For sale is a rare opportunity to purchase a unique holiday let - a 42ft boat moored in the beautiful marina in Valencia, Spain. It can be managed from anywhere in the world, we are based between the UK and Spain but in two years have not met any of our guest, the cleaning and maintenance is handled by others.
The boat is an incredibly spacious 42ft, boasting extensive living space with a living room featuring corner sofa and arm chair, a separate kitchen and dining area and two good size bedrooms. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom with shower and a spacious walk in wardrobe. On the other side of the living room you have the second bedroom which can be used as two single beds or converted into one double. The upper areas of the boat are the real attraction. On the back of the boat there is a spacious al fresco dining or sunbathing area, with a canvas roof that can be kept as it is to provide a nice shaded area or easily rolled back to enjoy the Valencian sun and its renowned sunsets. The front of the boat provides further space to relax and sunbathe on the top of the boat, enjoying the tranquility of the water below and topping up your tan.
The location of the boat is Valencia’s main marina, built for the Americas cup and featuring a fantastic range of bars, restaurants and activities, including Panorama, a stunning glass fronted restaurant with views across the ocean and beach as well as the famous Valencia Marina Beach Club. There are very few more relaxing places in the city than those on the marina. It is right next to the biggest and most popular beach in the city, 20 minutes in a taxi from the airport and with trains and tramlines nearby.
We are selling this business almost as a floating apartment and it is therefore priced a lot lower than it would be as a working boat, but we actually have invested in repairing the engines and electrics on the boat so should you wish to do so it would take minimal investment to repair and use. From an investment/business point of view however, unless you were to start doing tours etc it would make more sense to keep it as it is, as it removes the expense of maintaining the engines and the other costs that seagoing boats incur such as antifouling etc. As the boat remains in the marina and plugged into both water and electric (both including in the marina fees) with free wifi, it is very comfortable and there are very few issues that can occur, so virtually no annual maintenance requirements.
Due to the pandemic we stopped renting it out and then restarted it in around May last year, with around €8,000 in bookings in the Summer months despite significant disruption from the virus, before we then turned stopped taking bookings again from November onwards.
The boat has around €3,000 in bookings this year (this will fluctuate depending on how long it takes to sell but is more likely to increase than decrease as I have only just made it available for bookings for the year) and we are seeing a lot more interest now as holidays pick back up, particularly from the UK which had previously been the biggest market. Last year though we have had only a handful of UK guests, with guests from Romania, Holland, Italy and of course Spain where they often come down from the likes of Madrid to stay by the sea.
In truth we have done very little to market the boat at all, other than set the pricing once a year. There are some amazing promotional opportunities to easily implement on booking.com free of charge that would generate more bookings, as well as adding it to other hosting companies such as holidaylettings.co.uk and Airbnb. We have previously sold stays on eBay with quite a bit of success, but again have not done this for about two years now for no other reason than time.
Using a marketing company to generate direct bookings etc would also offer a great growth opportunity, and if you were to commit more time to it there is also the opportunity for further revenue streams such as arranging commissions with local companies in the marina and the wider city for sending guests there way. Another idea was to do packages such as surf or football breaks, where 2-6 people would pay a certain amount a unique stay on the boat as well as tickets to a Valencia game (very cheap) or a weekend of surfing/sailing/scuba diving lessons etc. This would be a bit more effort to organise but easy enough to do by emailing the various companies offering these services. There doesn't seem to be any in Valencia but looking at similar packages elsewhere I think on top of renting out the boat to them there could be a nice profit of €100-200 per person on this, so potentially quite lucrative. It also opens up the opportunity to work with activity/action holiday travel companies. There really are endless opportunities, its just how far you want to take it and how much time you want to put in.
According to google the average occupancy rate should be around 21 weeks, with more popular areas (which would almost certainly include the south of Spain!) averaging as high as 40 weeks. Our weekly rental is €1,100, so this is a reflection of both the potential as a business but also the lack of time and effort we have been able to commit to realising that potential.
We use an online software that cost £15 a month that links in with any websites you list on and promotes you across more, but managed on their one website where you can change prices, dates etc.
We pay a company in the marina €30 a month to keep an eye on the boat as we are not there ourselves, they fix any issues. We communicate with them via email or WhatsApp. They are arguably not a necessary expense but with their office 100 yards from the boat, it is great to have for peace of mind knowing someone is looking after the boat in our absence.
We have a cleaner who we message via on WhatsApp who cleans the boat between guests and charges €10 an hour. This could be cheaper but she is very good and does all of the washing of duvets etc, we just tell her how many guests and the dates they are arriving.
Finally is the marina fees, which are approx. £450 a month paid either for the full year in March, paid in two six monthly payments or monthly, whichever you prefer. There is the option to lower this quite significantly by switching to one of the two neighbouring marinas, but for the main marina in which we are located to be so close to the main attractions I believe it offers excellent value. If you wish to stay in the current mooring, this is included in the price of the boat and is a fantastic spot just down a private gated pontoon.
Why we are selling
The truth is we just genuinely haven’t had the time to run it as a proper business and I believe we are doing it a disservice. It covers its costs with very little effort but anyone with even a reasonable effort can get this making a good return as well as having a great place to stay on holidays etc.
We have everything in place for it to be run from anywhere - a cleaner who deals with the cleaning between guests, washing etc and a maintenance company to deal with any issues that may arise and keep an eye on the boat. But due to other work and family commitments, in all honesty our communication with guests has been slow and not been quick to respond to prospective guests, while we have also not made enough effort to promote it or taken advantage of the many opportunities. We have a Facebook and Instagram that we have not been updating and a website that needs finalizing, all things that would have a significant impact on bookings but that we have simply not had the chance to do so.
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