Posted by: Dave Mallach | June 3, 2013

I’m back!


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I’m back!

At the end of this long posting I will repeat those two words, and I will add three more. While there’s a lot to read between here and there, please don’t feel obligated to read any of it. I’m not officially in the yacht biz any longer, so I may not have anything particularly relevant to offer you. But feel free to read as much or as little as you like. To make it easier, I have divided this wordy mass into three areas: The Personal, The Professional, and The Divine.

I. The Personal

It was exactly 365 days ago that I posted my goodbye message. That was a few weeks after my wife Pat passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 52.  For continuities’ sake, if you like you can read that message here:

Goodbye to all that

From where I sit now, “overwhelmed” is too mild a word to explain my feelings about the responses to my good-bye. I received almost two hundred written offerings of concern, compassion and hope from my friends and clients in the Vicem world. As for phone calls, I was in too much in a state of shock to really register or count those numerous conversations. There might have been fifty of them. I’m not sure that I fully understood how many people I had firmly connected with in my blog. It was quite humbling.

I answered very few of your wonderful messages. I’d like to now explain, with whatever clarity an additional year provides, to explain how and why I dissapeared, and to recount the year’s events. It is my hope that this way, if and when we talk, write or meet again, we can focus on what’s important – our present and future.

It’s a pretty personal tale, all in all. But I offer it because my reader’s responses were so personal. And perhaps my message can have some meaning for you.

You may recall that before I was a yacht broker I ran the drug treatment programs for NYC’s jails on Rikers Island. It was there that I learned an effective technique to reach the most unreachable people, addicts who had fallen as far as one could fall. When these inmates hit bottom and had nothing left to do, feel or say, I would ask simply:

“Do you want to live or do you want to die?”

A few days after Pat died I had to ask myself the same question.

I knew, despite the horror, that I wanted to live.

In fact I was fiercely determined to live, and to find ways to forge a full new life. I knew that Pat would have expected it of me. I was also swayed by how many big things I had yet to achieve in my life – like being a grandparent, finishing my novel, finishing the school in Haiti, and working on things I had never even thought to start.  So I determined to do whatever it took to create a new life for myself. I called this life, unoriginally, Dave 2.0.

I felt (perhaps irrationally) that my clearest path to 2.0 required that I cut off from 1.0. And so I “went dark” with most of the people I’d befriended in the last ten years, especially my Vicem friends and clients. While the Vicem ride was great, and has served me well in my retirement, I came to resent the travel, the one-day-in-three that business took me away from home. Put another way, those days added up to the three-years-in-nine that I would never get back with Pat. And that resentment was hard to let go of. Its what cut me off from my past. Please understand that this resentment was nothing personal. Every message I received meant a great deal to me. But it was just too painful for me to respond.

Until now.

This year from hell (a cliché, of course, but there is no better way to describe it) did teach me a lot about myself, and I am genuinely grateful for lessons learned. For example,

  • I learned what I could take – and that’s almost anything.
  • I learned how to work through the grieving process, in part through the powers of distraction and busyness, in part with the help of an amazing therapist.
  • I learned how to lean on friends and family (never my strong suit) on the toughest days, and to do so without fear, weakness, or guilt.
  • I learned the hardest lesson of all for me  – To not be afraid of sadness. It is part of life. It comes. It teaches. And then, with the love and support of others, it goes.

There are, I found, worse things in life than tears.

I know a man in Port-Au-Prince who in 20 seconds lost his wife, his daughter and his mother.  He worked in a bank, and he was working later than usual when the earthquake hit. I asked him later how he survived.  He said, “You just cry.”

Well, sometimes that’s what you do. Until you don’t.

So now, at the one-year mark, I don’t cry much. In fact, I’m doing quite well most of the time. True, my closest friends, those of twenty or thirty years, tell me they can still see the shadows of sadness in my eyes, but  I expect even those shards to fade in time.

My children are wonderful. Many or most 18 and 20-year-old kids would have folded. I suspect that at their age I would have, and that Pat would have too. But Katie and Tim did not. Their love and resilience continues to amaze and inspire me. Katie just graduated cum laude from Iona, and is following her mothers’s career by starting law school in Connecticut this September. After much independent thought and good judgement, Tim changed majors mid-stream, and just made Dean’s list at Quinnipiac. It tickles me that they will be schooling close to each other in Connecticut. Hugging-close.

timktgpaorig

As for me, I moved into Manhattan last summer (East 70’s and the East River). The building was built in 1905, and I always feel like I’m in Budapest or Prague:

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I am happy here. Manhattan for me is a place with a pace that supports my healing. If you are moving your boat up and down the East River give me a few minutes notice and I’ll happily toss you a beer.

As for recreation, I bought an Actioncraft flats boat last summer for fly fishing:

flatsboat

and last month a Prout Escale 39 sailing catamaran:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I will keep them both on Long Island Sound this season (in Northport harbor), and move them down to Miami in the winter. Busy is best for me, and I have found that time on the water (eventually) heals (almost) everything.

I did not get as much work done on the novel as I would have liked this year, but I would say it is 30% done. One chapter of it I have modified into a short story, and I am working on finding a publisher for it. If you’d like to read it, just let me know.

II. The Professional

It was difficult for me leave Vicem and retire. Of course I’m fortunate that I could afford to, but the truth is I simply had no work left in me. I take it as a sign of returning emotional health that I now recognize that 54 was too young to retire. Unfortunately, just as I was about to return this summer with some pretty cool business ideas, my parent’s (picture above ) health is now requiring much of my attention. So significant business plans must now take a back seat while I help as I can.

However, on a part time basis I am doing a little bit of consulting in the marine industry. After all, helping foreign manufacturers tailor their boats, marketing materials, and service and warrantee plans for the American market is something I have a little experience in!

I do miss my Vicem’s, of course, and my wonderful friends in Turkey. While I do not have full time sales (and full time travel) in me anymore, I think it would be a shame not to put my Vicem knowledge to good use. So if anyone out there needs assistance in buying a used or new Vicem, you know my famous line:

Just launch a flare!

I’d be happy to help.

III. The Divine

I am ashamed to say that I entirely withdrew from our Haiti initiative this year. The sad truth was that concern for others was beyond my ability (and even interest) at the time. My wonderful friends on the board of Haitian Support understood, or course, but I am now dealing with the reality that the project has slowed down significantly. The construction of the new school is currently more or less stalled at the 65% completion mark.  Having raised and spend $120,000, we are now just $65,000 short of the capital funds required to finish it. While this weighs on me now, the challenge has pulled me out of my shell.

Dave 2.0 is fully committed to doing everything he can to finish this school. My life, and this blog going forward, will be largely dedicated to these efforts. There will always be a nautical component to both my life and blog, but changing a small part of the world for the better will be my central focus.

Of course I will understand if you stop following it all, and I will not take it personally (whether you formally unsubscribe or not). But I hope you stick with me, and us. And here’s why.

My fifth and most personal and important lesson of this year from hell is this: Happiness does not come from the pursuit of pleasures. Now of course I enjoy my pleasures. After all, I have two boats!  And I can usually be found in, on, or under the water. But at some point those sort of joys become hollow. So I have adopted the mantra of my good and inspirational friends Armand Dimele and Stephanie D’Ambra.They have reminded me that

It is the pursuit of purpose that makes us happy, not the pursuit of pleasures.

What can I say? It works for me, and I believe it can work for others. So I have returned full time (as family events allow) to my purpose – to get this school in Haiti finished. If you choose to, you can follow our progress (or even better, help propel our progress) by keeping up with this blog and all its’ hopes and dreams. I do hope you will, in some way, make Bodarie your purpose.

As it has been awhile, here is a brief video refresher on Bodarie, Haiti:

And some photos:

The Old school, hit hard in the last tropical storm and now barely standing:

cropped-p1010084.jpg

The new school, under construction:

cropped-photof.jpg

The new school 2/3  done, just a few weeks ago:

photo[2]

The final plan:

07Final

And, finally, the reasons why:

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So I now close this posting just  as I opened it, with two simple words:

I’m back.

And I’ll add these three:

Thanks for waiting!

All my love,

Dave Mallach

Davem234@gmail.com

516-816-1703

Posted by: Dave Mallach | June 19, 2012

Goodbye To All That

Thirty-something years ago I read an [evidently] memorable book called Goodbye To All That, by Robert Graves.  He was one of the few British WWI poets to survive the trenches of the Great War.  He returned home traumatized, thinking a normal life was impossible. But in time, through writing and routine domestic activities (he was an early house-husband) he eventually found that he could say goodbye to the pain, reinvent himself, and move on.

I have been thinking a lot about that book in recent weeks, and have decided to take a full year off and figure out the path of my future life. I did the math a few weeks ago: I have spent three of the last nine years on the road.  When I had Pat to come home to, it was well worth it.  Now it is not the life I want to live.  Shortly before Pat passed away we bought a small place in Manhattan.  I will be moving in almost full time when the kids go back to school in September.  In the very short term, I have bought a small fishing boat to keep out on the North Fork. I will do a lot of fishing and thinking this summer.

Vicem has been tremendously supportive of me over the last nine years, and especially over the last six weeks. They are upset by my leaving, but they understand.  I have asked my good friend Paul Crean to take over my Vicem affairs. His email address is P.Crean@Vicemusa.com. His cell is 516-991-8578. I trust Paul, so you can to.

There are half a dozen things I am considering (none in the boat world), but as a wise and good friend said, I will most probably end up doing number seven, not yet on my radar screen.  At the top of my list is to finish my long-delayed novel about Haiti. I think I can do that in a year. No matter what I decide, Haiti will always be a big part of my life.

So you are now reading the final entry in my Vicem blog.  Perhaps another blog will take its place. Only time and healing will tell.  But meanwhile, thank you for everything. I leave you with a fishing picture:

Enjoy.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | May 19, 2012

A Personal Note

Because so many of my clients are friends, this blog has always been a mix of the personal and the business. This entry is entirely personal.

I am quite sad to tell you that two weeks ago my wife Pat passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. Pat was 52.   Although she had no history or evidence of heart disease, she did have a heart attack.

For those of you who never met Pat, here is my favorite picture of our 27 year relationship. It was taken last year at the Broadway production of Hair. Somehow she ended up on stage at the end of the performance,  dancing away. It is how I will always remember her:

Pat and I raised a strong family, and now is the time when Katie and Tim and I will draw upon that strength.

I’d like to talk for a moment about my future with Vicem. My  feelings in the first week were that I would retire.  I have always said that sales is about putting yourself out there 110% every day, but I was not sure that I had any self left to put out.

But as my fog has cleared a bit, I decided to keep on keeping on at the age of 54. I do love my job, my boats, and my company. And staying busy is healthy. So on Monday I will return to work (slowly). Regular updates to this blog will continue.

Thank you for hanging in there with me.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | April 13, 2012

A 25% Price Reduction?

It is not very often when a brokerage listing, especially a Vicem brokerage listing, undergoes a 25% price reduction. Well, today is the day.

Three Belles, our 2007 Vicem 54 Flybridge in Fort Lauderdale, has just had her asking price reduced from $1,300,000 to $975,000!

She is a three-cabin model, with criss-crossing bunks beds in the third cabin.  She just had a complete paint job. The full listing can be seen at:

Three Belles

She lives at her owner’s dock.  If you would like to see her, just launch a flare.

Thanks, and enjoy.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | March 31, 2012

You Snooze, You Lose…

I have circled the planet in the last three weeks (Dubai, China, Palm Beach)  and I’d like to fill you in with a groggy and belated report on all things Vicem. Thanks for waiting!

I. The Dubai Boat Show

It was our first time in Dubai.  The new owner of our Vicem 78 Cruiser kindly offered her to us for the show. She went over hugely, of course. Here are some pix:

The proud owner.

This was the most popular yacht at the show – Seriously!

II. Our 107 Cruiser Splashes

She went in the water this week. I am enormously impressed to report that she came in only 1,000 pounds over her design weight, and hit her max speed (20 knots) at her first sea trial. For a one-off custom build of a hull #1, this is virtually unheard of. As always, I am so proud of my company. I will have sea trial videos of her soon.

She is available for sale or charter. Please call me for details.

III. An Important V70 Update

Truant, our spectacular Vicem 70 listing, will be going back in to the water next month. The owner has told me that he will consider trades. I urge you to check out this amazing yacht, either on line, or up on the Cape. The full listing can be found at:

Truant

IV. You Snooze, you lose…

I am pleased to report that Ruthie B, our Vicem 58 Flybridge listing, is now under contract! At this point, if you are looking for a 58 Flybridge, we’d be happy to build you one!

V. Latest V58 Classic Listing

A 58 has just come on the market, in Florida. At this point, she is the only brokerage 58 out there. Don’t end up on the wrong end of one of my Snoozagrams!

Take a look at this, and feel free to call me with questions:

58 Vicem Classic

Well, my batteries need to recharge a bit. But stay tuned for some really big news in the next posting.  And as always, if you have any questions, just launch a flare.

See ya!

Posted by: Dave Mallach | March 3, 2012

Vicem in a Museum? Seriously!

Greetings from the land of Vicem.

I’m about to depart on an extended circling of planet Vicem next week (Dubai, China, Palm Beach) and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for blog postings. So I hope this rather long one tides you over awhile. Many different chapters here:

I. Vicem returns to Manhattan!

Big news, this. After much thought we have decided to close our Newport office and relocate operations to Manhattan. We will be keeping our boats at Dennis Connor’s North Cove Marina, right underneath Freedom Tower.

North Cove Marina – Battery Park

Why the move, you might ask? Two reasons:

First, this new job of mine is keeping me hopping. And the managerial span of control was proving a little too long from Newport. I decided I needed to be in a more central location, closer to an international airport.

Secondly, two years ago we kept a V54 (briefly!) in Manhattan, over at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson. Briefly, because it sold in just five weeks. So there is something to be said for Manhattan. Which reminds me – Long ago in a galaxy far, far, away, I went to law school. On day one of our Contracts class, the professor said:

“The three most important words in any contract are ….. Location, Location, Location!

Hard to beat the Wall Street area for location.

The plan at the moment is to put our V52 there if she doesn’t sell at the Palm Beach Show (more on that below).  Look at this picture, and you tell me what the odds are of her making it all the way to NY!

2008 V52 – Our Trade. See her at the PB show.

I will miss Newport, deeply. Why, you may ask? Well, this picture says it all:

Sunset at Tiverton, un-retouched!

Admittedly I can’t cry too much. I bought a nice little one bedroom on East 78th street and I am looking forward to haunting NY’s jazz clubs till last call. Any jazz fans out there?

II. Our Latest ad

Here is our latest ad, running in the usual places in the April issues. Note the latest addition to the last ad – Saga, an incredible Vicem 65 in France. And of course our prime yacht in the pole position – Truant:

No Snooze, No Lose!

III. The Palm Beach Boat Show

This show, always one of our most successful, runs from Thursday, March 22nd through Sunday the 25th. Please let me know if you need tickets..

In a sense, we will be displaying two yachts there. First, the V52 mentioned above:

Our single best idea ever – the Vicem open galley.

We just took this fine yacht in trade. Which means in theory I should be open to taking yet another trade as part of an attractive deal. You can see the full listing at:

Vicem 52 Listing

And a cool virtual tour at:

Vicem 52 Virtual Tour

And our other star attraction is Essence, the unequalled Vicem 85:

V85 – $150,000 Price Reduction

My favorite Vicem pic.

Essence has just had a $150,000 price reduction. Her two boat owner is asking $3,850,000. She will be right across the ICW from the Palm Beach Show, and her captain can pick you up in her tender for a scheduled viewing. Please call me for the details. The full listing can be seen at:

85 listing

Wait, I couldn’t resist. Here is one more picture:

Did you know George Clooney slept in this bed? Yup, its true. You can call me for the full story.

IV. The Dubai Boat Show

As mentioned above, I’m off to Dubai to show the wonderful Vicem 78 Cruiser at the Dubai Boat Show, which runs from March 13th through the 17th:

It is our first show there, and you can imagine how pumped I am. I have at least one client making the trip over, and if you can too, let me know and I will provide the visa details. Here’s our queen:

Yes, George Clooney really did sleep in that 85 bed.

Take the ride at: Vicem 78 Cruiser Virtual Tour

V. The Vicem 107 Cruiser

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 107 Cruiser has left the building!

Here she is getting her hardtop lifted into position.

I’ve ben doing this long enough to remember when we used to lift these hardtops into place manually, using a dozen very strong Turkish gentlemen I know.

She goes in the water in less than two weeks. Please stand by for pix.

By the way, you may remember that I mentioned last week that she is available for charter. We already have received one request.

VI. A Great Little Boat

Loyal readers know that when I run across superior examples of work in the marine industry, I feel obligated to share and comment. I don’t have time to comment upon industry problems, but I have promised to make time for the winners. My clients deserve no less.

So recently I went to visit Vanquish Yachts in RI. Morgan Huntley is building some of the finest small boats I have ever seen. So fine, that If Vicem was in the small boat biz, I’d probably remain mute.

It wasn’t just his boats that impressed. His factory was clean, well organized, and productive. His engineering is impressive.

The 24 he showed me is a Doug Zurn design (enough said), and is built with Vinylester epoxy and a foam core. My good friend Michael ran her, and he reports she is light and fast (the hull is just 800 pounds right out of the mold!).   With a prop pocket she draws just 19 inches.

Here are some more pix:

While I wish it weren’t so, the truth is I don’t really have time to own a boat (I just sold my sailboat a few months ago, and it still hurts). But if I did have the time, I would seriously consider buying a Vanquish. After all, it starts with a “V”. Morgan’s website is at:

Vanquish Yachts

Both he and his wife are great young people, and I should disclose, objectively and parenthetically, generous supporters of my school in Haiti. Give him a call and ask him about the cool custom 21 he is building.

VI. The Latest Bahama Bay 

Quite the buzz came out of Europe last week, where our new Bahama Bay 61 was unveiled to the public at the Istanbul Boat show. Like her sister the 54 Bahama Bay, she is an IPS boat. I am looking forward to running her myself on my next trip to Turkey this June.  Here is just some of the great press:

BB UK_CharterWorld.cm 61[1]

BB Yachting

BB FRA_ActuNautique.com feb 12 bb61 art[1]

BB FRA_YACHT-CLUB FRANCE 24 feb 12[2]

And here is the boat:


On the subject of IPS boats, I have enjoyed the back and forth on Yachting Magazine’s Reader’s Forum about the pros and cons of IPS drives. I really like Yachting’s forum, as I find the technical quality of the conversation quite high. You can follow this discussion at:

Yachting Magazine Forum on IPS

VII. Vicem in a Museum?

OK, I have kept you waiting long enough. Is it true? Yup. Here’s the deal: You will remember that a couple of blog postings ago I mentioned that I was putting all the best Vicem videos on a single YouTube Channel. One of those videos covered our cold molded construction process. Well, a museum designer/curator saw it, and he is developing exhibits for a new museum on Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. One of the exhibits explores Franklin’s “Maritime Observations”. It turns out the alternating and rotating diagonal planking method we use was a concept first imagined by Franklin!

So the exhibit will juxtapose Franklin’s original idea with our current process. Not only that,the exhibition is to go on the road, perhaps to a museum near you.

As I never get tired of saying, sincerely, I am so proud of my company!  Stand by for details as they come in.

VIII. Ta Ta For Now

This posting went even longer than I planned. Thanks for sticking with me. Here’s a closing pic for you.  Our publicists (The Sand People, of Milan) are really tops in the industry.  They have, on their own accord, been trying to spread the word that I’m the hardest working guy in the industry. They wouldn’t want this pic of me “working” on the 92 Cruiser to get out:

WAIT! Do they let you drink beer in Dubai?

See ya when I see ya.

Thanks, and enjoy.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | February 7, 2012

You Snooze, You Lose…..

I. Dave’s Latest Snoozagram

I am so pleased to announce that our display yacht at the Miami Boat Show sold during the show!

Vicem 58 - Sailing off into the sunset (almost)

The thrilled new owner is coming out of  larger Marlowe. He wanted something faster and un-crewed. He got it!

I am going to miss this boat. I spent quite a lot of fun times aboard her in Newport this Summer. Remember this picture of her in Yachting?

This leaves a grand total of just one of Vicem’s all-time best selling 58’s on the market: Ruthie B, the 58 Flybridge up in New York:

Vicem 58 Flybridge - $995,000!

I will be in New York for just the next two weeks, before I begin a three week circle-the-globe sales trip. Now is the time to make an offer on this wonderful yacht. Don’t be on the wrong side of one of my snoozagram emails!

I’ll put this in context for you: At one time we had three 58’s on the market.  The listing on the only one available can be seen at:

Yachtworld Listing

And I’ll close this chapter by adding that with the dearth of 58’s around, now is a great a time to build a new 58.  I can make you a seriously twisted offer on new construction right now. CALL ME!

II. Notes and Observations about the Miami Show:

Last year at the Miami Show I estimated that just four or five boats sold. That was then, this is now – I am reliably told that 20 boats sold at the show this week. Walking around on the last afternoon I saw two dozen sold signs (some of those are just the usual industry puffery).

This show marks my 100th show with Vicem.  It may sound a bit strange, but I have worked enough shows that I can tune in to the energy levels on the docks.  Lead me around blindfolded, and I can tell if things are selling. It is just something in the air, a certain electricity. Well, the air was crackling this week.

And now, to add to the strangers of it all, I will give you Dave’s Rule of Yacht Sales. It will sound simplistic, but it has tracked really well for me over the years:

It’s all about the DJIA

When I fall asleep each night, my night owl wife fills me in on the state of Asian Markets (she works in Finance), and the likely path of the Dow the next day. I can tell pretty well how much my phone will ring the next day.

Really.

With the Dow up strongly over the last four months, so are our boat sales. And I am reading trustworthy forecasters who predict an 18,000 Dow in two years.

Yah baby!

Here’s something more: I saw an industry stat at the show – Among all brokerage yacht listings nationally, 58% of them have been on the market longer than 24 months.  I expect this glut to be reduced by 25% before the Fourth of July. Remember this, and feel free to call me on it his summer.

I will buy you a beer if I’m wrong.  You buy a boat if I’m right!

In conclusion, if you are looking for a yacht, new or brokerage, I honestly believe there has never been a better time than right now.

III. Our About to Splash 107 Cruiser

She splashes in a matter of weeks.  But today I got in some amazing computer-generated photos of her.  It took me a while to figure out they were not real (the faint reflections on the surface of the hull amaze me):

Vicem 107 Cruiser

The full specifications can be found here:

V100 Opt

And the full listing here:

Yachtworld Listing for 107C

Now, about this 107 Cruiser – I just heard at the show that Vicem is going into the charter game for the first time.  For as long as it takes for the Cruiser to sell, she will be available for charter in the Turkish and Greek Islands.

I have spent a lot of time in these waters.  I will never forget one night in particular, when the Milky Way was so clear and bright  you could follow it clearly from one horizon to the other (even the fishtail end). And the diving was great too!

Charter rates will be roughly 65,000 Euro’s a week. But I expect her to sell fairly quickly. So jump quick if you want to experience this.

IV. Our Latest Press:

Last week I posted an Italian magazine review of our V75 Flybridge, with some amazing pictures.  This week, a French magazine review with even better photos.  They really highlight what we can now do with the lighter Anegre interior wood. Je parle Francais, un peu, (comes in quite handy in Haiti) so if you need a translation of this article, just let me know:

FRA_Neptune Feb 2012

V. A Cool Istanbul Article

My friends and family are quite kind – they choose to call me eccentric rather than crazy. I am grateful for their kindness, because admittedly the range of my interests and hobbies are bizarre and diverse. Its a little like the way John Wayne described the South Platte River  in one of his westerns – A mile wide and an inch deep.

Anyway, one of my interests is the art world. This week the Times ran a great article about the stunning growth of the contemporary art scene in Istanbul. I have watched these neighborhoods and galleries adapt and grow over the years, and it is so exciting for me to see them get wider attention.

Here is the full article. And if you would like to explore this world with me, by all means come along on my next trip.  I have cutting-edge artist friends in Istanbul who can show us the full scene:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/magazine/istanbul-art-boom-bubble.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=istanbul%20art%20scene&st=cse

That’s it for now. I hope to see you at the Dubai and Palm Beach Boat Shows, but I am sure I will have blog postings before then. Some big announcements coming up.

But, as always, if you need anything, just launch a flare. I post this at 37,000 feet (I love Delta’s wifi) so I am sure to see your flare.

Thanks, and enjoy.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | February 5, 2012

Why I love the V65

Last week I mentioned that one of the top ten boat show questions I hear is “Anything smaller than a V52?”  I also hinted, with no real agenda, of a future post on why I love our V65 model.

Well. here’s another top ten boat show hit: “Got any V65’s?”

Now I do!

Vicem 65

Vicem 65 Classic

Let me explain.

The Vicem 65 has always been my favorite Vicem.  I’ve caught some flack over this from other Vicem fans, both inside and outside the company. Some say she is too narrow, or too sailboaty, or too much of a snout. But those are the exact reason I love her. And there are two V65 owners in America (with a few more in Europe) who wouldn’t trade their V65’s for anything afloat. Her length provides the interior volume her beam gives up.  And she has the largest cockpit in our line. An amazing entertaining platform.

Personally, as a sailor, all things being equal I lean towards narrower boats.  The tradeoff in elbow room for looks and efficiency just works for me. Boats with higher beam-to-length ratios are more easily driven, more fuel efficient, pound less, and go to weather drier.

Here is a quick-and-dirty table of our Classic line, sorted by Beam to Length ratio.

     Model   B/L Ratio
54 3.04
58 3.12
51 3.29
52 3.30
67 3.46
70 3.61
72 3.70
75 3.77
65 3.78

While naval architects will tell you that 3.0 and above is the sweet spot, y0u’ll see the 65 just nudges out the 75 and 72 to win.

So I mentioned my 65 preference a few weeks ago, and low and behold I got an email from my friend Annie Benard in France yesterday, with a new listing. Saga is a 2005 model, which had a complete refit in 2010.  I had the pleasure of meeting the owner and doing her very first sea trial in Istanbul when she first splashed, and she just blew me away.

She is in Marseille, captain maintained, and can be seen at any time.  Given the realities of the European market these days, the asking price is a very low 900,000 euros.

Call me and I can talk you through the issues of shipping charges and US electrical conversion.  But if it were me, I’d cruise the Med for a season or two before bringing her home.  Case in point: I have one V65 owner from Florida who keeps his in the Med full time!

Here are some really impressive pix:

Saga of Sweden v3[4]

And here is the Yachtworld Listing:

sagayw

Incidentally, since I know my loyal readers actively follow my efforts to build a school in Haiti, I will point you in the direction of Annie’s extra-curricular life, focusing on a similar project in northern India:

Annie’s India Project

That’s it for now. See ya in Miami….

Posted by: Dave Mallach | January 31, 2012

Smaller Vicem’s?

I am going to have to stop opening these posts with my “Lot’s going on this week, folks” line, because “this week” has become just about every week here on Planet Vicem these days. So let’s dive right in:

I.  Smaller Vicem’s

I was down in St. Michael’s this week, where I ran into a wonderful Vicem owner and his 42 Classic.  I had not seen the boat in years (the only 42 ever built, and one of the very first to come in to the US), and it was great to catch up.

Vicem 42 Classic

I thought my loyal readers would find it interesting to hear my take on smaller Vicem’s.  At boat shows, it is always in the top ten questions of the week.

As you probably know, the smallest boat we build now is our 52. While there appears to be a market for smaller Vicem’s, the question becomes “At what price?” The base price on our 52 is now roughly $1.5m.  The sad truth of the boat building business is that it does doesn’t take that many more hours or materials to build a 52 than a 42.  Off the top of my head I will guess there are 20,000 man hours involved in building the 52.  The 42? I’d say 18,000 hours.

This means that a 42, built with Vicem engineering and quality,  would have a base price of $1,250,000.  It is hard to justify that price in the market, no?

Or maybe it is not hard.  I am very interested in my client’s opinion on the matter. Anyone want a new 42?

II.  The Miami Boat Show approaches!

The Miami Show is just two weeks away, running from February 16th – 20th. We will be displaying a Vicem 58 Classic there.

I have a video of that very boat, doing nothing more exciting than simply leaving the dock. When a boat is so pretty that even that gets your attention, you know you have something special:

The full listing of that boat (which just had a price reduction a few weeks ago) can be found at:

Vanderbilt Listing, Vicem 58 Classic

A map of our location within the show can be seen here. We are, conveniently, right next to the bar!

MIBS 2012 – Vicem at Show Layout – 1-23-12

III.  Vicem’s Youtube Channel

I must be getting lazy, because this development is so overdue: Clients ask for videos more than any other single thing (well, maybe after price). So I have taken our greatest hits and put them on a single Youtube channel. You can see them all at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DaveVicem

There may be a few I have forgotten, so check in from time to time on this channel.

IV.  Vicem’s Distribution Model – Why no dealers?

Last week I did a press interview for a trade magazine that was exploring why some manufacturers prefer to deal with dealers, and others are purely factory-direct.  I thought my loyal readers might be interested in my notes on the subject. Again, as in last week’s posting about what makes a good yard, these are just my personal opinions.  And as I have been known to say on many an occasion, “What the hell do I know?”

Why factory-direct?  Why not use the dealer model?

That’s a question whose answer comes at the end of a long and winding road.

I think in the boating industry to be successful you have to ask yourself early on “What kind of company do we want to be”? 

In our industry so many decisions are emotional, rather than analytical.  That is often the nature of working with things as beautiful and exotic as boats. But you have to be rational if you want staying power in our industry.

So of course you start with “What kind of boat do I want to build”?  

And then, “How will I build it”?

But it’s the overarching and broader questions that determine what kind of company you want to be:

  • What drives us?
  • What motivates us?
  • What is our culture?
  • What is our core value? (pun intended).

So you have to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Are we an ego-driven company? If so, you push to have the biggest footprint in the market, where it can be easy to loose sight of profitability.
  • Are we a revenue-driven company? Must we keep the banks happy, always servicing a debt-load? If so you need maximum # of boats splashed.
  • Are we a margin-driven company? If so, that determines your production methods, your marketing limitations, and your service limitations.

Vicem decided quite consciously early on, as a small company in a galaxy far, far away,  to be a client-driven company.

By “Client” I mean both owners and  potential owners.

We decided to focus first and foremost on the purchasing and owning experience. And to do that, we felt that any intermediaries in between us and our clients was structurally awkward.  So for most of our history we chose to go factory direct.  This is no reflection on any particular dealer.  There are many great dealers out there. I have worked for and with some of them.  But structurally we wanted as direct a link as possible between the boater at his dock in Nantucket or Antigua, and us.

And keep in mind that so much of what we build falls into the custom and semi-custom world. The level of communication required between the client (and sometime his designers and consultants) and our design team must be very tight. It takes strong communication skills, training, and experience (and a lot of Skype Video calls!), for sales personnel to execute well.  This level of expertise is harder to maintain when you interpose an intermediary dealer.

So this is why we have chosen to go factory-direct. In the end, it is the client who benefits. And then, with luck and hard work, us.

IV.  A Great Article

You don’t have to speak Italian to enjoy the photos in this wonderful magazine piece:

ITA_For Magazine Dec 11[2]

If this wonderful yacht does not sell this winter in Europe, I am working hard on the possibility of bringing here to the States this Spring.

V. A Tour of our Virtual Tours

Now that I put all of our best-selling videos in one place, I thought it a good time to put all or our Virtual Tours in one place as well. So below you will find NINE virtual tours.  If this doesn’t waste a good chunk of your your day, I am not trying hard enough! Click away:

V58 Virtual Tour

Vicem 78 Cruiser Virtual Tour

Vicem 92 Virtual Tour

V72 Virtual Tour

Vicem 54 IPS Virtual Tour

V58 Flybridge Virtual Tour

V63 SF Virtual Tour

Vicem 52 Virtual Tour

Vicem 57 Sportfish Virtual Tour

VI. Our Latest Brokerage Ad:

This one will run in the usual places in just a few weeks. But you saw it here first!

To quote KC and JT, "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you gotta do is call."

There is $50 million in amazing yachts in this ad. Call me and I will talk you through each and every one.

VII. His and Her Diary, From the Same Day

This is from my friend Donald (who recently bought my sailboat, leaving me boat-less). A little sexist, but fun:

Her Diary: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’ When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep – I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

His Diary: Boat wouldn’t start, can’t figure out why

That’s it for now. Meanwhile, you know the drill – Want to see a boat? Launch a flare.

Thanks, and enjoy.

Posted by: Dave Mallach | January 21, 2012

Our Latest Vicem Brokerage Listing

Quite a bit to talk about this week.  Go get a cup a coffee on this snowy (New England) day. I will be here when you get back.

 I. Our Latest Listing

How about a truly remarkable Vicem brokerage listing? Check out this 54 Sportfish, Enclosed Bridge, Paydirt:

Vicem 54 Sportifsh - Enclosed Bridge

Some people are surprised to hear that we build Sportfish models. Admittedly, we haven’t built that many, maybe half a dozen.  Want the insides scoop? We went into it big at first, but we found the marketplace was awfully crowded, and despite all that we do, we had a hard time positioning ourselves in a meaningful (i.e. profitable) way. So now we only build them on a custom basis.

Paydirt is an amazing example of what we can do. Unlike the other Sportfish we have built, she has an enclosed bridge and traditional Vicem-style interior woodwork.

I spend some time aboard her in Florida not too long ago, and she is quite impressive.  The upper (enclosed!) helm alone is worth the price of admission.

And at $775,000 she is priced to sell.

Check out the full listing by clicking below.  She is in the Bahamas, and can be seen at any time.

Paydirt

II. Vicem 70 FB – Truant Update

Yesterday I went up to Falmouth for a showing of Truant, our spectacular Vicem 70 listing. She is stored indoors, and shows beautifully in a temperature and moisture controlled facility (more on that later). Here are some pix:

The full listing can be found below.  Simply stated, she is the most singularly impressive boat we have ever built.   As I mentioned last week, I have been spending a lot of time on MegaYachts lately.  Trust me, Megayachts are routinely not built with the care and finish shown on Truant. It’s a fact, Jack.

Vicem 70 FB Listing – Truant

You can fly into Boston or New Haven to see her. I’ll pick you up.

III. What Makes a Great Yard?

I am asked about yard recommendations fairly often. Since I’m usually found in either an airport or a yard, I can offer some good shorthand advice.

WARNING: What follows is just my subjective opinion. You know what they say about opinions.

When I arrive in a yard for the first time, I can usually tell in about ten minutes if they are “Vicem-good”. This “ten minute rule” is not 100% accurate, but I put it at way over 90%.

It comes down to a quick look at orderliness and cleanliness.  A yard that has sufficient staffing and managerial oversight to stay clean and orderly has the ability to do your work (and mine) on time, on budget, and on spec.

More importantly if they miss the spec target on the first go around, they have the staff and quality control management to jump right back on it without disrupting the rest of their workflow. After all, seasons are short, even if you boat on the equator!

Truant, as described above, is stored at MacDougals, on Cape Cod.  IMHO, they are a great yard. Take a look at these pix, and apply Dave’s rule:

The paint room, btw, is the best paint room I have ever seen (and that includes factory paint rooms).  It is floor-heated, temperature, dust and humidity controlled (I could not believe the size and air flow of their air filtration system).  Interestingly, when I asked Mark Bancroft and Dan Vullemier  of MacDougal what makes a great paint room, their first answered surprised me – Perfect lighting! Check out their system:

Now, as my Southern clients say from time to time, I don’t have a dog in this hunt.  But I like quality operations, and promote them when I can.  More importantly, the MacDougal crew really seems to get what we are doing here on Planet Vicem.  So in that vein, Dan tells me they have a slip opening, from 45 – 100 feet,  for my clients (any builder) at a discount rate. If you are interested, please call me right away.

IV. On Cold Molded Construction

There are not that enough companies anymore who build with cold molded composite construction.  The labor hours required are just prohibitive over most of the planet. We, of course, have it down. But I was happy to see, in Yachting Magazine last month, an article on a cold molded Jarrett Bay Sportfish. I don’t follow NASCAR, but apparently she was built for driver.

Now, JB’s are built with plywood cores rather than our solid mahogany cores (call me if you would like my opinion on this) but it is still a strong vote for the strongest way to build a boat.

You can read the full article at:

Yachting Magazine Review

V. Our School

And finally, an update on the school we are building in Bodarie, Haiti.

We just completed our second annual medical trip to Bodarie. Last week we took down over 40 volunteers: 10 Doctors, 2 Dentists, 2 nurses, 1 Optician, 2 Pharmacists, plus translators, runners, organizers, and so on.

Authorities on the ground say that they have never seen an outreach like this in the entire SE region of Haiti!

Several adult lives were literally saved on the very first day by the volunteer Doctors.  Hundreds of consultations for both adults and children were given, hundreds of free prescriptions filled, well over a hundred teeth were extracted, and over 100 pairs of glasses were ground and fitted. The thought of children able to see sufficiently well to read for the first time is overpowering to me.

It still surprises me, so it may surprise you, to hear how small we are: Haitian Support has five or six principles.  The local community in Bodarie has another six or eight highly involved parents and community leaders. And that, my friends, is our entire team. But it is our contributors who make the dream a reality.

We are teaching (and feeding!) 568 kids on an operating budget of just $25,000 a year.  Our capital plan to build the new school (already 1/3 built!) is just $185,000.  We are now only $50,000 short of fulfilling the capital plan.

It brings me endless delight to say that the largest single contributors to the Bodarie Project are you – my Vicem clients!

We are almost there.  If you can help put us over the top, launch a flare immediately. I will see it!

OK, that’s it for this week. Stand by for next, where I will begin to talk about the Miami Boat show.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy

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