26 North Yachts Owners Mike Carlson and Nicholas Scherb met in high school. They spent summers on neighboring lakes in Wisconsin—Carlson on Lake Delavan and Scherb on Lake Geneva—where their passion for boats, water and success began.
After college, Carlson pursued the sales side of the yachting business while Scherb ran boats.
In June 2011, the guys decided to go out on their own, feeling hemmed in and limited by the old-fashioned ways of the yachting industry. “Having had the opportunity to work with and interview large brokerage houses, we quickly saw the need for a modern yacht sales company that understood today’s marketing paradigm,” explained Scherb.
Carlson’s and Scherb’s combined experience reflects in their powerful skill sets: finance, marketing, business, technology, in-depth shipyard and popular cruising ground knowledge, yacht systems acumen and captaining the world’s seas.
26 North Yachts has specialized in the 70’ to 140’ range after some market analysis and capitalizing on Scherb’s technical experience in this range.
“We think that owners of very large yachts will move smaller and that the normal progression of newer boaters continuing to move up to large yachts will continue,” said Scherb. “Mike and I know this range better than anyone else out there.”
In fact, 26 North Yachts’s sales have grown fairly rapidly, and the company recently formed Florida Yacht Management to further service its customers.
Carlson attributes 26 North Yachts’ success in part to their combined tenure in the industry and variety of transactional experience. “Many yacht brokers selling larger boats have little negotiating experience due to the infrequency of their sales. This is where we stand out.”
Scherb points to their aggressive and unique marketing approach. “Naysayers were quickly silenced by our quick success, thanks in part to our innovative marketing techniques that hadn’t been tried in what has been a pretty dusty, complacent industry. Our marketing strategy is constantly evolving as our competitors and Google catch up and as our priorities change.”
Utilizing all of today’s resources to best position and advertise boats for sale, 26 North Yachts gives yachts exposure that not many big brokerages can. By remaining a boutique firm, 26 North Yachts can also dedicate all resources and manpower to best service customers’ needs.
“Knowing our market as well as we do allows us to have a better understanding of pricing and values than our competitors, benefiting both our buyers and sellers. In addition, we have access to a worldwide network of boats that may not even be for sale,” explained Scherb.
Certainly, this success story will continue to be written as Carlson and Scherb bravely ply the often challenging seas of luxury motoryacht sales.