Thank you for agreeing to kiss the fish. Before your first kiss, would you like to introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Patrick Gilot. I am a yacht broker working for Multihull Solutions and representing the Catana catamarans range in Australia. Originally from France I used to work as export manager for the yard in Canet en Roussillon for over 10 years before coming to Australia 5 years ago. To have the privilege to kiss the fish I first had to sell the Catana 42’ to the Captain and first wife.
What was your journey leading you to selling boats?
I was selling parts for the farming sector of South America so it was a logical decision… Yes, actually if you think that I was based in Miami, facing the Caribbean dealing with clutches and engine mounts references. One day you think to yourself: why not selling something I like instead? Boats are much more attractive and it got me back to my hobby in my hometown on the Med when sailing lasers. It had to be sailing boats. Catamarans of course. Catana came naturally as the first choice in my mind. The rest is just about perseverance.
What do you like about your job and what do you dislike?
Dealing with passionate clients is very exciting. Sailing is about passion anyway. Dealing with the yards on the other side of the planet can sometimes reveal frustrations: we only have a few hours to share before facing another day. Luckily speaking the same language makes it a lot easier.
What’s the most interesting client you have ever dealt with?
As I said earlier, you need to be passionate to have any interest in a sailing boat. This leads to very interesting clients in general. They share the attraction for cruising, travelling, discovering, they have to be active on board to get the boat going and they usually have achieved something in their professional life to be able to afford a boat. This combination makes most of them attractive.
How do you think boats have changed over the past 10-15 years?
Technology is playing an increasing role in boat building. Weight is crucial in cruising multihulls. To achieve a lower weight you can put less stuff on but the real solution comes through high tech making the boat actually dearer using carbon fiber, twaron, Kevlar, infusion, CRT, foam core, spectra, dyneema etc… Electronics obviously changed a lot in the past years. All the innovations from the racing or even aeronautical industries are being adapted to the cruising catamarans.
How do you think selling boats has changed over the past 10 years and what is the most important attribute to selling a boat?
Selling per se has not changed much over the years but you now need to learn much more of the technical side to be able to explain all the details to the client. Like in any industry sales has evolved as a very fast paced business. Everything is online and is instantaneous. People expect very quick feedback through emails, mobile phones. Market is global and so are the prices. You need to be aware and adapt to an ever changing environment with global crisis, fluctuating exchange rates etc…
If you could design a feature into a boat what would it be?
Good shipyards listen to their markets and we are the natural speakers for the clients. Feedback is reported to the yards, which try to amend existing versions if possible or add features to the next model. This is the only way to improve the brand.
If you could own any boat without restriction what would it be and why?
As I explained, I chose to work for the brand I liked most. I would certainly go for a Catana. They offer the best balance between comfort and performance. Budget being no obstacle I would pick the new 53’ which can be handled with short crew. Good bye, off we go!
If you currently own a boat what is it and how long have you had her?
Need to sell a few more boats first…
Do you get to sail much?
Yes we do sail on demo days and some deliveries but never enough
What do you think is the most essential skill you need to go sailing?
Humility towards the elements
What’s the most important book you have read for sailing away, or changing you as a person?
The odyssey of Magellan
What music is mostly in your player, and what is your favourite game when having down time?
If you could go back in time to meet yourself at 20, what advice would you give to yourself and why?
‘Let’s go for another ride!’
If you could have 3 people to dinner from any time period, who would they be, and why?
Charlie’s Angels only to find out who Charlie is of course
Do you have a question you would like to answer that I haven’t asked?
“Are we there yet?”
If you would like to contact Patrick no doubt he would be happy with a call. Click on the logo to go to website for all the information you need to hunt down Patrick!