How I changed my life – last week!
Jane Robinson has just taken over Boatshed Torquay. She lives in Dartmouth and so has arranged to share an office with Paul Singer at Boatshed Dartmouth. They are based at Baltic Wharf, Totnes, where boaters can also access lift out, storage, dry storage and workshop facilities. Jane’s partner also works at Baltic Wharf.
“I met him on a sailing holiday. He’s a production manager for Wharf Docking Solutions, designing and manufacturing pontoons and bridges etc. He’s also a part time sailing instructor.”
Outside of work Jane is the treasurer of Dartmouth Yacht Club, which she loves doing. Her and her partner have an 18ft RIB, Trixie which they take out on the river with the children.
But Jane didn’t always have this lifestyle.
I’d like to do that!
Many years ago Jane recalls that she was “landlocked” living near Melton Mobray in Leicestershire. Her father was in the merchant navy before she was born, and Jane inherited his love of boats. Her first experience of boating was dinghy sailing on a boating lake. Later when her Dad was living in Fowey, Cornwall she had the opportunity to do more boating. She has travelled all around Cornwall and has also travelled abroad a lot.
“I became interested in Boatshed a few years ago. I used to be part of the corporate world working for Mars Inc. UK. Then I moved to Devon to run a B&B with my partner. When I saw Boatshed I said, “I’d like to do that!” I like selling, and I love boats.
I sold and left the B&B last December and then saw that Boatshed Torquay was available. I knew I wanted a change because the B&B was a seven day a week job, but I also knew I didn’t want to be in an office all day.
I only started last week so I’m just getting organised with the branding, and everything. But the brokerage already had listings when I took it on so I have some viewings lined up. I’m planning to get to know yards and marinas, to get on the road and get to know the area. I need to be seen in my car and be out there making a difference.
I suppose it’s a bit early days for you to say what are the best and worst things about the job?
The worst thing is just that I want to do it full time! But I leave the B&B tomorrow so that’s OK. The other worst thing is just when you have people ringing to view a boat and then you find the owner has already sold the boat to a friend in the yacht club.
The best things are not being stuck in an office all day, getting out and meeting people, and working in a beautiful part of the world. And I just like going out on other people’s boats really.
Do you have any advice for someone thinking of becoming a broker?
Well, a lot of people may think I’m a bit mad to be a yacht broker in this climate; you’ve got to have enough capital and finances to get through. The other thing is managing people; communication, whether it’s good or bad communication, but I’m that sort of person.
I hope in the future to be busy enough to have someone work for me, and to be busy enough to earn a nice healthy living. I don’t want to be a millionaire; I just want to be able to stay with it for the rest of my life hopefully, if all goes to plan.”
If you’re buying or selling a boat near Torquay contact Jane.
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