After a long (22hr) drive from South Florida, we arrived in the "Windy City" for a serious detailing session on 9 sailing vessels. With one day left before the show started, it seemed a daunting task having hardly slept on the way here but, we managed to come to the party and got everything done on time! Three Hunters, four Catalinas and two Seawards.
With the Chicago Sail boat show now in full swing here at the Navy Pier exhibition hall, we can sit down for a moment or two and enjoy the warmth and hospitality of all the organisers and volunteers who have gone through a lot of trouble to make this event a truly magnificent experience. Plenty of food and drinks of of all sorts to go around at very reasonable prices.
Fun activities for the whole family includes a jumping castle for the kids, model boat racing on an indoor pool as well as a small life sized sailboat simulator to try out your tack and jibe skills without getting wet!
With interactive seminars all throughout the day and plenty of boats, boat gear and clothes to look at, or buy, it would be time well spent for people of all ages.
What is better than roller coasters and boats? Roller coasters, boats, and First Mate Yacht Care. If our list of events was not already big enough, we just added another, the Cedar Point Boat Show! Let us know if you are going to be there or you need an extra hand getting ready for the show.
We know the summer is not over yet (and we plan to enjoy it quite a bit more), but we have started planning out 2011-2012 boat show circuit. Whether you are a customer or a broker, there is a lot to be excited about (and to do!). Customers, if you are thinking about going to a show, please let us know so we can get you some passes into the show. Brokers, we'd love to get your boats looking great!
In slightly less than a month, the Bay Harbor Boat Show will be upon us! June 17-19 at Bay Harbor Lake Marina, admission is free. In case you forgot, we were there last year handing out tasty drinks and popcorn. We will have more exciting news as the event gets closer, but for now you can get your BHBS news fix at www.bayharborboatshow.com! There are listings of most of the boats currently scheduled to be at the show along with a twitter feed with important boat show news (@bayharborshow).
Missed some of our Palm Beach Boat Show coverage? Fear not, we have even more!
Trevor sat down with Mike Dickman during the Palm Beach Boat Show to discuss the relaunch of www.BoatQuest.com and what we have to look forward to in terms of technology and boat shows. Enjoy!
We had the privilege of seeing the Piano Man himself's boat at the Palm Beach Show. Captain Gene politely declined a wash, but he could tell that we knew the boat, and we wanted to get aboard. After an evening working the Northop and Johnson tent (brokerage representing the sale of VENDETTA) on the last day of the show, Captain treated us to some drinks on the boat, and boy was it great to get aboard.
The boat is a commuter, this style of boat was built for the social elite who found it far more fashionable to travel from home to work by sea than by land-- but who also justified this travel by making it quicker! These boats were sleek lines and big engines. Also, the interior was not for long distance cruising, and would have a very spartan layout. These boats were purpose built to go from Point A to Point B to Point A. A different, more comfortable boat would handle more luxurious cruising elsewhere.
The designer of the boat is none other that "the Down-East Expert" (FMYC's term) himself.....*drumroll*..... DOUG ZURN! We take care of quite a few Zurn influenced boats, and you will recognize his styling even if you don't know its his. The Hinckley ____, the MJM's patented "parabola" window line, Marlow Yachts 65, Custom Builds for Lyman Morse, even the hull of the Vanquish runabout. take a look at Zurn Yachts to see his boats lined up next to each and other and notice the commonalities in his designs.
Billy is quite a boater, and I came across more than a half dozen boats that he owns or has owned in researching this article. Further, he is somewhat involved with CH Marine:
In the early '90s, he worried about boating jobs on Long Island. "First there was the luxury tax and then the recession. I wanted to keep talented people working. I wanted to get involved. I didn't want the boatbuilders to lay off people." He teamed up with Doug Zurn and Peter Needham at Coecles Harbor Marine and, in 1996, introduced the 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout. So far, 39 have been sold (base price: $356,800).
Then he wanted something bigger for himself. "There are two subplots here," he said. "Trying to revive a local builder, plus reviving a tradition of great commuter boats." [Yachting Mag]
Suddenly, though not for the first time in his life, Joel had a hit on his hands. "We figured there might be a market for it, so we took it to the boat shows," Needham recalls. "The phone started ringing off the hook. We had to hire people, train them, and start a bona fide boat-building business."
It helped that there was nothing quite like the runabout on the market, save perhaps for the wildly successful 36-foot Picnic Boat just introduced by Hinckley. It also helped that the stock market bubble was beginning to swell. A Microsoft executive flew in from Seattle and wanted a runabout immediately, Joel says. "He looks at my boat, and he goes, 'Whose boat is that?' I said, 'That's my boat.' And he goes, 'Well, are you in the boat business or not?' So I actually sold my original boat. But it was good for the company."
Needham has just completed hull No. 36. Joel didn't invest in the business but owns the design and the tooling, and he collects a royalty on every runabout sold--the base price is $340,000. Needham says that another singing boat nut, Jimmy Buffett, nearly bought one. "He was 99% there. But at the last minute he said, 'I can't do this--it's like sitting on another man's throne.'"
The black hullsides, wood cabinsides, and an off-white bridge really sets of the sloping lines, which to me gives it a "wind-tunnel" look, of the air breaking just aft of the cockpit. This profile is further accentuated when the boat is in motion, on a low plane angle, but with a frothy wake accepting the terminus coming over the boat, everything the boat is cutting through being churned and blown by right about where the transom is.
The technology of the boat is extremely impressive too, and it being custom, allowed a lot of things to be tried (that may not be feasible/practical for a production run). Some Specs:
Fuel Capacity: 620 gallons
Speed: 44/50 Knots
Engines 2xMAN 1300hp
Some notable tech on the boat are the hull made with SCRIMP technology, and the Power-Vent surface drives. SCRIMP which is much more common nowadays than it was in 2005, and is now commonly referred to as "vacuum bagging". To summarize the advantages of the system, you have a perfect resin/glass(cloth) ratio, taking out some of the soft spots found when laid up by hand. The Power-Vent system, is extremely impressive, and directs the exhaust under the boat to create a pseudo surface drive configuration. This accomplishes excellent performance, with less specialized parts, and a few side benefits such as no projection off the transom. Some of the surface drive boats (Magnum) will have MASSIVE achitecture coming off the transom, sometimes 6-8ft long! When a clean look and high speed is required, a configuration like this makes sense. Captain Gene was also discussing some other advantages with the power drive, as far as other engine intake/exhaust benefits which I cannot recall, but I do know the system was flexible enough to create some VENDETTA-specific advantages.
Unobstructed transom (allows for stern boarding and accessories)
Quiet Operation (exhaust exits under vessel)
Transom Area: is usable deck space (transom is free of engine box or steering gear)
Transom Options: Removable, fold down or swing in or out doors for rapid deployment
Low Radar Profile (no rooster tail)
Minimal IR Signature (exhaust gasses mixed with propeller wash)
Come Home Capabilities: Single engine on step running. Manual steering via tiller at any speed, even if console is destroyed.
External trim system
External steering cylinders
External U joints
External rubber bellows
External oil filled housings
External features to cover up drive system
The helm is laid out in a form follows function manner, with 4 STIDD chairs in a military layout, 2 on the port, 2 on the left. Much like those darn Coast Guard boats always counting my life-jackets... This configuration makes sense for the purpose of commuting, and also allows a huge hatch down the the engine room. All deck in the helm is oiled teak, and the dash has every control you need, nothing more. The mechanical gauges are set in a single piece of stainless, alluding to a fast machine. Electronics are Raymarine 12"s, and an extra screen for the passenger in the port passenger seat to aid in navigation or plotting. Radar and Autopilot are included, but no FLIR or extra antennae that would disrupt the profile. The white exterior is repeated in the helm walls, and light wood accents for the forward bulkhead and ceiling.
Heading down below, immediately to your port is a half galley, more for serving than preparation, with enough refrigeration for an extended trip. To starboard, table with two benches and seating for four is available for meals. Forward of the galley area, there is a bulkhead with a curving "Y" cut in it to allow a very open feeling, while still suggesting a solid structure. The other side of this bulkhead has center-facing seating for six, and a forward head makes use of that otherwise dead space. The cushions are a light green seafoam color, and the carpet and counter tops are both light neutral brown and gray.
The engine room is unremarkable except for the size. Other bilges I had been in at the show were the MJM 36z With compact Volvos, and the Cruisers 47, I think with IPS 600's. HUGE difference in engine volume, for these engines to be put on a 50-60ft boat, you would expect the boat to be 20,000lbs heavier. I did a very poor job photographing the engine room and aft bilge that houses the Power-Vent tubes, guess I'll have to get more pictures next time I run into the boat.
Another thing I would like to mention is how large the canoe stern is. It is big, a wide expanse of black, with the very ominous sounding "VENDETTA". This name by the way is not in reference to some long held grudge or rivalry against a fellow musician, but proudly suggesting that he wages a war with life. As often as it cold and cruel, he 'wins' by living well. I have no plans available, but I would venture that the beamiest part of the boat is 3-4ft from the stern, further stretching the tumblehome.
Why the name Vendetta? I asked. "Because living well is the best revenge," he laughed. "I live in a Gatsby-type house, now I have a Gatsby-type boat. I enjoy that lifestyle."
The little things I noticed (but would never think to photograph) were that the fixtures I saw were all of the highest quality. Things like the hardware for the engine hatch were definitely not something you can replace at West Marine, and all felt very solid. The cabin had lots of natural light, with both cabinside windows and hatches letting in a lot of light. The forward windows are just slivers, but justifies the slight rise in deck while drastically brightening the cabin. The mast, larger and exaggerated like that of a lobster boat, is the first thing a lot of people comment on, and I frankly think it fits well, and the boat would have a very different profile without it. Also, the boat was not 'flashy" at all, but rather modest. Nothing ornate, and the only real decorations were a few plaques from military organizations thanking Mr. Joel for his $upport.
Thank you again to Captain Gene Pelland for the time, and check out our video of him skillfully taking the boat out of its corner slip, leaving the Palm Beach Show. You can also catch a few glimpses of the boat on our "horn blowing" video.
As if launching new models under a few brand names was not enough for the Holland, Michigan S2 based company (makes of Tiara and Pursuit), they have taken on producing yet another brand, Zeelander Yachts. The Zeelander certainly does not take any design elements from anything else S2 currently produces and definitely has a Euro feel to it. Here is Trevor with a quick overview of the exterior of the 44' Zeelander at the Palm Beach Show.
Haven't heard of Zeelander and still not convinced they have faith in their product? Well, apparently there was this "small" little party in the BVIs at the Yacht Club Costsa Smeralda you might have heard about. Guess what boats were on hand for the press and VIP guests? That's right, there were a few Zeelanders zipping about during the Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous.
The Boat International Superyacht Regatta, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Boat International Media, has brought together a roster of impressive entrants from around the world. This event could potentially be the most extensive selection of superyachts in one place this year - many leading the field in terms of cutting edge technology and design. Zeelander are therefore delighted to provide the boats for the regatta, seeing this event as an ideal opportunity to showcase this premium new brand to an exceptional gathering of racing elite who are able to identify with Zeelander’s unique design qualities and performance.
We look forward to finding out more about this partnership and seeing if current Tiara and Pursuit dealers will be marketing the Zeelander in Michigan!
Our work is done before the first person is let in the gates on the last day of a boat show, but that does not mean the work is over for Show Management or any of the captains, far from it. The event that was months in the planning, weeks in building, is torn down in a matter of days if not hours. It really is impressive to see boat after boat after boat after boat pull away from the docks like meat from the bone of a perfectly cooked rib. However, there are some days when the well oiled machine breaks down, and the end of the Palm Beach show happened to be that day. Check out the video!
Skip Zimbalist was doing what he does best this morning, letting the world know how awesome boat shows are, specifically the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
12.5% of the exhibitors are from outside the US.
50 boats over the length of 80'
25 boats over the length of 100'
400+ in the water!
Palm Beach is in the top 10 shows based on attendance.
50,000+ visit the Palm Beach Boat Show
It is the 5th largest show in the US based on square feet.
More food and beverages are served per person than any other boat show Show Management puts on.
Skip thinks Palm Beach is a great venue for a boat show for 3 reasons:
Setting - It is very beautiful, enough said.
Audience - Lots of qualified buyers in the Palm Beach Area.
Exhibitors - Lots of great boats and knowledgeable staff.
We tend to agree about the Palm Beach setting. He forgot to mention all the good looking boat washing girls! All of the boats are in one location, less traffic than Miami, and less walking than Lauderdale! We do love all the other shows for different reasons, but Palm Beach is a nice way to cap off the winter boat show season for us.
This morning we heard from Mike Dickman (GM of BoatQuest.com) and Skip Zimbalist (CEO of Show Management) about the just relaunched www.BoatQuest.com. In January of this year Active Interest Media purchased BoatQuest to complement their other marine services like Show Management and Yachts International Magazine.
Founded in 1999, BoatQuest.com already attracts close to 400,000 monthly visitors. The site has been redesigned to make it easier for visitors to search and find the boats they are looking for and will debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show on March 24.
"By combining online media with major boat shows and a traditional yachting magazine, our goal is to provide a new level of cross-promotion, previously unavailable in the industry, for boat sellers and buyers to connect with one another," said Mike Dickman, general manager of BoatQuest.com. "The strategic relationship among BoatQuest.com, Yachts Magazine and Show Management leverages the reach of three leading boating industry marketing companies in reaching boat buyers."
In addition to standard classified listings, BoatQuest.com offers yacht brokers and dealers a variety of featured ads, as well as banner advertising. Special pricing is available on some services for Show Management boat show exhibitors and Yachts Magazine advertisers. For sale by owner listings are limited to boats under 35 feet.
The purpose of the 35' cut off for FSBO listings according to Mr. Dickman is to limit the competition to brokers in larger boat categories and draw in more brokers to the site who are willing to pay for services.
The very interesting part of this move is it addresses several of our complaints that we level here, and here. This should in theory at least make any particular boat show website a seamless experience for the end user who is planning on coming to a boat show to get as much information as possible, provided a dealer/broker uses BoatQuest.
The big question mark in all of this is how quickly adoption of a new platform can or will take place. There are many brokers in the industry who still are not fully using the web, or who are set in their ways with YachtWorld. Providing the makeover addresses many of these issues, a switch from Yacht World, or duplicate listing, could make a lot of sense.
Strength is the key to victory in this game. With a small pool of listings YachtWorld offers a better selection when searching, but considering how much money and time brokers/dealers put into boat shows, it seems like an easy sell to fully integrate all of their services into one easy to use resource.
The real winner in all of this is the end consumer AND brokers. Both will get better tools and more fully integrated solutions. We are looking forward to seeing how this all shakes out for the Fort Lauderdale show next year!
When the bridge goes up at 9:00, the boats came rolling in. It is really impressive to see boat after boat after boat be quickly moved into position, lines tied, and the Show Management crew move onto the next boat!
The Palm Beach International Boat Show may not start until the 24th, but someone has to be here to enjoy the sun and wash some boats! You might as well just keep a tab open on your browser here at First Mate Yacht Care for the best boat show coverage, ever.
First Mate spends a lot of time at all the major boat shows. As a precursor to the shows, I do a lot of research online going into the show. Who will be there? What boats will be there? What is the brokers email who is selling boat "x"? Which of the three 50' Sea Rays listed is brokerage "y" going to have at the show? Sure, I am looking for potential clients, but every time I hit an information dead end I find myself asking, "What if I were a customer?". It is frustrating not to be able to find a brokers email, easily search all available listings, and well thought out photo albums.
I am barely old enough to remember a time before computers and the internet. This was the Age of Agents. Stacks of paper, brochures, photo copies, files, secretaries, and a Rolodex. The Agent was the gatekeeper to this highly centralized and authoritative source of information. The advent of the computer and internet changed this. Now almost anyone has access to more information then they know what to do with. I can look up the specifications for almost any boat produced in the last 10 years in under 10 seconds! The information has flooded out of the agent's office, and has repurposed the role of the agent in the sale.
There is good news and bad news in all if you are an agent and you love your job of selling boats.. The bad news is this, if you are a lazy broker, or want to try to be the gatekeeper of information, your clients will eventually figure it out (if they have not already). The good news is brokers can still be the definitive source of information. There is still a human element to it. Do customers get to talk to everyone on the docks or guys building the boats? Do customers always have time to read all the boating forums? The key for brokers going forward is to not be an information gatekeeper, but an information aggregater and filter. There is so much information available today, the hard task is to filter it and present it in the best possible way to meet a clients needs. The solution to remaining important to the sale is not to damn up the information, but to let a customer experience the flood of information and want someone to make sense of it all.
Tips to opening all the floodgates:
Put your cell phone and email address on every listing possible! (info@FirstMateYachtCare.com). If you want the ability to disconnect be sure to look into a Google Voice phone number.
Media. Media. Media. You are still one step below paid entertainment. Make looking at a listing online enjoyable instead of a chore.
Engage and be active. It will not do you much good if you have a Twitter account and after a year have less than 100 followers and rarely tweet. If you want to be a trusted source of information, you have to be engaging with quality content.
We are slowly getting around to publishing all the material we gathered at Miami. Here is a video I took the day after the show, of a huge chunk of boats heading north along Collins. We actually saw some of the same boats 2-3hrs later as we were driving by the port of Miami. Quite a trip home, and as you can tell by the video, there is a bit of congestion getting around.
The West Marine green product of the year is ... the Black Tip Catch and Release Recompression Tool. It's designer Ace Calloway is a charter captain in Alaska. He created the recompression tool in order to allow fish to return to their native waters, rather than catching them and forcing decompression so the fish cannot return home. Chuck Hawley, VP of product information, shared that Calloway had perfected the device through much trial and error.
This is the second year running that West Marine is presenting the Green Product of the Year Award. West Marine's requirements for the innovative product of the year follow: is the product innovative; does the product have a widespread application; does the product have a gotta-have-it feel. A panel of experts in all areas of the field scour the market to find the most innovative product. They narrow the field to 4-5 products and from there they test all the products to determine which is worthy of their award of $10,000.
There are new products, and then there are NEW PRODUCTS! Seven Marine had a "high powered" press conference this morning. Rick Davis (Seven Marine President) was on hand with a whole host of other companies (ie. ZF marine) to debut their 557 HP outboard engine at the Miami Boat Show. Rather than wade through all the technical jargon, lets look at the highlights.
557 HP 6.2 supercharged all aluminum fuel injected GM small block V-8.
60% more power than next most powerful outboard on the market.
World's first production outboard joystick control.
Twin pinion gearcase with thru-hub exhaust.
ZF was a major partner because not just any run of the mill transmission will do to transfer all that power to where it counts. ZF specially designed a computer controlled electronic disc clutch transmission (which also allows for slow trolling speeds).
As if that were not enough, if you aren't happy having the stock all black engine covers, for some extra dough you can have you engines custom painted straight from the factory to matching you probably already highly customized boat.
We look forward to getting some pricing and seeing these on the next generation of off-shore fishing boats!
It seems just like yesterday Scout was introducing a lot of new boats, including the 34' center counsel (which they have a great looking maroon hull with teak deck at the show). Mr. Steve Potts (President of Scout Boats) just introduced Scout's 251 XC, "the industry's first crossover fishing boat." This boat certainly packs a lot of features in a small boat. We will be updating as we get more details so stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy this concept sketch we found on Scout's Facebook page!