Forbes Boat Care was founded in 2005 by Oban man Michael Forbes to fill a gap in the market for boat management on the west of Scotland, Many boats sited there are owned by people who live elsewhere in the UK or even overseas, making trips to the west of Scotland for boat maintenance tasks a real hassle. These people wish to spend their valuable time off enjoying their boats, rather than maintaining and repairing them.
The theory behind the business is simple but effective. Forbes Boat Care have built up a comprehensive list of top quality, reliable marine tradespeople who, in return for the regular business, give FBC a discount from their rate. This allows Forbes Boat Care to charge the customer the same as they would pay by going direct to the contractor, but doing it this way the customer just has one point of contact to ensure that everything is being done on their boat, From fibreglass repairs to engineering, antifouling to rigging, Forbes Boat Care can do the lot.
In addition FBC also do individual jobs of all sizes, from a one-off polish, to overseeing large scale repairs and insurance jobs. They also regularly carry out and oversee engine installations, with over 30 engines installed since 2007.
The business has collected a number of entrepreneurship and business awards since start-up, but the award that takes pride of place was finishing top 3 in the UK for staff training according to the British Marine Federation. This was in recognition of Forbes Boat Care's in house "Boat Babysitter Training" programme. This is an 18 month course that includes short courses in GRP repair, engineering, rigging and sail training, ensuring that all staff at FBC are fully competent in estimating for jobs and overseeing work of all kinds.
There is currently a team of 4 working at FBC, but with a larger team of contractors working alongside them on a day to day basis.
The boat brokerage run by Forbes Boat Care is one of the busiest independent brokerages in Scotland with around 30 boats listed at any one time. Alongside this the business also deals in waterside properties vary effectively through a partnership with an online estate agency.
Forbes Boat Care also have their own range of boat care products distributed to chandlers throughout the UK.