12 Tips to sail the world on a budget – and REALLY travel

We live in the world of quick city escapes and instagram pictures posted but the most exotic destinations ‘consumed’ just like they were a McDonald’s happy meal. All of us who have experienced sailing do know that there is another way to travel. Yes, because there is a significant difference between being a tourist and being a traveller. A sailor is generally a lot more than a traveller rather than a tourist.

The difference is simply in the depth of the experience. A lot of sailors have the dream to sail the world on a budget or to be more accurate sail the world in a financially sustainable way.

Sailing and travelling by sea is a whole different experience compared to taking a plane and checking in in a hotel, it certainly more difficult and it is not for everybody but on the other hand it is life-changing to an extent that a plane trip will hardly ever be [with some exceptions ]. Sailing the world can actually be done on a budget, but how?

Nowadays, technology has allowed people that are not just infinitely wealthy by birth to actually put together a plan to sail around the world and keep doing it extensively for years maintaining a financially sustainable lifestyle.

Until some year ago travelling around the world (comfortably) extensively was something that most people could do after 10,20 or even 30 years of work and savings to be able to afford it, but now, there are several ways to work remotely, monetise content and learn on the go.  Surely, if you have enough accumulated wealth to not worry for rest of your life you won’t need these tips but that’s 1% of the population of the world. Lastly, the age factor, what if you could afford it at 30 years old or earlier rather than at 60 or older, would you not have a little more energy and good health to enjoy the trip and the world?

sailing the world on a budget

These two 20-something Australians have been onboard for years now sailing by more than 30 countries and from the looks of it, we don’t believe they’re going to stop anytime soon.

We really liked Sailing La Vagabonde adventure and their protagonist spontaneity, thus we are suggesting our readers to take inspiration.

sailing the world on a budget

Also, because we do know a thing or two about buying, refitting, and managing vessels we would like to add a few of our tips so that you get 8 tips from Riley and Elayna (The couple from the video above)

  1. If you are buying a boat and it is your first one we have a full dedicated guide to buying your first boat , just click this link
  2. Yes, Riley and Elayna are right. Boats are generally less expensive in EU or in the U.S. compared to Australia and one trick to find very very good deal is to scout for auctions (we just published an article about one boat auction ) so don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter.
  3. If you need to do some work to your boat in the U.S. the South of Florida is a great place and in Europe the South of Italy, Turkey and Greece have a long standing marine tradition but also the U.K. and the northern european country are very well skills (might be a little colder)
  4. If you are considering to work remotely as a freelancer regardless of your skills (you could be an engineer and architect or a web developer or graphic designer, writer, video maker or voiceover talent) there are plenty of platforms such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and many other to monetise your skills and work remotely
  5. Compared to a few years ago, now there are also a plethora of platforms that will allow you to charter your boat throughout your travels and make money as and when you need them throughout your around-the-world journey. Some examples are Boardaboat.com, BoatSetter.com, BoatBookings.com TheYachtMarket.co.uk YourBoatHoliday.com and many other.



Under-construction: Alurib Tender + foils




Currently under construction and for sale is the Alurib tender.

This is a very peculiar vessel that can be used like a normal leisure RIB or for more heavy duty uses at diving schools, marine research expeditions, and military applications.

 

One of the main advantages of a non-inflatable tube is that it provides a large and well distributed storage area.

In our case we are studying a foldable wings system to turn this vessel into a small-size hydrofoil that can serve both the leisure market and the workboat market.

The price range of the vessel depending on the installed power will vary from 150k-250k euros.

Contact us for more details

 

 

19%-20% Growth Projected for the 2017 Global Yachting Industry

Whereas the total growth of Luxury goods in 2016 grew only of 4% according to Bain and Co.. Preliminary estimates we are making see the growth of the global yachting industry at 19-20% for 2017 and we believe it is very likely, given the general sentiment of the boat show season, that this yacht market growth will be sustained for the year 2018.

The size segment of Yachts above 30 meter in length as tracked by Super Yacht Intelligence shows a significant growth as well.

Note that the RED represents (orders) the LIGHT BLUE represents yachts under construction and the GREEN represents delivered/launched vesselsSuperyacht Orders vs Delivery

It is also interesting to notice even the average size of large yachts has grown from 47.8 meters in 2013 to 51.6 meters in 2017.

Avg Size of SuperYacht growth 2017

Of the overall yacht market 86% is the share of motorboats whereas the sailboat market has a market share of 12% and the remaining 2% is represented by rigid inflatable boats also referred to as RIBs.

The refit and repairs market is well over 1 billion euros in value worldwide.

The top 10 countries in terms of number of boats per 1000 citizens is shown in the graph (source: DELOITTE) below and is topped by northern European countries that have a strong nautical culture and a solid GDP per capita.

 

Boat Ownership:1000

 

 

The production of yacht going in 2017-18 will be distributed largely as in the previous years.

World Production Of Yacht 2017

 

 

The fleet of supeyacht is set to grow significantly towards 2022 with a related growth of the whole yachting economic system that is driven by large yachts.

Superyacht unit growth by 2022

It is important to note that because the average size of super yachts is growing the number of deliveries could be decreasing.

 

Are there sharks in the Med? The truth about sharks in the Mediterranean sea.

Unlike most people seem to think there are sharks in the mediterranean sea. To be precise there are a plethora of species, exactly 47 . It is therefore fair to say we have some representatives of a lot of the existing sharks although not all of them.

Don’t panic there have been statically 0.42 shark attacks per year for approximately the last 150 years and it is far more likely indeed that you were on holiday in the south of Italy and you have been eating shark thinking that it was swordfish than any shark will ever having you for dinner. It is more common than not that fishermen with a little street kiosk re-use the chopped head of a swordfish and sell you shark in disguise, don’t panic there either, some sharks are very good to eat and you probably won’t notice the difference either.

Having said the above, some of our friends were out there fishing on a quite small boat just a few weeks ago and they did send a video and their geographic position as our team was very close. Thus, we are going to share this video with you which was shot south of the Island of Ponza.

FACT: Up until the 2016, 60 cases of shark attacks on people or against boats (including canoes) have been registered with the MEDAF in the Mediterranean since 1899. The individual cases can be divided into the following described subcategories (go to the source of this figures)

We are not going to lie, the reason why we even wrote this article and we were so fascinated by this very finding has its roots in the fact that this is not just a shark it’s a Mako Shark, the fastest of all sharks reaching speeds of 68km/h. At Rodriquez Consulting speed technology is a big theme and we can’t do anything but admire the perfect engineering of these creatures.

Again don’t panic: The mako sharks eat bony fishes like tunas, mackerel, swordfish or bonito and it may eat other sharks, sea turtles, sea birds or porpoises. Mako sharks swim beneath their prey,  then they eat it before the prey notices that.

If you are one of those people who likes to be extra safe even if the statistic are clearly in your favour (0.42 shark attacks a year for over 100 years consistently):

Here are some shark repellent solutions – We can’t quite say if they work and surely not recommend any specific one as we never actually used any, we believe sharks have more right than us to be in the oceans. The only things shark can sense and get away from that has been scientifically proven is the scent of dead sharks which clearly triggers their survival instinct.

2016 Sharkbanz – Magnetic Shark Repellent Band Azure

The Yacht Charter Business Plan – Now Available for Download –

Planning to buy a yacht to start yacht/boat charter business can be very tricky. There is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution. For this reason we have created a Guide on how to choose your boat (Read this article) and if you want to crunch the numbers to charter your boat/s throughout the year we have developed a customisable Yacht Charter business plan [See Below] template on Excel (Click here to go to the product) which you can download and customise.

You could be choosing the yacht charter business as a lifestyle business or retirement plan or you maybe  you are planning to launch a new concept with innovative features to bring a breath of fresh air to the industry in any case we are here to help and always happy to hear from entrepreneurs and yachting enthousiasts.

Even with a fully developed excel model you can find it tricky to make it work, thus, we have decided to include in the price of the Yacht Charter Business Plan Template, a 30-minute consultation so that we can help you get started or check your plan once you have filled it in with your data. Once you purchased the Yacht Charter Business plan package that includes the consultation [See product description below] we will get in touch with you within 24hr from your purchase to make sure the consultation is on schedule at your most convenient time.

  • Yacht Charter business plan

    Yacht Charter Business Plan – Ms Excel Template + Consulting Session

    £198.30
  • Yacht Charter business plan

    Yacht Charter Business Plan – MS Excel Template – FILE ONLY

    £47.80

Every area of the world is different and every boat has its own requirements, so among the many things we can check for you is the value of the vessel you have put your eyes on, your expectation as to how many weeks of charter you can expect to sell, the maintenance costs in the area you are planning to keep and/or operate the vessel, your crew costs and many other elements that can make your operations and business successful or not.]

Furthermore, we will point you in the right direction in terms of marketing tools, platforms that you can use to advertise your charter offering and tips on how to create a unique experience and stand out from all other boats offered in your area/s of choice. We will also be able to let you have discounted offer on marketing and advertising product that will enable you to get the word out fast.

Don’t miss the opportunity to have our experienced team check your business plan and advise you on a 1-1 basis on the best way to proceed, choose your boat, manage the vessel, and market your charter business efficiently.  A lot of yacht charter industry leaders have already used our services and have reached great results.

If instead you have quite a bit of experience in business planning and you feel you don’t need our support just now you can download our Yacht charter business plan Excel File-only version and get started. You can always get in touch with us later on in case you would like our help in one or more aspects of your yacht charter business.

 

UPDATE: Aicon Yachts bankruptcy auction – new yachts at 90% less – Auction

UPDATE: The live auctions are starting again as of Sept 2017 – Our company is bringing forward several clients offer if you would like to join our clients please contact us and save thousands in valuation cost, legal costs, translations, logistics, and refitting work. 

Once it was Aicon Yachts and it was designing and building, award winning yachts sold worldwide including a line of open/coupe fast yachts (Aicon 62 and Aicon 72) that made several appearances on the  U.S. TV series CSI. Its designed was imitated by several other yacht builders. It built for and delivered to NBA stars like Glen Rice (Aicon Yachts 64 Flybridge named G-Force) and several other celebrities.

— PLEASE READ THE UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS ARTICLE–

To make the long story short the crisis took its toll on Aicon Yachts and not too long after its IPO on the Milan Stock Exchange the company had to file for bankruptcy.

Today a large quantity of Yachts between 54 and 110 feet are available on auction and among them a large number of units of Aicon 62 in various stages of construction some of them are over 95% finished and it would not take much to get them ready and launch them.

Aicon Yachts Navetta 110

Aicon Yachts Navetta 110

Aicon Yachts has been a client of our firm much before the IPO, therefore we are very familiar with their production lines, production managers, designers, engineers and a lot of the very valuable workers that made this company. It was indeed quite an impressive growth from 0 to over 100 units per year in less than 10 years. Despite the unlucky epilogue of the company itself there are still hundreds of people enjoying their Aicon yachts in all corners of the world.

For those in the industry it is an opportunity to acquire assets (boats or machinery) and for individual investors (with our support) it is a unique opportunity to acquire interesting yachts at a fraction of what they would cost even pre-owned.

We are in a unique position to offer support to individuals and companies that want to seize the opportunity to acquire one or more of these vessels in order to finish them and resell them or charter them.

Our team is available to support buyers in the following steps:

  • Yacht Acquisition and Budgeting of the works to be done
  • Yacht transport before and/or after refit 
  • Yacht Registration, flag, insurance
  • Interior design and interior fittings project management 
  • System Engineering and installation 
  • Where applicable [0 hours engines]; Insurance Warranty for vessels to be registered as new units 

The Original Production line of Aicon Yachts consisted of the following vessells:

Aicon 52 (dismissed for stability issues)  [Flybrigde Model]

Aicon 54 [Flybrigde Model]

Aicon 56 (Best Seller) [Flybrigde Model]

Aicon 56

Aicon 64 (Award Winner) [Flybrigde Model]

Aicon 64

Aicon 62 Open/Coupe 

Aicon Yachts 62 open

Aicon 72 Open/Coupe 

Aicon 72

Aicon 75 [Flybridge Model] 

Aicon 75 -Aicon Yachts bankruptcy auction; new yachts at 90% less - Auction

Aicon 85 [Flybridge Model] 

Aicon Yachts bankruptcy auction; new yachts at 90% less - Auction

Aicon 110 Navetta [Never Completed – see image below] 

Aicon Yachts bankruptcy auction; new yachts at 90% less - Auction

Aicon Yachts Navetta 110

The prices of the vessels at auction go from €20,000 to €240,000 depending on the vessel and at what stage of construction that is. – The retail prices of these vessels were between €650,000-€3M+

 

UPDATE: A lot of the vessels (as you can see by clicking on the judicial auction website below) have been already sold and some of them have been pre-selected by a few of our clients for the next round of offers. The next round of offers will be presented as early as Sept 2017, thus contact us (+44 7445 30 86 22) if you would like our assistance with the following process to acquire one or more vessels.

Process and Requirements:  (Pre-Acquisition)

  1. Preparation of offer document and estimate of suitable offer and related cautionary fully refundable deposit of 10% of the offer value for the court to validate the offer.
  2. Legal and technical translation of the offer document into Italian according the Italian court requirements
  3. Inspection of the vessel by our naval engineering team on our client behalf to make sure that at time of offer the Bankruptcy Court has described the object accurately to the most current status
  4. Budgeting of the works needed to get the vessel up to the required standard of the naval registry and ready for launch (as per client requirements)

Process and Requirements:  (Post-Acquisition):

  1. Coordination of the logistic to move the vessel to the chosen destination
  2. Ownership registration and flag (where applicable for finished vessels and if required by client)
  3. Work scheduling and technical supplies provision
  4. Contractual arrangement with the Shipyard recommended to carry out the necessary works
  5. If/where needed; naval engineering and architecture to customise the vessel acquired upon request by new owner.
  6. Shipyard work supervision and coordination if/where needed and requested by client.
  7. Booking and coordination of the Naval Registry (of choice) inspector visit and pre-visit compliance check.
  8. Launch of the vessel and delivery to the client chosen port or support in finding mooring space for the vessel in the client chosen area and transport of the vessel to destination (on Wheels or by Sea).

NOTE of Full Disclosure: Rodriquez Consulting does not get a commission on any of the boats acquired the service we provide are of use during the acquisition and billed separately and after the acquisition if you choose our company to manage the works each vessel will need after acquiring any of the vessels subject of this auction. 

If you would like to know more about what vessels are still available you can use this link Aicon Yachts AUCTION

Why is page load time so important for your website?

In the industry of boats and especially when we are looking at the leisure boating industry pictures/images play an incredibly important role in making a website successful. Getting a prospective client to fill in a form and enquire for more info is the name of the game. Ultimately, it is about motivating people enough to make that first move on your websites. Have you ever heard the sentence ‘an image speaks more than 1000 words’  well that is very much the case with all sorts of communication but when it comes to luxury items it’s exponentially true. Not to mention that in these times we live in a lot of the content (images, text, videos) are consumed on-the-go on mobile devices.

 

Some of you may think we are stating the obvious; good images = better communication however, on the web ‘good’ images can come at a ‘high price’ which means a lot of KB or even MB (kilobytes or Megabytes of data) to load on each page when a web visitor is browsing your website. The key phrase here is PAGE LOAD SPEED. 

Why is load time so important ? Because it directly effects your conversion rate

Converstion Rate VS Load TIme

Did you ever use Google Page Speed Insight, or the Pingdom Speed Test to check on the load speed of your website. Well if you haven’t already these are free tools and you should have them at your fingertips and weekly check the performance of your website. You can rest assured that your prospective customers are NOT going to wait for your website to load if it is slower than they are used to.  In the Image below you can see that the speed test has some main indicators:

  1. The load time

  2. The Page Size in Megabytes
  3. The number of requests
  4. The location the website is tested from


Among these 4 points the only one that isn’t not self explanatory is number 3: The number of requests.

The number of requests (a.k.a.: number of Calls ) is the total number of request that a browser used by your website visitor ‘asks’ your server to load in order to put together the full page and display it. Think of it (metaphorically) as the number of pieces of a puzzle that you need to display the whole home page for your web visitors.

In the image below you can see the number of calls sorted by load time.

RC Calls Pingdom Speed Test

The load speed ultimately is the total time it takes to deliver ‘answers’ to these requests/calls (in our case 89 requests or pieces of the puzzle to get back to our metaphor)

Now what you want to know is essentially how do I get my website to perform better in terms of load time (say under 2-3 Secs and ideally in the region of 1.5sec or lower)

We can guarantee that you traffic will increase and your leads will increase as a consequence as soon as you website is speed-optimised.

These are some key things you can do

  1. Most important is your hosting server (the place where your website lives):
    1. HOSTING: We  highly recommend SiteGround but you can try many other services and see which fits you best. The reasons why we love SiteGround   are numerous and quite technical so we won’t go into too much details, however, it is incredibly simple to migrate a website to them because the will assist you step-by-step and their customer support and speed is second to none especially if you are using wordpress. If your website is of the size of Netflix or YachtWorld.com you will probably need AWS (Amazon Web Server) but chances are you will be already on AWS  paying 20-30 times what Siteground would charge you.
  2. Make sure you images are of reasonable size, you don’t really need anything above 150kb. You can use an image optimiser that is compatible with your CMS and if you are using wordpress you find a lot of them
  3. Make sure to minify or inline the CSS, and eliminate render-blocking JavaScript
  4. Lastly, you can use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as CloudFlare to make sure your website display from the closest server possible to your web visitor

If you need help migrating your website or optimise your conversion don’t hesitate to contact us

What price should I pay for the boat I want?

A yacht or a boat valuation is no ordinary process and it can hardly be compared to other vehicles  like cars or even planes simply because most boats are built in very small series or one-off and even those that do have a production line are hardly identical to one another. (exception made for some personal watercraft and a very few more modern brands).

A lot of vessels, often some of the most beautiful you will ever see, have only been built once and never replicated therefore it is hard to compare them to another similar vessel.

The way we approach valuations is essentially a combination of a technical valuation of the vessel and its status together with a market valuation based on some comparable boats from comparable [or the same] designer/shipayard. However, in this [apparently] simple equation there is one element we take into account very seriously and that is that the yacht market is relatively illiquid [not easily convertible into cash] at least in several size segments, therefore, the rarity of buyers gives them the opportunity to have an advantage on the price. On the other hand, it can be counter argued that those who buy boats, especially above the 50 feet segment, are generally not desperate for cash, and therefore can afford to play hardball on their sale price.

One more element that is to consider in terms of liquidity of the market is the very geographical area the vessel is located. For example areas such as the South of Florida in the U.S. are far more liquid markets than the UK, therefore you will often see faster transaction and less tiring negotiations than in other parts of the world.

This is not to say that you can’t get lucky and acquire a vessel for a significantly lower price that what a technical valuation would suggest. Our history is full of clients acquiring their vessel at 30-40 or even 70% their value however, these are often complex situations such as bankruptcies or even divorces at times and need to be handled with care. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find an owner who might not even know [maybe because he/she inherited the vessel] that the vessel actually comes with a £40,000 unpaid bill from the marina where the vessel was moored in the last 2 years.

Helping people acquire their favourite boat or their ideal charter vessel is something we have always been passionate about, therefore, we are in the process of building a free Yacht Valuation Form to help you acquire your next boat at the right price.

Increasing Conversion Rate From web visitor to prospective customer – relationship building in yachting websites

Increasing the conversion rate on a yacht related website is not a one size-fits-all job. The truth to be told is that the yachting industry is still strongly based on relationship building. Not many people really buy a boat online (over 20 feet) and even those companies who are very experienced in selling yacht charters like BoatBooking.com don’t believe that yacht charter holidays can be sold online with no human-to-human interaction on a 1-1 basis just yet.

Therefore,  it is crucial to increase and optimise conversion rate. Conversion rate is the measure of how many website visitors become leads and then again how many leads become customers. It is a numbers game but also a game based on relationship building.

Fortunately, technology is much better and more affordable than it was even only 10 years ago. There are plenty of tools that are aimed at improving and increasing the interaction between website visitors and the business behind the website.

One tool which has given us a lot of satisfaction with a number of clients including the one mentioned previously is the live chat tool .

Increasing conversion rate

The reason is fairly simple. It allows people to talk to the business behind the website they are visiting and ask them all sorts of questions. While it sometimes can be a huge waste of time on high traffic websites it is incredibly useful for websites who do not have traffic numbers in the tens of thousand every day. Furthermore, every conversation (chat) can be useful to understand how the business can improve its website and provide information (maybe as FAQs) that are get repeatedly asked in a number of chats.

On the other hand if you are an experienced yacht broker for example you will have immediately a sense for who you are speaking to (chatting) by the question one asks.

In one case of one clients the mere customisation of the live chat we did for them brought their conversion rate up by 4% in less than 30 days. The reason behind it was that real prospective customers who wanted to charter yachts could immediately understand from the chats that they were talking to real experienced brokers instead of a contact center in a developing country, that instilled the much needed confidence the HNWI web visitor requires to leave their contact info and follow-up with a the broker.

There are many tools we have tried and tested and a lot of them implied the operator (chat operator that is) to sit at his desktop/laptop with the backend of the website open waiting for chats to happen. This practice is of course not sustainable for the size of the teams of many companies in the yachting industry so we kept on searching for a better tool. In the end the one which we decided it is the best value for money and the most user-friendly for nontechnical users is from a company called LiveChat Inc.

They offer several features for advanced customisation of every greeting in every page and also based on the language of the user (yes the tools ‘knows it’ before hand based on where the web visitor is typing from).

LiveChat visitors
Lastly, the tool has a wonderfully designed mobile app which means that you can manage your chats just like you would manage text or WhatsApp conversations from your phone. It doesn’t hurt that they offer a free trial period so you can test it and decide whether it is for you or not.

The integration with your website is quite easy if your website is in WordPress, there is a dedicated plug-in for it. However if you need help contact our digital team 

If you want to try to implement the Livechat on your business website go ahead and use this link  and let us know what are your first impressions in the comments if you like.

We liked the results we were able to achieve with our clients through the LiveChat tool that we decided to become their partner and help other companies achieve those results too

Live Chat Software

The Last New Morgan Yacht 70ft is available to buy 50% off the RRP

Very recently we received a phone call that was pleasantly surprising . The Morgan Yacht 70 feet that was almost ready to be launched a few years ago  (and never was) had being brought out of a messy situation involving the bankruptcy of Aicon Yachts and liquidation of its asset.

The Morgan Yacht 70 was originally designed after the smaller sister the Morgan Yacht 130ft initially sold to Ferrari CEO, Cordero di Montezemolo.

A shipyard owner that we trust had been involved in moving the vessel on land and is involved in ‘refreshing’ it as the vessel was covered in the shipyard for quite a few years during the legal issues of Aicon Yacht that had acquired the brand in most recent years.

The vessel represents maybe the last opportunity to acquire a new (under full warranty) Morgan Yacht 70 at a very competitive price in the region of euros 1.1m with 0 hours on the engines and full warranty on all its Morgan Yacht 70components.

This vessel was proposed well over Euros 1.7m-2.1m (depending on the customisation required) in the past. In other words this is a unique off-market opportunity to acquire a vessel that will surely become a collector’s item.

For more info get in touch   +44 203 608 18 64