'Lucky' doesn’t even cover it; I love my job as a yacht broker with Boatshed.com. Most brokers say they have a passion for sailing; my passion is for the actual boats we sell. I get to experience so many different types of boats, of all shapes and sizes and a little of what I like to call 'ownerisms'. I have met some wonderful people and have been privileged to be involved in the dreams of many customers who have become good friends.

I run Boatshed Portsmouth on the UK’s south coast. Portsmouth Harbour is a very exciting place to moor a yacht; whether it be sail or power there is always so much going on in this historic naval port. Portsmouth is home to Henry VIII's Mary Rose (1508), Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory (1805), Britain's first iron hulled warship HMS Warrior (1860), newly restored WWII submarine HMS Alliance (1940) and, since summer 2014, the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. As well as sights ashore at the Historic Dockyard, we have the whole of the Solent to play with, for regular sea trials and, of course, a wide range of yacht racing and regattas throughout the year.

Boatshed Portsmouth supports many local marine events, such as hosting a party for the volunteers of the ‘Gosport Go Water Sports Festival’ - the party adopted the theme of Boatshed’s well-known Fizz @ Five bashes. The festival provided an opportunity for just over 200 local youngsters and adults to access free taster sessions of various water sport activities. Attendees were presented with a host of onshore fun and games, and a chance to discover how anyone can ‘get onboard’ through local water sports leisure facilities.

On a more personal note, I was fortunate, for a second time, to attend Cowes Week onboard a luxury power yacht which was chartered to watch/chase the IRC ‘0’ class throughout the week; very thrilling racing!

Throughout the years I have regularly supported Anna Wardley’s local swim challenges, such as her swim around the Isle of Wight in 2013, by volunteering as her shore support. This year’s swim challenge involved a group of novice distance swimmers who swam from Stokes Bay, Gosport to Ryde, IOW. I was a swim mum! I had a group of 5 swimmers that I guided safely across the Solent, including through the busy shipping channel. The whole team raised over £25,000.00. It was a proud moment.

Guiding swimmers around Bramble Bank, dodging container ships and supporting local charity events aside, almost all of my time is taken up listing boats for sale, marketing boats to prospective buyers, arranging boat viewings and handling sale and purchases. 2014 has been a busy year for Boatshed Portsmouth. As well as owners new to Boatshed entrusting us to sell their boats, a large number of former owners and previous buyers have bought and sold with us, which is always a compliment. Although local market conditions remain robust, I am very pleased to report that Boatshed Portsmouth continues to attract quality used sail and motor boats, which we work hard to find the right buyers for. We are selling pretty much every boat we list at the moment and need more boats to sell!

We are very optimistic for 2015. New Boatshed products, such as the Preferred Partners Scheme and the introduction of Independent Pre-Sale Assessments, will, I am certain, prove popular with our customers and help place boats with buyers. In fact, on the day that the Marine Inspection Association’s new IPA service was launched, I received an immediate instruction from an owner to arrange an IPA!

Samantha Cassell
Broker, Boatshed Portsmouth
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