Thanks to receiving some great input from advisors and our new board members we have found a way to do more with less. But less will give us more visibility, sponsors, and flexibility. Our original plan was to procure a used ship and have it retrofitted to fit our needs.
Instead of acquiring one large ship, Wounded Nature – Working Veterans will have 4 new houseboats moving up and down the East Coast and on on the West Coast attending port festivals, visiting military bases, and cleaning beaches. Each boat will honor our veterans/military. Each boat will have its own sponsor and boldly display the sponsor’s brand.
The large flat sides of the houseboat make it an ideal floating billboard. Side “skinning” of the vessel can incorporate covering the windows with window skin transparencies to allow for an unbroken image.
This sponsorship associates our sponsor’s brand YEAR ROUND in a high publicity context supporting a clean environment, veterans, and our military. Currently, many sponsorships only provide sponsors with only one day or one weekend of relatively low visibility.
This method of completing our mission has numerous advantages over having one large ship. They are:
1. Sponsors – This will allow us to acquire 5 primary sponsors, one for each houseboat versus just one for the ship. The cost for our sponsors is very low compared to other national vehicle sponsorships such as NASCAR. Payments for our first year sponsorship costs are distributed over 15 months. Sponsorship costs are reduced in year two.
2. Maintenance – Having new vessels will significantly reduce or eliminate downtime due to maintenance problems. If a vessel should happen to break down it would not impact Wounded Nature – Working Veteran’s ability to appear at scheduled appearances. Crew members from the down vessel would be placed aboard the other boats and they would continue on the tour. Once the disabled vessel is repaired, it will then catch up to the others and resume its place in the tour.
3. Costs – Fuel, maintenance, and operating costs are all reduced by using the houseboats. The houseboats will be built to order and will not have to be retrofitted to meet our needs.
4. Licensing – The USCG endorsements for the houseboats will be uninspected passenger and recreational vessels. The captains of each vessel will only be required to have a “six pack, charter captains” license for an uninspected passenger vessel. This will allow each houseboat to have up to 6 passengers aboard and allow the crew members to drive the boats for training purposes as long as their captain is aboard.
5. Crew classification – The crew itself will be classified as “land based” workers using the boats primarily for transportation and sleeping quarters.
6. Environmental – The five houseboats underway combined will consume less fossil fuel per day than one large ship. We hope to have at least one boat powered by natural gas. Having 5 boats allows us to more easily spread out our crew for larger clean-ups and doing a more effective job.
To see our complete sponsorship proposal, go to: http://woundednature.org/sponsoring-one-of-wounded-natures-vistory-vessels/
Please make a donation to Wounded Nature – Working Veterans at: http://woundednature.org/support-us/donate/
Houseboat branding mock-up courtesy of PepsiCo.