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Old 26-11-2012, 16:01   #1
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Know anyone up for a challenge?

I'm hoping you can give me a hand with an idea I have. I'm trying to find out if there's a certain type of boater out there, with a certain kind of challenge.

I started working on boats almost 30 years ago when I did all the electrical wiring on the boat my family built and sailed around the Caribbean for two years. I've been solving challenging problems ever since (marine and otherwise) and now I want to use my skills to help other boaters.

I'm interested in specializing in difficult, complex problems that typical boat repair shops, mechanics, or electronics places can't (or don't want to) solve. I'm looking for the type of boat owner who wants to prove the nay-sayers wrong. Someone who knows what they want but doesn't have the skills themselves to do the work or find the right team to get it done. Of course, because the problems aren't easy to solve, I intend to charge a little more than typical marine repair places.

Do you know of any boaters like the type of people I'm describing? Have you heard these kinds of problems described and had to turn the owner away because you weren't sure who could help (or you felt their idea was too bizarre or too difficult)? Do you think there are people willing to pay a premium just to get their "special" project completed?

I'm trying to establish if such a market exists, even if it's small. I'd really appreciate any insight you might be able to provide.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 26-11-2012, 16:19   #2
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I find that the people who have this reputation usually spend years building their reputation as a general handyman and over time recommend the smaller jobs to upcoming superstars and keep the most challenging ones to themselves.
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Old 26-11-2012, 16:19   #3
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Re: Know anyone up for a challenge?

I think the market exists, but I think you would have a tough time connecting with those clients. And, how would those clients know you are what you say you are? For example, I suspect some of those very same clients might be willing to hire someone like Nigel Calder for such a project, having heard of him and read his stuff. You need some way to build up your bonafides. One way might be to work for a high-end, custom or semi-custom yard somewhere--maybe you have already done so.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:09   #4
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Thanks to you both for your replies. I'm going to continue poking around, but you've given good advice and information.


Cheers
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:41   #5
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Re: Know anyone up for a challenge?

Electrical Engineers were taught to keep designs simple and cost effective. Elaborate designs are not worth dealing with, as there is no pleasure in troubleshooting complicated circuits spread all over a boat. When I design a circuit board, I build simple circuits on it which are easy to troubleshoot; requires very little money to replace, if need be. Marine/salt environment take their toll on electronics and almost anything metal on a boat; it is cheaper to replace than fix.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:52   #6
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Re: Know anyone up for a challenge?

I think your market is small, probably limited to someone building a boat from scratch. Most people building or having a boat built either use a major well known designer or cheap out on doing everything themselves.
You might want to start by proving yourself on this forum by answering questions from memnbers.
BTW, do you have any credentials other than wiring the family boat?
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:57   #7
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Re: Know anyone up for a challenge?

you would probably want to base yourself in somewhere like palma,nice or ft.lauderdale,and build a client base amongst the superyacht skippers and engineers.

hard market to break into as most of the work is word of mouth if you are good.
5-10 years should see you with a nice little bussiness.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:50   #8
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Re: Know anyone up for a challenge?

You ask if anyone is up for a challenge. I do the exact kind of work and engineering as you describe as well as marine mechanics, carpentry, plumbing ect, ect..... I learned at a young age that learning many trades for me was more important than getting certified for any one thing and it has payed off for me. Im looking to get my own cruiser soon to sail the Keys and beyond and will be setting my boat up myself. If your looking for a helper or a partner PM me, and I will tell ya more about myself.
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