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Old 05-02-2018, 11:41   #1
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Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Just came back from 3 days at the Seattle Boat Show. We had a long list of things we needed and were prepared to buy. We need a remote engine control that would couple with the Autopilot remote. We didn't know if we needed drogues or not. We needed to know if windvane self steering systems would work on our very high stern, thinking of a new Maxwell windlass. And we needed to know, needed to buy, needed to know how to install, etc., and so on.

Now we're not rich and we're not poor. We have a big boat and know very well that we'll be buying the upper sizes of everything. We've budgeted and have a priority list. We've priced most of the stuff online. We're pretty sure we know what we need unless you know something you'd like to teach us and then we're really ready to listen.

Except....

We don't have a typical production boat and our questions were mostly answered by "Gee, that's a tough one" or "I don't thing our product is right for you". 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.

This wasn't 100% across the board, but it was probably 70% of the time and I find that very sad, not to say frustrating to us. 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?).

Some exhibits standout - the people from Scanmar - terrific information and asked us to email some info to them, but for the vast majority they just wanted to have the same conversation they had had with the previous 20 customers.

We came back pretty deflated, we only purchased some wireless headsets, not the $10K+ we were prepared to spend had someone just been willing to think outside the box.

Sorry for the rant, I very seldom do this, but I think I just went to my last boat show.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:57   #2
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

It’s not just you. Last show I went to 80% of the ‘sales people’ had their heads down on their phones. A couple of them even said without looking up ‘let me know if you need any help’ uhh ya no thanks then. I find the biggest turn off was there was no great deals on anything unless you were purchasing a new boat, outside that the prices were on par and sometimes higher than any other marine store. IMO it’s not worth the time to go to those shows anymore unless you live in proximity to them and you e for nothing better to do, save he travel money and deal with real salespeople at the stores.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:58   #3
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I feel your pain, although I’m sure you’re is more acute than mine. Almost no one has ever heard of a Rafiki-37, and the vendors have certainly never dealt with one before.

One example: When I was buying our custom made winter cover I went to a source which claimed to have patterns for all boats — yeah right . To be fair though, they worked with us and made us a cover that is pretty good.

You’ve made an unusual choice (an awesome choice ), but part of that choice is accepting the fact that you’re — that we’re — not part of the mass market. It forces you (and me) to become the expert in what to buy and how to install.

I too stopped going to boat shows many moons ago, mainly b/c there was little there for me and my boat.
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Old 05-02-2018, 12:13   #4
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Redhead girl, you are not alone!

I went to the Paris Boat show by myself this last December. It was the first time that I went alone... (Female Alone Alert)..., 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!).

this treatment, thank goodness, was not across the board, but it took much energy to shed the feeling of being disheartened (not that this is really completely possible).

i'll return of course but, before i go next time, i'll be better prepared and tell myself that i'm lucky to have an invisibility cloak
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Old 05-02-2018, 13:15   #5
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I've found that wading to the front of the line at the boat show is usually fruitless. "Gee, the guy who can answer that question is at lunch right now." Or he'll be here on Friday. Mostly they just want to collect sales leads for later calls.

Weird thing though: I'm usually one of "the invisibles." This year, for some reason, people kept assuming that I was one of the vendors and kept asking me random questions about whatever display was closest. I think at one point I was selling a big yacht to Russian gangsters Would be nice to get the commission tho. It occurred to me that I was dressed more or less like Chuck Hawley in the West Marine videos

Years ago, I was having trouble getting taken seriously at real estate open houses. Until one salesman realized that I was wearing very expensive sunglasses (the one and only pair I ever bought). LOL. I keep those things locked away except for very rare vacations, but maybe I should take them shopping!
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Old 05-02-2018, 13:59   #6
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Finding anyone who knows what they are talking about at a boat show is a challenge! But goofing on them can be amusing. A big fake Rolex works!
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Old 05-02-2018, 14:04   #7
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

ha ha, Boat shows: there was a sailing radio show in Australia where the presenter kept referring to the boat shows as " fishing & tupperware parties", and likened them to the franchise shopping centers with similar shop assistants.
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Old 05-02-2018, 14:18   #8
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I feel your pain, although I’m sure you’re is more acute than mine. Almost no one has ever heard of a Rafiki-37, and the vendors have certainly never dealt with one before.

.
Mike one of our dear friends from BC has a Rafiki. The reason we met him is I saw him at the dock and went up and asked him "What the heck is that beautiful boat?" Of course, we've been friends ever since. You have good taste.
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Old 05-02-2018, 15:48   #9
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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Mike one of our dear friends from BC has a Rafiki. The reason we met him is I saw him at the dock and went up and asked him "What the heck is that beautiful boat?" Of course, we've been friends ever since. You have good taste.
Thanks Red, we do love ours. The few that exist are mostly found on the west coast. Maybe we’ll get there — someday.
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Old 05-02-2018, 19:42   #10
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I would like to add that much of life is experiment. We mostly don't think of it that way, but what will happen is that you will make some decisions relative to the boat that do not work out to your satisfaction. So then, you'll make a new decision and change the "whatever". It is okay; it is normal; it is life. Really, it will benefit you guys to do a lot of sailing with the boat, as that will help you firm up the want to haves from the nice to haves, for other folks.

Your boarding ladder will need to be custom made, but you only need one. You may want to find a place to stow a passerelle, for Europe, when you are Med-mooring. That is something that, with a little creativity, you will be able to make. A CF Custom Google Search on passserelles, will take you to a few threads with pics, and ideas.

It is all doable, and you will find yourself either hiring folks to do things for you, or doing them yourself. The latter is pretty rewarding for some of us.

Ann
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Old 05-02-2018, 20:42   #11
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

I'm not sure that an odd boat makes too much difference to the equipment you put in/on it. I have owned three one of a kinds that I totally rebuilt and never had a problem buying equipment.

Think of it this way, every boat out there is just a shell with the same old same old bolted on.
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Old 05-02-2018, 20:48   #12
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

Ann, I know what you're talking about.

We have the:

"Do it because the boat will sink without it" list. Thank goodness that one's complete.

We are currently working our way through the "Leaving in April, need the safety equipment" list.

And then there's the "Gee wouldn't it be nice" list, aka the."Maybe next year" list.
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:00   #13
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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I'm not sure that an odd boat makes too much difference to the equipment you put in/on it. I have owned three one of a kinds that I totally rebuilt and never had a problem buying equipment.

Think of it this way, every boat out there is just a shell with the same old same old bolted on.
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.
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:10   #14
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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.
Holy Schmoly Red! That’s huge. You’re in the small commercial category. I don’t think I’d trust any sales person in the recreational boating world to tell me what anchor tackle would be appropriate if my boat displaced 120,000 pounds. I’d be talking to the commercial fishing folks.
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:12   #15
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Re: Is Anyone Interested in Unusual Boats These Days?

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Except....

We don't have a typical production boat and our questions were mostly answered by "Gee, that's a tough one" or "I don't thing our product is right for you". 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.

This wasn't 100% across the board, but it was probably 70% of the time.....

Sorry for the rant, I very seldom do this, but I think I just went to my last boat show.
I think that about the same amount of people are interested in/buying boats left or right of centre as there were many years ago, it is the same bell curve, I guess. However the top of that curve may have shifted a little to the Beneteau kind of boat, or the curve is a little steeper.

Therefore sales people are concentrating on boats and gear for the top of the curve. And worse, know little about boats either side of the curve.

Good on ya for having a boat that does not match their knowledge. Now, the only question remains if your boat is on the left or right hand side of the bell curve.....

Funny that 34+34=68% as per image of bell curve below, that being just about the percentage of salespeople that replied to you in the vein of, or I quote: "I don't think our product is right for you"
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