Looking through some important yachting sites, related to brokerage, brokers, companies and almost everything related to yachts in general, I discovered with great sadness that the company of which co-founder I was, disappeared altogether from the market. It was expected, only I wouldn’t ever thought it was going to happen so soon. A few months ago, still, the remaining guys were paying top dollar advertising around, thing I haven’t advised at the time I was still in charge. It was hard to manage, and I’m gonna tell you why, on the next lines, here.
I was in a zone with a tremendously beautiful climate. Mediterranean covered by low mountains, oranges with olive trees and a lot of other fruits considered exotic even a few hundred miles north, :). At the end of the seventies, last century, of course, beginning of the eighties, British owned and French owned yachts, along with some Dutch and German ones, discovered the savage golfs of the area. They threw anchor and started to trade with the locals, for fresh food.
The locals started to organize themselves, so a lot of small restaurants were created, almost from scratch. The guys were barely alphabetized and the main revenue was coming from the almonds (free for them, the trees won’t need even to be watered in the long days of Summer) and the peanuts. With peanuts things were a little bit more complex, they need a clean land to be worked and fed with a lot of natural fertilizer which the locals gathered from their cattle, and a lot more water. So they use pumps to extract the water in the middle of that peanut cultures, a lot of work actually, with them. The goats were free to roam the mountains, people were catching them only shortly before the “sacrificing festival”, or when they went to celebrate a new building, always taking the male-goats. The rituals were pagans, but they’re approved by the imams, so they’re keeping the faith.
The locals, which you may already guessed, were Turks from the South and South-Western Turkey, started to see the opportunities of trading with the yachtsmen tourists, and lusted to the yachts themselves, so, they sold some land between them or to richer landlords from Istanbul, Izmir or Ankara, and they started to build wooden yachts. Of course, there exists in Bodrum for sample, a few wooden masters able and capable of building quite beautiful and “luxury” gullets. But they imitate the modern look of the Dutch schooner, the round back of a gullet is no way Turkish traditional. This doesn’t matter. Such wooden masters are rare, they deal in imported woods and the return is low, they can’t manage more than a boat per year, or even more than a year. I read many years ago some paid article in a flight magazine, it looked genuine, but it was paid, made to look like a “discovery”, so, after that, the Bodrum locals claim they’re gullet builders, Turkish traditionally gullet master builders by all means. It’s all right, around Marmaris, another gem from the Muğla district, more carpenters specialized in “boat builders”, so if they made more than two, they are great masters now, they work less or they stop working, selling more land and opening other businesses, like a beach restaurant or a pension, or both. The don’t have to work hard for that. The boat building business went to places where nobody thought would be possible, in a remote place like Bozburun, where a local intrepid started to rent place to the workshops or even to the yachtsmen themselves. Thing is, the zone, the once savage zone preferred for the calm and the beauty of nature, the raw nature as it was, became an infested “touristic” place, where the yacht trading is one of the best revenue producer if you’re “smart” (as my former associate thought of himself) or correct, as I use to think when I was in the middle of this, there. Now the challenge is big when you’re a thief and know nothing realistic on boats, I must to admit that. When you don’t even speak better English than the next Turk, you are quite afraid of the challenge. An Italian came in the area in the early eighties and start with a yacht repairing workshop, after all those years now he is “Gino Group”, which sounds like some corporate thing. The prices are stolen from other brokers or “brokers”, because Gino is quite a “broker” now. The difference is that “Gino Group” offers some credibility, good business days or not good business days, you find Gino present on the net, where it is necessary to find him, as a “Group”, or as whatever. Near guys like Gino or quite others “credible”, a correct knowing yacht broker can make some valuable money in the business. By near, I mean “comparing” with, “in the same area”, without dumping the prices, just correcting them. And using all the knowledge you have, to one channel, not more.
My associate took another guy near us, in the firm, at a moment when business was stable, not extraordinary, but as I said, stable. They spent together all the profit, without asking me.
I left, as was normal. Some revenue was invested as I have been let to know, in bee hives. Other was spent on a brand new van, which was “economical” since we used to rent any possible car, considering the needs. The rents became “costly” when my partner kept the cars much more than we needed them, just to handle his Turkish wife’s needs. But it was too late for me. I went out without looking back. He was convinced the clients came because he is famous, somehow. In one whole year, after my retreat, the most important website was erased from the internet. I understand the guy is broke. Maybe his “partner”, the beekeeper is broke as well, or maybe they’re suing each other. Both speak no English, even if my “captain” partner claimed his wife is British. The beekeeper acted just as a driver, nothing more, he never said he’s contributing with more than driving, showing off, or spending money. I used him once as a bodyguard, sometimes the “client” may be dangerous. For them it was a dream of whom they woke up. I can start anytime a new brokerage-yachting business. They don’t. It is sad, indeed.
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