by Jeni Bone
Boat Books has been around for three decades, carving a niche for its products and proving books are still vital for every sort of boatie!
This plucky pup was a true "Survivor" complete with killing goats to survive!
Now, with the rise of the internet for research and online sales, Boat Books has a global customer base, as well as loyal and avid clientele in every corner of the country.
'Our online business is growing exponentially,' says Robin. 'We sell all over Australia, and people travel thousands of miles to visit our stores as well. With the internet, people can source anything they want online,' explains Robin Tickner. 'And if we don't stock it, we will go out of our way to source it for people.'
A stalwart of national boat shows, such as Sanctuary Cove, Sydney and the Hobart Wooden Boat Show, as well as the most recent addition to the calendar, the Gold Coast Marine Expo at Coomera in November, Boat Books caters to every taste and application.
'We service every kind of recreational boater - kayak, motorboats, novels, guides, photography compilations, even cookbooks - as well as the commercial market, the shipping companies with charts, bulletins and technical manuals.'
The company sends out three catalogues per annum to its massive mailing list. Boat Books also supplies a dealer network of hundreds of retailers - big and small, such as chandlers, tackle shops and other books stores.
And it's not just books, but software, instruments, cruising guides and nautical accessories 'for the enthusiast and professional'.
As far as retailing goes, it's more complicated than just selling a book. In March 2011, Boat Books Brisbane store shut because its manager of 14 years, Linda, retired. 'It wasn't just a matter of putting somebody in the job,' says Robin. 'It's a highly trained position that requires expertise in a range of areas. All our customers can be serviced through our Sydney head office and books delivered within a matter of days.'
Boat Books - Robin's Top 5 for summer:
* Sailing Legends - the story of the world's greatest ocean race, written by Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall. The Volvo Ocean Race – and its predecessor, the Whitbread Round the World Race spans 40 years, 10 races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas.
* Cornell's Ocean Atlas - an atlas of 129 up-to-date pilot charts aimed at sailors planning offshore voyages by seasoned sailor and circumnavigator, Jimmy Cornell.
* Sophie: Dog Overboard - the story of the Aussie cattle dog, Sophie who fell overboard, then swam five miles to an island, surviving on a diet of wild goats for four months until she was miraculously reunited with her family.
* Mawson - Peter FitzSimons masterfully interweaves the stories of the other giants from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration - Scott of the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen - to bring the jaw-dropping events of this bygone era dazzlingly back to life.
* Understanding a Nautical Chart - whether paper or electronic, charts are the most fundamental navigational tool. This handy guide helps you make sense of a nautical chart.
More at www.boatbooks-aust.com.au or call 1300 BOATBOOKS.