Interview with Todd Beechey
Q: Where did the OSY dream stem from?
Todd: Hailing from Cambridge, Ontario (near Toronto), my family and I are always on the hunt for a warm vacation to escape our winters. My wife and I were on a luxury cruise one year, and happened to walk around a marina, looking at all the superyachts. We started daydreaming about what it must be like to vacation on one of those yachts instead of a big cruise ship. Fast forward to our next vacation planning, we decided to see if it was possible. Having no idea how to even enter into this new world and industry, I started researching yacht brokers and sending emails. Of the 12 “reputable” brokers we contacted, only three responded to our emails, In the end, we booked our first yacht vacation with one broker who we were quite happy with. Having said that, overall, I found it really frustrating in some ways to break into this industry – here I was, a paying customer, and struggling to get someone to take my money! I know I wasn’t booking a 150 ft+ yacht, but it was still a big investment for us.
Q: What were the pitfalls you came across?
T: Getting replies to emails, getting the right amount of attention and feedback are the top ones. We booked another charter a couple of years later and had similar issues. However, with the first one we had such a fantastic captain and crew, we really didn’t have anything bad to say by the end of the charter. Whereas the second one, there was a rotational crew on, a replacement captain, and you could just tell that the level of service we had from the first one was lacking. So not only were there barriers to entry, but upon entering, we noticed that certain standards of services were missing. You book into a Four Seasons anywhere in the world, you know exactly what kind of service you will receive and have your expectations set. The yacht industry just seemed to be still in a cowboy state where you received different levels of service depending who you spoke to, which broker you went through, which crew was on board etc.
Q: So what is OSY trying to achieve in the industry?
T: Our mission statement is: OceanScape Yachts is the world’s first vacation club dedicated to bringing the unparalleled experience of yachting to travellers worldwide. This unique community combines concierge travel planning with traveller camaraderie to make planning your next holiday completely worry free.
So we’re basically a platform that unites brokers and owners with a whole new list of potential clients. We are focused on getting the word out about the amazing vacations that a family or group of friends can enjoy on a yacht, and show them that the cost can be comparable to other luxury travel options. We make it easier for potential new people attempting to enter the industry for the first time(and maybe even get turned off before really entering) to get the information they need. We are helping those people who don’t have time or energy to properly research and plan a trip – saving them time and aggravation. Someone can come to us, tell us a bit about their needs – how many guests, location and time of year, then we are the ones who go out, get all the info (whether that is through one of our trusted yacht partners, or a further referral from them), then present them the options. We lay out plainly all hidden costs and fees, the charter agreement, how to get to and from their meeting location to get onboard, etc. We are trying to make the entire charter process as seamless and painless as possible – especially for those who are completely new to this industry.
Q: What else can we expect to see from you guys in the future?
T: As mentioned, we do have a number of yacht partners already established. We’re thrilled to have trusted working relationships with Hargrave Custom Yachts covering the USA and Caribbean, Northrop & Johnson Australia for the South Pacific region, and West Nautical covering all yacht needs across the Med. We also have a couple of privately listed yachts and trusted partnerships with the owners.
As well, we’ve been approached by wider online luxury concierge services, companies who value truly one-of-a-kind vacations just like us. By partnering up with similar travel companies, we’re creating a much wider net to effectively “catch” potential new charterers. All I’ve heard since entering this superyacht world is how there is a finite number of clients and how can we get this “fresh blood” into the industry. So doesn’t it make sense to look outside and bring new life in somehow?
We also created a unique pricing model which we have affectionately called OSCYR – OceanScape Charter Yacht Report. This allows users to search and compare different charter prices based on a number of criteria. Compiling industry data from thousands of yachts on the market today, OSCYR aims to ensure you are paying a fair price for your yacht vacation, regardless of who you book your vacation through.
This is something else I found lacking – there are all of these various charter prices – most are roughly around the same costs, whereas there are plenty of discrepancies as well. Why is this the case? I personally found the reasonings behind it lacking – or at least an easily navigable tool to help educate us on costs based on certain search criteria was missing. So hopefully OSCYR helps fill that void for people.
With a number of 100 – 150 foot yachts sitting available, yet unbooked for holidays, OceanScape Yachts aims to bridge this gap between those who can afford such vacations, and the yachts looking for bookings. With a number of new yachts available to hire through the company, even more opportunities await to get onboard.
To learn more visit: www.oceanscapeyachts.com