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Old 11-05-2009, 12:46   #1
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Catamaran Purchase Counseling?

I am interested in opening a new business offering would be buyers an experienced catamaran cruiser with 30 years of experience to help in the process of finding the right catamaran for there next purchase.

I am not a broker and do not have any "brand" loyalty.

Would offer a full day on my current boat and go over all the sailing and live aboard considerations that are needed to make an informed decision on there next purchase.

Does anyone think that this is a viable business plan?
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Old 11-05-2009, 13:49   #2
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I think the idea is sound, we were interested in just this option when we bought our catamaran. My wife had never been on one and everyone knows the convoluted process of buying one that is brokerized leaves much to be desired.

We looked and asked around for a possibility to just get on one for a day cruise and were pretty much shut down.

TV
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:43   #3
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Oh, for a second there I thought that you were offering counseling services for any deluded souls considering the purchase of a catamaran.
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:36   #4
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There was a guy in Seattle who did similar only covered all boats. He told me (after talking me out of buying a bigger boat) That he has clients that buy and sell everything from jets airplanes to heavy equipment, buisnesses etc. He told me with out fail, those same hard core guys in buisness, will fall in love with the wrong boat and buy the wrong thing. He said there is no explaining it. It is like you head goes right out the door when you get that "boat love".
I should think there would be a great need for your service. How many things do you not see when you are in love? Try as I may, myself I use the rule "this is the 10% I can see, what about the 90% I can't see. I wayyyy underestimate the needed work and $ to make things how would want.
Problem might be to convince the prospective client that he needs you. Maybe if you can get to his wife...
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:42   #5
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Me too. And I am on my third!!!

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Oh, for a second there I thought that you were offering counseling services for any deluded souls considering the purchase of a catamaran.
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmolan View Post
<snip> It is like you head goes right out the door when you get that "boat love".
I should think there would be a great need for your service. How many things do you not see when you are in love? <snip>
When you fall in love with something (or someone), it isn't out the door where your head goes!

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Old 11-05-2009, 20:05   #7
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thinwater- is that 3rd wife..or 3rd boat?
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MICHAEL K View Post
I am interested in opening a new business offering would be buyers an experienced catamaran cruiser with 30 years of experience to help in the process of finding the right catamaran for there next purchase.

I am not a broker and do not have any "brand" loyalty.

Would offer a full day on my current boat and go over all the sailing and live aboard considerations that are needed to make an informed decision on there next purchase.

Does anyone think that this is a viable business plan?
your own boat is not the average cat for the job as most people seem to favor a +40'
also if you were in the uk offering this service you would need to be a fully qualified comercial skipper and your boat coaded for charter
as you are taking paying customers out on your boat for profit!
dont know how the law stands accross the pond.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:22   #9
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And to think I've been offering it for free! I would imagine that things to consider would be:

1) location. It's good to be located where the vast majority of catamarans are. I doubt people would want to first book plane tickets to see the boats they are interested in and then a second ticket to go to see someone who knows catamarans.

2) experience. Not simply in the owning, but the buying and selling, the inspection and repair of different diesel engines and systems, rigging and sails. I would think they'd want someone who was not simply a licensed captain, but also licensed marine surveyor with 20 years plus of specialized experience in boat repair such as a fully licensed yanmar or volvo mechanic, and had worked extensively in fiberglass repair and rigging. Having an actual degree as a marine architect would be a huge asset as well because you could speak knowledgably not just on the theory of what makes a good boat. I'd need them to have lots of connections in financing (problem number one is people usually don't even have a clue as to what it takes to buy a boat and what they can afford). Finally I'd want someone with several hundred thousand miles of blue water boat delivery experience with a lot of different catamarans so they can speak first hand how they handle in open ocean sailing in rough passages in different boats. (did I mention that's why my advise is free?)

Doing transpacific and transatlantic passages, someone who had circumnavigated and could speak knowledgeably on not simply the local cruising grounds, but what would be needed for cruising the locations that particular customer is interested in cruising (high latitude sailing, sailing in the caribbean, med, south pacific, etc). Every cataman can island hop, what makes them stand apart when they really get into tough conditions. Thats where experience as a broker and surveyor would help, you'd have lots of experience to draw upon with repair of different cats which have experience delamination issues, structural failure due to insufficient laminate strength, mast fractures, etc. There aren't really that many people out there like that, but those few people could easily make a case for someone paying for their vast experience.

Last what makes actually more sense is being a buyers agent. Negotiate hard on their behalf. You would survey the boat first and ensure there are no significant issues or that the price is reasonable before the buyer actually makes his first flight.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:39   #10
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Sounds a lot like what this outfit is doing:

Quote:
New Boat Buyer's Agents

Do you need a New Boat Buyer's Agent?
Does a bear.....?


We now offer you, the new catamaran or trimaran buyer, proper and knowledgeable aid in getting a new multihull. After representing numerous new catamaran builders over the last 12 years, after watching the construction process get increasingly complicated, after viewing the globalization of locations to build and buy, after observing the risks inherent in the whole process, and after seeing first hand and helping solve very troublesome situations, we've decided that new catamaran and trimaran buyers better get the most independent and best help they can. How will we help?

  • Representation - we'll be working only for you, not a catamaran manufacturer-dependent dealer!
  • Selection - You'll get our unbiased input on a model and its' builder's capabilities!
  • Contracts - we'll guide you through the contractual stage and its traps.
  • Building - we'll make sure you avoid the financial hazards and construction problems.
  • Delivery - we'll locate the best multihull delivery procedures and crews.
  • Post Delivery - we'll see you get the right expert advice to check out your new catamaran.
  • Registration/Documentation - we'll find the best agents for this procedure.
  • Sales taxes - once again, we'll guide you through this morass.
  • Fitting Out - you'll get our help in buying, saving, and installation of post delivery needs.
  • Warranty - we'll be behind you and helping push when, not if, warranty demands are necessary.
New catamaran and trimaran buyer's agent
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:15   #11
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Would it have been worse if I had said that I still have 2 of them?

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thinwater- is that 3rd wife..or 3rd boat?
Boats. Not wives. Catamarans.

Want to buy one?

One of the boats. Or perhaps a broader araingment could be reached.
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Old 12-05-2009, 13:47   #12
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Phil Berman at the Multihull Company offers this service, as well, but I believe his minimum-priced vessel cut-off is $100,000.

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Old 12-05-2009, 15:11   #13
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Oh, for a second there I thought that you were offering counseling services for any deluded souls considering the purchase of a catamaran.
Oh Dave,

That hurt so deep, but very funny.....i2f
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Old 13-05-2009, 03:02   #14
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You are proposing to sell yourself as an expert about “all the sailing and live aboard considerations that are needed to make an informed decision on there next (catamaran) purchase”.
- Are you an expert, and have you the (teaching) ability to transfer that expertise into useful knowledge?
- How will you establish your credentials, convincing potential customers that you are an expert?

Your opening question posed a business concept, not a plan. Once you've answered (for yourself) the (2) questions above, you've begun to form a plan.
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Old 13-05-2009, 18:54   #15
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While it is commonly the case that folks take something to the extreme I believe there is still an opening for someone who just takes you out for a cruise to see if they like the feel of a cat.

The surveyor you will hire when making the offer, the diesel guy comes into play there as well so you don't necessarily have to be all of that. Though being able to explain the differences between diesel and gas, roller fuller vs camber spar etc would be very helpful.

You don't really have to sell yourself as an "expert" because that definition is a moving target and rarely lived up to.

I have been hired by a few folks as a "prearchitect" to help them narrow down the choices before dropping the big bucks on the "real" architects out there.

In a half an hour I can come up with a form with a roof on it which is what I think you are trying to provide, a good place to start.
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