If you have the wherewithal to own a $1 million high-performance powerboat and you live in, let’s say, New York or New Jersey, you probably have neither the time nor the inclination to tow it to Florida during the winter when you want to use it. You have people for that, for heaven’s sake. More likely, those people are in Florida, as is your boat, and when you want to use it you just give them a call and they have it at the dock when you arrive.
Heck, they probably even pick you up at whatever airport you fly into, drive you to your hotel, then pick you up in the morning and drive you to the marina, where your boat—immaculate, full of fuel, and idling—is waiting. And when you’re done with your day or weekend of boating, you just take your boat back to the dock and catch your ride back to the airport.
Those are the “basics” of concierge service in the high-performance powerboat world, and no one knows them better than Jason Ventura of Brand X Hi-Performance in Pembroke, Fla., who started his concierge business in 2008. Before that, he was the service manager at Outerlimits Performance Boats in Bristol, Rhode, Island, so it’s more than safe to say Ventura knows his way around a high-end custom go-fast boat.
“We do everything from maintaining the boats to booking hotel rooms through the poker run clubs,” says Ventura, who has five employees. “We do maintenance, repair, set-up, testing, paint repair, storage—you name it.”
Like the rest of the high-performance marine industry, Ventura has seen his business decline in the past three and a half years. Where once he had 12 clients, he currently has four. But to his credit Ventura continues to add services.
Among Ventura’s clients is Bill Pyburn, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based owner of Pure Platinum, a Skater 388 catamaran equipped with twin 1,500-hp engines. Capable of running well past 180 mph, the cat is one of the fastest pleasure boats in the world, and is well known on the poker run scene.
“Bill is a great client,” says Ventura. “And caring for Pure Platinum, making sure everything is right, is just as satisfying as making sure Bill is happy with everything we do for him.
“That’s the best part of the job, satisfying the clients,” he adds. “That’s the part that makes me want to do this for the rest of my life.”
-- Matt Trulio