SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Dear All,

As a current leisure sailor who enjoys using my yacht to explore and travel from place to place every summer
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 with a similar interest.

His concept is to provide yacht owners, sailors, captains etc with a support service through the medium of a concierge that can be reached 24/7/365. The concierge works as a central hub between an international and trusted network of service providers all over the world and the customer. (This marine network has been build over 30 years in the industry). It would ultimately be like having an assistant that knows everyone, everywhere.

As a member you can call with any request, such as finding a berth, a hostess, a cleaner, fuel, a mechanic, to requesting a car be waiting at the marina, a hotel or restaurant booking, tickets to a show, or even just finding out the best places to visit during your stay. The concierge would then activate the relevant service providers and manage everything on the members behalf, relieving them of the stress/time of searching.

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

1, Would you personally see a benefit in having something like this?
(Y/N)

2, What price would you expect to pay for membership an all inclusive concierge per month? €50 - €100 - €200??

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

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.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
Sure, find me the best Phad Thai in Pak Bara...your concierge wouldn't have a clew. Book me a haul out deep up a river in Chebilang, advise me on the tides too, not going to happen.
 

·
Lake Sailor
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
Sounds more like a service for the more upper-crust cruisers. Most cruisers do not have that large of a cruising budget. They are very resourceful and rely on each other for such things. You may want to just Google this business model as I am thinking the folks with the granite counter tops in their boats already have this service provided for them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sure, find me the best Phad Thai in Pak Bara...your concierge wouldn't have a clew. Book me a haul out deep up a river in Chebilang, advise me on the tides too, not going to happen.
As described in my initial post, it acts as a central hub for a global network of service providers, ultimately acting as an assistant to the yacht owner/sailor and giving them back the freedom of time and convenience. To give you a better understanding of how the service works i should explain that this business's back office already provide a concierge service to over 90+ banks and credit card companies and have over 1 million members.

As an American Express customer you would receive an international concierge as part of the service. American express have simply "white Labelled" an established and dedicated concierge service and re-branded it as their own. My friends concept has done exactly the same (aka re-branded an existing, established, and trusted concierge) and added his international marine network to the service. There will be areas that are less covered than others, of course, but if you were stuck up a river in Chebilang with no idea of the tides and in desperate need of a Phad thai the concierge would take the time to do the research, make the calls, and find out the answers for you, aka saving you time.

Regards
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
3,506 Posts
As described in my initial post, it acts as a central hub for a global network of service providers, ultimately acting as an assistant to the yacht owner/sailor and giving them back the freedom of time and convenience. To give you a better understanding of how the service works i should explain that this business's back office already provide a concierge service to over 90+ banks and credit card companies and have over 1 million members.

As an American Express customer you would receive an international concierge as part of the service. American express have simply "white Labelled" an established and dedicated concierge service and re-branded it as their own. My friends concept has done exactly the same (aka re-branded an existing, established, and trusted concierge) and added his international marine network to the service. There will be areas that are less covered than others, of course, but if you were stuck up a river in Chebilang with no idea of the tides and in desperate need of a Phad thai the concierge would take the time to do the research, make the calls, and find out the answers for you, aka saving you time.

Regards
I'd already be up the river, hauled out and eating my phad thai before your rep could even figure out how to make the return call..sorry the amex folks are clueless, the DAn diver support is just about as bad and forget about Visa international assistance being of any use. Link your service to a credit card that I pay no fees on, that's about how much value it has for me as an offshore sailor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'd already be up the river, hauled out and eating my phad thai before your rep could even figure out how to make the return call..sorry the amex folks are clueless, the DAn diver support is just about as bad and forget about Visa international assistance being of any use. Link your service to a credit card that I pay no fees on, that's about how much value it has for me as an offshore sailor.
It has been a pleasure hearing your views, both negative and positive feedback are welcome with gratitude. I understand your concerns, and as someone who is clearly very on the ball with it it wouldn't be a service for you however, the service would act as support to someone who is, for example newly retired and spending more time on their boat, not so experienced, or convenience conscious.

There is clearly a market for a concierge service, which explains the success of luxury lifestyle concierge companies such as Quintessentially, TEN UK, Sigillus.

Regards
 

·
One of None
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
And you joined us for your friend's idea to make a buck....
:devil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
There is clearly a market for a concierge service......

Regards
Even though every cruiser here so far has said they wouldn't use such a service? Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that it is a good idea.

Sorry - you sound like someone who actually hasn't been cruising - you don't seem to understand how it works, or what typical cruisers are like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,680 Posts
Folks hire boat managers all the time. There is more than one at our marina alone. For the thousands of folks, who keep a boat in the Caribbean only to visit a few weeks a year, it's virtually a necessity.

The part that is lacking from this offering is the value of showing up in person. Having someone actually lay eyes on your boat, while you're away, to be sure all is well. Much more important and valuable is to actually be present for maintenance, not just refer a good shop. The absentee owner doesn't always get the best service, response time or quality. In fact, I maintain they are frequently ripped off. Just having an educated consumer, in the form of a boat manager that negotiates what needs to be done would be tremendous. Again, this requires eyes on the situation for the manager to know. This has value.

The dial up concierge is losing ground to technology every day. It has a place in the uber wealthy crowd, who truly work too much or pack too much leisure into their lives or both. No time to plan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
Even though every cruiser here so far has said they wouldn't use such a service? Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that it is a good idea.

Sorry - you sound like someone who actually hasn't been cruising - you don't seem to understand how it works, or what typical cruisers are like.
If you read the superyacht magazines (I plead guilty), you would see that these services already exist, and that people are using them. "Captain, call the concierge and book the Admiral a spa visit at the next port. And I want those flowers replaced, dammit!"

I think the issue here is that the OP is finding out that the Sailnet market doesn't match his potential customer base. Most of the active cruisers I see posting here seem to get a sense of self-reliance and self-sufficiency from cruising; they don't want or need someone to do their planning for them. Some might like the service, but my sense is that they would be in the minority of the people who seem to use this site regularly.

Me? Not interested. I like doing my own planning. And when I don't plan, I like to go with the flow and find out what happens.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
The part that is lacking from this offering is the value of showing up in person. Having someone actually lay eyes on your boat, while you're away, to be sure all is well. Much more important and valuable is to actually be present for maintenance, not just refer a good shop. The absentee owner doesn't always get the best service, response time or quality.
Bingo.

I do some yacht management.

I recently picked up a boat that has been on the hard for a year and a half. He had a splash date that a lot of other things were dependent upon. In three weeks I saved him my fee, got him in the water on time, and got trades people on board by going and sitting in their offices. Try doing that from an international call center somewhere.

"No, we don't need a new toilet. We need a rebuild kit."

"No you can't put the Racors there or we won't be able to reach the watermaker."

"Yes, we do need a new house bank, but that price is way out of line. Match this price or we'll go elsewhere."
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,573 Posts
I know a guy that has been working part time building up a yacht management business. His business plan was a little bit like you describe, but the way it worked out was a little bit more hands on. He keeps the boats clean, he books mechanics, haul out, shrink wrapping and even offers skipper services.

He focuses his marketing on wealthy clients.

What you are describing, sounds a little bit more like what I would describe as a yacht agent, similar to a shipping agent. My concern with your business model is, in the age of internet and Active Captain, even wealthy sailors may not be willing to pay for this service, even Donald Trump and Lindsay Lohan can use Google from their iPhones, as easily as call their agent.

I don't think your concept of yacht management is completely flawed, but it might need some tweaking. In the information age, people need doers more than information management services in my opinion, especially wealthy educated people.
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,597 Posts
I can appreciate the concept. I would be paying a company to deal with some busy-work associated with owning and operating a super yacht such as mine... Oh, wait a minute, I just bought tiles for my kitchen floor that cost more than my f***ing boat is worth. Pass.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
I know a guy that has been working part time building up a yacht management business. His business plan was a little bit like you describe, but the way it worked out was a little bit more hands on. He keeps the boats clean, he books mechanics, haul out, shrink wrapping and even offers skipper services.
I agree. Mine does also.

The point I was attempting to make is that you have to be there. Yacht management is attractive, especially to remote or otherwise absent owners because you are there. Workers are more likely to show up if they know someone will meet them. They will be more efficient and cleaner also.

For work of substance there is still shopping to do. I certainly have businesses I always get a bid from, and some I won't go near, but the work is in the interests of the client so if I just call one company (with a few rare exceptions) I am not protecting those interests.

He focuses his marketing on wealthy clients.
I focus on high end brokers. I find they can get frustrated by support calls and are happy to shift the work to someone else and the costs to the owner. *grin*

Oddly enough my delivery work, communications/electronics, and yacht management have a lot of synergy.

Many small tasks are better done by me than a contractor - it may take me less time to just do it than to manage it. Of course I take pictures of all the work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
I agree. Mine does also.

The point I was attempting to make is that you have to be there. Yacht management is attractive, especially to remote or otherwise absent owners because you are there. Workers are more likely to show up if they know someone will meet them. They will be more efficient and cleaner also.

For work of substance there is still shopping to do. I certainly have businesses I always get a bid from, and some I won't go near, but the work is in the interests of the client so if I just call one company (with a few rare exceptions) I am not protecting those interests.



I focus on high end brokers. I find they can get frustrated by support calls and are happy to shift the work to someone else and the costs to the owner. *grin*

Oddly enough my delivery work, communications/electronics, and yacht management have a lot of synergy.

Many small tasks are better done by me than a contractor - it may take me less time to just do it than to manage it. Of course I take pictures of all the work.
This certainly makes sense to me. However, the "yacht management" business you describe seems different than the "luxury marine concierge" described by the OP. You help people manage their boats when they aren't there. The OP's friend is describing a business that assists the owner while they are on-board (or about to get on-board), either planning for or during a cruise. The typical Sailnetter seems unlikely to need or want either service; in fact, based on the responses here, it seems more likely that a Sailnetter would be providing rather than buying the services.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
However, the "yacht management" business you describe seems different than the "luxury marine concierge" described by the OP.
I went back and read the OP. I just don't see it. Perhaps I lack vision.

At the high end that is the job of the captain or purser. The captain or purser may use ship's agents in some places, especially for bunkering, but not a concierge.

In the middle it is local yacht managers like me.

At the bottom it is the owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,295 Posts
Caberg has it about right. Within cell phone or internet service you can find out just about anything you want before entering a new port. Once there, locals will typically offer local knowledge, advice and guidance for free

Right now, if you want to make a reservation at a restaurant, you can go to "open table', need a ride, call uber or a cab, most yacht clubs will know who to refer you to for service and marinas will often provide you with the service. Need ticket to the theater or a game, use ticketmaster, stub hub et al. Folks here argue about whether or not they should tip their waiter or the charter captain; I don't see them paying a monthly fee for a service to book a table at a restaurant or rent a car for them, for a service they may only utilize occasionally.

On the other hand, if you managed to somehow get the service providers to pay you a commission on the business you sent their way, making the service free to the customer, there might be a boutique market for a centralized concierge. However, even if you were to get providers to pay you for referrals, there will be those that won't. So theoretically, the best restaurant in town may decide that you can't boost their business sufficiently, and then you wouldn't steer your client to them. You'd have to convince all the best service providers in town that you had a substantial list of potential clients for them to buy in. Open table, for instance, already charges fees to their restaurant partners, it's unlikely that the restaurant would pay another referral business on top of that.

I think I understand what you're after, but I don't believe you'll find it here. Many of the folks here travel to many of the same spots, share info freely, and are already familiar with the many of the local services. They also subscribe to active captain, purchase waterway guides etc.

I forget which island it was, but one of them in the BVI, had a wash and fold service. drop your laundry off, hit the beach, or go to lunch, and pick it up on the way back, I thought that was a great deal. I for one don't want to spend my vacation washing and folding towels and laundry.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top