Our boating industry is based upon centuries of seafarers’ experience and knowledge but is simultaneously constantly developing. On the one hand, our knowledge comes from past sailors, who had ventured towards the horizon not knowing what lay at the world's end. That shaped the way we do things on the high seas today. But on the other hand, our industry nowadays promotes technology with speed, energy efficiency, ecological and smart boating; all to exceed the limitations of the past.
The difficulty in getting boat parts
One thing that has not changed ,however, is the difficulty in getting boat parts. I have been to numerous countries around the world and no matter where I’ve been, it takes more time and effort to find a part than it does to actually repair or replace it onboard. For a single spare part, it could take hours searching online, and let's not mention about going out searching in person. The amount of money, time and energy it takes to find a boat part in a new country is beyond what would be considered normal in any other industry.
The revolution is near and the solution is attainable. Major industries have already made the transition to a digital platform, the automotive industry made this transition in the previous century, aviation, computing, household and much more, so why not boating?
I was amazed to see the piles of catalogs in a chandlery near Barcelona last year. The amount of paper and the difficulty of finding a part, which eventually the shop owner did not find… This classical concept of chandleries still exists and does not function well in our modern economic society. Don't get me wrong, the idea of a chandlery is what we are dependent upon, a single shop that stocks what we need just around the corner, and having the same brands worldwide, is paramount for the sailing community. But keeping those piles of catalogs on the counter is a classical concept that is outdated, and what we need is to revolutionize our industry to paperless consumerism.
A global marketplace for boat parts
What we need is a global marketplace for boat parts, where everything is accessible from everywhere and ships to anywhere. The idea is not to reduce the use of chandleries, on the contrary; Could you imagine the quantity of boat parts stock that chandlers keep that are not on display which the local consumers don't purchase because they don’t know they are in stock, and what if someone elsewhere needs those specific boat parts but does not have the proper channel to make a purchase?
In today's economy, the evident unavailability of parts, inflation, travel restrictions and ecological aspects; we should be focusing on searching for boat parts that already exist in stocks worldwide.
Here is a personal example; at a time in Panama, where the winds blow only half of the year and the rest is pretty hot, in order to live comfortably, I required a few fans and specifically Caframo Cabin Fans with the soft blade. None were in stock locally, since everybody uses these specific models. I found a source online but for a higher price. Compelled by the heat I clicked “add to cart”, fortunately, they were out of stock and I could not find any more online and that was it.
Luckily for me, later that year I was in Grenada, getting ready for a delivery, and as part of the preparations I needed the chandlers for some parts. And lo and behold, they had a shelf of discounted items and on that shelf there were the same cabin fans I had been looking for online and for nearly half the price! I bought five.
So now allow me to explain why this example is important, Grenada is one of the windward islands in the Caribbean, meaning, wind blows there year round, therefore cabin fans are less of a demand, and so the chandlers manager, according to his logic that being situated in the tropics would sell fans, found that the local sailors did not need them and so had to sell them at cost or maybe even at a loss. So, if that specific chandlery, or any chandlery, had a way to sell these fans online, then the business owners would make more profit and the consumer ie. me, would find the fans in a much easier and cheaper method.
Who suffers the most?
This evolution of consumerism has already begun in many industries, it is inevitable, but it is not to take anyone out of business but rather to increase their sales. You should be asking yourself who, in the current situation, suffers the most? And the answer is Everybody.
Why, because either you spend too much time looking for the part you need or spend too much money for a part you don't need!
There is a solution!
The business owners keep a large stock of boat parts that will rust and rot before anybody shows interest. This evolution is only natural and is essential for everyone in the industry, boat parts are abundant around the globe and what we need is a digital marketplace so that boat owners can buy parts from anybody, anywhere.
BoatClick is a revolutionary concept for an ever evolving market. If you want an efficient and economic consumer experience, then join BoatClick and be part of the next generation of boating.