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Old 04-11-2016, 11:33   #1
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How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Dear All,

I currently own an ELAN 450, and as a sailor I've been asked by a good friend of mine to help gather some feedback on a business he's developing specifically to support yacht owners/captains/sailors.

His concept is to provide an around the clock "concierge" style service that would be able to manage any request, any where, any time. Thus allowing an Owner/Sailor/Captain to get back to enjoying their time.

These requests could range from anything such as arranging berths, provisions, fuel, laundry to more complex request requests such as assistance with registration, legal, Insurance. As well as the marine services the "concierge" would be able to book flights, hotels, hire cars etc etc. Ultimately it would be a luxury lifestyle concierge that has a focus on the marine industry.

So what I would like to find out is...

1, If such a service existed would you see a benefit in having it?
(Y/N)

2, What price would you expect to pay for membership an all inclusive concierge per month?

3, Would you kind enough to provide an example of a time when this sort of service would have been useful?

If you can include the boat you own/sail and where you keep it, within your answer, I would be most grateful.

Thank you so very much in advance.
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:23   #2
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Interesting concept - a friend of mine used to have a company that did the same thing for private aircraft and I think your market will be the same people. High income, little time to plan, limited time to research, unlimited (or nearly) budget. Target areas like Miami, Newport, Bahamas, San Diego come to mind. I think the market is there, but not a huge one.

Another customer might be a newly retired couple with a relatively new boat getting used to the lifestyle and want a little guidance. As they gain experience they will probably need the services less, but if their budget permits, may use the service as long as they cruise.

No idea what they would pay, it's a niche market. I imagine if you offered tiers or levels of service they could pick and choose and customize the product. I really don't think your customer is a year round cruiser, but I very well could be wrong.

Good luck to your friend - it'll be interesting to follow this!
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Old 04-11-2016, 16:53   #3
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

I don't understand how your mate could possibly offer "anywhere, any time service" to cruisers. We move about too much... he'd have to have personnel in too many places, or intimate knowledge of the areas himself.

Or have I misunderstood what you wrote? If he was thinking of doing these services in a fixed location, I think there are already such firms in some yachting centers. I have no idea how successful they are.

To me, it sounds like a horrible way to earn a living, but that's a personal reaction, not a logical one!

Jim
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:29   #4
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Elan.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:02   #5
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I don't understand how your mate could possibly offer "anywhere, any time service" to cruisers. We move about too much... he'd have to have personnel in too many places, or intimate knowledge of the areas himself.

Or have I misunderstood what you wrote? If he was thinking of doing these services in a fixed location, I think there are already such firms in some yachting centers. I have no idea how successful they are.

To me, it sounds like a horrible way to earn a living, but that's a personal reaction, not a logical one!

Jim
He never mentioned cruisers.

That said, there are services that cater to cruisers in partially the same fashion as he's talking about. St. Brendan's Isle forwards my mail, renews my CC docs, and will get a part or other marine supplies and send it to me, pretty much wherever I am. All for less than the price of renting a PO box, almost.

To the OP, I think there may be a market out there, but it's likely limited and small if you're talking about a super high end concierge service. Yes it would be useful, yes I can think of situations where I would have used it. Could I afford what you're talking about? No. I would think price would vary depending on the level of service. I think your friend would need to offer several levels of service. Something like St. Brendan's Isle would be basic (and you'd need to offer that as a basis for a lot of other offerings, anyway), and you go up from there.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:05   #6
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

no i would not use a service. i donot need one now. i do my own stuff.
i stay with my boat.
i do have a question --how would the remotest areas be serviced by this individual? he would have to have airplanes and personnel, raising the minimum fees required for making a profit to somewhere above prohibitive.
many of these remotest of areas have no access by land. some have 4wd accessible dirt landing strips.
some have not even that.
is there to be a provision for motorcades? some areas are not especially safe for those exhibiting wealth.
is this service to be used solely within usa?? or internationally ?
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:47   #7
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

I would use a service like this. However, if I were building this business I would focus on a region like the Caribbean.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:03   #8
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

there are companies that offer a similar service to corporate jet operators but those corporations have gobs of money. since they have to cater to requests from around the world it requires teams working three shifts a day, not a meager task. here's the real kicker though. these services are also offered by these aviation companies to those jet owners who also own a yatch and i believe that dedicated yacht service companies already exist. so how will you compete with experienced service companies? and finally, if you have to ask the price you can't afford it.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:03   #9
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Oyster yachts operates a service like the OP described free of charge to Oyster owners with no product mark-up of items ordered. Works out nice.

I don't think people will pay extra for the service, but maybe it can be structured like a retail enterprise.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:05   #10
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Charter boat crews already do essentially what you described and I doubt that market segment would depend on others for those services. The majority of cruisers are on a limited budget further decreasing the set of potential customers. What remains is the real market question you need to research which is easier said than done as it encompasses a rather subjective range. Further complicating the research is the wide range of infrastructure throughout even a relatively small area like the Caribbean which exists to provide similar services.

Then you have to consider most cruisers are independent type personalities reluctant to be dependent on others.

The more I think about it, this sounds like government work. Expensive and of limited value.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:09   #11
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

It is called an agent and has been around forever. A good agent Is your mail service, mail forwarder, fuel arranger. Dockage arranger, ect. Mostly used by ships or larger yachts, but a good one can arrange to have whatever you want waiting at your next port. They usually work off the discounts they have from providers and a monthly fee for other services.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:30   #12
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

As a less experienced sailor and non-mechanically oriented physician, I find it a blessing to have fallen into the a situation in Tortola where I have a Yacht manager capable of getting things done when needed and advising as time goes on. I am learning a tremendous amount and maintaining a level of safety necessary at this stage of life. That being said I am working by computer part time and have the money to spend on the boat. I pay a $150 per month retainer and a percentage on all work done. I would not have it any other way now, but I will not require it after a year or two. It serves its purpose and I recommend it highly.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:03   #13
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elan450Sailor View Post
Dear All,

I currently own an ELAN 450, and as a sailor I've been asked by a good friend of mine to help gather some feedback on a business he's developing specifically to support yacht owners/captains/sailors.

His concept is to provide an around the clock "concierge" style service that would be able to manage any request, any where, any time. Thus allowing an Owner/Sailor/Captain to get back to enjoying their time.

These requests could range from anything such as arranging berths, provisions, fuel, laundry to more complex request requests such as assistance with registration, legal, Insurance. As well as the marine services the "concierge" would be able to book flights, hotels, hire cars etc etc. Ultimately it would be a luxury lifestyle concierge that has a focus on the marine industry.

So what I would like to find out is...

1, If such a service existed would you see a benefit in having it?
(Y/N)

2, What price would you expect to pay for membership an all inclusive concierge per month?

3, Would you kind enough to provide an example of a time when this sort of service would have been useful?

If you can include the boat you own/sail and where you keep it, within your answer, I would be most grateful.

Thank you so very much in advance.
Sounds like a unique idea. Probably not for those in my income class but wish him luck. Sounds as though those with captained yachts it would be valuable for the captain.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:20   #14
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

FWIW, there are already concierge services out there. Here's an example: On-Demand Yacht Management: ?Yacht Care On Autopilot? - boats.com

(Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with this company...found it on a Google search. That, and I live in Egypt!)

My last boat, a 40-meter luxury yacht in the Red Sea which I helped build in Alexandria, Egypt, outfitted and served as the Engineer for the following 2 years, used a concierge service based out of Germany with pretty poor results through no fault of the company....Egyptian government red tape, customs delays and fees for importation of repair parts/upgrades into the country were the problem, even using local lawyers and government agents for assistance. Money was rarely an issue with the owner, but customs fees up to 150% of the value of an imported item seems a bit ridiculous when they tell you that there will be a 3 week delay before releasing said item. Something the OP needs to consider when his friend intends to provide service "anytime/anywhere".
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Old 05-11-2016, 13:12   #15
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Re: How much is dedicated yacht support worth?

Sounds like a nightmare. Have used a similar service on Tortola, out of necessity, but always felt ripped off.
On the other hand I knew a person who did nothing but supply select wines to super yachts and did quite well.
Establishing these contacts is no small matter. Maintaining one large yacht is a full-time endeavor by itself and dealing with some of these owners is a task I would wish on my enemies.
Good luck.
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