Boat Trader interviews Boatshed Suffolk
February 2013 Edition
BT: Alan - Can you tell our readers about your business?
BSS: Boatshed Suffolk provides a full, professional, boat brokerage service 7 days a week. Whether buying or selling, we cover the whole of Suffolk, the East Coast from Shotley Point, Felixstowe to Lowestoft with rivers and inland waterways – including the Broads through Beccles, Oulton Broad to Sommerleyton. We handle boats of all sizes and nature from Blue Water Sailing Yachts, Motor Cruisers to Fishing Boats and Dinghies.
I bought the business two years ago. We are a very busy and successful brokerage which I run with the support of Pennie Nash and Richard Thompson
Boatshed Suffolk is part of the Group of Boatshed offices providing a global platform, with 56 offices with a total of 2380 boats for sale (global) making us the largest international brokerage available to local buyers and sellers.
We are here to help with every element of the sale. We personally visit your boat, take up to 80 photos and a video of your boat which is then listed on our website. We handle all enquiries, only undertake accompanied viewings, so any questions can be answered straight away. Negotiate the best deal for your sale and handle all the necessary paperwork
BT: How did you become involved in the marine industry?
BSS: Purely by accident really. I’ve had an interest in boating since a very early age and having owned a few boats over the years, I’d been toying with the idea of doing something for myself and I came across the
Boatshed website and noticed the Suffolk area was available. One thing led to another and here we are two years down the line and loving every minute of it.
BT: What sets Boatshed Suffolk apart from it’s competitors?
BSS: It has to be the website and the number of photos and the introduction of videos we take of each boat. Customers have a very good idea of the boats condition and layout before they make an appointment to view this avoids disappointment when they get there – especially useful for those who travel long distances. The website is especially easy to navigate around and the search criterias make it simple and quick to find exactly what you are looking for.
I always put myself in the shoes of the vendors/purchasers and treat others how I would want to be treated.
Having worked in sales and broking for over 20 years, we believe our combined experience provides a clear understanding of what is required to provide the right level of service.
BT: Run us through a typical day for you…
BSS: I always start the day with a coffee then take the dog (Dennis) for a long walk, and I am back and in the office for 8.00 am to answer emails, make phone calls and review my diary. Dennis and I hit the road by 10.00 visiting marinas and boat yards in a structured manner trying to stick to a schedule. Listing boats and meeting customers who have made appointments to view the boats of their choice. I arrive home by 6.00pm most days with a very tired Dennis but a smile on my face knowing I have done a good days work.
BT: Where does the majority of your business come from?
BSS: This is a tough one. We try and monitor all the enquiries, but the answer has to be our website, it attracts a lot of interest with an average of three new registrations every day. Boat Trader is very successful for us as well, we get a good response from the advert with sales and listings.
BT: The last year has been so difficult for the marine industry – has the current economic climate had much effect on your business?
BSS: I think every business has been affected by the economic climate. If you do a good job and provide a service that is professional, treat people the way you would want to be treated, you have a good starting point for success. Boatshed Suffolk has grown over the last two years and have just added a new member to the team, Richard, he will be helping out in general as well as looking after his own area. We are also looking for someone in the Lowestoft area, so if you’re interested please call
BT: What was the most interesting boat you have sold?
BSS: This would have to be a Laurent Giles Wanderer III. Built in Lowestoft by the International Boat Training College over a 10 year period and to a very high standard, with an exceptional list of specifications too much to go into here, all I can say she was
BT: If someone is considering buying a boat for the first time, what advice would you give them?
BSS: Do your homework, look at every option, talk to me with your requirements. I will be only too happy to advise, chat over what you want to do with the boat – travel the world or potter around the inland
waterways. Sometimes I find it’s the most obvious things that are forgotten – like where can I keep her moored.
What do you want to do, where do you want to go, and how do you want to get there? Build in maintenance costs.
BT: What steps would they need to take if they were buying a boat through Boatshed Suffolk?
BSS: Register to the site. This is quick and simple, just follow the instruction. Once registered you can start looking for that special boat and when you’ve found it, make an appointment to view her. If you like what you see we will communicate all offers to the owner until a price has been agreed. A 10% deposit is required which is held in our client account whilst surveys are undertaken (we would advise any buyer
to have a survey carried out). Once completed and accepted, the rest of the process is straight forward – complete the paperwork and a handover date is arranged. The happy day arrives, the papers and money are exchanged and the handover finalised and you can start to enjoy your boating days.
Should you want to talk to Alan you can contact him on:
Tel: +44 (0) 78 4679 3159