When I was younger back in South Africa, I often went sailing on small yachts around the Vaal Dam located in Gauteng Province a few hours away from Johannesburg, the dam covers 320 square kilometers (120 sq mi) and it has over 800 kilometers (500 mi) of shoreline and is South Africa's second-biggest dam by area.
I also took part in Dart 18 catamaran 2 crew races, which was an exciting competitive sport especially when hanging off the hull via a safety harness, at 25% above the waterline, it was exhilarating. Essentially sailing is in my DNA and now as the world is navigating the incredible Covid-19 pandemic, it has given me time to take stock and think about what I want to do with the next 10 years of my life as I enter my 50's.
Having a keen interest in technology and how we humans have impacted the planet, don't get me wrong I am not a die-hard eco evangelist, rather a pragmatist. Looking at how we can create a balance between the construction of a cruising catamaran and the impact the materials would have on the environment.
As for the propulsion of the catamaran replacing the diesel engines with electric engines and using solar and hydroelectric technology to power the relevant onboard systems. This combination together with the use of recycled material for the sails provides a near-zero carbon footprint in the construction process and reduces ongoing maintenance costs significantly as well as generates a more efficient catamaran.
Building a catamaran from recycled and recyclable materials such as aluminum is possible with today's innovation in yacht construction methods and the industry is changing in small increments towards a more sustainable future.
In my research, I have found a forward-thinking company called Vaan Yachts, based in the Netherlands and building exactly what I have been looking for. In any new endeavor, it takes a few like-minded people to forge a new path that can revolutionize an industry and prove that it is indeed possible to make ideas a reality.
Now moving on to the hypothetical business model and how to integrate the use of Crypto in an eco-friendly hybrid charter company. Let's be real for a minute, 90% of all crypto startups have failed because they did not produce a working platform or physical product that could provide real-world use cases within a reasonable time frame, most of the time crypto enthusiasts where buying vapor in the hope of a parabolic mooning. Not to mention the many scams associated with crypto which you have to agree is an ongoing issue for the entire industry.
Preface: Co-ownership is a growing trend in the yachting charter industry worldwide, many of the sail and motor yachts in the 30m plus range are co-owned and the charters are managed by specialized companies providing the co-owners use of their yachts several times a year according to an agreement. Revenue generated from charters is distributed amongst the owners. The same goes for the mega-yachts you see at the iconic Monaco Marina and worldwide, many are owned by groups of individuals and offered to yacht management companies to generate revenue which is also used to offset maintenance costs which are considerable.
My hypothetical plan is as follows, our strategy differs slightly from the above business model, in that the charter company will be primary the investment, and the catamaran will be the physical asset that retains much of the value. The investors can contribute via Bitcoin & Ethereum so we can start the construction in measurable and documented milestones, the entire build time is roughly 12 months including the sea trials. All Investors would receive relevant dividends (2 x per year, in Crypto or FIAT) based on the net profit of the charter business, and proportional to the amount they invested. The charter business is seasonal and takes place in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The charter cruising grounds in the 1st season after launch will be The Mediterranean - July to October, followed by the 2nd season in the Bahamas - December to April. Essentially making time for regular maintenance which should be minimal the above strategy can be repeated to maximize revenue opportunities.
Another benefit for investors (depending on total invested) will be able to book the Catamaran for charter at discounted rates, excluding the Hospitality Package onboard which allows the crew to organize mooring fees, excursions, restaurant reservations, provisioning, crew tips and more. This is generally around €4,000 which would be included in the rate, and anything leftover at the end of the week will be refunded back to the client. Bear in mind this is a premium charter business aimed at high net worth individuals who want to take a more eco-conscious approach on their vacations.
General charter clients will have the option to pay via Bitcoin and Ethereum therefore we would be one of the first yacht charter companies worldwide, actively accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.
The payment structure for the Catamaran is based on milestones detailed below:
Vaan R4 Construction cost €399,000(excl. VAT, and additional solar and power management electronics, house equipment and watersport toys approx. €50,000)
Phase 1 - 30% - Start the build (duration 4 months)
Phase 2 - 30% Superstructure and interior fitting (duration 4 months)
Phase 3 - 40% Final systems testing, house equipment, sea trials, and handover (duration 4 months)
The above milestones are subject to minor changes depending on the effective confirmation of the agreement with the yacht builder. There will be strict deliverables and timelines associated with the build and based on industry guidelines.
Over and above the cost of the 1st catamaran there will be fees associated with the transfer of ownership which is to be confirmed and the registration and setup of the charter company, details to be clarified once the initial build has commenced however, these costs should not exceed €50,000.
Therefore we estimate the startup costs to be approximately €500,000 for the charter business including the 1st catamaran.
Revenue projections based on current premium charters available on the market but without our niche which is cruising in premium luxury and on a 100% emission-free eco-conscious charter, a world-first:
Weekly charter for 6 guests, incl. 2 crew and ground transport services - €9,600 (€1,600 per guest)
Assumption of 40 weeks of bookings throughout the 1st year - €384,000
The above revenue projection excludes special events, use of catamaran for commercials, and photoshoots which could generate an additional €300,000 - €400,000 in vertical revenue.
So onto the next part of the business strategy, is it possible to link a cryptocurrency directly to the project and how would that be implemented within the business plan?
Do we allocate x amount of this cryptocurrency to the public, could it be linked to achieving relevant milestones throughout the build process post-launch and the success of the ongoing charter business?
Funds generated from the sale of the cryptocurrency would be invested in the business to accelerate brand market awareness and attend relevant boat shows where possible to network and increase charter bookings.
If we look at the business model created by "Travala" which has been very successful in creating a travel booking service that offers great deals for holders which is a form of club membership rewards using their AVA token.
Thank you all for reading this hypothetical charter & crypto idea, I welcome all comments and ideas about how the implementation of a cryptocurrency could be deployed successfully in such a project. Wishing you all an epic weekend.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is a hypothetical idea put forward by me in my private capacity as an individual human person, for general comment and discussion, there is no existing signed contract with Vaan Yachts to build the catamaran at this time. Vaan Yachts is my personal preferred choice based on several months of researching the yachting industry, if I had the money, I would order one yesterday as this is my dream to sail for the rest of my days. Whether it takes shape in the form of a charter/crypto business to achieve the goal, well only time and a bit of luck might determine the outcome.
Should anyone be seriously interested in this project, you are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org