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How to find a really inexpensive boat deal on auction on EBAY

It’s 2017 and the world wide web has evolved quite a bit but eBay has been around for over 30 years and it became famous precisely for auctions. Auctions are particularly suitable for boats because unlike cars boats are much harder to price and at times there is a significant difference between a boat theoretical value and the price that a cash-strained owner is ready to accept to part with his/her boat and get rid of the costs that come with owning a vessel.

I know a lot of yachting industry professionals will raise more than a few eyebrows for what we are about to write but here it is:

How to find very good deals for small and medium size boats on eBay and what should you look out for.

First and foremost decide what your actual goal is. If you are not a professional and you think you can buy low and sell high, please make sure you have experience in budgeting and refitting boats because, rest assured, even the most seasoned professionals (and I am not going to mention any major shipyard here to avoid a lawsuit) happens to go wildly out of budget during a new built or a major refit. If you are planning to buy a vessel that you can charter, we have available a Yacht Charter Business plan template you can download

Mostly you will be able to find day cruisers, cuddy cabin cruisers, sky boats and walk around boats, sports fishing boats a few RIBs and quite a few sailboats too.

On Ebay uk you will actually find very interesting boats if you are into classic lines and wooden sailboats with the occasional pearl such as this Sparkman and Stephens we just noticed 

Sparkman & Stephens for sale

In our little guide on how to find a good deal for a boat on Ebay, we would like to help if letting you know what to look at so here is a list of things you want to consider:

Before we get into to technical stuff, think about the location:

The Location

It’s a very important element because it can determine both your travel cost and time it will take to actually go and see the boat but also it can have a major impact on the cost of mooring in the water before you can actually sail the boat to your chosen home port. Furthermore, if you need to do some work before the vessel is seaworthy the current location of the vessel could have a major impact on those costs. Parts for the engine or rigging might be coming from far away and add quite a bit to your budget, as well as you might not have good enough facilities to carry out some specific works to your desired standard of quality or safety.  Budget very carefully if you are purchasing a vessel that can’t really be put on a trailer because moving a yacht on land can be a major expense and might end up costing more than the boat itself.

The Design and the Designer Name 

If you are buying very cheap you might not be able to be to fuzzy about it, however if you are buying a Sparkman & Stephens for example you can rest assured the vessel will retain a certain value among those who appreciate classic yachts or you might even get lucky and find some VIP owners in the history of the boat which might influence the buyer’s decision later on, whenever you’ll decide to sell the vessel.

The Model and the Shipyard

If you are buying a vessel from a very well known shipyard and a very common model you might be able to find forums or small group of owners that might point you in the right direction on common faults or problems that particular model has or that other owners of similar units have experienced, a bit like classic cars. The shipyard instead might have a reputation for solid boats that are good for sailing around the world – some examples; Hallberg-Rassy or Oyster.

Spirit Yacht Wood Boat

Spirit Yacht

The Construction Material/s 

Some construction materials we would just simply reccomend  to stay away from, for instance, Ferro-Cement. I am not going to bore you and explain why in this article. Some mixed constructions are tricky for example steel and aluminium are particularly complicated to join when welding so we would recommend you do your research in terms of what shipyard did it and how those stress points (joints) have put up with time and physical stress.  Let’s also bust a bit of a myth, fiberglass is a safer purchase then wood – we respectfully disagree with those who believe so. Wood is much easier to inspect without the help of a professional surveyor whereas a fibreglass hull with minor signs or initial osmosis can be much harder to detect than a rotten spot of wood. Also, if you plan to go sailing to the west coast of Africa it’s much more likely to find somebody who can repair wood and the supply of such material rather than fibreglass in general.  Carbon and Kevlar are very expensive and tricky to repair  but if you are looking at those you probably already know this. Steel is a great material but it can be subject to a lot more corrosion than you would expect in certain climates, so it’s often a good idea to call in a professional to measure the thickness in several spots of the vessel.  With aluminium you have similar issues as with steel however alluminium requires professionals that are generally harder to find to be fixed properly if need be. One trick is to consider that if you are looking at a fibreglass hull built in 1970 back in those years builders were just starting with fibreglass so your hull could be much more robust than you may think of course this ‘advantage’ would come with a bit more weight so you might need a little more HP on the engine to make up for it, compared to a modern vessel in the same size range and ‘style’.

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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.



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 template

    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.

 

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