The View from the Boat Brokers Desk – Aqueduct Marina Church Minshull
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SATURDAY 9TH JULY 2022

Please come and join us on Saturday 9th July for our annual open day! A day filled with live music, boats for sale, workshop tours, a BBQ and much more!

Discuss all of your narrowboat requirements with our staff, whether this be; moorings, blackings, welding, painting or anything in between.

There will also be a range of our marine industry suppliers present, including the wonderful Knight’s Narrowboats, to answer any questions you may have.

For more information, please click here: https://aqueductmarina.co.uk/event/open-day-2022/

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The View from the Boat Brokers Desk

The View from the Boat Brokers Desk

With a new decade starting the Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina team began to discuss the changing way people view, buy and sell boats through the brokerage.
Aqueduct Brokerage and Sales Manager Ian looks at the evolution of the boat brokerage.
Ten years ago, 2010, individual boats were listed by brokers in adverts in boating magazines. This was at that time the main way for buyers to search for boats for sale. This got a lot of boats in front of thousands of potential buyers in a cost effective way for brokers. Unfortunately, printed press lead times could be so long that often boats had sold before publications went out to print!
Social media was still very new in this time for the marine industry and was an undervalued sales tool. Most brokerages had a website with boats listed, but customers were much less accustomed and less confident shopping online.
Customers visited sites to view boats after seeing them advertised in the press. The buyer would then peruse the range of several boats before finding the right one.
Today, 2020, very few brokerages list individual boats in printed adverts, but instead brokers and boat builders use the press for promoting the business brand. This is often to attract the boat vendor as much as a buyer.
Individual boats are almost always first viewed by potential buyers on the internet either by going to brokerage websites, industry website such as Apollo Duck. Following boats sales social media feeds for newly listed boats is now top of the list when researching a purchase.
Buyers are arriving at brokerages having already seen the boats on the internet and are fully briefed on the boat details. Their visit is primarily to reassure themselves the boats is what it purports to be, and the selling brokerage or marina is professional.
Fast forward to 2030, the move away from printed press to online advertising will likely continue and grow. We feel the only publications remaining will be magazines with a strong online readership.
At Aqueduct we are already seeing certain areas of the country become hot spots for brokerages. Such as around Nantwich, with several good brokerages within easy driving distance. These hot spots will continue to grow in areas where there are both excellent transport and several canals in one area. Resulting in buyers being prepared to travel and stay locally while visiting several brokerages in one day to the benefit of all the brokers and marinas on the local hot spot circuit. This could result in outlying smaller brokerages struggling.
We could then see an emergence of super brokers who like the ‘car supermarkets’ are able to provide the widest range or quality boats on one site, These super brokers will also have the finance packages, surveying facilities and engineering support services at one site that will provide reassurance to both buyers and sellers.
New boat builders may increasingly use these super brokerages as a sales showroom and place stock boats for sale in these outlets. Enabling builders to focus on building and providing the buyer with the touch-and-feel element.
We hope to finally see a boat ownership (V5 style) document created. To make proof of boat ownership more straight forward. We will probably see boat ownership and finance change. The car market had made a move away from ownership to lease hire and Personal Contract purchase (PCP).

As a result, it is likely that the boat ownership may be with the marina or finance house and the boat buyer is renting/leasing for a number of years while they operate the boat.
These leasing PCP ownership models could then be linked to mooring fees and service packages, giving a truly all-inclusive boat price meaning the ownership model as we understand it today becomes the exception rather than the norm.

With the extensive facilities of Aqueduct Marina from café and chandlery to engineering and moorings, offering a full service all in one place, could it be a super broker of the future?

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