About Neil Chapman
What did you do before you founded Boatshed?
I worked in my family business from when I left school until I branched out on my own and started Boatshed in 1999.
What do you enjoy most about running Boatshed?
The fact that it does not feel like work! I think they say that if you are lucky enough to do something you love then you will never work a day in your life? I am clearly very very lucky! :)
Are you a motorboater or a sailor?
If it floats count me in!
What was your most enjoyable and worst boating experience?
Rolled 360’ while crossing the Biscay in storm 10 is a particular highlight not to repeat, but I do reckon anytime aboard is a moment to cherish. :)
Who am I?
Neil Chapman - Founder and CEO.
I’m responsible for the initial business idea, development and the overall operation of the Boatshed Organisation.
It is however the HQ team, our partners and licensees that have helped make Boatshed what it is today.
What is Boatshed
With a major emphasis on utilising best available technology, Boatshed has not only revolutionised boat sales over the past two decades, but also has become a new force in Yacht Brokerage and the wider marine industry.
We’ve built a platform that manages not just boats, customers and marketing, but every process and element of selling a boat, including all of the contracts, financial transactions, training, support, communication.
Hi Tech, Hi Touch
People are a huge component in Boatshed's success. Outside of technology we understand the potential pitfalls when buying or selling a boat that you still need a "human" broker for.
Local is paramount to how we operate, so we only sell boats if we have a Boatshed representative on the ground where the boat is. We are growing ! we’re now represented across 16 countries in more than 70 geographical locations. Our mission is simple; "Developing the best people and best technology to sell boats faster"
I grew up within a family business, at the tender age of 8, I was placing ballast in steel narrow boats in Staffordshire.
After my studies at college I joined my family to work full time in our family business, boat building by the early 80’s had transcended into the realm of catering and retail.
The family business expanded into areas that included Hotels, property development, post office franchising and convenience stores.
From 1994 I owned an ancient 21 foot sloop called "Kymouthoe". This little sloop was old and leaked a bit, but I sailed to lots of places on the UK and Irish coasts for several years.
"Supertaff" a 1976 Rebel 41 ketch was purchased in 1996.
Here are some nice shots of Supertaff from a drone LINK HERE
For two decades myself and the team have been working, developing and growing the Boatshed business.
The "Distributed Organisation" approach we have taken with this business means that we can use the technology to manage the core business, whilst still enabling us to keep visiting individual Boatshed locations to get the "ground truth" on what is going on at each location. This model enables us and the team to adapt and develop the business quicker and more effectively. This means the core processes of the business are operated from a variety of locations in the UK and internationally.
We operate some areas of the business from our unique premises in Gosport, UK. The "Engine House" in Royal Clarence Yard was built in the early 18th Century to supply hydraulic power for this huge naval facility, serving Nelson and the British Navy for nearly 3 centuries.
2017 saw a major refurbishment of this building and it is a great venue for meetings and training.
What do I do at Boatshed?
My role is CEO, but my focus revolves around the fact that Yacht Brokerage needs to offer high levels of customer care at a local level: buying a boat can be enormously stressful and sometimes a logistical headache (information quality, viewings, lift outs, dealing with local contractors etc). Boatshed’s high level of local customer service has to fit and interconnect with national and international customer and brokerage requirements. This blend of local and International, traditional and modern is the essence of what Boatshed is all about.
I also am actively involved with a range of international marine groups and initiatives such as British Marine and Asociación Nacional de Empresas Náuticas.
My knowledge of business coupled with my background in customer service combined with my passion to go sailing created Boatshed.com.
I am fortunate to have a great HQ team to support the business and the web based technology enables me to manage the business from anywhere. I love to be moving and I now spend my whole time traveling to existing or new Boatshed locations developing the business.
Boatshed forms the main component of our NMK parent company.
NMK is a private company owned exclusively by us and benefits from having no external funding, investment or control.
NMK has built and owns the TIM platform that powers Boatshed, NMK is now looking to integrate the TIM platform into other used products such as motor homes, Plant and Machinery, light aircraft etc
If I can help with any information about the group or assist you further please get in touch.
Thanks for stopping byVery best regards, Neil :)