38 South Boat Sales is an Australian supplier of new and second-hand boats.
Originally established as VicSail Melbourne, the business is one of the longest established yacht and power boat brokers in Australia, trading in leading brands including Jeanneau and Glastron.
In 2012 the business was taken over by former multiple Moth World Champion and twice ISAF World Sailor of the Year finalist Rohan Veal.
He changed the name of the business to 38 South Boat Sales to reflect the latitude that is synonymous with the heart of boating in Victoria.
As many of its boats are imported from Europe and the US, the company needs to manage currency risks.
When it comes to receiving international payments the company’s biggest challenge is the fluctuation in the currency.
“The Australian dollar can be quite volatile,” says Mr Veal, who is now managing director.
“If we order a boat for a customer and we have locked in a contract then it is not an issue.
“However, there could be a situation where we have not locked in a currency and I think the dollar is going to go up and it actually goes down.
“This is a major business risk – we could lose a lot from that.”
Mr Veal says a few years ago the company was using a foreign exchange company to purchase some staging platforms from China.
“Someone hacked the supplier’s email and modified quotes and invoices from that supplier, instructing us to make payments into a bank account in Malaysia,” he said.
“It was a case of fraud and we lost quite a few thousand dollars from that transaction.”
Mr Veal says it imperative to find a reliable company to manage currency exchange.
His company now uses AFEX to handle its foreign exchange deals.
“I wouldn’t even think about trying to manage currency myself – it is a complex and technical,” Mr Veal says.
“When I bought the business there was an account already created with AFEX, so I continued on with that relationship as I was happy with the service.
“I like AFEX’s online functionality and appreciate the personal service and attention to detail that they offer.
“We use their global online payments system, as well as spot transactions and forward contracts, which allow us to lock in an exchange rate for the purchase of a currency at a later date.”
Mr Veal says his company does major transactions at least once a week and sometimes several times a week, totalling a few hundred thousand dollars up to millions of dollars.
The online payments system, AFEXDirect, is simple and easy to use, he says.
“Also, the staff are great – they get back to us quickly and are always good to deal with.”