Posts

You Snooze, You Lose!

I. You Snooze, You Lose….

Ah, Baron, we hardly knew ye!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, The Baron, our premier Vicem 72 Flybridge listing, is now under contract, and soon to make her 35-knot way to her new home.

 As a parting glance for you, my loyal readers, I leave you with the video that was watched over 31,000 times to date. My video production company really pulled out the stops for Baron, and they can do the same for any of my Fog Warning – listing clients  After all, doesn’t your yacht deserve this kind of marketing? Call me for the details.

II. And the Next Bullet in the Chamber?

I am so pleased to present to you my latest listing! Meet Ojala (Oh-hala) a truly remarkable 2011 Vicem 80 Flybridge from Key Biscayne:

Original Factory Photo

Owner’s, clients and long time readers of The Fog Warning know that Vicem’s larger Flybridge yachts are known far and near for their ability to take their family and guests just about anywhere, through just about anything, in safety and style. The only thing these models have lacked so far is a true four-cabin layout. That is exactly what Ojala delivers for you and yours:

 

I first ran this fine yacht when she splashed in Istanbul in 2011. Back then (before Vicem changed their model nomenclature to include swim platform measurements) she was known as the Vicem 75. I had the pleasure of studying her carefully for a couple of days last week, and found this yacht meets her mission of four-couple yachting superbly.

One of the many things that is remarkable about Ojala, even within the Vicem line, is her interior design choices. She was envisioned right from from her drawing board days as a yacht to showcase a lighter, European-style interior.  As Yachting Magazine said in their glowing review:

“She presents a thoroughly contemporary interior fit and finish, notable for her light anigre wood, complemented by wenge accents and trim, offset by her dark iroko sole.The combination works, and instead of jarring the senses, the interior is soothing, providing a canvas that will not compete with the scenery beyond the salon windows.”

I could not agree more. You can read the full review of this 30-knot yacht here:

Yachting Magazine reviews the Vicem 80 Flybridge

For a full video tour, click away. This was filmed before her current hull color was decided upon:

He owner’s are asking $1,790,000, and the comprehensive listing can be found here:

The Full Yachtworld Listing

Ojala means “Hopefully.” As in, hopefully I will meet you at her Key Biscayne dock for a private viewing soon. She’s not that far from Palm Beach, so if you are visiting my yachts at the boat show from March 28th through the 31st I’d happily run down and show her to you.

You know the drill, loyal readers ….. just launch a flare!

 

III. Wait….Another Bullet in the Chamber

And yet another fine yacht for your inspection! Not to be missed in Charleston is Mahogany Rose, my classic Vicem 67 listing. She has had a dramatic price reduction to $1,050,000, and is actively in search of her next owner. In two weeks her hull is scheduled to get a new paint job. If you’d like to see her just before, or just after her new look, let me know and I’m happy to give you the grand tour.

Click away for the full Yachtworld listing

 

IV. Adult Content Ahead…

The Baron video is not the only Fog Warning media to have gone viral. You may remember this Zeelander 55 video:

https://youtu.be/EBJn7Gql2jM

Well, not to be outdone, a Zeelander 55 owner in Europe suggested to me that his clip showed a better use of Zeelander’s remarkable swim platform design. He predicted that his would shortly surpass our Tango video in viewership.

Well, who am I to argue with this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXZTfrlyWCM
Adult Content Warning

IV. Spanning The Globe For You

Yes, loyal readers, I’m off next week on your behalf – a three city/five day tour of some very fine yachts and their very skilled builders. First stop?

Rotterdam!

On March 15th Zeelander is proud and pleased to host the launch party of their first 72′ yacht:

To give you a sense of relative scale, here is their entire fleet:

It’s the full range of Zeelander’s offerings, and their design and build capabilities, that has made 2018 the best year in Zeelander’s history. You can read about their success here, and I invite you to ride the Zeelander wave with me:

https://www.powerboat-world.com/news/214208/Zeelander-Yachts-busy-2019-ahead

Please feel free to meet me at the Rotterdam factory on the 15th. I am assured it will be quite a party! Otherwise, I will be displaying a Zeelander 55 (sans nudes) at the Palm Beach Show at the end of March. Please let me know if you’d like some private time aboard her that week.

From there, on to…

Istanbul!

Back in the day, for almost a decade, I traveled to Istanbul perhaps eight or ten times a year. These days I try and go once or twice a year to keep up with all things yachting, to see old friends, and for the food (trust me, even in Manhattan authentic Turkish cuisine is hard to find!)

I’ve been hearing rumors that my friends at Vicem Yachts were planning something innovative and exciting in the coming year. So when they invited me over to hear the news first hand, I jumped at the chance. As someone who has been associated with this fine builder since 2004, I’m honored to be even informally included in their design, build and marketing plans. I’m sure I will be filling you in on their latest developments here on The Fog Warning.

Recently I was aboard Vicem’s latest splash, the V65 IPS. The sheer amount of interior volume and her grand sense of spaciousness surprised me. It may be the most I’ve seen in an express-style yacht. You can see a great video of her here:

https://youtu.be/BjvQqmE1eBg

Her full listing can be found below. I’ve been through her thoroughly, and have quite a lot to say. Feel free to call me if you are interested or have questions or comments.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2019/vicem-65-classic-ips-3187787/?refSource=standard%20listing

And from Istanbul, on to…

Antalya!

Antalya is in the south of Turkey, some 600 miles from Istanbul. It’s built around an ancient Roman harbor, and its one of the most romantic places I know. I very excited to be returning there. This particular trip began in Cannes.

Readers may remember my stories from last September, when I took a valuable and informative trip to Holland and Cannes to expand my knowledge of steel expedition yachts.

In Cannes, I ran into a Turkish company that somehow had previously escaped my notice. AvA Yachts is a former commercial builder that has transitioned seamlessly into a builder of fine yachts. Their Kando 110 is the flagship in their line, so far. Their design team introduced me to the knowledgeable Norwegian owner of Hull #1, and he graciously invited me to sea trial her when she splashed.

Then, just a few weeks after I returned to the States, , Kando announced the sale of Hull #2, to NBA star Tony Parker:

https://megayachtnews.com/2018/12/tony-parkers-superyacht-ava-yachts-kando-110/

Click for the full article…

I’m quite curious to see both the completed #1, and the early stages of Tony Parker’s build. Here’s a great introduction to what looks to me to be a great yacht:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA00YAShLiM

In my meetings with the company’s founder, Atilla Kuckdiker, I was reminded of that uniquely Turkish approach to yacht building, a style I long ago labeled as:

“You draw it on a napkin, and we will build it!”

So I decided to challenge them with a napkin of my own…

A mariner I’ve know for a long time, who’s nautical judgement I’ve come to trust and depend on, brought to my attention a unique megayacht design. The Ocean Alexander 112 features an especially large master cabin in her bow. This is achieved largely by means of a “duplex-style” arrangement that puts the master head one level down, with a full size jacuzzi.

I just love this innovative use of space. I asked the design team at Kando if they could do the same. In less than a week they send me their interpretation, which I find outstanding:

That is high-level yacht building, Turkish-style. And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s exactly what keeps me coming back for more!

So off I go, friends and neighbors. But as you all know, I have little life beyond my boats and my clients. So please feel free to call or write about any little thing.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

 

No Room at the Inn!

I. No Room at the Inn

For some of us it may be true that our first boat show is as memorable as our first kiss. In my case, they were both in the same year!  The boat show was at the old New York Coliseum, on Columbus Circle. Finding this New York Times article today, I was struck by the dates pictured on the Coliseum marquis. I’m certain I was there on the last day, as it was my fourteenth birthday! I must’ve been one of the smiling people mentioned in this headline, because that show set me on the course I travel with you all today. Boats make me happy. Always did, always will. You too, I am sure.

Here’s another  iconic New York Boat Show pic, from 1961. Looks like 42nd street to me:

To be charitable, the Coliseum was never the most attractive building in NY. Back in the day some called it “The ugliest building Robert Moses ever built.”

 

Architects and civic planners celebrated when it was razed to make room for the much more impressive Time Warner Center (Home of Club Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where you can often find me on a Friday night).

Why all this history? What is the method to my madness? Well,  it’s all about that particular era in boating. You may recall that back in the 70’s recreational boats were designed and marketed around one simple measurement – and it wasn’t price or speed. The question was:

How many berths can we squeeze in?

It wasn’t uncommon to find a 32’ boat (sizeable, back then) with seven berths. No one ever filled them, of course. But manufacturers felt compelled to engage in this “berth arms race,” completing like crazy over a nonsensical number, and damn the torpedoes!

I’m glad we now boat in more rational times.  Because, really now, how many people do you want to cruise with? As Ben Franklin famously observed:

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

Fortunately, with our functioning pressure hot water systems, this is no longer true. But there is a limit to how many people we want to travel with. Which is why designers now put their energies into creating beautiful and functional communal spaces, like galleys, dining areas, and salons. They understand that with guests, sometimes less is more. Of course, you can be lucky enough to own a six-cabin boat, and then simply choose not to fill them up.  But it’s always easier to tell your in-laws the simple truth: “Sorry, no room at the inn.”

My current listings, from 67 to 85 feet, all take the same approach – even the 82 and the 85 are three-cabin boats (plus crew quarters).  I’ve helped design and sell some four and five-cabin boats, but I suspect the last cabin or two is rarely used.

Better to be creative in how you cruise. When you’ve docked your three-cabin in Abaco, for example, in a crunch you can always fly in guests, put the kids in the crew cabin (oh, how kids love crew cabins)…

Crew Cabin – Vicem 72 Baron

….and stash your Captain in a local hotel for a few days. Trust me, three is the perfect number. Here, from the perspective of my listings, is why:

First, for your viewing pleasure, I present Mahogany Rose, my 2007 Vicem 67:

She has your basic three-cabin plus crew layout, but with a twist: The mid-ship cabin easily converts from sleeping cabin to full-sized working office, and back again.

This way the owner (um, that would be you…)  has a choice of master cabin’s to sleep in, either in the bow –

 

  – or mid-ship if the office isn’t needed. Between the two, as much as anything the choice comes to down to peace and quiet.  More specifically, when you want your piece and quiet.

If you’re tied up at a slip, and sleeping in the bow, you’re a long way away from your guests or crew when they’re stumbling through breakfast prep. It’s just much easier to sleep in. That said, considerations change when you’re on the hook in a roily anchorage. Once the harbor wakes up and boats get moving,  you will hear hull slap as your neighbors go by.

On the hook or in the slip, you won’t have any doubt when you hear your bow thruster engage. A client put it quite well to me last week when he said it sounds like “a ton of marbles in a blender” (although that under-berth enclosure can be easily soundproofed. I don’t know why more people don’t do it).

My conclusion here? As in all things in life, it’s nice to have choices. Move to the quieter space as circumstances and guests dictate.

In all of my flybridge listings, whether bow or mid-ship master, you’ll find Vicem’s infamous four-cabin bunk room. Perfect for kids and young adults:

Mahogany Rose Bunk Room

Look closely at above pic, and you’ll see that the upper bunks fold up, to create a roomy two-person cabin. Mahogany Rose is in Charleston, just waiting for you….

For a different approach to accommodations, check out Truant, my 2007 Vicem 70:

Truant, Vicem 70

She, too is an intelligently designed three-cabin boat, plus crew under the cockpit. And like the V67, she has a bunkroom for four. But Truant has, by far, the largest bunkroom in her class, with extra floorspace for dressing comfortably. And each of those four bunks has its own TV, and its own Direct TV receiver and headset. There are no entertainment arguments on Truant, ever.

Truant Bunk Room

Truant’s master cabin, by the way, is in the bow, with a stunning dressing area. Note how her high-gloss varnish work just pops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Baron, my 2007 Vicem 72, is a three-cabin yacht with by far the largest owner’s cabin in her class. Her mid-ship master is apartment-sized, with closets to match. The best view of her is at 2:01 in this amazing video:

Even this video doesn’t quite capture the the size and elegance of her master cabin. Come to Miami and see with your own eyes how her uniquely accented blue LED lighting glows, and take in the view through her in-hull windows. If you are coming to the Palm Beach Show, it’s not hard to run over and take a look.

Untethered, my Viking 82 Enclosed Skylounge, is in a class of her own:

All other Viking 82’s are four-cabin models. As such, they all have a long narrow corridor leading to the bow, with cabins branching off to each side. When all cabin doors are closed, things can get a little …. claustrophobic. But Untethered was expressly conceived as a three-cabin yacht, with a huge master aft of the bow crew quarters:

 

This is a boat where space and privacy rule.  I’d be happy to show her to you in Fort Lauderdale at any time. (including during the Palm Beach show).

Lastly, the queen of my fleet is Essence, that wonderful 2007 Vicem 85:

Essence is the largest express downeast-style boat on the planet (So far, anyway. More on that below). Like Untethered, her owner designed her up front to be first and foremost an owner’s boat. His three-cabin layout supports that decision intelligently. Her crew cabin occupies the entire bow area, providing maximal privacy, while her mid-ship master defines elegance as few boats can:

Master Cabin, Essence – Vicem 85

 

I expect you‘ve discerned my preference – When it comes to cabins, after a certain point less is more. And I think Ben Franklin would have agreed with me.

II. On to Italy…

So, Essence is the largest downeast style express boat ever built. But apparently not for long!  I have been in discussions with with a yard in Italy for a client interested in this [four-cabin!] 105’ Belleza Express. Yes, that’s 32 meters. Isn’t she spectacular?

 

 

 

 

 

She has an eighteen month build time, which is remarkable for a yacht this size (although not for steel boats). I have all the details on performance and pricing, so if she interests you, just pull out that trusty flare gun of yours and launch away. Or even better, come to Genoa with me in March and meet the principals. Her pricing is attractive, and full customization is possible.

I never thought anything could eclipse Essence, but I’ve learned to never say never. Come to think of it, isn’t “Eclipse” a great name for a yacht?

III. On to Haiti…

Long time readers will remember my thrills and chills helping to build a school for 400 kids in a “you-can’t-get-there” part of Haiti. A couple of clients have asked recently  about it, so I’ll provide an update, along with a request for some help for some wonderful children.

It took there years and almost $175,000, but we got our school built and operating. What once looked like this:

Has become this, the flagship of schools in the hills of eastern Haiti:

 

It is a beautiful and humbling thing, but….

The original Bodarie School had a short teaching day – classes ended at 1pm. Not because we couldn’t afford the teachers. It’s just that we couldn’t afford a lunch program, and the kids had to go home to eat.  That changed after the Goudou-goudou, the awful earthquake in 2010 (Goudou-goudou is an approximation of the terrible grinding sound Haitians heard during the quake).

In a stroke of good luck, after the earthquake we were able to get a grant from UN reconstruction authorities. The deal was that if we could build a kitchen, they would provide food for our kids. Of course we raced to build that kitchen, and the school day was extended to 3pm. The kids were thrilled, as you can see here as they eagerly  await a rice delivery:

Unfortunately that food grant has now ended, and we had to end the food program. School ends at 1pm again, and the quality of education has of course been impacted.

My friends on the ground in Bodarie tell me that they need $35,000 annually to feed these kids. My friends and clients had a very significant role in getting this school built, and I humbly turn to you again.

We have a dedicated funding stream that largely covers all day-to-day educational costs. But this food enhancement  is just sitting there, waiting for generous souls like my loyal readers to chime in. Please let me know if you can help, and I promise to steward your contribution with the utmost care. An overview of the school’s mission and purpose can be found here:

And the reasons why are right here:

Feed these kids!

Thank you, one and all, for tuning in once again to my ramblings.

Spring is coming. I guarantee it!

Big Wave Dave

 

Drones and Bones….

I. Cats, lots of Cats

I’ve been on the road for much of the last six weeks, and I expect you’ll find the story interesting. The reason: One third of the charter catamarans in the Caribbean were destroyed by Hurricane Irma. That was over 350 cats!

 

Tornado’s spun off near the eye of the Hurricane reached an unimaginable 256 MPH, enough to lift a 65’ power cat off the water, flip it over, and deposit it onshore:

 

No one ever thought that was possible. All in all, it is an extremely humbling exposure to nature’s forces.

For the charter biz, rebuilding is a major challenge. Existing multihull factories in South Africa, France and elsewhere in Europe are running at maximum capacity to try and replace these boats, but they don’t have the facilities and staff to keep up. Under current conditions, it will take no less than three years to restore these fleets. So I’ve been flying about, connecting existing builders and charter boat companies with under-utilized factories in China and Turkey that can take up the slack.

The surprising news is that a big percentage of the re-build will not be sailing cats. Power cats are the future of the Caribbean charter trade. Over the last five years, more and more power cats have entered service. Vacationers increasingly find them ideal for their intended uses. The hurricane has greatly accelerated this trend, and in five years the best guess is that power cats will approach 50% of the entire fleet.

So, as you might imagine, I’ve been learning a lot about these felines. They are fascinating creatures, from design and engineering perspectives.  Of course, for fans of The Fog Warning and the yachts I cover, most will find them rather unattractive. To be fair to their designers and builders, it’s not for lack of trying. It’s just that very hard to build a high-volume power cat that has sufficient bridge deck clearance (measured from under the main salon sole down to the waterline) to prevent pounding and slamming, yet avoid appearing tall and boxy. Here’s some examples of the latter:

 

In time, if the market demands it, designers will come up with sexier approaches. My own highly subjective take on this is that one builder has already accomplished this, with what I see as a downeast style 47′ yacht (!) made by Maine Cat:

On the other hand, what do I know? Less than the marketplace, apparently, as only four of these have sold. I’m very curious what my readers think. This one is on the market, in Fort Lauderdale, for $579k. I haven’t sea trialed her yet, but if you’d like to see her, I’d love to show her to you. Just launch a flare.

II. V is for Visibilty

Long time readers know that one of my big answers to the question WMABGAW (What makes a boat great, and why), is visibility. Simply stated, can you see what you need to see, to operate safely in all conditions?   Providing that kind of visibility requires intelligently designed trim angle (both when coming up on plane, and staying there), ergonomic helm placement, and a proper salon layout. You can read one of my earlier discussion about trim angle if you scroll through the Reliant Yachts category, and you’ll find more related content under my Vicem blog.

What I’ve seen on my expeditions is that on the whole, power cats don’t do visibility well. The boats are so wide (with a beam equal to 50% of length, and even more) that flybridge helms (and even most interior helms) are blind to the boat/dock connect point.That’s asking for trouble, in my book. The Maine Cat solves this problem with a cockpit docking station:

 

 

They are not cheap to engineer and build, but I urge anyone considering a power cat to demand one. Your dock, your neighbors, and your insurance company will all thank you!

As for a bit more on trim angles, take a look at this new and additional (exterior views only) drone footage I just got on Baron, my Vicem 72 listing. It shows, IMHO, how all boats should come up on plane. Most don’t. You’ll see how the entire hull just rises up on the same plane. There is none of this pitched bow/squatting stern/strain-to-come-out-of the-hole kind of operation. In a quiet and fuel efficient way, she just elevates and goes. The bow never obstructs your vision, allowing nearby boats, kayaks and jet skis to all live in peace and joy.

Pretty cool, hug? I find it interesting how drones have fundamentally changed marine photography. Back in the day, around 2007 or so, I had to arrange a bunch of helicopter bookings to get these sort of views. They cost upwards of $10,000 each, and the truth is I never felt fully safe doing them. At one point, running a Vicem 67 from the flybridge, the helicopters’s blades were spinning below me, less than boat length away. I was …. uneasy. But the shots are great, and you can read that review, and see those pix, here:

 

https://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/boat-tests/vicem-67-flybridge

Of course, this brings me to Mahogany Rose, the sistership to the Vicem 67 in that review. She is in Charleston, awaiting your viewing. Call me, baby….

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2007/Vicem-Flybridge-3061371/Charleston/SC/United-States?refSource=standard%20listing#.WoH6rmbMydE

 

III. The Mercy

I’m very excited about the coming release of  The Mercy, a film about Donald Crowhurst’s sad 1968 attempt to win the first single-handed race around the world. As most of you already know, he competed in a badly designed and built trimaran called the Teignmouth Electron. When it began to break up off the coast of Brazil, he decided to drift around the South Atlantic for six months, radioing false reports back to race organizers that showed him in the lead.

His plan was to jump back in the race as his competitors came back around the Cape, and to then claim the prize money as the first back to England.  In the end he couldn’t live with his deceptions, and he chose to simply walk off the back of his boat, leaving a widow and three small children. Today, reading the diaries he left behind,  we would recognize him as suffering from an untreated bi-polar condition. It is a sad story, certainly. But also an essentially human one. Here’s the trailer:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3319730/videoplayer/vi297383961?ref_=tt_ov_vi

I have been obsessed with this story since I followed that race as a ten year old sailor. Obsessed to the point that a few years ago, when I heard that the Teignmouth Electron had eventually washed up somewhere on Cayman Brac, I decided I had to see her with my own eyes. Using Google Earth, I was able to find what looked like a wrecked trimaran up in the dunes:

 

 

And off I went on my Crowhurst  pilgrimage. It wasn’t hard to find what was left of her after almost fifty years:

Original name in faded red paint.

 

I don’t know if she is still there, given the recent hurricanes. But if you would like to make a pilgrimage of your own, I’ll send you the old coordinates. The diving and bone fishing in Brac is extraordinary, by the way.

IV. A New Way

In my last posting on The Fog Warning I talked about how the average time to sell a yacht has reached 13 months, in an otherwise strong economy.  Something ain’t right. I’d like to talk about that a bit more here, starting with a story from Monaco.

I was working the Monaco Boat Show on September 15, 2008. You may remember that as the day Lehman Brothers collapsed. There was a hint of panic on the docks.  I remember seeing an agitated American on the docks, screaming into his cellphone “Treasuries, move everything into treasuries, right now!”

 That night I went out with a bunch of my fellow brokers for a gloomy night of drinking. One of them asked “How long do you think it will take the boat market to come back?”

The first answer to be heard was “Never.

The general consensus was three or four years.

My answer? “Ten years.”

Sometimes (not often enough) I’m right. Here’s a chart for you, showing that finally, after ten years, we have just returned to 2008 levels.

 

 

 

But why then is it taking longer than ever for brokerage boats to sell?

My answer is three fold:

  • Too much product;
  • Not enough differentiation among that product; and,
  • A lack of informed and well-communicated information about which of these yachts are the best value, and of the highest quality.

As you all know, The Fog Warning devotes itself to analyzing and delivering that kind of information. So if your yacht is currently for sale with another broker – a relationship you’d like to keep – I can add a strong Fog Warning boost to their efforts. And I can do so usually at no additional cost to you. If you are curious about the why and how, please contact me off line.

And the same applies if you are looking to buy a high-end brokerage yacht. I can help you find your yacht, saving you real net dollars in the process, again at no charge.

It’s a new way of doing business, coming at just the right time. If you’d like to ride that wave, just launch a flare.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks for listening.

Big Wave Dave

Gemstone Quality

I. Gemstone Quality

A client recently asked me if The Fog Warning had a specific theme. I quickly said: “Sure! On any given day I write about whatever yachts I like.”

But thinking about it later, that seemed just a little shallow. With this new year approaching us, and excited by some improvements you may have noticed to The Fog Warning’s format, I thought a deeper look might help me craft more useful posts for you going forward. So I went back and read the entire Fog Warning in one sitting, and then went on to do the same on my earlier blog, The Vicem Report. Then I spent a long day in front of my fireplace, tying up trout flies for next season. I tell people that’s how and where I do my best thinking! Two dozen of these later ….

#18 Beaded Pheasant tail

… I had my answer: The unifying theme that underlies all that The Fog Warning does is simple. It just seeks meaningful answers to these eternal questions:

What makes a yacht great, and why?

Who makes a great yacht, and how?

My plan for 2018 and beyond is to stick closely to this theme. It goes without saying, but I will say it –   I appreciate you coming along on the ride with me.

While it is not absolutely true, I realized the majority of the yachts I have written about are custom-built. There is a level of care in their design and build (not to mention the level of obsession with which they are dreamed up), that promotes real and enduring quality. Which brings me today to my latest listing:

Truant, this stunning Vicem 70 Flybridge, is available for your inspection in Connecticut. She is marvelous in every regard, but speaking as a Vicem specialist who has been aboard almost every one ever built, the design choices that went into Truant’s custom interior are unmatched by anyone, anywhere. Check these examples out:

I will have some new and terrific videos for you soon.

I was honored to devote eighteen months of my life to Truant’s design and build. Her first owner had a very clear vision of what he wanted. He loved the richness that mahogany offers, but worried that on cloudy days the effect could get a little dark. He told Vicem the entire approach to his interior should be guided by a single word:  “Effervescence” (it took awhile to translate that accurately into Turkish). So her interior became the first entirely high-gloss yacht they ever built. That got them close to the owner’s goals. But it was the stone choices that put them over the top:

The counter tops are made from a rare, gem-stone quality surface called Aphrodite Granite. It is quarried out of a single mine in Madagascar. It has a rare, emerald-like luminescence that is impossible to appreciate in photos. But in person, it almost glows in the dark. As you might imagine, it is rare, and expensive. Trust me, a stone large enough for Truant’s galley was even rarer, and more expensive. Her owner and I travelled through Europe and the US together to find just the right piece, in the right size. In the end it cost about what a new small center console fishing boat costs these days. When you see it, I think you’ll agree it was worth every penny.

In the years since she first splashed,  I have looked far and wide for other yachts that chose Aphrodite.  I found only one, on a large Moonen in Dubai. This makes Truant virtually a one-of-a-kind kind of yacht. You can find more details under my Brokerage tab, above, and on The Fog Warning’s new Yachtworld site, at Yachtworld

Please call me to schedule your own appraisal.

II. Love Me Tender

I walked more than a few miles of docks in Fort Lauderdale and Miami earlier this week. I was struck by the diversity of approaches to tender storage. I was reminded of many client conversations over the years about storing tenders on their custom builds. My answer has always been:

All solutions suck. Pick the one that sucks least for you! 

As an example, feel free to take a look at the yachts I have listed under The Fog Warning’s Brokerage Yachts tab, above. You’ll see an interesting range of tender solutions. I’ll take you through my personal and subjective pro’s and con’s.

A. Flybridge Mounted

First, some photos of Mahogany Rose, my Vicem 67 listing. It’s the owner’s second custom Vicem. He has an engineering bent, and that comes through in many of this yacht’s uniquely functional features. You’ll see here that her tender is flybridge-mounted.

As I see it, a flybridge mount provides these advantages:

  • It’s completely out of the way. The aft area of the extended flybridge is rarely used in a yacht of this size. There is very little impact to the owner’s entertaining plans.
  • The tender is easy to secure and cover.
  • The tender is twenty feet forward and twenty feet above any following sea. Or any following seas I want to see!
  • The added weight is in a good place, fore and aft. Trim tabs can always push the bow down, if needed, but they can’t add any additional rise.
  • It provides a wonderful “motor yacht” look.

The disadvantages?

  • In a roily harbor, without zero-speed stabilizers or a Seakeeper, launching and retrieving by crane on a rolling boat can take a couple of people to do safely.
  • That much weight up high will affect rolling motion, to some degree. The heavier the boat, the less a consideration this is.
  • The support post for the crane has to run down to the keel of the boat. Good designs run this post through closets and behind bulkheads to hide it (don’t get me started on bad designs). But no one likes to give up valuable closet space.
  • If you are berthed in a narrow slip, there’s no room to load or offload the tender until you pull out.
  • Crane’s are hydraulically powered by a PTO from your main engines. If your engines won’t start, neither will your crane. This is why a liferaft is the best solution to real security offshore.

B. Transom Mounted

Keeping your tender on an hydraulically mounted swim platform is a very common solution. You’ll see that in my Vicem 72 listing:

Or this Vicem 85 listing:

Advantages include:

  • Launching and retrieving is easy, even in a roily harbor, at the touch of a button.
  • The additional weight is in a good spot, if your trim tabs have full play.
  • You can launch and retrieve in any bow-in slip, no matter how tight.
  • Transom hydraulic’s  have a manual crank, so at the very least you can launch the boat if you lose power.

On the other hand:

  • Docked stern-to? You’re stuck unless you turn her around to launch,
  • It’s impossible to cover it securely enough offshore. At 11 gallons a pound, a breaching wave will add a huge amount of weight to your stern. Nothing good ever comes from that.
  • You don’t often see it in the sexy industry photos, but best practices are to add restraining straps from the aft end of the platform to the transom. These take time to set up and take down.
  • You lose access to your swim platform, and, most commonly, the boarding ladder underneath it. Recovery of a swimmer (planned or not) can range from difficult to impossible.
  • Boarding the boat from the rear can be very difficult from most docks. It can take some real gymnastic skills, especially when you are carrying bags, or have a dog.
  • The hardware is corrosion prone, and you really have to keep up with your zincs.

As an aside, I saw a lot of boats this week with Freedom Lifts:

They certainly provide full swim platform access. But they are aluminum (see corrosion, above), and you have to be neurotically careful backing into a slip. Also, I’m not sure I’d want to take one offshore unless I had a very encouraging marine forecast.

C. Bow Mounted

Check out Untethered, the 2016 Viking Skybridge:

Her captain tells me lauching and retrieving the tender (from this Seakeeper-equipped yacht) is effortless in most any seas. Now, the advantages of bow-mounted tenders include:

  • On sportfish, this space is almost entirely unused. You might as well use it for something functional.
  • It’s easy to secure and cover the tender in any weather.
  • On sportfish, at least, it does not obstruct visibility. I would not recommend it on lower helm boats, but for better or worse you do see that all the time.
  • You can (yes, I’ve done this) fill it with water to make a great  pool for little kids.
  • You never have to worry about following seas.

Disadvantages? Only two:

  • The pesky crane post must be hidden without sacrificing too much space.
  • Narrow slips give you no place to launch without nudging her out of the slip a bit.

D. Garage-stored

We’ve all seen this everywhere, particularly with Italian designs.

The advantages are obvious – presto-chango, your tender dissapears. Launching and retrieving isn’t quite as easy as you might expect, but its easy enough. The disadvantages?

  • Usually you are limited to a jet-drive tender, as shown above on this Azimut. These tenders are tough to steer at low speeds – exactly the speed you’ll need to approach the garage for hauling
  • Personally, I’m not a fan of storing gasoline vessels below deck. I’m sure that every application has been skillfully engineered. But having seen two explosions and one fire in my nautical career. Me? I prefer to sleep well at night.

III. Brokerage News

You’ll see on The Fog Warning’s new Yachtworld page  (here)  an inspiring variety of stunning brokerage yachts. You’ll be seeing more and more of these as we enter 2018. To quote Bobby D, “The times they are a changin’ ” And one change has been to The Fog Warning’s tag line. It now reads “Your Boutique Brokerage House for Fine Yachts.”

I see significant disruption coming to (at least) the brokerage side of our industry. The current, largely Yachtworld, model is beginning to break down. The proof is that even in this strong economy, brokerage powerboats over 60 feet long now take an average of 13 months to sell!  And big sailboats? Don’t ask. OK, I’ll tell you: It’s taking in excess of  600 days!  Everyone is frustrated, which means something has to change.

It’s not just the yachting industry, of course. We’re just a little late to the party. Every sector of American business has already seen that great steamroller of creative destruction roll down upon them, crushing the old ways and giving berth to new.

As for your trusted blogger and yacht broker,  “I hear that train a-coming”  (says Johnny C) and I’ve got some cool ideas about anticipating and shaping those changes in ways that can help you as sellers and buyers. I’ll be sharing these ideas with you on The Fog Warning soon, but for now just this little hint: Content is king.

Thanks for listening. It may be 14 degrees in the Hamptons tonight, but before I go out to the hot tub I’m sitting by the fire tying up next season’s trout flies. And waiting for your call on Truant – the call that leads everyone else to get one of my famous snoozagram. If it helps you decide to pick up your phone, let me say this: “Yes – her owner will entertain trade offers!”

Enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

PS: Here’s you own personal Steamroller:

 

You Snooze, You Lose!

I. You Snooze, You Lose…

Go ahead, you know you want to! Punch The Fog Warning button:

 

Truant, my Vicem 70 listing (and one of my most-inquired about yachts) is now under contract! Her new owner, an experienced yachtsman who has previously owned some truly remarkable yachts (including the most stunning Lyman Morse I ever had the pleasure to board) knew exactly what he was looking for, and he found it. His successful search says a tremendous amount about his taste, the enduring brilliance of Vicem products, and the “blank check” stewardship of her seller.

But fear not, fellow yachtsmen! I present you with other wonderful and compelling choices. I have spent the last few weeks moving up and down the east coast showing these offerings:

Baron, my Vicem 72 listing:

Mahogany Rose, my Vicem 67 listing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Essence, my Vicem 85 listing:

 

If you are looking for fine yacht for this season, anyone who worked the Palm Beach Boat Show would tell you that quality yachts are trading hands right now. Sales velocity has picked up, and inventory is dropping. I looked at the data last night, and what I see is that older listings are [finally] finding new owners. It does take awhile, under normal circumstances. Almost 400 yachts in the 65 to 85 foot range sold in the US over the last twelve months. I did the (very tedious) math very carefully and found the average time-to-sale was 13 months.

By price, it breaks down like this:

Under $1,000,000 11 months
$2,000,000 to $3,000,000 13 months
$2,000,000 to $3,000,000 12 months
$3,000,000 to $4,000,000 10 months
Over $4,000,000 13 months

Feel free to contact me if you’d like this broken down by specific models, styles, sizes, etc.

I’ve been crunching all this data now to test a hypothesis of mine –  That the greater the gap between a yacht’s original listing price and its final contract price, the longer it takes to sell. I’ll have that analysis for you soon. But meanwhile feel free to call me for a discussion about how this can be managed in your interest.

As far as that interest, quality yachts are growing increasingly scarce. I am here to help you in diverse ways.

First, if you are interested in Baron, Mahogany Rose, or Essence, I suspect you may soon miss out. My boat goes in the water tomorrow. Time is flying by.

Second, if you would like to sell your current yacht so you can move up or out, I can put the full power and reach of The Fog Warning behind you. That power and reach has become industry leading:

  •  Readership just soared past 10,000 readers a year! And all indications are that they are exactly the right readers. As you all know, the focus of this blog is so tightly focused that I’m certain that anyone who takes the time to read is like you – a skilled and knowledgable yachtsman. Exactly the kind of boater you want to bring your brokerage boat in front of.
  • Constant Contact, the email system that regularly connects you to the Fog Warning. has awarded me its 2017 All-Star awardAll Star Award 2016 Winner

The reason? 94% of my recipients choose to click and read every Fog Warning posting. I am honored by your allegiance. Clearly you value what I deliver, and my 10,000+ readers mean you are in very good company.

My approach is to put this award winning content to work in front of my worthy shoppers Let me put your boat in front of their eyes, and I will make something happen. Always have, always will.

 

Third, even if your yacht is currently listed with a broker you are wholly comfortable with, I can help add velocity to that listing at no additional cost to you. Just launch a flare to hear the details.

Fourth, use me to find the next boat of your dream, no matter where she swims. I am currently helping one client find his ideal Fleming, and another client find her ideal Benetti.

In short, let’s push  The Fog Warning button together and sell or buy your fine yacht:

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

 

PS: You knew this was coming….

*** No way! ***

I. Words fail me….

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video must be …. priceless!

 

My new Yachtworld listing for this Vicem 72 Flybridge generated more first week inquiries than any I’ve ever posted. And that’s before I added this stunning video! I reasonably expect she’ll soon become the subject of one of my “You-snooze-you-lose-agrams.”  If you are seriously in the market, I urge you to schedule a viewing as soon as you can.

The full listing can now be found under the “Brokerage Yachts”  tab at the very top of The Fog Warning, and on Yachtworld at:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2008/Vicem-72-Flybridge-3150376/Miami/FL/United-States#.WhzZ87bMydE

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

II. No way!

That’s what most production builders say to clients who ask for a custom build. And that’s the family-friendly response. On the factory floor they’ll insert a few choice words in between the “no” and the “way.” Then they’ll direct their client toward custom builders who quote these kind of projects every day.

You have to respect that kind of discipline.  After all, it isn’t every day business people turn down multi-million dollar contracts. But IMHO it’s the right call. The reasons why are wrapped in and around my favorite joke:

How do you make a small fortune in the boat biz?

Start with a large one!

That gets a laugh every time I tell it. But as Shakespeare so aptly wrote, few things are said in jest!

Successful builders succeed by understanding and managing risk. The best production builders excel by spreading that risk over many units. It’s not a foolproof model,  but it’s a well tested one.

But custom work? I will defer to the Wizard on that one:

If you’re a production builder, the added risks of custom projects make it difficult to charge enough to make it all worthwhile.  The reasons are many, but I’ll list just a few:

  • It is very hard to estimate costs, profitably. If you haven’t done it before, educated guesses about the labor involved often come up way short. For specific options, I’ve seen 100 labor-hour estimates exceed  500 hours when all is said and done.  And yes, it’s the builder that eats most of those cost overruns (with great indigestion).
  • Most custom builds require outside designers, architects, and interior designers. Building a yacht requires clear and efficient communication paths, and a shared vernacular. Bringing in outsiders can disrupt that process, in very costly ways.
  • Depending on outsiders makes builders subject to calendars they can’t control. Watching your exquisitely planned Gantt chart stall out because of people outside your organization is a painful and expensive exercise for a builder. Who pays for it? See indigestion, above.
  • Performance spec’s, everything from final displacement to max speed (two sides of the same coin, always) are hard to predict in a big custom build. Getting it right can add months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to a build.

But every now and again a production builder takes a big breath and accepts the challenge. The reasons?

  • It’s great way to get some quality R&D on someone else’s dime.
  • Knowledge gained during the build almost always translates well to their core production.
  • Remarkable custom builds have a way of becoming production builds for others further down the road.
  • Breaking the mold (a bad boat biz pun there) challenges the build staff to seriously up their game. This usually pays significant dividends on subsequent builds.
  • Magazine covers, magazine covers, magazine covers….

Which is my long and rambling way to get us today to this complete marvel of custom work:


Untethered
, this 2016 custom Viking 82 Enclosed Flybridge Skybridge Model, is as fine a yacht as I have ever seen. Viking accepted the challenge of building a highly customized yacht, with layouts and materials they’ve never used before. I’m very glad they did.

She was commissioned by a friend of mine, and her specs and design considerations are so unique that I am going to spend the next few months of blog-time highlighting features that I think that you, my loyal readers, will find useful and interesting in your own nautical adventures. Her story is fascinating from beginning to end, so buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!

Additional pictures and specs can be found at the ‘Brokerage Yachts” tab at the very top of  The Fog Warning. And if you are impatient, or in the market for a true marvel (understandably so) just give me a call and I’ll tell you some of her stories. You can thank me later.  

I leave for Fort Lauderdale tomorrow to spend some quality time aboard both of these fine yachts. If you are in the area, launch a flare.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave 

 

PS: On the subject of “then they’ll direct their client toward custom builders who quote these kind of projects every day,” that would be our crew here at Reliant Yachts. For example, this wonderful yacht came in on-time, on-spec, on-budget, and 30% less than the competition. Just saying…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** Privet, i dobro požalovat’ ***

I. Privet, i dobro požalovat’ v tumane predupreždenie ……

WAIT!

Sorry about that. Part of my new Russian language blog snuck in while I wasn’t  watching. What I meant to write was Hello, and welcome back to The Fog Warning.

Why a Russian blog? Because Google Analytics tells me that readership of your favorite blog (and mine)  increased 40% worldwide this year, to over 7,200 readers. And while 81% of you are from the US, the next largest readership is from Russia. So The Fog Warning is now available in Russian. Feel free to click on the upper right flags to test it out. And stay tuned for the Chinese and Arabic versions to  follow.

II. If’n you kin do it, it ain’t boasting!

That’s St. Louis pitcher Dizzy Dean speaking, the Depression-era 30 game winner. His National League winning record remains unbroken to this day. I use this great quote whenever I find myself  gushing over a fine yacht. Like this one here:

 

Yes, she’s making 26 knots into steady seven foot seas, somewhere off the Chesapeake during a challenging wind-against-tide delivery. Two things jump out at me here:

  • Stabilizers are a truly wonderful thing. Look at the laptop on the nav desk. If it were a glass of wine, it wouldn’t spill a drop.
  • Cold molded construction? An equally wonderful thing. Watching this powerhouse bury her nose into some steep and square waves, I don’t see any pounding. Not even a shudder. This video shows better than any I’m aware of that cold molded boats don’t slam or pound. Instead, they are designed and built to flex, squeezing themselves though mountains of water. Which is why more than a few owners over the years have said this to me: “Blindfold me and send me out into the slop.  I’ll know right away if she’s fiberglass or cold molded.”

I’m coming up on my twentieth year in this industry. And in that time I have come across very few yachts that can move this fast, with this kind of  safety and comfort, in these conditions. So, to paraphrase Jimmy Dean:

If’n you can find another boat that kin do it, buy it!

As I’m sure you have already guessed, I have found one for you. Her name is The Baron, and she’s a the 2008 Vicem 72 Flybridge in Miami. I am overjoyed to announce that she is our latest listing. Take a look:

 I’ve spent more time running 72’s than any other model. More time, perhaps, than even on my own boats. I was there when the first one launched in 2007. Trust me, it launched big!

It was at the Monaco show, and I could almost hear the competition gasp! No builder in America, Europe or Asia came close to building a large flybridge that could match this yacht’s elegance, speed, and value. But what really blew me away was how purely sexy she was. She gave nothing away to those sleek Italian go-fasts. And what was true then is just as true now, making  The Baron a very serious contender for the most sex appeal, grace, and value afloat.

You can find some advance photography on our Yachtworld listing. And while professionally shot video will follow, here are some amateurish clips I shot last week to back up my claims:

Her original owner has placed her on the market at $1,425,000 She is in beautiful shape, having been full-time captain-maintained the whole time. You can find the complete listing here:

The Baron listing

She can be seen at any time. But trust me, she should be seen right away.

Thanks, and enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

 

PS: At the Lauderdale show last week a loyal blog-reading client I had previously only “met” on the phone called out my name across the dock. I asked how he picked me out.

He said “Dave, nobody at a boat show dresses like you!”

I hereby choose to take that as a compliment.

*** The essence of Essence ***

At some point in their history most successful custom builders are able hit a sweet spot in the design and execution of a truly special yacht. So special, in fact,  that it becomes their flagship. For Vicem Yachts, that flagship was their 2006 Vicem 85 Classic – Essence. 

Essence is the largest and most elegant downeast-styled yacht that Vicem (or any other builder on the planet) ever splashed. Certainly she is the largest express-style lobster boat anywhere. It is hard to overstate the grandeur she presents on the water:

 

Her interior views are no less stately:

 

A truly amazing yacht! I can unequivocally say  that everyone who has ever boarded Essence has come away speechless. And that includes numerous A-list celebrities who have returned many times to enjoy her in charter ( I can’t publicly name them, but buy me a drink or two at the Fort Lauderdale show, and let’s see what slips…).

As you may have guessed by now, I am both excited and honored to announce today that Essence is now for sale. She and I are now actively in search of her next owner. It should be you…

This head-turner makes a powerful statement in every harbor she enters. Here she is in the Bahamas, and like all great designs she appears to move, even when at rest:

As impressive as her lines are, to me the true soul of Essence come from her two large, beautifully furnished salons. Down below a formal salon of 360 square feet (and how many yachts do you know where you can talk about square footage?) provides seperate seating and dining areas for eight pampered guests, adjacent to the chef’s galley:

Add to her a second salon of 280 square feet on the pilothouse deck (with seating and dining for eight, adjacent to the outdoor grill) –

– and you get palatial accommodations without any sacrifice to intimacy.

And I haven’t even gotten to her huge cockpit area yet. With her upper salon and cockpit on the same level, there area almost 45 running feet of indoor/outdoor living space:

I have run Essence in Europe and in the States with as few as two, and as many as forty-five guests. Everything and everyone just fits in a state of pure elegance. I’ve been aboard more than a few megayachts that fall short when measured against Essence’s aesthetic.

The owner has decided to make a move back to sailing, his first love. So Essence is now being offered seriously for sale at $1,950,000 ($1,500,000 less than when she was last on the market). The full listing can be seen here:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2006/Vicem-85-Classic-3136312/Palm-Beach/FL/United-States#.WdKYALHMydE

Essence resides in Palm Beach. I am pleased to say that special arrangements have been made to chauffeur my clients (by the owner’s Bentley) to and from the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show so that they can spend some quality time aboard this one of a kind yacht.  Please call me for an appointment.

It is, I’ll repeat, an honor to be associated with this work of art.

Enjoy!

Big Wave Dave

 

PS: Some history – I watched Essence getting built, stick by stick as they say, in 2005 and 2006. I was commuting to Istanbul on a monthly basis back then, and that gave me a sort of “fast forward” perspective on how a flagship like this gets built. She took up at least a quarter of the factory, and in fact was so big that it was hard for me to get a handle on her grandeur until she went in the water.

I watched her first sea trial from my favorite wine bar on the Asian side of Istanbul (want a great wine? Oküzgözü, meaning bull’s eye, is a really good red). She passed under the Bosporus’ Ataturk Bridge at sunset, where she was lit up by the city’s  nightly summer fireworks display. It was a moving experience. A line from Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez  kept pulling at me – something about a “boat-shaped mind.” I looked it up later, and today it is my [small] gift to you:

And a boat, above all other inanimate things, is personified in man’s mind. Some have said they have felt a boat shudder before she struck a rock, or cry when she beached and the surf poured into her. This is not mysticism, but identification. Man, building this greatest and most personal of all tools, has in turn received a boat-shaped mind, and the boat, a man-shaped soul.

For me that is the essence of Essence. I look forward to sharing her with you during the Fort Lauderdale show.

*** Night Moves ***

I. Florida

First and foremost, to my Florida friends and clients – My thoughts are with you today. Please let me know if and how I can help. My list of high-quality service providers in Florida is long and well-tested, so just launch a flare for even the smallest question.

II. A Classic Pocket Yacht
I’m almost done pulling together my extensive notes for what will end up being a ten-part series on the history of downeast style boats. As far as I can tell, no one has told this story in the way it deserves. Which is why it’s also going to be the core of a pretty cool book proposal. I expect to have it out to agents and publishers shortly. Either way, it’s a fun project, and I’ll keep you posted.

A significant part of that story swirls in and around Duffy Yachts. Duffy’s, built by the Atlantic Boat Company of Brooklin, Maine (home to the Wooden Boat School, of which I am thrilled to be a graduate). run from 26 to 48 feet, and are pure lobster boats. ABC has built as many for commercial use as for recrational, and they all share the same DNA: A fine forefoot up front, joined to flat sections aft that combine to produce good speed and excellent rides.  When it’s ten degrees on a downeast February morning, and you’ve gotta go out to check your lobster traps in a a 35′ boat, you better hope your boat is safe and comfortable. That’s been the key to Duffy’s success.

When a small builder like ABC produces over 350 of one model over a forty-five  year run, you know you’re looking at a great boat. That boat is their 35:

 

As Classic as Classic Gets…

Many of my clients have owned Duffy’s at some point in their boating life. It’s usually at the beginning of their downeast path, before moving up to Hinckley’s,  Vicem’s, Saber’s and Reliant’s. But even after many boats and years have passed, I’ve seen them get a touch misty-eyed when they talk about their old Duffy.

Well, our latest listing is for a 2001 Duffy 35:

Doro has just undergone $65,000 of work at the fine Pettigrew yard in Southwest Harbor, Maine. I’ve never seen any work come out of Pettigrew that was less than perfect.

The owner of Doro is asking $159,000. You can find the complete listing here:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2001/Duffy-35-3128139/Wrightsville-Beach/NC/United-States#.WbMu-bHMydE

Wanna see a video? Here she is, doing her downeast thing:

https://youtu.be/FS-pyTqVOAw

She’s down in the Carolina’s, and I’d be happy to show her to you at any time.

II. Night Moves

A friend of mine by the name of Gregg Clarke currently owns a beautiful Vicem 51, Serenity. And, coincidentally, a Duffy before that.  Gregg keeps her in Connecticut, at the historic Riverside Yacht Club (founded in 1888, RYC is the second oldest Yacht Club in Connecticut). I last saw Serenity at those thrilling America’s Cup trials in lower Manhattan last year, where she was the prettiest boat in the harbor.

Gregg pens a regular column on seamanship for the RYC’s newsletter. A recent column on operating a yacht at night rang loudly for me, and I thought my readers would enjoy it. So here ya go:

RYCSense – July 2017

I have one extra tip for you about night moves, and I’ll cover that in my next posting.

III. Heading South
Your next opportunity to see out Reliant 40 Commuter is at the Annapolis Powerboat Show, from October 12th through the 15th. Not the Sailboat show, the week earlier. How can you tell the difference? Well, it’s not just the tall sticks in the water. The waitresses and bartenders celebrate when the last sailor leaves town. They scream the difference this way:

“Bring on those powerboaters! These sailboaters are so cheap that if the wind weren’t free, they wouldn’t sail!”

Here’s our Commuter 40:

Reliant Yachts Commuter 40

So that’s the story, Jack. Launch a flare for any questions. Until my next posting then, stay safe and sound.

Big Wave Dave

 

PS: You knew, you just knew, I was going to end with this, from 1976. Bob has an enviable race record, btw, on a very hot sled in the Great Lakes. I’ve tried to get his autograph for years, from fellow racers. Hint, hint…

*** Tesla smart! ***

I. Tesla Smart!

Any fellow Crunchbase readers out there? Reading it is part of my morning routine, along with the Times and my oatmeal and raisins. This week it informs me that Tesla, upon releasing their new broader-market Model 3, has come to understand that service is king. To support their next phase of growth they’re adding a full-featured, nationwide service component. It’s a good call. Frankly I’m not sure how they’ve grown thus far without it.

I’ve seen this sort of challenge in the boat biz, where it’s all too easy to get excited and put the cart before the horse (or is that the dinghy before the boat?). Here and there I get calls from European builders looking for advice on how to break into the U.S. market.  I’m always happy to listen to their plans and schemes, hopes and dreams (see PS, below). The calls mostly follow the same pattern — an excited recounting of why their boats are perfect, and perfect for the US market, and that all they need is some assistance with marketing and distribution strategies.  When they stop talking long enough to take a deep breath, I ask the $64,000 question:

“How you gonna service them, my friend [mon amie] [mio amico] [arkadaşım]?

This is usually met with, in Italian: “Passeremo su quel ponte quando arriveremo ad esso.”  

Or a French  “Nous traverserons ce pont quand nous y arriverons.”

Or a Turkish “O köprüya geldiğimizde geçeceğiz.”

Basically, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Na-ah, I say!

Look, we all live this reality. Boats float in a tough world, a challenging environment, with high levels of:

  • Heat
  • Salt
  • Sun
  • Vibrati0n
  • Condensation
  • Poor access to high-maintenance components, and, most of all:
  • Very busy owners who put a premium on quality, hassle-free time on the water.

The last is the biggest and toughest point to get across to some offshore builders. With all due respect to my European friends and clients (and I really do mean this as a quality-of-life compliment) I’ve found that, on average, successful Americans work a bit harder than successful Europeans. Put another way, and with some jealousy,  Europeans just play more.

When asked how I can back that up,  I say look at the same model-and-year brokerage boat in the U.S. and Europe. With a big enough sample it becomes clear that European boats have on average about 15% more engine hours.

Quality time on the water is a more concentrated, scheduled experience here than across the pond.  And when you’ve got just x number of boating days planned in a busy season, you cannot and should not have to tolerate boating time lost to a broken fridge, head, or air conditioner. When you need service, you shouldn’t have to wait. Whether your vehicle of choice rolls on four wheels or none, service is king.

Which is why I’m so pleased to announce that Reliant Yachts has put in place a hefty service plan in eleven states, covering the entire East Coast from Maine to Florida. You can read all about it here:

http://www.reliantyachts.com/reliant-yachts-service-partners/

In the vicinity, skilled, quick, and dependable service. It’ll work for Tesla, it’ll work for Reliant Yachts, and it’ll work for you.

II. Brokerage Update

Some updates from our Brokerage world, loyal readers:

  1. First, the owner of Mahogany Rose, our Vicem 67 listing ….

…tells me that he’s considering going back to sail. So he is now open to quality trades, including of a larger sailboat. Please call me for the details. The boat is in Charleston this month, and I’d be happy to meet you down there most any time. The full listing can be seen here:

The Only Large Vicem FB on the Market!

2. Secondly, I am really happy to report that Reliant, our Commuter 40 listing, will be displayed and available for sea trial next weekend in beautiful Sag Harbor!

She and I will be at the town dock from Friday afternoon through Monday morning. By all means stop by for a beer and sea trial. And if you’re in the area, Shelter Island is just a few hundred yards away. Coincidently, this week the Times had one of those fun “36 hours in…”  articles about Shelter, and you can find it here:

36 Hours in Shelter Island

I can even run you over there by Commuter! So by all means come out to play in the Hamptons this weekend. I can promise you a great time.

III. A Cool Vid

I can’t let an episode of The Fog Warning go by without a cool boating video. This one is prompted by some of the nice comments I got from last week’s posting about quality time on the water, which for me involves fly fishing. Some questions came in about exactly how and where I do that, and the best answer can be found here, in a great new film from my friend Jamie Howard out of Montauk:

Running the Coast: 1,000 miles with the striped bass migration

"The best film on this fish. Period. I was amazed they got it all.." -Lefty Kreh, IGFA Hall of Fame -THE ENTIRE ROAD TRIP STREAMING FOR LIFE NOW. www.HowardFilms.com/runningthecoast Tyler Nonn Greg Myerson Paul Dixon Bob Popovics Jason Mleczko Greg Bostater Eric Wallace Chesapeake Bay Foundation Montauk, New York Montauk Fishing Gear Stars and Stripes Stripers Online Surfcaster's Journal Online Magazine Striped Bass Fish Reports Outside Magazine Mensjournal.com Maine Kayak Fishing Orvis Fly Fishing L.L.Bean Flyfishing The F3T Fly Fisherman Striped bass fishing Massachusetts Striped Bass Association Striped Bass Conservation Coalition

Posted by HowardFilms on Thursday, May 11, 2017

My own flats boat, a Sea Strike 160,  isn’t too far from Sag. If any client would like to try this kind of fishing with me, just launch a flare. I’m not a professional guide, which just means I won’t bark at you like the guides in the video when you screw up.

Ciao for now, loyal readers. Coming soon is my long, balanced and candid discussion about jet drives.

Big Wave Dave

 

PS: Hopes and dreams, plans and schemes? You probably recognize that lyric from the great doo-wop song done by the Skyliners in the year I was born. But I prefer this modern Brian Setzer Orchestra version, which really swings. Grab your partner and dance to it. I just did!