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Old 06-02-2018, 00:18   #16
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I suspect the difficulty has less to do with the oddity of your boat and more to do with the size.

You likely aren't popping off to the local west marine for an off the shelf anchor, you are going to have to special order it. It's going to be the same for a lot of pieces and parts you buy.

Reality is they are simply focusing on the market where they make most of their sales and the proverbial 45' sailboat and 35' powerboat fit that market. You are probably better off calling them up after the show when they are more likely to have time to figure out how to meet your unusual needs.

As far as invisibility: I understand the frustration but reality is I'm betting 90% plus of the sales is driven by the guy. It's not right but a salesman who worries more about social justice doesn't make nearly as many sales. If you walk up and they don't know you from adam, you are a low odds target. As long as there are targets with better odds for a sale, that's where they will focus.

We did find it interesting that when we went to boat shows before we had a boat, we were often ignored but oddly as soon as we got our first cruising boat, suddenly they took us more seriously. As far as we could tell, we didn't dress or act differently.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:58   #17
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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The problem being none of the salespeople wanted to take the time necessary to determine which equipment would work on our boat and then sell it. We're 60 tons so ground tackle is pretty important.
If the boat is "Pacific High" I think you'll find that your boat weighs only 44tons and the 60 tons is your register tonnage (which has nothing to do with weight).
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:35   #18
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

We had a similar experience several years ago at the Jack London Square boatshow. My wife was blown off by salesmen. We were living aboard a boat we'd owned for 6 months preparing to leave for points south, and had a fairly lengthy shopping list. But salesmen would push past her as she asked questions to get to a man they assumed had the authority to purchase things. So we started sending her in first to ask about whatever they were hawking. If she was blown off I would talk to them then tell them that due to their misogyny we would continue looking. We spent a couple of grand there, but went home and bought more online. Sad
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:46   #19
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I go every year to the Chicago show and spend Thur- Fri. asking all my questions and have found most if not all vendors very helpful. Those days are not busy and they can give you plenty of time. My only gripe is quite a few ask what kind of boat you have and they all say “ I love those boats”. Mines a little unusual and I don’t think they have any idea what it really is.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:50   #20
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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Redhead girl, you are not alone!

and geez golly, it never occurred to me before how INVISIBLE i am without a man! and this, even when i'm trying to get someone's attention because I have a question (and MONEY IN MY POCKET ready to be spent!).

:
It is not only women. I am over 6 feet tall and boat shows are just the worst of everything. It is normal to be passed by several times while waiting to ask simple questions. And then have everyone go to lunch or just disappear except for the sole "expert" who is tied up with a man on a power trip and wants full attention.

If Redhead wants help, she might try going into the back at Fisheries Supply in Seattle on a week day when they are not packed. There are places like that scattered around.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:58   #21
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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I came to the depressing conclusion that the ideal customer has a 45' Catalina or a 35' SeaRay and anyone else can just go sing.
I feel your pain. I went to the Minneapolis boat show last year. There weren't any sailboats or sailing-related exhibits. None.

There were some nice dinghy displays, and I looked at electronics, and there were some innovative things for building your own dock, which I found interesting even though I cannot afford lakeshore real estate. That's all I really got out of it.

Mainly they were selling pontoon boats, which have taken over the local market. There were a few of the sort of fishing boats that everyone around here likes, usually around 18' long, beamy, very little freeboard, in your choice of aluminum or glass. And a couple of wakeboarding boats, which I think are an abomination for the amount of shoreline erosion they cause.


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I waited at the Garmin exhibit for 10 minutes waiting for someone to ask if they could help and they just went from man to man to man, assuming I was just another lady waiting for my husband to finish up (and believe me, I'm not a flag waver, but really?).
I am sorry for your experience, and hope that the world changes.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:31   #22
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

If you are still looking for winches, try sailboat wrecking yard 360 739-8748.
He has 2 new large winches that might work for you at 1/2 the original store cost
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:46   #23
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

The unusual , be it houses, cars, boats or whatever is always penalized by the market. Sellers are limited to the small minorities who appreciate their product. The reality is that a sale at fair value will take much longer than a common boat.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:51   #24
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

If it's any consolation to anybody, the Vancouver Boat Show is just the same.

We are not doing ourselves any favours by pretending that builders of serious boats will be spending time and money to exhibit at venues that cater to connoisseurs of toy boats. They would, IMO, be quite daft to do so. Anyone interested in a serious boat will be doing "homework" on the internet these days - of which CF is abundant proof.

I have a maxim that I believe is as relevant to "sales representatives" as to other "professionals": "When you employ a professional, you should know as much about the problem at hand as does the professional. Else you cannot monitor the quality of his work, nor supervise and direct him appropriately."

If you take such a position seriously, you will be doing the "homework", and the "professional" is reduced to the status of errand boy. In my own field it is important to remember that what a good accountant can do FOR you, he can also do TO you :-) Thus the need for the ability to supervise and monitor. There are certain fields of endeavour where a licence is required to operate, of course. Flogging boats and gear at a boat show is not one of them :-)

What the "sales associates" at a boat show can tell you about the products they are there to flog, you can glean faster and cheaper from the manufactures' printed matter and InterNet sites. That's where the "associates" get it from in the first place, so just "cut out the middleman"

Grump :-)!

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Old 06-02-2018, 10:56   #25
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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Originally Posted by KP44 View Post
It is not only women. I am over 6 feet tall and boat shows are just the worst of everything. It is normal to be passed by several times while waiting to ask simple questions. And then have everyone go to lunch or just disappear except for the sole "expert" who is tied up with a man on a power trip and wants full attention.

If Redhead wants help, she might try going into the back at Fisheries Supply in Seattle on a week day when they are not packed. There are places like that scattered around.
I have found the staff at Fisheries Supply to be friendly, and knowledgeable. You can phone them for an appointment to discuss your specific purchasing situations.
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:33   #26
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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...I have a maxim that I believe is as relevant to "sales representatives" as to other "professionals": "When you employ a professional, you should know as much about the problem at hand as does the professional. Else you cannot monitor the quality of his work, nor supervise and direct him appropriately."..... remember that what a good accountant can do FOR you, he can also do TO you :-).....
Well you just never know what pearls of wisdom you'll find scattered on these threads. Seriously, that's just what I needed to hear right now, thanks. (Now back to the thread.)
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Old 06-02-2018, 13:00   #27
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Try Seattle Marine Supply on Commodore Way - they are the "fishing boat people" someone else suggested. They probably stock everything you will want in the larger sizes - for them it will be the "smaller" sizes! I used to have a 42' steel schooner, and they became my default boat stuff store. They have people working there who know something about boats, not "clerks" with smartphones and headsets and the standard response "we can have it hear by Friday."
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Old 06-02-2018, 13:50   #28
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

44’ Steel cutter. Yup, we are outside their sales sweet spot.

Look at it from their perspective. They want to cater to the most likely and least hassle buyer so as to minimize their investment and maximize profit. That is not us.

I’m betting the most “typical” sail boater ( the biggest share of the market) has a 35’ boat that leaves the dock fewer than 10 times a year and seldom spends a night on the hook, maybe one week a year. Less than 25 miles from their home dock. That is their sweet spot.

You can’t blame them, we are just fishing in the wrong pond.
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Old 06-02-2018, 14:03   #29
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I don't understand these complaints. The guy selling a $3000 - $10,000 windlass, a $2000 refrigerator or $5,000 davits does not care what kind of boat you have, he just wants to sell stuff.

As to women being ignored, I agree and that does bother me. As soon as a sales rep starts talking only to me, I walk away and force him to deal with my wife.
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Old 06-02-2018, 14:48   #30
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Redhead,

I last attended the Seattle Boat show in 2015. I learned a lot, but walked away carrying an equal amount of frustration.

I found it a mixed bag. Large brand names typically had few staff around that knew anything, and I learned many on the show floor were temporary hires just for that show. Smaller companies often had the founders/inventers there so you could learn all you wanted once you made contact...

I walked away realizing it is no different that asking for building advice at Home Depot... But they sometimes have some of the stuff you might need- but you better know what that is ahead of time...

My other observation in the industry is that many companies are morphing toward the car parts store model: They can look up what pully fits on your alternator from the automobile information, but not if you give them an alternator model number... But oh, they can't just sell the pulley.... how about a complete alternator? [I'm making up this example...]

This type of parts mentality is also intrinsic in some boat owners. [I see it on this forum; e.g., 'Does anyone know what bulb I need for the light fixture in the aft head of my xxxx boat?' Another contrived example...]

The bottom line is I believe it is intrinsic upon us to specify and then research and discover/decide/consult what we need and then seek the best purchase value. I realize you were hopeful to achieve some of this with those representing varios vendors at the boat show, but... [Home Depot...]

I can't imagine the boat show responses I would have received when I was replacing the windlass on our boat only a couple of years ago. The manufacturers under consideration were not even at the show, nor were they represented there...

Please don't let this experience slow down your momentum toward achieving escape velocity. You may have to scan beyond the retail sources for advice.

And if I have a point at all it might be that [besides comiserating with you...] typically few of the vendor representatives at the boat show are worth your time, but it is an opportunity to see and touch things, and gather literature...

Best wishes completing your remaining outfitting and getting out on the water!

Cheers! Bill
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