Welcome to the Yacht and Boat Dealer Profile Series where through a regular series of Q&A's we highlight the fabulous products and services available to both new and experienced boaters.
Welcome to NSW Marine Brokers where we profile businesses in the marine industry through a regular series of Q&A's
Name: John Cowpe
Job Title: Co-Owner/Director
(1) How, where and when did the Marine industry find you or Why did you choose a career in the marine Industry
I was lucky enough to grow up in a sailing family in Scotland. I was heavily involved in the sport from a young age; cruising the west coast with my family and friends on holidays and racing as a family. I moved to Windsurfing at about 11 years old and later became an instructor at the National Water Sports Training Center on the Island of Cumbrae on the west coast of Scotland. I then started teaching sailing and got involved with Crewing a 470 with a pal of mine in the Scottish team (Without great success on the water I must say). I was involved with the British match racing championships, and various other regattas in the UK. Before heading to University I did some sailing around Europe and across the Atlantic which was a time full of adventure. Sailing to Iceland was a highlight of these trips.
After leaving University I worked in Japan for a number of years where I met my Australian wife. We decided to come to Sydney to begin our life together in earnest. On arrival in Sydney I set about looking for any work on the water.
After a number of years selling new European production yachts, we set up YOTI with the aim of excelling as a top end yacht brokerage. The company has grown well over the last 4 years. We have a separate new yacht side of the business which we began a year ago and is really starting to hit its straps.
(2) What is your current role and what do you actually do? or What does your average work day involve ?
Day to day I oversee the business both in terms of YOTI as a brokerage and Windcraft Sydney Harbour as the new boat business selling Hanse, Moody and Dehler yachts. My day can be anything from advertising and marketing to sales, to getting out on the water with my clients. I try to sit on top of the business as a whole when possible to analyze where we are going.
(3) What is your favourite part of the job?
Completing a sale, it’s a happy time for all involved.
(4) As a broker/dealer how can you best help people that are new to boating?
In this industry, after sales service is everything. If a client walks away with a yacht and feels they cannot call you for ongoing assistance, I don’t think you are working in the right way.
(5) What industry groups or networks are you a part of?
I am a supporter of the BIA brokers association and past committee member. Also a member of various industry networks
(6) Tell us about some of the boats/yachts you have owned
We are lucky to have access to many yachts and from time to time we will own boats for short periods of time through our business. We have a lovely little Southwind 520 Center Console for getting to meetings around the harbour.
(7) If you could have any boat, what would it be?
Right now, with a very young family, I would be so happy in a Palm Beach motor yacht! When my girls are a little bit older a European production yacht around 40ft will probably fit the bill.
(8) Favourite boat or Yacht of all time –
I was brought up in the village of Fairlie on the west coast of Scotland so it has to be a classic Fife built yacht such as Cambria.
(9) Where is the best place to go boating in Australia?
I haven’t been everywhere there is to go so it’s hard to answer. I would love to head round the top of Australia where there would be some amazing sights and experiences to be had. I guess from where I have been, the Whitsunday Islands are pretty special.
(10) What is the best coastal cruise/expedition/race you have ever taken part in?
Probably Sailing to Iceland with a couple of friends, we had so many adventures, hit by storms, navigating into an island after the storm with only a Lonely Planet! Bjork, blue lagoons, local racing….that trip had the lot.
(11) Any amusing incidents/anecdotes you have seen on the water?
Just watching my business partner Tim trying to helm....absolutely rubbish :-)