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Stockbroker to Boat Broker: Cohen Fuels His Powerboat Business With Passion

Until 2008, Jeremy Cohen was working on Wall Street when the market collapsed. He’d been heavily leveraged in investment banking and high-risk, high-reward scenarios, but suddenly everything came crashing down. Down but not out, Cohen and his wife rebuilt, practically from the ground up. They settled in her hometown of Clayton, NY, where she practices family law. “I was used to working in the fast paced environment of Wall Street, and now I’m living in Clayton, where everything is slow and relaxed,” he laughs.

A few years ago, while involved in other work, Cohen met a retired yacht broker at church. “He started telling me about the industry and how the business worked,” he recalls. “I thought it was an amazing career—fast-paced and exciting, but better than Wall Street, because now I’m dealing with a tangible asset instead of a stock, which you can’t put your hands on.”

Boat brokerage turned out to be the perfect profession for Cohen, whose Seabound Yachts website’s listing include all manner of muscleboats, from DCBs and Outerlimits to Skaters and Cigarettes. The company has been a resounding success, he says, because he brings a unique dynamic to the field. “These boats are cool, and they’re awesome, but my passion is people,” he says. “I’m on my phone all day long. I’ll take phone calls at 2 a.m. I talk to guys in Australia about race boats in the middle of the night.” His people skills seem to be working—Cohen is building a very respectful following on social media; he’s got more than 6,500 followers on Facebook, and the numbers are growing.

In addition to being his home base, Clayton, NY, also happens to be the home of the Thousand Islands Charity Poker Run, which is about to mount its fourth annual run. In preparing to launch his brokerage business, Cohen immersed himself into the poker-run lifestyle, attending not only the Thousand Islands Charity Poker Run, but also the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, Desert Storm Poker Run and the OPA offshore race in Englewood, FL, among many others . At these events, he made friends, expanded his network and got to know the industry’s heavy hitters; his buddies include Jason Moe, Dave Magoo, Win Farnsworth and World Champion offshore racer Nick Scafidi, who he met on Facebook and later forged a friendship with.

“Then I met him in person at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show a couple of years ago, and we hung out for a while. Then, a year later, I got a message from him saying, ‘Englewood is going to be my last race, and then I’m going to sell Shadow Pirate. I want you to help me sell it.’ I was stunned—Nick knows everybody, and doesn’t need any help selling the boat. But he said, ‘Jeremy, I can tell you’re passionate about what you do. And I like to do business with people who are passionate.’

Cohen says what really intrigues him about the boating community is their passion for boating and for each other. “It’s like a big family,” he says. “And that kind of fits in with my personality and the way I do business.”

In a relatively short period of time, Cohen has carved out a niche for himself, and he’s been moving boats around the globe at a breakneck pace.

“As I say right on my website, if I don’t have the boat in my listings, I can probably find it,” he says. “If someone calls me up and tells me what he’s looking for, I probably can make a couple of phone calls and come up with it. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and my strength is that I love people, and I use that strength to better serve my clients. ”

For more information, visit SeaboundYachts.com, call Jeremy at (718) 619-7001 or email jcseabound@gmail.com.

 

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