Boatshed meets...... Graham Wharmby
Here at Boatshed we have some fabulous brokers and today we’d like to put the spotlight on Graham Wharmby who is the Boatshed broker for Bourgogne, Midi Canals, St Malo and France.
MP: Graham, how long have you had your Boatshed brokerage?
GW: I’ve been a Boatshed broker since June 2011
MP:And what was your first experience of boating?
GW: It all started when I built a canoe when I was 11 years old.
MP: What did you do before you were a broker?
GW: I was a Bateaux Mouches captain in Paris (1000 passengers 60m to 80m long excursion and restaurant boats) A great job for a boatman and a real “toybox” full of boats to “play with”. Boats with traditional propulsion, boats with Schottel propulsion and some with Voith propulsion, joystick command and touchscreen computer control. A kind of NASA for bargees.
MP: And what is it you like about being a broker?
GW: Everything I guess! The contact, the variety, the job satisfaction (happy vendors and buyers)
MP: And what would you say was a typical day in your Boatshed brokerage?
GW: Every day starts with replying to the overnight emails (we have a lot of clients from the other side of the world so plenty of mail overnight) We then checking client activity and notifications on dashboard. (The internal Boatshed computer system)
This morning for example, having sent prospection emails out as a result of client activity, I have obtained two sales visits (shows the benefit of the Boatshed system, "n'est pas"?).
The rest of the day could be spent tele-prospecting for listings and / or uploadingrecently visited boats. That said, most days we are out and about for some or all of the day and can be away for a few days at a time with grouped visits in far flung corners of the waterways.
MP: Whats your favourite sound track when on the water?
GW: You have to remember I’m mostly a freshwater sailor so don’t know the solitude of crossing oceans or only having albatrosses for company. I love the sights and sounds of the ever changing countryside whilst inland boating. Here in France the north can resemble English canals flora and fauna as well as architecturally whilst in the south the architecture changes to Roman and meridional with pink flamingos, white horses and black bulls for company. It's not just a sound track, it's the whole music video!
MP: What is your favourite movie?
GW: You’re not going to believe this...... Bugsy Malone.
MP: Favourite food at sea?
GW: Nothing........ As I mentioned above I'm no circumnavigator so my food at sea is usually limited to “ferry fayre” on a short channel crossing :( But I do enjoy seeking out the canal and riverside restaurants here in France. As my blog signature says….The best way from A to B (auberge to bistro) is by boat!!
MP: Favourite anchorage / sailing destination?
GW: The Doubs River is a great navigation for French countryside but no one should retire from inland waterway cruising before having done Paris by night
MP: Best or worst advice received (can be sailing or non sailing related)
GW: Worst piece of advice I ever received was “don’t get a job (as a captain) on the River Seine. It’s full of working bargees and you’ll never be accepted”. Absolute rot. In my previous life as a professional captain the years I spent with Bateaux Mouches http://www.bateaux-mouches.fr were the most interesting and rewarding of my career.
MP: And who is your personal hero or heroine Graham?
GW: My wife and co-broker Magali. Anyone that can put up with me 24 hours a day in both professional and private life deserves sainthood.
Thank you for letting us know a little more about a day in your life Graham - I'm not so sure on your choice of movie, but am wanting a chance to hear some tales from your time as a Bateaux Mouches captain.
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