Finding a sailboat, especially a cruising sailboat you hope to take over the horizon someday, is a hard task. A lot harder than you think.
I’ve spent a good deal of time the last few years (off and on, ever since coming back from Fiji in 2005) doing just that. I admit that it hasn’t been a single-minded focus, since I’ve gotten married, started a business, moved to Ecuador (and back), had a baby (with another one on the way), had a day job, and re-immersed myself in my business during that time.
I almost bought a boat last year around Christmas time. A Halberg-Rassey Rasmus 35 parked in Elliot Bay. The owners were a young couple that had crossed the Pacific, so I knew the boat could do it again (with some work). But the economy, a car wreck in the Seattle snow, and another baby on the way have intervened, and it looks like I’ll spend another Christmas without a boat. I actually didn’t even go sailing once this year (yet — I’m open to offers).
But I still want to be involved in the sailing community.
I have a service, sailhost.org, where I will help cruisers and racers create blogs and websites, and I’m willing to donate hosting to worthy askers.
I’m also working on sales tools for sailboats. I don’t want to be the next Yachtworld, but I want to help sailboat dealers and brokers reach their customers.
Besides doing testing, I’ve been branching out into sales automation, CRM, etc. (You might have noticed some posts about CRM tools, and some frustrated tweets about SugarCRM in particular.
Broadreach is the name I’m giving for the sales consulting and tools — apart from One Shore, which is more geared towards testing. I’m going to focus on reaching out to Yacht brokers, sailing charters, boat surveyers, marine finance, buyers agents and teachers such as John Neal and John Kretschmer, and other people who make money in, on, or around the water.
I’m looking for a broker willing to tell me what they want or need to make their job better. More particularly, I’m looking at it from the potential buyer’s perspective.
Ideally, I’d like to have a resource available for sailboat buyers so they can learn the process easier. I’d like to be able to point to books, articles, and people who could help people out.
Two names I’m thinking of are boatbuyersresource.com and sailboatbuyer.com.
I was also introduced to Lasers last year by my friend Ed. Another venture I’m thinking about is laserlisting.com