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Discussion Starter #1
We’re baaaaaak – and there’s a story attached.

Last year was a dismal year for most in the boating industry and the effort at our place was to keep costs down. Now there’s ways to do that that are smart and some not-so-smart. Not renewing with BCFR as an advertiser was one of the latter. In fact it was one of my stupider and only ‘saved’ 82 cents a day. Whoopee.

As an advertiser you get to tout your company on the Advertiser’s Forum and Rick puts up a rotating panel ad at the top of the page readable by all forums. Does that ad get noticed? You bet your sweet bippy it does. People came into the store saying, “Hey, Michael, what happened to your ad?” Being the well-versed speaker I said, “Well, er, um, ah, hummmm.”

No, we didn’t win the lottery but year-over-year total business (centering mainly on boat/engine service and upholstery/canvas) has increased hugely. The Little-Company-That-Could and whose motto is ‘The Floggings Will Continue until Morale Improves’ is doing rather well. So sending Rick a cheque was a no brainer.

That’s my 82 cents worth.

MichaelR

 

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Good to hear Michael, I think most of us can relate in some way these days. The dollar just doesn't stretch as far as it used to and there are smart choices to be made for a better future. Cost overruns and over spending are more closely considered with a more streamline approach.

All the best and heres to a Great Year !

Cheers Marko
 

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Hey Michael

I had wondered where you went welcome back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Marco, centerpin, Mike, thanks for the encouraging words. It’s good to have friends.

I started Brigantine Marine six years ago. I had recently retired – for 30 years I ran an international consulting company, clients in 22 countries, that sort of thing – and found retirement even though I could fish whenever I wanted, boring. Those days when the weather was crappy I’d sit and chafe: gardening held no desire nor did those things retired people are supposed to do. After about six months of this I said to hell with it. I am going nowhere and, in the travel to nowhere, tearing my hair out in sheer frustration.

So I got together a good crew who knew more about boats than I did telling them I know the business of business so why not take a chance and let’s see where it goes. I began fishing at age five and have owned boats for several decades so I knew how a customer feels and, in the past six years, learned the boat servicing and canvas side. It’s been a ball.

Okay, it’s had its ups and downs. All businesses do. However, and here’s what makes it all worth it, I have met some very, very nice people called customers. They’ve ranged from the most knowledgeable to those starting out and I have enjoyed them all. And, know what, made some good friends. They seem to like us: we have an almost 100 percent retention rate.

But back to the me thing. This year I shall be 73. Older than dirt. I respect those who retire to gardening, lawn bowling, or whatever but what turns my crank is getting up early, driving to the store, and expecting a day where I can chat about boats, fishing, and having a whole passel of fun out on the salt chuck or a lake. It don’t get any better than this.

So, as the fellow said, that’s the remainder of the story.

Did I mention there’s free coffee while the old geezer talks your hind leg off? There is.

MichaelR

 

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Wow 72 eh....? He he and I thought I was old. I'll have to stop by one day and take you up
on a cup of joe and the chit chat that comes with it. Can talk boats and fishing all day. :)

Cheers Marko
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Marko, in the lunch room above the sink in the right hand cupboard are the china mugs. The coffee station is in the main room and it’s the Real McCoy guaranteed to grow hair on a billiard ball. Sorry, no lattes or weird stuff like that served in a Styrofoam cup but we’re a boat service company not Tim Hortons.

Oh, and we have one rule: the president of the company, that’s me, will serve you your first cup but after that you’re on your own.

MichaelR

 

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Would you mind mentioning who you are? I need some canvas work done on my boat and hey, if you advertise I'll give you a shot at it. :)

Tim...needs less leaks...
 

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I spotted that after the fact. :) Nice to know. I have to find a good shop that I trust and I hope this one will do the trick. :)

Tim...Bring Out Another Thousand....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Since we’re in a chatty mood, mind if I rattle on?

To me boating is two parts: out on the water and maintaining the boat so the first is without stress. The latter is where we come in. Brigantine Marine is a company of fussbudgets who, also being boat owners, want the first part to be fun. What we don’t want is someone calling in on a Monday saying their boat crapped out. So we’re get picky about, well, about most everything. And that’s as it should be..

My experience is most boat owner do care for their boats. Sure, we live in the PNW and it’s hard on boats. We get weather conditions not experienced elsewhere: it rains a lot and, when it gets hot, it gets hot. There have been times out on the saltchuck when it could be Florida and times when it’s bloody freezing. Not complaining, just observing. But the weather extremes are hard on a boat.

Sure, if you have a 60-footer and a crew who look after everything and also serve martinis, it’s that. But most of us have boats 23-foot and less and we’re skipper, engineer, and deck hand. So this thought which is a basic at Brigantine: being partners in this, what said by Rat in Wind in the Willows, there is nothing better than mucking about in boats.

My view is a service company should share that.

MichaelR

 

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That is great to hear as I need to fine a reliable shop for my boat as I am not mechanical at all! Conveniently I also need a new top...I'll be in touch as soon as I can get my boat out from behind all the hockey gear!
 

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Great meeting you today Michael. I am going to follow James' advice and hopefully I'll have the problem resolved, or at least narrowed to down.

I'll drop the boat off on the 16th for the NEW!!!!!!!! canopy. Can't wait to see the finished product. :)

Tim...wishes he had the cash for the very sweet 70hp Suziki....
 
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