Barbra Streisand sang that people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. Vic and I could sing that tune with different lyrics. The luckiest people in the world are small business owners like ourselves with great staffers who share our labor of love.
How lucky can you be? If you’re lucky like Vic and me, you are twice-lucky because then your well-oiled business machine is also located at the water’s edge and you’re working around boats. Best of all, in our case, is the fact that we’re working alongside terrific people who help our customers plan cruises and take learn-to-yacht courses.
Our employees seem genuinely to like and respect each other for their respective talents. Nobody has an attitude. They work as a team. If one is out, another takes up the slack. If one needs help, another lends a hand. Management gurus call this redundancy. Whatever it is, it is truly the lubricant that oils the gears of all smooth running enterprises. Ours, for sure.
For this, especially, we salute Marc Winkel, our anchor, who has been with us almost 19 years, and our chief captain, Gary Graham, with 15 years of teaching students how to operate a yacht. They set the standards by good example.
Here, standard one is making customers happy. If charters or students arrive after hours after a long day of travel the boat is ready for them with a light on and the refrigerator chilled. Our dock manager doesn’t just hand over the boat keys and announce, “Here it is.” He spends at least a couple of hours helping charters learn all about the vessel and answering all their questions.
I'm always proud when a person calling on Saturday or Sunday says in a surprised tone, "Oh, you are there on the weekends?" Yep. For 22 years’ worth of weekends callers have been treated to a real, live, friendly voice on the other end of the line.
Vic and I just returned from a mini-vacation and, alas, noted more than a few hospitality staffers with an “I don’t really care” attitude. This is so common that when you run into a friendly employee it just about knocks you over.
There’s an expression that I like. “Get a job you enjoy and you’ll never have to work again.” Now, “work” is in the mind of the doer but I have to say Vic and I enjoy our work. I can look out the window 12 months of the year and see blue water and boats and people enjoying both. When our clients are happy and excited, I’m happy and excited for them.
We let our customers grade us. Most write how great our staff is, quite often adding, “Give him a raise!” So noted.
Our customers probably see Vic and me as the faces of the business but I’m here to tell one and all that it’s our employees who deserve all the credit for making it work, for making our work so much fun, and for keeping our customers happy.
We are so grateful.
August, September and October, 2006
2 FREE Days with a 3-day or longer sail or power charter!*
For example, pay the 3-day low season rate and take a 5-day cruise or pay for 5 and take 7 days!
*charter must begin on or after 8/1/06 and end on or before 10/31/06.
Take your family “back to summer school” and save on any sail or power boating course this summer.
Pay for 3 students and the
4th is FREE
Take any sail or power
class and pay the full course rate for three (3) students and the 4th
student is free.*
Bring the kids! Bring the grandkids!
Summer is a great time to go boating. Plan to take the family to Power Boating or Sailing School this summer and save some money, too!
Retirement “Float” Planning is Fun
By Barb Hansen
Rich and Suzy Koths of Michigan have discovered that retirement planning isn’t as dry and boring as it sounds. In fact, it can be terrific fun.
Still “nine years and nine months” away from retirement (and obviously counting) the GM engineer and his wife Suzy are fondly picturing the day when, free at last, they will spend summers cruising the Great Lakes and winters exploring Florida’s Gulf Coast aboard the yacht they are now purchasing with other people’s money.
I met the Koths (pronounced “Coats”) in the winter of 2002 when they came down to Florida and chartered one of our power yachts in paradise. Paradise, as you may know, is cruising Southwest Florida’s placid channel behind exotic Gulf barrier islands like Sanibel, Pine, Captiva, Cayo Costa, Gasparilla, Cabbage Key and Useppa.
Rich and Suzy enjoyed their charter cruise so much they asked us for more details about what Vic and I call the “Floating Retirement Plan.” This is the plan in a nutshell: Buy a sail or power yacht, new or used. Put it to work for you as a charter boat. Chartering revenue helps pay for the boat and upkeep.
The Koths purchased a Jefferson 42 Viscount with huge cabins fore and aft, two baths, salon, dinette, wet bar, heat and air conditioning. It has everything except a Home Sweet Home sign. They put excess chartering revenue they earn back into their boat – appropriately named Final Sea-Lection -- buying new electronics and other nest-feathering upgrades.
The Koths escape snow country and cruise about three times a year on their winter home away from home. They like it that Final Sea-Lection stays busy with charters and is looked after carefully by our maintenance crew. It gives them confidence that all systems are go when they take a little vacation time and fly down from Michigan for a cruise on their boat.
Golly, the way real home prices are going up, it’s a wonder more people who want the best of both worlds – summer up north, winter down south -- don’t consider a floating home. Each year new boats cost a little more than the year before but home prices are zooming up beyond --dare I say it -- reason.
Rich and Suzy’s winter home is one of the most popular vessels in our charter fleet here at Marinatown Marina. In fact, the chartering business is very good. That sound you heard was me, the proprietor of a certain yacht chartering enterprise, crying for more boats to charter. The law of supply and demand is a good law except sometimes it doesn’t feel so good to the buyer or the seller.
In fact, I’m actively looking for more people like the Koths who long for the day when they can retire and actually have time – and a vessel – to sail into the sunset. Meanwhile, Vic and I will put their boat to work earning money to keep the dream alive. The way I figure it, life is only as good as you make it.
Captain Gary Graham just returned from a P103, Offshore Power Boating Course cruise to Key West. Upon returning, he reflected on his cruise to the Conch Republic this way
1978 Grand Banks 42 – Completely refitted in 2002-2003! $199,900.
Available for charter fleet placement or private ownership.
1991 GRAND BANKS 42 – Was
This beautiful yacht is a
“must see.” Owner is motivated to sell! Reasonable offers considered.
If you are in the market for a GB42, you won’t want to miss seeing this special yacht.
2003 Rinker 31’ Fiesta Vee
312 – REDUCED to
This “like new” vessel sleeps two, four or six in cruising comfort! And powered by twin 260 hp MerCruisers (with only 160 hours,) you’ll be one of the fastest cruisers on the water! This yacht has excellent headroom, comfortable furnishings, and lots of “extras,” including Air conditioning, Generator, windlass, stereo, VHF, remote spotlight, and more!
This boat is priced to sell. It is one of the best of its kind on the market today, but is priced less than the others. We invite you to compare and you’ll see why you’ll want to buy November even though it’s not yet spring!
Visit our Website
WE NEED LISTINGS, TOO!
We receive lots of nice emails and letters from both our charter and school clients. Here is just one that we wanted to share with you. Thanks to our great customers for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your comments!
Just a quick note to say thanks. I had a fantastic time learning to
I will be back in touch in the future. I plan to do S104 towards the end of the year . . . .
S101-103 Sailing Class
We appreciated the professionalism of all the SWF Yachts people. You all
made this a very enjoyable experience.
Phil from Texas
P101-102 class, Grand Banks 42
I just wanted to send a note to thank the staff of SWF Yachts for the wonderful 5-day sailing school that my son and I enjoyed last month. It was our second time to SWFY, as we chartered “Loose” for 4 days back in 2002. I had high expectations for the sailing school and all were met. The boat was in great shape, the weather was great and as always, Charlotte Harbor and surrounding destinations make up the perfect place to sail . . . .
I’ll definitely recommend both the school and Captain Chris!
Doug S., Ohio
S101 – S104 Sailing Courses
We enjoyed our charter and want to compliment SW Florida Yachts on the well maintained and equipped vessels. Marc is a great asset to your company and we appreciated his helpful and friendly service.
Island Packet 32 Charter
complete charter, school, and yacht sales information, try our websites:
You will find complete charter and class rates, specs on all the boats, copies of many newspaper and magazine articles about our company, the latest news, boats for sale, and special offers!
For a copy of our free video on CD-ROM, "Sailing and Cruising- Passport to Excellence" give us a call at 800-262-7939 or visit our Website and click on the video request form!
Watch our video and you will see why we love beautiful Southwest Florida!
For more information on
charters, classes, charter yacht ownership, or brokerage yachts for sale,
please call us at 1-800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339.
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