Thursday, August 4, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/4 – Gateway Yachts Edition…

Good Morning,

Instead of babbling endlessly about the corrupt markets, manipulated data, financial engineering, fraudulent accounting, and debt saturation… today is the day Nate gets real. The “markets” are nothing but a mirage, an HFT figment of central banker’s imagination. Their imagination involves taking as much as they can from you and a global playground for themselves. Playing in their world only further feeds the breakdown of the rule of law. No longer, not from me.

Gateway Yachts is my way of producing something real and using our economic reality in a positive manner. Make no mistake – my thoughts about the economy haven’t changed one iota, but life is short, and I don’t intend to spend the rest of it focused solely on the negative economic reality. I want to do something I enjoy, and I’ve found a way to do that and make it work despite that reality, but without the help of traditional banking.

No, this is not what I would consider a prime time to start a small business, but this business actually feeds on the reality of bubble priced yachts, bubble priced fuel, and a populace who largely cannot afford to do this type of yachting on their own.

Gateway Yachts is a Fractional Ownership Program along the lines of Netjets. Customers buy fractions in 1/8 increments, each 1/8 share brings with it 5 weeks (35 days) of advanced schedule use and unlimited open time use.

You can read all about how this works by following the Gateway Yachts link and reading about “Gateway Fractional Ownership.” You can also read about my background and the history of fractional ownership on the “About Us” pages.

Fractional ownership is huge in the corporate aviation world. In just two decades it went from zero to today more than 50% of all corporate jets are sold into joint ownership programs. In the mid 1980s I was working on developing an aviation fractional ownership program when a Goldman Sachs executive, Richard Santulli, bought the world’s largest aircraft charter company, Executive Jet Aviation, renamed it “Netjets,” and implemented a fractional ownership plan almost identical to the one I was writing my Master’s Research Paper on. Warren Buffett, a former critic of corporate aviation, bought the company and Berkshire owns it today.

The Netjets concept was groundbreaking in the same way that Southwest airlines was. The premise is that you take highly underutilized expensive assets and you utilize them more! Both of these companies created a market that did not previously exist by making their respective segment of air travel affordable to more people. Today all kinds of people own fractions of corporate jets who would have never been able to afford them on their own.

In the yachting world, there have been some half-hearted attempts, but sadly it has never been done properly, although there are a couple of successful programs in Europe. In the United States there are small companies who do this, but again it has not been done correctly. The common errors are to use unreliable old, heavy, fuel inefficient yachts that get run into the ground and then the customer base becomes unhappy, or some moneyed individual will try to start a program for his millionaire buddies using some mega-yacht and he may sell one boat if he’s lucky.

No, the formula that works is to use all new equipment, use it as heavily as you can, but then retire it quickly and rotate the old equipment out of the program. But the equipment needs to be economical to operate to really hold down costs, and they need to target the area just below the solo yacht buyer where there is no market that currently exists.

A lot of people look at the marina and see only an expensive dream. Most won’t even enter the marina as they know that dream is out of reach. Not anymore. In fact, my program has lowered costs so far that you can spend a week yachting in the Northwest surrounded by nature, and spend less than one-third the amount of a week long vacation to Disney World! Fuel included.

For those who understand our economic impossible math, I have turned that equation upside down, spelling out exactly how the math works to make yachting affordable for a way larger segment of the population - Ownership Method Comparison. Check out the 10 year total cost of owning all by yourself versus the cost of owning inside of the Gateway Fractional Program.

I now have agreements with two manufactures, one builds the world’s most fuel efficient yacht – period, and he holds patents on the design. I have interest from a third manufacturer and may fill in a market gap a little higher end, again as efficiently as possible and from another much respected builder. All these boats are built right here in Washington State. We’re talking real jobs and a real product, and the best part is that no commercial banker is involved!

How do we do that? These manufacturers are either self-funded or they use private investment capital to build their boats. And to make my program even more affordable, I have also created a second company called Gateway Yacht Capital (GYC). This is key to the program, a piece that no other fractional yacht company has.

The purpose of GYC is to take in private investment money to finance customer shares. This is done very conservatively so that the yacht is never “under water.” The investor receives a rate of return that far exceeds what they can typically get elsewhere, and their investment is fully collateralized by the vessel itself which is always in Gateway’s possession. To read about how this works, please follow this link to GYC Investors.

An investment in GYC is real, backed by something real, that created real jobs here in America, and in the most environmentally friendly way possible - Green and Built in America. Giving the bankers the old Heave Ho? Priceless.

In addition to the conservative investment opportunity, I am open to more speculative partners in Gateway itself. For more information, please contact me by following the contact link on the Gateway site.

Gateway Yachts – Adventure Yachting Excellence at a Fraction of the Price.

*Special thanks to AZRainman who did the code work and produces the world’s most beautiful graphics! He normally does not do commercial work as he possesses a good moral compass, thus I consider myself lucky that he and others have helped make this vision a reality.