Archive for » August 2nd, 2017«

63m conversion project SuRi listed for sale – Superyacht News

Merle Wood Associates and Yachtzoo have announced a new sales listing in the form of a 63m conversion project named SuRi, which is for sale at $43.9 million.

SuRi was originally commissioned at Halter Marine in 1978 as a commercial vessel; a crabber to be specific,” explained John Cohen, the sales broker representing the listing at Merle Wood Associates, in an exclusive conversation with SuperyachtNews.

“My client [the current owner] purchased the boat in 2007 and did a preliminary conversion into a shadow yacht [at Yachts Escort Ships boatyard]. When he started using the boat, it cruised very well and he was very happy with it, but he wanted to add to it. So, in 2012, he decided to do just that.”

The owner took the boat to Bay Ship Yacht Co. repair yard in Alameda, California, to undergo an 11m extension. “The yard cut the boat in half and added a large section in the middle. The owner wanted to increase the accommodation, deck space and capacity for additional tenders and toys. He believed a large extension would enhance the overall boat,” added Cohen. The yacht has since cruised all over the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and Antarctica, so she is a proven globetrotter. 

A closer look at the SuRi’s GA and list of particulars shows that the yacht has become “the ultimate toy box”, as Cohen puts it, with considerably more tender and toy options than your average superyacht. A sea plane, a helicopter, a hovercraft, a fishing boat, a speedboat and motorcycles are among the assortment of options for thrill-seeking owners and guests. 

Cohen says the interior is beautifully detailed and “beach house-styled”. Most of the living space is in the built-up superstructure forward. However, the accommodation, which is for 15 guests in seven staterooms, has been allocated to the mid-ship area, where the boat is most stable, on the main and lower decks.

“There is a large lounge below deck where there is a theatre video room and underwater viewing ports, which are all backlit,” added Cohen. A complementary feature to this is a feeding tube on the main deck, which congregates fish in the area underneath the boat for an enhanced viewing experience.

As one could imagine, she charters exceptionally well. “We’ve had clients from all over the world,” said Cohen. “She’s chartered to clients from the US, Europe, Asia – a multitude of places and they’ve come back a number of times.”

At the time of writing the yacht was passing through the Indian Ocean to the Eastern Mediterranean, where the owner will be cruising on her towards the end of August. Following that, she will be exhibited at the Monaco Yacht Show, before heading over to Fort Lauderdale.


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Merle Wood Associates


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Editor’s Notebook: Many miles of yard sales, state fair and waterfalls in sight – Journal

The first hints of this weekend’s annual US 60 Yard Sale appeared Tuesday morning as a team of family members hauled folding tables and totes of unknown merchandise out into yards and driveways between Star Country Market and near the entrance of Wilson Creek, as well as in downtown Grayson at the corner of Main Street and Carol Malone Boulevard and near the former Randy’s Roadside building.

As the son of an avid yard-sale shopper, I always enjoy covering the US 60 Yard Sale.

My typical strategy is to simply park the Buick in the safest places possible and walk through every inch from county line to county line. I take a lot of photos, although the primary mission is always to make a list of the unusual items offered, as well as any trends (lots of dishes/bikes/clothing/instruments) I happen to pick up on.

I have a tough time deciding between my favorite things I’ve found for sale during the big sale. I’m always next to flat broke every year, so I rarely get to take anything away other than pictures and scribbled notes. Forced to think about it, I’m torn between a “Florida Folding Boat,” a collection of massively over-sized metal roosters at the county line near Rush last year, or a huge church-style organ on the other end of Carter County.

Truth is, you’ll find a little bit of everything during this one if you hit every stop. Experienced shoppers know it can be also worth the time to make two passes, early and late, to take advantage of additional items brought out to replenish the stock.

We have a fair weather forecast for this year’s event, which officially begins Friday morning although there will surely be a few early bird specials well before then.

I will ask everyone participating to pay particular attention to personal safety as they seek and sell. I’ve seen numerous “near misses” every year as people run across two lanes of traffic, or pull vehicles onto and off of the road.

Parking can be sparse along US 60, and it’s a good idea to be prepared to do a little walking.

I’m planning to borrow Bob Summerfeldt’s folding bicycle (a neat little unit which folds up to roughly the size of a briefcase) to get from table to table this year. I should have an extra dollar or two in my pocket this year and hope to find a few cool things myself.

State Fair duty

If you like the idea of visiting the upcoming Kentucky State Fair and meeting a lot of people to talk about positive aspects of life in Carter County, there is an outstanding opportunity awaiting for you.

Earlier this week, Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Maggie Duncan was talking about local representation during this year’s fair, encouraging people to contact the Grayson Tourism and Convention Commission to get involved as a volunteer.

Volunteers are especially needed to “work the booth” and tell people who aren’t familiar with Grayson, Olive Hill and surrounding communities about things including local business and available services, as well as the best places to eat, visit or stay if they happen to visit this area.

Volunteers get a few bonus rewards for their duty (some will even get an overnight stay). The theme for this year’s display is “Glamping,” a word coined for glamorized camping, and it will be interesting to check out Carter County’s display.

If you are interested in being a part of the Carter County team during this year’s state fair between August 17 and 27, call 474-8740 for more information.

Falling waters

I’m particularly happy about the responses we’ve received in the quest to find and photograph local waterfalls.

We won’t be attempting any of the tough ones until colder weather clears the way and the way view, but we do have one or two in our sights already.

Heather Eden was the first to step up with an easy-access waterfall, which I hope to get to with a three-person team to include drone photographer Rick Kiser.

“I have read your article in the paper about waterfalls in Carter Co. and you noted that you heard of one behind circle R tires on Taylor Hollow. Well, that would be my beautiful waterfall. If you haven’t had it photographed yet and would like to, you can give me a call,” Eden wrote.

We’ve since traded a few emails and plan to photograph Eden’s Falls after the next good rain.

Do you know of a great hidden or secret waterfall in Carter County which deserves a visit from a team of outdoor-loving photographers? If so, shoot me a note or call the number below. Any locations which should remain a “secret” will not be identified in accordance with property owner’s wishes.

Tim Preston can be reached at or by telephone at (606) 474-5101.

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Sales tip: Finding hidden opportunities will dramatically increase your sales

Many salespeople wait patiently at their desks for the phone to ring so they can write sales orders with existing and new customers.  

When the phone rings they are all about getting the order, and if need be, jumping through hoops to satisfy the client and demonstrate their customer centered service.  Until the phone rings, they are busy doing stuff, but then they go into “super customer service mode” attempting to capitalize on every whim of the customer.  Regardless of the direction of the economy, top salespeople will not just seek to satisfy the initial need of the client or prospect.  They will ask probing questions to understand the full breadth and scope of the opportunity.  Let me make a broad assumption and suggest that average salespeople typically do not investigate all of the customer’s needs, whether they are talking on the phone or visiting in person.  Salespeople miss out on sales opportunities every day because their minds are shrouded in the fog of mediocrity, trying to solve only the obvious.  They are so intent on meeting the customer’s immediate need, they fail to discover the bigger picture.  The thing the client needs may only be one element of the grand scheme.  Salespeople become so narrowly focused in fulfilling that one thing, that they overlook other opportunities which may represent far greater potential and profit.

Seek understanding by asking more question.  What do you want to know?  You want to understand how the particular need the customer is discussing, fits into the bigger picture of what they are trying to accomplish.  Just like a news reporter, ask the who, what, where, why, when and how questions to discover all you can about their company’s situation.  What the customer initially tells you, may be just the tip of the iceberg of their total needs.  Ask questions to learn how to better meet the client’s requirements, and remember to ask permission to ask questions.  Asking permission is a courtesy that will put the customer in a “question answering” frame of mind.  Seeking to understand the bigger picture will also convey the message that you are interested in them and want to help satisfy all of their needs.

Let me share a fun little story about a young salesman who turned a small need into a much larger sale.

A young salesman landed a new job with a large “everything under one roof” department store.  The hiring manager indicated that at the end of his first day that he would personally evaluate the salesman’s performance.  The young man’s first day on the job was rough but he got through it and subsequently found himself sitting in the manager’s office for his first day’s performance review.


The manager asked the young man how many sales he had made and he replied, only one.  Somewhat surprised by his answer, the manager responded that the average salesperson for the store usually made between twenty or thirty sales in a typical day.  The manager then asked the young man the dollar value of the sale.  He responded that the sale totaled $101,237.64.  The manager responded by saying “What in the world did you sell”?  The young man responded by saying that he first sold the customer a small fishing hook, followed by a medium sized fishing hook, which was followed by an even larger fishing hook.  The young man continued by saying that he then sold the customer a new fishing rod.  After asking the customer where he planned to go fishing, the young man suggested to the customer that he might need a new boat, so he took the customer down to the boat department and sold him a 29 foot Catalina twin engine fishing boat.


With this, the customer suggested that he didn’t think his Honda Civic would be able to pull the boat, so the young man took his customer out to the automotive department and sold him a Chevy Tahoe to pull the boat.  The manager in total amazement said, “A guy comes in to buy a fishing hook and you sold him a boat and a Chevy Tahoe?”  The young man replied, “No.  He came into the store to buy some Excedrin Migraine for his wife” and I said, “Well, your weekend is shot, you might just as well go fishing!”

This is an entertaining story, but it also suggests salespeople might be missing out on some serious opportunities by not asking questions to discover the full scope of the customer’s needs.  Think to yourself these two questions:  (1) “Do I know all I can about this customer and his or her needs?”  (2) “Do I know as much as they know, combined with my own knowledge and experience, so I can provide solutions to satisfy the whole opportunity?”  Make these principles part of your sales skills and watch your income increase.  At the same time, you will be doing a far better job of meeting your customer’s needs.

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A drop in ferries means a drop in island sales

When the ferries lag, business on the island does too.

“Schedules are delayed, and that goes on to the customers and their projects can’t get done,” said Justin Paulsen, a contractor on Orcas Island.

Paulsen postponed supply deliveries until ferry reservations were re-opened on July 27, making projects about two weeks late.

“But customers understand,” said Paulsen. “We’re all in the same boat.”

That boat is the Washington State Ferries, which islanders rely on for transportation, goods, and the tourists who heavily support the island economy.

During the height of the islands’ busiest season, on July 16, two broken ferries prompted an alternate schedule. Reservations could not be made during this time and sailings were delayed, daily. On July 29, a vessel was taken from another route to return the San Juans to full service.

The economic impact of those two weeks of delays will be outlined in a letter to state legislators, according to Victoria Compton, executive director of the San Juan County Economic Development Council.

Compton and members of islands’ chambers of commerce, San Juan Island Visitor’s Bureau, the Town of Friday Harbor, and San Juan County Council are drafting the letter to illustrate the island’s dependence on ferries.

“We’re not suggesting solutions, we’re just building awareness so legislators in other parts of Washington, not solely served by ferries, understand the ferries are our lifeline,” said Compton.

The letter, she said, will be sent in about a month, once the sales tax, lost during the two weeks of delays, can be determined. Based on the collection of testimonials from business owners, she expects to see a drastic decline.

For Paulsen of Terra Firma NW, suppliers, who couldn’t make ferry reservations to the islands, asked to be compensated for their wait in ferry lines. That would cost an additional $1,000 for deliveries, he said. Instead, he postponed projects and went off island for his own supply run. He estimates the day off island cost him $1,000 in lost wages.

Employees of Lawson Construction on San Juan waited up to five hours in ferry lines to reach a project on Orcas. This resulted in overtime, which owners paid for out of pocket, as the government contract job did not cover the expense, said Owner Leah Lawson.

“My guys weren’t getting home until 11:30 p.m. and still had to get up at 7 a.m. to catch a ferry the next day,” she said.

Hobbes Buchanan of San Juan Island Whale and Wildlife Tours said he lost 14 ticket sales in two days, resulting in $1,400 of lost revenue.

Justin Honeywell of Southend Market on Lopez said sales during the two weeks of delays were down about 12 percent from last year. Since the business opened in 2012, sales have typically grown about 5 to 10 percent a year, said Honeywell, but the last two weeks trended below the expected growth.

San Juan Island Transit Owner Sasha Von Dassow paid employees overtime throughout the week due to late returns to the island. Von Dassow turned down two deliveries of off-island goods, which would have produced a roughly $300 profit, he said.

Anthony Rovente, owner of Edenwild Boutique Inn on Lopez, had a dozen cancellations during the two weeks of delays for his nine-room hotel. On July 18, a one-day, alternate schedule did not include any international sailings, so travelers from British Columbia canceled.

“I literally couldn’t accommodate those guests because the boat just passed by the islands,” he said.

Some visitors, added Rovente, also canceled because of the WSF’s use of the term “emergency schedule,” to describe the alternate routes. They feared it meant there was a crisis.

Advice on WSF’s messaging, said Compton, will be included in the letter. Messaging, she said, is just as important as funding additional, newer ferries.

According to WSF’s website, one broken vessel is 50 years old, while the other is almost 40. Each of the 22 ferries operates 20-plus hours a day, about 300 days a year, according to Ian Sterling, with WSF. In the summer, ridership increases about 50 percent, he added.

While the ferry schedule is running smoothly, for now, business owners like Rovente, fear the damage to the San Juans’ reputation as a travel destination may be done.

“People are starting to think that the San Juans is a hassle, that it’s a real gamble to come here on vacation,” said Rovente. “We’re not just losing one guest for one stay, we’re losing a lifetime of stays.”

For more information, visit To share stories about businesses affected by ferry delays, contact the EDC at 378-2906 or

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