack for presenting the finest yachts available both on and off the market.


Built to Lloyds class specifications, 33 metre SPADA was launched in 1998 by the renowned Dutch yard Hakvoort. A quintessential gentleman’s motor yacht with a graceful canoe stern design and an air of true class, she was acquired in 2021 through the adept brokerage of Tim and Ocean Independence Sales Director Toby Maclaurin.


A 29.41 metre superyacht crafted by Princess Yachts in 2009, MAESTRO OF GIBRALTAR is one of 13 in the Princess 95 series. She carries a uniquely dignified design, thanks to the expertise of renowned designer and naval architect Bernard Olesinski. With 272 yachts designed and the naval architecture of 240 yachts to his name, Olesinski’s mark of precision and attention to detail is a quality Tim greatly respects.


Continuing Tim’s theme of finding his Clients yachts that combine peak aesthetic design with an undeniable level of engineering distinction, QUANTUM boasts award-winning interior and exterior styling from Sarco Design. Whilst her 27 knot top speed, shallow draught, and Peri Yachts pedigree means she has a sporty turn of pace, and has garnered significant popularity in the Mediterranean yacht charter market.


In the substantial repertoire of listings Tim has managed, CONTESSINA undoubtedly stands out. Initially brought into the fold by Ocean Independence CEO Peter Hürzeler, she is the only Superba 86 model in existence.

Built in Italy by the Bugari shipyard and launched in 2004, the sale of 26 metre Ex Blue Florentine, Meow and now CONTESSINA is a tangible testament to Tim’s adaptable approach and deep-seated knowledge within the yacht brokerage sphere, showcasing his capability to professionally handle the unique challenges presented with the sale of a one-off vessel.


Tim once again proved his ability to match unique yachts with the perfect Owners, facilitating the sale of the 25-metre motor yacht OCI CIORNIE. Crafted by Palmer Johnson and designed by Don Shead in 1998, the yacht features a vintage aircraft-inspired interior, an aluminium hull, and a composite superstructure.

However, the yacht’s conversation piece is without question the Codag system, which combines two MTU diesel engines with a Lycoming gas turbine, pushing her to a top speed of 60 knots, and remaining one of the fastest luxury yachts on the water today.