Business


The Innchanter is a 90 foot long heritage vessel, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in beautiful Clayoquot Sound. For the past fifteen years, it has been running as an exclusive retreat bed and breakfast, catering to kayakers, campers, and luxury minded adventurers.

Turn key

The Innchanter is a turn key operation. It is fully stocked and ready to run. The sale includes all of the interior finishings , fixtures and fittings, from the dishes and cutlery, to beautiful bedding. The only things not included is my private library and some of the non attached Native Indian art pieces that I have collected over the years. Some Native carvings are built into the boat and those are staying with the boat.

Included in the sale are the three floating docks and the flotilla of rowboats and kayaks. Accessory gear such as water pumps, spare generators and an inventory of spare parts for the engine as well as the electric macerator toilets and water system pumps are included. Both the main engine and the solar array have recently been upgraded with new deep cycle battery systems included in the sale. The main back up generator has also recently been replace with a new 5KW diesel generator .

The sale includes the business, name, and good will, as well as the email and client list compiled over the last fifteen years. Also included are the related books and files and maintenance records of the Innchanter and it’s history.

There is also a gift shop on board, selling jackets, tee shirts, local books, art , flashlights , water and snacks. The stock and logo art will be included in the sale.

Bednights:

The Innchanter is currently running at just under 50% capacity. The average in Tofino is much higher, so there is lots of  room for growth with  some simple marketing. This has never been done for the Innchanter, as my efforts have been directed at finishing the interiors of the boat , and the day to day running during the busy season.Most of the Innchanter business has been word of mouth, as well as from a very simple online presence. This is an important area for growth, and a large untapped market.

During the summer season most lodgings in Tofino and area are running at full capacity, and the Innchanter could play a much larger roll in taking up the overflow. At the moment , we have only one holiday package company that uses the Innchanter, but small tour groups, and kayaking tours are an excellent target market that has not been accessed yet.

Target Market:

I built the Innchanter for kayakers and campers who wanted a night of luxury in the wilderness. This was a conscious decision to market towards interesting adventurous guests, rather than high end clientele, simply for the fact that I enjoy their company more. Making lots of  money was not as motivating a factor as enjoying my job and having a good life. The same logic applied to closing the Innchanter for the last five years during the slow season. I  started closing the Innchanter in October, once the mortgage and any outstanding debts were paid off, not because the market wasn’t there for remaining open, but because I wanted to be free to travel during the winter. Previously; staying open in the slow season, even without advertising, paid for itself, and the business broke even during this time.

With limited changes to the boat , ( finishing the third bathroom , and upgrading the water system to include a water maker ), a much more lucrative clientele could be accessed and marketed towards. The Innchanter could easily be kept open during the winter storm watching season, or moved to a more accessible location after October, such as Tofino itself, or the Sunshine Coast, where there is a much higher tourism traffic flow during the slow season. Again, I chose the location to moor the Innchanter, not for it’s money making potential, but for the quality of life it offered.  Another location, while perhaps not imbued with as much magic, could certainly be more profitable, if that was the primary goal.

Business Relationships

I have spent fifteen years building business relationships within the community of Clayoquot Sound. There are ten tour boat companies and two airlines, that work to bring the guests to and from their adventures on board the Innchanter. A host of secondary businesses , such as the grocery stores, the chandlers, and the laundry, also work with the Innchanter. Several of the major hotels send guests to us through their concierge services, to leave the five star luxuries of Tofino and enjoy a bit of wilderness adventuring. The local information magazine, Tofino Time, has actively supported the Innchanter through articles written and advertising. Their section on locals favourite haunts , has been a highlight of my interaction with the community.

The companies I most often work with are

Tofino is blessed with a variety of good hotels and restaurants. Food is an important part of the Innchanter experience, onboard , arriving , or departing, as well as the guests often stay the night in town while on their way to the Innchanter. It is the local waitstaff and the owners of  these businesses that are key to goodwill and promoting the Innchanter. This is an important part of the community that works to make business thrive, as everyone has to pass through Tofino on their way to Hotsprings Cove. The guests experience starts at the cafes in town, continues on their boat ride to the Innchanter , and culminates with their seaplane adventure on departing. All these works together to make an unforgettable vacation experience for our guests.

Other Job Opportunities

While the Innchanter could be a full time job for two people, I have run it alone for several seasons, only hiring help for the two or three busiest months. Over the years I have lived in the Cove, I have also had the job as Park Facility Operator, and Dock Manager. Both jobs are available every season and have very flexible hours that work in conjunction with life on the Innchanter.

Apart from the two government jobs, there are several other work options, from carpentry or mechanics or oyster farming, to more academic pursuits such as teaching at the local school in the First Nations village.

One of the opportunities that is not being exploited, is a cafe or food vendor at the dock. In previous years I have run a little cafe here offering food, snacks and tee shirts etc. It has a captive market of two to three hundred people a day, and did a booming business in the summer months. Both the tourists and the tour boat operators loved it. As there is no fresh water supply in the park, people are always willing to buy at least a drink and something to nibble on. Hotsprings Cove tee shirts and hats sold very well too.

Untapped business potential:

  • kayak tour point person
  • fishing tours
  • spa extras
  • aventure tours with first nations
  • nature / photography  tours and salmon bar-b-que.
  • expand the Innchanter gift shop to include spa products, bedding, robes, shoes etc. ( captive market )
  • art gallery / highlight local native artists
  • photography tours