Learn the web

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 protagonists spontaneity, we are certainly inspired by their work and their adventures and  would recommend our readers to have a look at Sailing La Vagabonde, we are sure there is a bit of inspiration for a lot of us and quite a few practical things to learn about sailing and boating in general.

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.



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

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

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 and without a doubt the way that have been maintained can make two identical models can be seen with prices that are different by 2x or more. (exceptions can be 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.

Do you want to start Yacht Charter operations with your boat?

  • Yacht Charter Business Plan – MS Excel Template – FILE ONLY (Updated)

    £97.80
  • Yacht Charter Business Plan – Ms Excel Template + Consulting Session

    £198.30

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 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