Sailing the Seven Seas
by Nancy Dunham - Baltimore Examiner, May 11, 2007


The world's oceans are their offices.

That's what Bernie Jakits and Kate Christensen have taken as one of their mantras as owners of RogueWave Yacht Sales of Annapolis.

"Our belief is that we don't just sell a boat and wave goodbye to our clients," Jakits said. "We look at boats and those who own them as our community."

Perhaps that's why since beginning their business in 1998, the couple have quickly acquired customers who have become friends, boating companions and repeat clients. Selling a boat a week each year, even during harsh winter months, is proof their formula is successful.

Jakits and Christensen both have extensive corporate backgrounds. Some of the consulting skills they acquired in those positions help them assess and advise their clients so they purchase the boats best suited to their wants and needs.

"Half of our clients come to us because they don't know what boats to buy," Christensen said. "We ask them what they want to do, where they want to go and what price range they're considering."

How the boat will be used, how many people will generally be on the boat and whether the buyer has previous boating experience are all key questions. "We know boating," Christensen said. "For the past 30 years, Bernie has studied every boat out there — how it was designed, built and launched." He shares that information with his clients.

Many clients not only buy from the duo but also engage them to travel throughout the world, helping them choose and transport boats.

"Clients come to us a lot through referrals," Christensen said. "They know we are not just doing a job. We guide them on how to do things properly." That can mean anything from rigging to flying to Barbados to assess a boat for a client, and then stopping in Florida to sail a boat back to this area for another customer.

"We are pretty unique," Christensen said. "We own boats, we sail boats afar and we sell boats. Our offices are the oceans of the world."