Case Study

Worldwide Catamarans

Graham Stimson, Founder of Worldwide Catamarans.

Case Study - Worldwide Catamarans

In conversation with Graham Stimson

I had been involved with catamarans for over 30 years. I was formerly the Sales Manager for the main dealer of Fountaine Pajot and Privilege catamarans for ten years, dealing in the sale of both second hand and new boats.


We are agents for the prestigious brand ‘Blue Coast Yachts’ in Riga, Latvia, designed by the world-renowned Jean Jacques Coste. These awesome catamarans are custom built to order from 58ft up to 180ft+, with prices ranging from 3 million Euro to 30 million Euro upwards. We also work with the main dealers of the most popular brands of production catamarans.

We also rely very much on our bread and butter business of selling previously owned catamarans of different brands, shapes and sizes, as well as monohulls, both power and sail.

The idea was to originally set up our brokerage company and charter agency at the yard where my partner and I were living on our own catamaran, on Hayling Island in the UK. We became quite successful very quickly and managed to grow the business, but after spending some time in Spain, we decided that the climate was better suited to selling boats, seeing as it was almost the same time traveling door to door via the budget airlines as driving to the South Coast from Central London, so we jumped ship and headed for sunnier climate and set up Worldwide Catamarans S.L. in Spain, where we took four 40ft catamarans on for charter management.

Our biggest mistake was dealing with the Spanish bureaucracy. It was a nightmare. After a number of years, we decided that it was a better option to set up a UK Company. We formed Worldwide Catamarans Ltd with 1st Formations instead, which has been a lot easier to deal with.

We wanted to be in control of our own business and make our own decisions, giving us the freedom to grow.

The journey

We had some tough times and great times, the normal little peaks and troughs of running your own business; but on the whole, we have no regrets and we have never looked back.

The growth curve

Our growth was quite steady for a number of years, and our business has quite a following. We have repeat business from previous clients upgrading to a larger yacht, or even selling and buying something smaller. Social Media, such as Facebook, has helped us with a following of over 56,000 on one group ‘Catamarans For Sale’ and 4,600 joining our new group ‘Worldwide Catamarans’. Our followers are growing by between 50 and 100 per week. Our website has many unique visits each week, and our quarterly newsletter goes out to over 35,000 subscribers.


One of the manufacturers went bust on us, owing us over 300,000 Euro, which hurt. Brexit has caused us a few problems, as it has many companies operating in Europe; and Covid was the death nell for some, but we survived and are now recovering. We also did over two years work with a Russian client on a very big Blue Coast Catamaran 120, but our friend Mr Putin misbehaved, and the buyer disappeared and has not been heard from since. After this chain of disasters, we got up, brushed ourselves down and started again. The big orders do not come in every day, and sometimes it can take three years from initial order to launch on custom builds.


I think, as they say: “If you enjoy what you do, you never do a day’s work.” I love dealing with people, I love boats and being near and on the water. Some of my clients have sold everything they have to buy their boat. For others, it’s loose change, but sailing is a great leveller, and if you’re buying a 100,000 Euro catamaran, you’re sharing the same view as someone who has spent 7 million.

It sounds corny, but what I enjoy most is hearing the amazing adventures that my customers have had on the boats they have bought from me. Some are circumnavigating the globe. I see them enjoying endless sunsets, blue skies, emerald green palm trees, and making their dreams come true.

The future

We continue to expand, and we’re now taking on a new member of the team, Eddie, who will be concentrating on dealing with the brokerage side, allowing me to work on new boat sales. We are looking to build our own small 32ft catamaran in Riga, Latvia, which we have just finished the designs and business plan for, which is quite exciting. We are working on producing a minimum of 10 boats a year, and we are currently looking for an investor.


My favourite phrase is “If you keep doing what you keep doing, you will keep getting what you keep getting.”

The business is constantly changing. The internet has its benefits, but it also has its own set of challenges. What you could get away with last week will not always work the week after. Your business is a machine where the cogs need constant maintenance, oiling, replacing and changing. If it’s not working, re-package it, re-invent it, tinker with it and fine tune it, but above all "if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!”

If you're good at what you do and enjoy it, why not do it for yourself? Go for it! You will be doing it for you, and you will never get rich working for someone else.

It’s not easy, and there will be obstacles that will have to be overcome, but never give up. You may fall at the first hurdle, but get up, brush yourself down and get on with it.

Forget about feeding your ego and feed your family. The desire to have your name in lights over your shop or office is a nice feeling, but if you don’t need the overheads of an office to start with, you can easily work from your laptop anywhere. An office means rent, rates, electric. You have to be there, or pay staff, phone bills, furniture, etc. Sure, later when things are going well, it may be that you have to take that jump.

And one more important thing - don’t listen to too much advice from other people saying how tough it is running your own business, who themselves are clinging to the security of a salary, pension and a private healthcare plan.

Using 1st Formations

1st Formations was recommended to me by a friend, and to be honest, if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me.

The company formation process

It was very easy, and the staff were always friendly and helpful, and you have been great ever since.

1st Formations today

At the moment, we only use their basic service, but we find their webinars and newsletters very useful.


1st Formations were very quick. Very efficient.

Peter Everett, Britt Recruitment View customer story