Psychologists talk about
Type A's and Type B's, extroverts and introverts.
Vic and I talk about Boat Types.
Vic is a boat buyer's
broker. His job is to find a previously-owned boat
that will make the buyer the most happy. That may
sound easy but it's not. Often, the boat buyer
doesn't know what kind of boat he wants either.
So, before Vic the broker
searches for the buyer's boat, Vic the doctor must
diagnose the buyer's boat personality. His
patients tell him about their boating dreams.
Occasionally, he interrupts to ask a probing
question, like "I understand you like to fish for
sharks with rotten meat. And what kind of boating
does your wife enjoy?" Vic has earned a psychology
degree in the school called making the sale.
We could write a book about
this and the chapters would be the boat
personality types we most often meet. We love 'em
all, our patients, boaters till the end.
When Vinny talks about
boating, his head spins and his mouth emits fast,
happy sounds. Vinny's problem is, he likes all
boats. Slow boats. Go-fast boats. Deep draft.
Shallow draft. He can see himself having fun in
every boat. Vic tries to find out what kind of
boat Vinny's wife prefers. The doctor now has an
opportunity to test Vinny's professed love for all
boats by asking what he thinks about THIS boat.
Now that's a real head-spinner.
Like any good patient,
Arnie has already figured out what's wrong with
his life and what he needs to make it better. Like
the patient who almost became a doctor, Armchair
Arnie wanted to become a marine architect but went
into the family business instead. He needs a
certain type of boat, of course. He knows what he
wants. He also needs a little affirmation. "You
agree with me, don't you, Vic?" Vic conducts the
patient interviews and, satisfied that Arnie has
correctly self-diagnosed, goes in search of
Arnie's boat. Arnie is a great customer.
Lillian is going to buy a
boat but she can't decide when. Gung ho today; not
so tomorrow. She has the boating fever today,
chills tomorrow. Vic knows the patient has to be
committed to a big decision, so the doctor nurses
the process along until Lillian is ready to make
the commitment. I believe I have heard him ask the
buyer, "Now, Lil, are you sure you are ready to do
Every pursuit has its
Devil's Advocate types. Such is Contrary Connie.
She doesn't want a boat like your boat or my boat.
She wants to own a boat that nobody else has,
something unique, something different, something
that says, "I'm Connie and I'm contrary." And
that's fine. The doctor establishes mutual trust.
He gets on the same wave-length, but keeps Connie
pointed toward a vessel that is suitable for her
cruising water. Knowing that the doctor is
committed to the mutual process, the patient
relaxes and enjoys the search.
Courageous wants to cruise
around the world in a little boat. The doctor is
between a rock and a hard place here. Does he look
for a boat that might take the Captain around the
world or does he attempt to talk this risk taker
down from the high wire? Doctor Vic's solution is
the nautical equivalent of take two aspirins and
see me in the morning. It usually sounds like
this. "That is a fascinating goal and an immense
challenge, Captain. Let's talk about this over
coffee instead of gin and tonic."
All good people, they just approach the boat
selection process in different ways. The boat
broker understands this and works with each
according to his or her Boat Type. Real
psychologists could go to school on this guy.
The doctor is in.