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

Yacht Charter Business Plan

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 are getting serious about wanting to charter your boat/s throughout the year we have developed a customisable Yacht Charter business plan template on Excel (Click here to go to the product) which you can download and customise.

Yet 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.

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 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.

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 many other aspects of this business.

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

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

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

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

Converstion Rate VS Load TIme

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

Yacht Boat Valuation

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

 

 

Morgan Yacht for sale

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

How to set-up a Yacht Charter Business

How To set-up a successful yacht charter company

Yes! After many years we have finally given up to the dozens of requests we have received to build a comprehensive guide on How To set-up a successful yacht charter company and build your own charter business. Today, much more than 10 years ago, We are confident we can deliver a lot more value as the business of yacht charter is not only based on the experience on boats but also on how efficient and effective you are at winning new clients.

We are going to look at the business of yacht charter from the perspective of those who actually want to buy and manage a vessel and charter it . The mere yacht brokerage firm is a much simpler business model which are going to describe in details later on in the guide.

Whether you are approaching Yacht charter as a retirement plan and you are looking for an activity that is somewhat fun and offsets the cost of running your boat during your trip around the world or you are thinking of yacht charter as a business to grow and profit from we will try to cover all of the topics that we believe are appropriate:

If you don’t need our guide but you are ready to build a business plan save yourself days of work or expensive consulting fees to begin with and order our Yacht Charter Business Plan Template developed with Ms Excel from which you can easily build your plan. 

Order your Yacht Charter Business Plan and get a 30-min consultation included 

Here it is a preliminary list of elements we are going to discuss:

  1. Finding the right boat/yacht
  2. Can I run a yacht charter business solo ?
  3. Motor vs sail, and monohull vs multihulls (catamarans)
  4. Contracts and service standards
  5. Geographic areas and extended charter seasons
  6. Crew, skippers, and flags/registrations
  7. Marketing common mistakes
  8. Itineraries
  9. Onboard equipments and amenities
  10. Bareboat vs Crewed + Bareboat with skippers
  11. Web Platform to market your boat
  12. Brokers, Central Agents, and how much you should give them
  13. Foreign Flags and U.S. waters
  14. Drugs onboard, international waters, capitan’s liability vs company liabilities
  15. Payment terms and methods
  16. Internet marketing DOs and Don’t

Order your Yacht Charter Business Plan and get a 30-min consultation included 

Please don’t forget to register your interest to be notified when we the guide is ready. 

UPDATE 22/June/2017: As we received plenty of requests we are also going to publish a Yacht Charter Business Template on Excel which takes into account a typical scenario of acquisition and refitting of a vessel and the charter operations. This is a very unique business model developed in Microsoft Excel which you can customise according to the type of vessel and expenses you are facing during the process. We have looked for something similar and we have not found anything useful for this purpose, therefore, for we have decided to build it for  you and make it available for purchase at a very competitive price. Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of when it is going to be available . 

BOATBOOKINGS.COM HOME PAGE

Best Charter companies: BoatBookings.com 10+ Years of Yacht Charters and counting..

I am sure I am not the only one who has noticed this; the ups and downs of the yachting industry of the past 15 years have cleared the market from improvised market players and have consolidated the positions of other players. Generally speaking, those yachting industry players who are 15 years or older that are still trading in 2017 know what they are doing.

I’m confident it hasn’t been easy for any of the market players in the industry to go through the above mentioned ups and downs, however, it surely was more challenging for those who play a numbers game more than for others. In other words, those players whose business is based less on the historical relationships with a handful of U-HNWI owners to buy and sell their vessels over and over again and more on the lion share of the yachting industry market the mid-high level charter (12m-45m yachts).

BoatBookings.com

Among these players I had the pleasure to meet with the team of BoatBookings.com. The internet is surely where the focus has been in the last 5-6 years with all the “I wanna-be the Airbnb of boats” coming up and investing in UX, and Web development  [FYI: if you want to work with us never tell me You want to be the airbnb of boats please unless you have 30 million euros hanging you don’t know what to do with ok? or I’ll just leave without saying goodbye], but BoatBookings.com is over 10 years old and that makes them a pioneer among the yachting players online. With traffic in the millions of viewers every year they serve from the bareboat charter clients to the 50 meter super yacht charter clients and they do it very well in the sense that each broker is very competent and knows very well what makes a charter a successful one despite the wide variety of client types they serve.

It’s not surprising BoatBookings has a competent and dynamic CEO – Mrs DeValle – who takes great care of her whole team beyond their business training all the way to their physical wellness with scheduled fitness sessions at their office in Cannes.

A valuable and competent CEO, would not be able to do well for its business without a great team and if you hop on their LiveChat on BoatBookings.com to ask some information regarding a yacht charter trip that you are planning, regardless of your budget, you will realise immediately you are NOT talking with an outsourced contact center in a low cost country but with real brokers with hundreds of hours of training and thousands of nautical miles of yachting from their Cannes office. 

Boatbookings.com great strengths are their speed, with almost immediate response on all yacht availability, their competence in advising both expert sailors as well as newcomers and their first hand knowledge of  itineraries and vessels to best suit the needs of a diverse global clientele.

Maybe some of you are thinking, oh that is easy to do and it’s a broker should be doing, well if you are thinking that you have probably never tried to do it or were extremely lucky with all your yacht charters. Trust me, it’s not easy to deliver a service as BoatBookings.com does.

If you are passionate about Yachting and would like to become affiliated to boatbookings.com here is the link to their affiliate program

If you are a yacht owner a former owner or you are simply looking to try your first yacht holiday these guys know what they are doing, give them the opportunity to prove it to you. Those of you who have experience in the business and decide to speak to Boatbookings.com will know the quality of the people you are speaking with in the first 2 minutes of conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

Can Yacht Charter be Profitable?

Is Investing in Yacht Charter profitable today? Yacht Charter Market Analysis

In 14 years of business at Rodriquez Consulting we have served a variety of Yacht Charter companies and private owners who were keen on chartering their yachts. More often than we would expect we get asked the usual question: Is yacht charter profitable and/or is it a good business to get in?

In many industries the above questions would be rather simple questions to answer. However, in the yachting industry answering these questions with anything else other than “It depends..” requires us to get into more details. At the very least, we need to get into the specifics of the size segment you choose, primary geographic area and the yacht charter business model that you intend to implement.

You can DOWNLOAD a Yacht Charter Business Plan Template 

 

To most people Yacht Charter rates seem to be very high as an absolute per-week-value, but are they high enough when you consider the cost of the asset/s (the yacht/s) and its running costs? The latter can have a very large range as variable costs depending on how and where the vessel is managed and can make a significant difference. Ultimately, it the acquisition price (the price of the vessel) that is crucial but the variable and fix costs are the ones that can determine whether the operation (your yacht charter business) is profitable or not.  If you are looking to build a business plan to charter yachts and get in the business this article will be useful, however, you might want to contact us for more ad-hoc support. Read more