More than 400 customers buy boats from Galati Yacht Sales every year. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we looked at the process of buying new and pre-owned brokerage boats from the company; in this article and the accompanying video, staff and customers discuss what happens after the sale is complete.
Delivery day is a big deal
Buying a yacht is not an every-day occurrence for people. It often involves months of consideration, if not years. So why not make the day of delivery a special one?
“Literally, Galati rolled out the red carpet,” said one customer. “There was a red carpet on the dock when we showed up!
Champagne, cheese and crackers, and photos often marked the occasion, and the effort clearly struck an emotional chord for the customers with whom we spoke. Even for relatively sophisticated and low-key people, Galati makes the experience of taking ownership exciting in the moment and a warmly remembered milestone.
Orientation, a key first step
People with the means to buy a yacht are generally high-aptitude types, but the Galati Yacht Sales team feels strongly that new owners shouldn’t be left on their own to figure out the mechanics on their new boats. Part of every delivery is an orientation session, which is tailored to the size and complexity of the boat and the owner’s previous experience.
“Galati made me go into the engine room and learn the systems,” one customer reported. Another said, “We spent two days going over the boat, and we felt pretty comfortable in our ability to handle the boat.”
Orientation captains will work with the owners not only to understand the yacht's systems and maintenance requirements, but also to offer practice sessions in docking and boathandling. The sales professionals stay involved, too, and in more than one instance we heard about, they assisted the owners on their yacht's maiden voyage.
Customers reported gaining confidence in managing their new boat and appreciated that, as one said, “It wasn’t just ‘here’s the boat, cut the ribbon, and go.’”
Service for customers only
Several Galati team members told us how much they stress to new owners the importance of maintenance to maximize reliability while they own the boats and resale value later on.
The company only services boats that they have sold, so they remain focused on the needs of their customers and can respond quickly when required. They make it as easy as possible by maintaining high-quality service centers plus mobile support technicians. The latter perform maintenance on boats in customers’ own slips whenever possible.
Customers told us of extraordinary efforts made by the Galati service team, providing assistance on a Sunday morning or at night, offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. But what seemed to count for most of them was simply having consistent, month-to-month support when called upon.
As one sales professional told us, one of the most important things we stress is simply having your boat washed and waxed on a regular basis. Not only does the boat look great and hold up well in the Florida sun, but as a result it will show dramatically better on the resale market.
Galati events, more reasons to boat
The company also works to help owners have more fun with their boats, inviting customers to a variety of fishing and cruising events ranging from Texas to the Bahamas.
The Galatis have been deeply involved in sportfishing for many years and provide owners with guidance and support to participate in a range of tournaments as far south as Costa Rica. These events have an excitement, energy and momentum that can be infectious. We spoke with long-time owners who have fished with and alongside company representatives over the years, buying and selling up to a dozen boats.
Galati Yacht Sales puts an equal emphasis on showing customers who buy cruising yachts how to have fun, staging and supporting events that invite people to have a good time on their boats while getting to know other owners. The events can be as simple as a weekend rendezvous at Galati’s flagship Florida location, Anna Maria Island, or a two-week Bahamas Getaway. Some events are organized by boatbuilders that Galati represents, such as Viking, Prestige and Princess Yachts.
“The events keep you in touch with other boaters you wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said one customer. More experienced owners also naturally help out the less experienced. As camaraderie and friendships develop, owners’ understanding and appreciation grows for the community of boaters they’ve joined.
The company refers to it as becoming part of the Galati family. Most of the customers we spoke with called it that, too.
Editor's Note: Read the rest of the Galati Difference series, part 1, part 2 and part 4. Promotional consideration for this article was provided by Galati Yacht Sales.