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 . 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

New trends in yacht building: Hydrofoils

Thanks to the Americas Cup and the associated media exposure, it seems that ,at last, the world of leisure boats and yachting is ready to start considering hydrofoil technology as a viable technology. We could not be happier as the Rodriquez family pioneered hydrofoils more than 65 years ago (see History). Indeed, in 1951 when Carlo Rodriquez was building the first commercial hydrofoil for passenger transportation purposes no marine transportation company was farsighted enough to see the future which was being written. Carlo, had to start his own high speed transportation company(SNAV) to prove to his shipyard’s prospective clients that hydrofoils were not a dream but a solid reality. The company was SNAV (Società Navigazione Alta Velocità) and it was effectively raising the bar by an average 20-25 knots in every-day marine passenger transportation.

The model was the Pt20 which was travelling at with 70 passengers at 30 knots cruise speed powered by one 1350hp engine built on specs by Mercedes marine (now MTU).

Only in the 70s a yacht version of the Pt20 built by Rodriquez was used by the James Bond’s movie Thunderball (See footage below)

Many years later the now super famous company Hobie Cat headed by Greg Ketterman  applied hydrofoil technology to build the world’s fastest production sailboat, namely the Trifoiler. Then noticed that the market wasn’t yet ready to enjoy this speeds as hydrofoils were yet not considered safe enough.

In 2013-2015 it seems that the time is finally right for the boaters to start foiling and quite a few shipyards are moving the first steps around this technology. One example in the sailing world is Gun Boats (http://www.gunboat.com) with their

G4 foiled catamaran.Sailing hydrofoil Gunboat g4

We are not sure that catamaran are the safest route to take when hydrofoil technology is applied for the general public outside of the insanity of the race boats of the Americas cup, however, it’s certainly through experimenting that innovative solutions and control systems will be developed and implemented in the leisure boat industry.

Hydrofoil technology is essentially aimed at maximising the efficiency and lowering consumption and we did not have to wait to long to see the first few examples of electric hydrofoils for private use such as the Quadrofoil. (image below)

Quadrofoil- electric hydrofoil

In mid-sized power catamaran there are mild applications of foil technology (Foil assisted boats) like the on of South Africa based company  Hysucraft (www.hysucraft.com).

Even in the world of board sports the trend seem to have exploded with foiled kite surf, windsurfs, regular surf board.

In 2015, we actually stumbled upon an event dedicated to hydrofoil technology called the Foiling Week (www.foilingweek.com) and we plan on getting more information on the topic and keep you up to date.

The trend on hydrofoil technology is doubtlessly here and most probably it’s here to stay and will be be significantly boosted by the media exposure of the Americas Cup.

At Rodriquez Consulting we hope that this trend will not be taken lightly from a technical point of view. It would be best to avoid the ‘Just add foils’ type of attitude of shipyards venturing in this technology. After all when the Rodriquez shipyards started building hydrofoils those were operated and maintained by professionals and the R&D behind each project was significant. A professional, serious approach to hydrofoil technology guaranteed many decades of safe operations (some of the earliest hydrofoils are still moving passengers around the world).

The hydrofoil technology implemented on pleasure boats requires an even more thoughtful technical process to avoid vessels that are not technically sound to go out on the market to non-experienced pleasure boaters.

If your company is considering investing or is already developing a hydrofoil project, go ahead and contact us for technical and strategic support.  Hydrofoils[@]RodriquezConsulting.com  or use the contact us form

Upyacht; finally a yacht sharing membership company that makes sense

Upyacht.com

In the world of the sharing economy some companies have come out trying to shake up the yachting industry but in our view all of them have not really cracked the fundamentals that would really enable them to do so.

A lot of the companies we have seen that position themselves towards the Airbnb of boating have done a very good job in listing boats and trying to simplify the booking process for renting a boat. One of the few issues we have seen is that very few of them have truly understood that boating is not the process of renting an asset but rather that of delivering an experience.

In the the difference between renting out assets (boats/yachts) and delivering and experience lays the recent success of companies like The Yacht Week which in truth haven’t revolutionised the market but have identified a target and have made a great job at delivering to a specific 20-somthing target market that essentially requires a alcohol-loaded boating experience.

UPyacht has caught our attention because of its unique membership model which isn’t a share of ownership on a specific boat which would inevitably come with liability and maintenance costs, but simply credit to enjoy boating experiences or boat-time to do whatever one decides to do. Membership makes very much sense in this business because, let’s face it, going on a yacht by yourself isn’t much fun unless you are solo-sailor doing The Race. So here they come with a fresh new concept and from what we have seen a solid set-up.

We have looked into their founding membership offer (agreement and T&C) which seems to be a limited offer that does make a lot of sense to us: In brief a one-time fee of £15000 gives you access to £5000 per year for 3 years worth of yachting with vessels ranging from 30 to 75feet (9-21 meters), their charter rate are published and this level of membership gives you 20% off of their listed price (including the high season) giving customers the possibility to choose their itinerary, share it with other members and friends. All their Yacht are skippered and experiences are from what we see orientated to a wide variety of customers, ultimately it makes sense for a family or even a company to purchase this kind of memberships where the credit can be used for a family holidays on a sailing catamaran or a wakeboarding weekend for the youngsters.  

For more information go to Upyacht.com and let us have your comment if you book a holiday with them.

Superyachts by 2020 – the results of the Hamburg superyacht interiors international conference 2015

On the 29th-30th of June 2015, I was called to do the opening speech at the Superyacht interior international conference (links below), an invitation I gladly accepted. The focus of the conference was on design trends, construction materials, efficient project management, cooperation and communication among the stakeholders that are regularly involved in the creation of a new superyachts and refitting of exiting vessels.

As I was given the responsibility to do the first lecture and the opening speech of the conference I decided with the team to stick to what we do best and open the conference with hard data on the yachting industry.  We prepared the market data and forecasts on the superyacht segment (>24mt) together with qualitative trend analysis we created with the help of our panel of experts, our business partners and some of our clients.

The scope of Rodriquez Consulting’s presentation at the Superyacht conference had to have at least two goals:

– goal #1 Inform and deliver a superyacht market analysis framework for the participants to use as a guideline in terms of market size forecasts and benchmarks and

-goal #2 Start and fuel the conversation regarding trends, ideas, process innovation, and elements that are challenging the yacht industry while building the super yachts and the market towards 2020. 

Superyachts 2020

I was pleased with the feedback received from our presentation (download link here) of the participants among which industry leading brands(shipyards) such as Lurssen Yachts the builder of the worlds biggest superyacht Azzam, Oceanco the shipyard that built award winning Alfa Nero, Fincantieri, Italy’s biggest passenger (cruiseliners) that is set to become a power player in superyacht and gigayacht (100mt+) building.

Among the top players of yacht interior outfitting highly experienced participants such as Anjia Matzing from Metrica Interior and Mr Antonio Costamante of AIM Yacht Interiors  were contributing to make the round tables particularly interesting together with the Managing Director of Genesis Technologies AG, Thorsten Steinbrecher a specialist firm in advanced audio/video entertainment systems and even commercial aviation representatives such as Antje Terno from Airbus.

The materials discussion was driven by Alan Mcvitty from M Studio Rob Henderson from UN studio, Ian Langham from Eckersley O’Callaghan together with Sandrine Mialy, who presented a very innovative optical fibre textile (see video below) that triggered the creativity of the designers and architects attending the conference.Rodriquez Consulting analysis was focusing on delivering answers the most usual questions we get:

  1. How big is the superyacht industry in 2015 in terms of units and value
  2. How  big will the superyachts industry will be in 2020
  3. How many clients are there (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals) and how much money will they be making by 2020
  4. Where and how are they investing their investable wealth and what is the target market (U-HNWIs) allocation  within the realm of the Investment of Passion ?
  5. How are the demographic and psychographic profiles of the HNWIs changing towards 2020?

Right after the presentation, thanks to the opinions and debate sparking from the 2 intense days of round tables and challenging Q&As, we are editing the document to make it optimal for readers (without a speaking presenter) and a useful guideline on some of the hot topics of superyacht building including;

  1. How to improve the yacht building process (with a special focus on the interiors and fittings) and what are the current issues to be addressed in terms of processes, tools, communication methods, and coordination of the stakeholders (system specialists, designers, shipyards, certification bodies.
  2. The design challenges, new materials, techologies, and the who and where of the innovation value chain.
  3. Marketing, using modern technology to enhance the experiential value and improve speed and efficiency in generating new leads, improving lead-to-customer speed and responsiveness of the sales team.
  4. Diagnostic of custom quotes, risk assessment for interior specialists, liability budgeting.
  5. How to scope the wants and needs of clients correctly to facilitate contractors quotation and mitigate risk (The Elevator Case)

These and a few other questions have been answered during our presentation which you can find available for download at this link (DOWNLOAD).

Superyacht Interior international conference in Hamburg calls Leopoldo Rodriquez as opening speaker

On June 30th 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, our managing director Leopoldo Rodriquez will be the opening speaker and co-chairman of the Superyacht Interior international conference. He was asked to speak about the future of the superyacht industry, market data and trends. 

The presentation will touch upon some key elements of the super yacht market and its buyers. Leopoldo will speak about the hard data of the prospective global spending on superyachts by 2020 and also about the changing characteristics of the UHNWI target group towards 2020.

For a copy of his presentation please subscibe to our email newsletter it will be available for download after the conference. 

Not your usual boat show: The Foiling Week – Hydrofoils for trial

All of those who work in the industry of luxury yachts are familiar with the big international boat shows such as Monaco Yacht Show the one in Cannes, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Dubai and Genova.  However, thanks to hydrofoil technology getting more popular in the recreational boating industry, we recently stumbled upon a new breed of boat show. It’s a mix between a commercial boat show, a technical conference and a sailing sport event and it’s called The Foiling Week  where hydrofoils are for trial.

It’s only at its second edition (Starting on July 1st on Lake Garda) but we are pretty confident that it will grow and take place in many other places around the world. Did you say UAE?

With the push of the Americas Cup featuring a significant deployment of hydrofoil technology by its shameless contenders we believe The Foiling Week is the boat show format to make boat shows really interesting and exciting again.

Have a look at this video of the first edition:

If you are marina manager you might want to consider to host a Foiling Week.

For more information check out www.FoilingWeek.com

Our client Yacht Nation sold 36m superyacht from Cantieri Di Pisa

We are delighted to announce that our client the new brokerage firm Yacht Nation has been successful in finding a buyer for the super yacht Nena built by Cantieri di Pisa as reported by Boat International in this article.

The sale of 36m  yacht Nena 1 has been the joint effort of Yachtzoo representing the seller and Yacht Nation who found and represented the buyer throughout the whole transaction.  The negotiation started at asking price of 5.9 million euros.

Built in GRP by Cantieri di Pisa  and designed by Carlo Galeazzi, the vessel was launched in 2009. This yacht for sale was the first in Cantieri Di Pisa’s Akhir 118 semi-custom series and was refitted in 2011.

M/Y Nina 1 Cantieri Di Pisa 36m

Rodriquez Consulting has been supporting the entrepreneurs of Yacht Nation since the start. We have delivered a comprehensive market study to support the client in choosing the right size segment to focus his marketing efforts. Furthermore, the Rodriquez Consulting creative team is directly responsible for the creation (name and brand) of the new brand Yacht Nation.

Yacht Nation might also be a new brand, however, it already has a lot of experience in yacht brokerage, management and sales. Thanos Skliris (Principal) came to Rodriquez Consulting with the objective of creating and yacht brokerage, yacht management and yacht charter firm deploying with much more accuracy and planning than the majority of its competitors.

YACHT NATION logo

The Yacht Nation project started where all business should, from in-depth yacht market research and data analysis provided by Rodriquez Consulting. Our team then analysed the historic trends of brokerage boats in the size segment and geographic areas we had selected to determine the lead to sale goal to set. Furthermore, the Yacht Nation team provided the historic record of all brokerage yachts in their careers to enable Rodriquez Consulting to do an ad-hoc analysis of their professional sale performance.  The result was a clear plan to go forward.

The action plan Rodriquez Consulting created for Yacht Nation was clear and well defined providing for a clear guideline for implementation. Our proprietary M.A.P. – I.D.  (Marketing Action Plan Implementation Dashboard) provided Yacht Nation’s team the following

  1. Marketing Actions to be taken
  2. Tools to use
  3. Frequency of actions
  4. Monitoring tools, KPIs and other metrics
  5. Defined Brand guidelines and branded materials

In the future, Rodriquez Consulting will support Yacht Nation in its marketing efforts to generate the company sales and structural growth.

If you would like to know more about what Rodriquez Consulting can do for your firm and book a preliminary consultation contact us 

New Managing Director at Royal Huisman

Mr Roamer Boogaard was previously Executive Director at the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Initiative and had a solid career in the Dutch maritime sector, including the Dutch Royal Navy from 1981-1997.
With expansion plans in mind, and serving for 10 years as Managing Director, Alice Huisman will take the duties of Executive Director alongside Chairman and fellow shareholder Jan Willem Doeksen. Once Mr. Boorgaard’s settles in to handle the daily operations, Alice Huisman will focus on business development, marketing and client relationships.

As many will know I have been serving as Managing Director for the past 10 years,” begins Alice Huisman, “and, together with our new partners at Royal Doeksen, I am of the view that adding this highly talented and capable individual is the next logical step if we are to maintain and expand upon our past successes.

Alice Huisman recognises the value of change and the key role that attracting and retaining the best talent plays in a dynamic organisation. Furthermore, the importance of building a structured organisation will give her the opportunity to focus on key tasks she performs best with a focus on expansion:

“They will provide me with the opportunity to focus more exclusively on our client relationships, while our expanded management team continues to drive forward operational standards and efficiency.”

Royal Huisman welcomes Mr. Boogaard into a business with a significant order book across the full spectrum of our new build and refit activities.

Together with Roemer Boogaard as Managing Director there will be Mr Ronald van Hulst, as Director of Operations. Van Hulst who has 25 years of experience in the business equips the newly appointed Managing Director perfectly in conjunction with the recently appointed Finance Director Harmen Peeters.

For more info go on Royal Huisman website 

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