"Ken, listen to me carefully...because this is the best advice you will ever get. Concentrate on the big money boats as these cause the least hassle, have generally good paperwork and offer an all round easier experience and higher reward for the same amount of work".

However, when I started with Boatshed last November, I promptly did the opposite.

The word 'local' is so important here in Ireland. Yes there is a degree of that everywhere, but I think it's stronger here in the Emerald Isle. So whether that's your butcher, coffee shop or local sculptor, Irish communities will support their local service providers. Sailors are at the heart of the local economy because they are even more likely to spend their money on local services, maintaining their boats. So instead of just trying to list that Halberg Rassy 52 that has been for sale for years in my local marina, we decided to talk to regular boat owners around Ireland about selling their boat through a broker, and if they would try Boatshed as their broker then we would promise them a good experience.
Since starting in November we are listing one boat a week and the average value has risen from €15k in month 1 to what will be more than a €50k average in March. We haven't advertised, just listed. Every boat we list seems to get another listing. Every good contact we have with a seller puts us in touch with another seller via a recommendation.

So in my short experience as a broker, I'm finding this type of 'osmosis' to be the most rewarding for our business. This week I will drive 1,500 miles to see people around the country. I'm trying to show them that Boatshed is their local broker. I want to show them that of course we are interested in the Halberg Rassy berthed on the quay wall, but equally so their little Westerly Centaur. Both have owners who want to sell, and we treat them with equal enthusiasm and importance. We are interested in their community - but we are also the broker with the biggest international reach, and that's hugely important to them when looking for a buyer.

When I made the trip to Gosport in January for the Boatshed Annual Conference, I was struck by the sense of genuine friendship among the brokers, and the willingness to help each other. These are the values that I believe are unique to Boatshed and I fully believe that these values, when introduced to local boating communities around this green island, will allow Boatshed to be the broker of choice in this market ... for those big money boats as well as the small ones.

What are our chances ? Local Broker - International Reach.

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone ! to be sure, to be sure.

Ken Lawless,
Boatshed Ireland.
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