Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gateway News/ Operating Notes

  •       The Aspen/Gateway Christmas Party was a huge success and a lot of fun!  Great to see so many Gateway people there, thank you all for attending.  Happy Holidays!

  •       Gateway II is progressing nicely and will be delivered in time for the Seattle Boat Show which begins January 25th.  Larry Graf, of Aspen, says the tooling is the best he’s ever built – You can literally see yourself in the transom mold, it’s like a mirror.  Larry has made many design improvements, it’s going to be a great boat.  Recent Gateway changes to this build include an upgraded pneumatic table base that will be easier to get up and down, the addition of AIS (Automated Information System), and the addition of an integrated Garmin radio/hailer.  This boat also comes with a complete Burnewiin Fishing system.

It is possible for current C90 owners to upgrade their share to this boat, either their whole share or as part of a Blendshare – please inquire if you’re interested.  It may also be possible to use the C100 either in Open Time or by trading your Hard Schedule time on it.  Of course the C100 is considerably more expensive than the C90, so there will be a simple upgrade charge of $125/day for C90 owners to exchange days or to use it for Open Time.
  •       Gateway fleet to go all AIS:  Gateway II will come equipped with a Garmin 600 AIS receiver/transponder that integrates with the Garmin 200 VHF radio and chartplotter.  Gateway I will be upgraded with AIS this spring.  The AIS transponder lets others track your position and you can also see AIS equipped boats while navigating on the chartplotter (you can also have family members/friends track your trip progress too, please visit our new AIS tracking page).   This integration also allows you to track and hail other AIS equipped boats while enroute (imagine keeping track of your friends on an owner’s cruise).  This equipment represents a big jump in safety, especially for operations in low visibility environments.  To my knowledge, Gateway will be the first fractional/charter company to install AIS fleetwide.
An additional benefit is that operationally it will allow us to more precisely time our fleet’s arrival to home port and that means that we won’t have as much employee dead time waiting around the marina for a boat to clean and service.  We’ll still need your help, though, keeping us up to date with your intentions.

A nice feature about having AIS in the Gateway program is that it de-identifies the owners… anyone looking up info on the boat will see that it’s registered to Gateway Yachts, but we will be the only ones who actually know who is onboard, thus offering a layer of security.

In order to get AIS on your Android phone, I recommend the following app: Marine Traffic 
  •       The Gateway Yachts website has been completely revised.  There are a lot of new pages including information about the flexshare and blendshare programs as well as the new destinations we are attempting to get up and running.  There is also a new Gateway Forum page where you can post trip reports, share photos of your experiences, request trades, or just keep one another up to date if you choose.  Please make good use of it, communicating with other owners will make your boating experience more fun and fulfilling.

  •       Online Trip Requests:  One terrific addition to the new site is our new online trip request form.  You access this by clicking on the “Online Scheduling (Customers Only)” link at the top of the website.  Once there you must login – I will be emailing all our owners login information.  Once you receive your password, you can change it by going to “Edit My Profile” in the upper right hand corner.

To make a reservation request, begin by clicking on the “Add Booking” link in the left margin.  Look at the top of the page and make sure you’re scheduling for the correct boat, then click on the calendar the days you would like to schedule. You can select the number of persons, whether or not you would like the dinghy, kayaks, bicycles, catering, or any other special requests you may have. From there simply fill out the form and hit “Send” at the end.

When you first submit your request it will send both you and Gateway a confirmation email.  We can then look at the request and make sure it fits within the schedule – once approved you will receive another email confirmation, and also if any information is changed you will again be notified.  Just keep in mind this is an automated system, so if you see errors or have input to make it better, please let us know.  Of course this is just one way to schedule, you are welcome to call, email, or text, whatever you’re comfortable with.
  •       Upcoming Hard Schedule Bid:  The bid is right around the corner, it will begin next week to cover the time period March through August 2013.  This is referred to as the “on period.”  Each 1/8 owner will be able to schedule two of their weeks during this time (either together or separate), but don’t forget that you will also have an additional third “Rolling Schedule” week that you can use later.  Bid position this time around is unchanged, but with the next bid on Gateway I it will begin to rotate down two positions with each bid.
Keep in mind that the Hard Schedule bid is meant to prioritize use by the owners, charter comes second and you will have an opportunity to turn over time for potential charter after all the owners have scheduled their personal use time during the first round.
There are two Aspen Owner’s cruises during this time, as well as one Gateway cruise, they are:

o   May 31 - June 2, 2013 – Aspen Cruise – Destination to be determined, possibly Poulsbo, WA

o   June 27 – 30, 2013 – Gateway Cruise – Islands/Victoria cruise

o   August 17 - 24, 2013 – Aspen Cruise – Barkley Sound, west side of Vancouver Island
I have blocked this time so that people have a chance to experience boating in a group environment.  These trips will be bid in seniority order, so if you don’t have an interest in going please don’t bid these times so that everyone gets a chance.
A new twist this time around is the addition of the C100.  There will be a lot of available Open Time until we add some more owners, so in the meantime it is possible for a limited number of people to exchange time on it, or to schedule Open Time on it as well – please let me know if that is your interest and I’ll try to make it work, owners on that boat, of course, have priority with the Hard Schedule bid.
Upcoming Events 
  •       Seattle Boat Show - CenturyLink Field, January 25 to February 3.  This is going to be a very fun show – each day there will be Cirque du Soleil trapeze artists flying overhead the main part of the show, right over the boats!  Also new is a large wine tasting event opening day, as well as a Brew Fest the second Friday – details and tickets courtesy of Gateway will be forthcoming.
I will be giving a seminar at the show titled “Options for Boat Ownership: Charter and Fractional Ownership” Sunday, February the 3rd, 9:00 AM to Noon.  It would be nice to have a good crowd there, please attend if you can and I’ll get you past the $39 admission price.

 Of course the Aspen/Gateway display is going to be awesome!  We’ll have 104’ of prime wall space on the main floor with three boats – a C90, a C100 (Gateway II), and the mockup of the two stateroom/two bath C110. Don’t miss it, it is rare to be able to see and have input into a new boat design.  
  •       Vancouver Boat Show – Vancouver, B.C..  We’ll have Gateway II there, too, it runs from February 7th -11th.  
  •       Anacortes Spring Show – April 5 -7.  C90 & C100 on the water, possibly the C110 mockup shore side as well.
  •       Trawler Fest – Anacortes, May 14 – 19.  Largest show in Anacortes, includes many boating classes and other activities.
 January 2013 Operating Notes 
  •       Lessons come to a “Head!”  Of course the boat head is not like the toilet in your house – the typical house drainpipe is three to four times the diameter of the boat’s.   
The boat’s head uses an electric macerator to grind any solid matter as it exits the toilet, then it is fed all the way back to the holding tank.  If too much solid waste is put into the small drainpipe at one time, with too little water to carry it, then the line will plug.  This is an expensive and messy fix as the toilet has to be completely removed.
Gateway’s mechanic, Carl, offers some advice to prevent clogging: Use a lot more water than you think during a flush – hold the button down for 10 full seconds anytime solid matter goes down the bowl, one-thousand one, one-thousand two, etc.  This will ensure that the solids make it all the way to the tank and won’t compile one flush on top of the other.  Oh, and break up heavy ‘loads’ into multiple flushes. 
  •       Cabin Door – if open during cruise, salt spray will build up on the inside of the glass and the interior of the boat making cleaning difficult.  Sometimes that may be necessary for ventilation, but if possible it will keep the boat nicer if the door is closed while underway, especially at higher speeds.
  •       Maintenance Expenses – Over the course of the past 9 months we have spent $4,677 just on Gateway I maintenance, and we still have annual haul-out and bottom paint to go this year.  Gateway’s been very liberal in covering expenses, and worked hard to keep additional expenses off our owners.  Now that we’ve all been in the program awhile and have gained experience with the boat we need to tighten up a little in charging owners for maintenance that’s required as a direct result of their use or misuse.