Are you looking for a piece of hardware for your boat? A specific product to be installed or replaced on board. But how do you know where to look? The catalogues of the fittings purchasing groups are limited to standard products. However, the complexity of a boat, be it a sailboat or a motorboat, requires very specific parts that are often out of the ordinary. All you have to do is go to your shipchandler and hope to find a seller who is technical enough, and competent in the field of your research, to ask for information.
Vincent Paravey realized this need when he himself was in charge of a hardware store for several years. His taste for catalogues and his pleasure in satisfying the customer made him famous and gave him the glorious title of "deck fittings researcher". It was also this request that gave him the idea to create Captainchercheur.com, a site dedicated to equipment research.
We're looking for you
The principle is simple, you submit your product request in the form of a small description accompanied if possible by photos. Vincent then starts looking for the room for you. To do this, it has close links with suppliers and construction sites to find exactly the right part. If this reference exists, it then proposes a search estimate which, if you validate it, informs you about the possibility of ordering and delivering the part. But then you were the one who had the hand to command. The commission for the research is fixed in relation to the price of the product sought. It ranges from 1 to 5 euros and 3% for large orders over 200 euros.
Missing parts from the radars
For example, a client of Cap'tain Chercheur had been looking for more than 5 years to replace the glass in the ceiling lights of his Centurion 36 (a Wauquiez from the 1990s). It was Vincent who, thanks to his contacts with the site, managed to find a supplier capable of delivering new lenses. He gave him the opportunity to order them to the delight of the owner.
Promoting local actors
As far as possible, Vincent, a former store manager, will try to make the local stores work. It's his will. The aim is not to feed the big websites (on which the yachtsman has probably already done his research before calling Captain Chercheur), but to provide an additional service and to play the game of the local brands.
Probably a need for second hand parts
Vincent is aware that the parts requested will be the rarest, often the oldest, that no longer exist on the new product market. If this specialist can help you with alternative solutions, he can also look for the part on the second-hand market. In particular, he has made an initial contact with the APER to find out, with this organisation which deconstructs boats, how to recover second-hand parts. This will be the second phase of the development of CaptainResearcher, which has just gone online in December 2019.