Since childhood, Berry Kuiper has been an enthusiastic fisherman in the ponds, canals, and lakes around Apeldoorn. He specialised in carp fishing and bought his first baitboat in 2006. This boat was not a success, but a boat that specifically met his wishes didn't seem to exist. It was a good reason for him to start building one of his own boats. When his fellow fishermen all wanted to have a baitboat just like it, he decided in 2012 to set up his own business: Baitstar Baitboats.
A baitboat is a remote-controlled boat that ensures that the bait and the rig are dropped exactly where the carp are. Baiting the fish is a precise operation. This means that the bait and the rig have to be at the right location. You only have to navigate the boat to where you want to fish, and the bait and rig are dropped automatically.
Berry combined his technical background with his other hobby: building models. By purchasing scaled ship models and equipping them with the right equipment, he built the first types of boats under his own name. Berry continues to do so to this day, but he also has introduced factory-produced baitboats into his range. The baitboats find their way to the fishermen through the business' online shop and platforms such as Beslist, eBay, Bol.com and Amazon.
Besides the sale of baitboats, Berry also has a rental and lease service. The boats are repaired or upgraded in their in-house workshop. The largest source of revenue comes from baitboat sales. Some 300 to 350 baitboats are sold annually. Around 80% of those boats are sold in the Netherlands, but fishermen from Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy know how to find Baitstar.
Sales are increasing rapidly. However, the Dutch market is small, with quite a few suppliers of baitboats. The situation is the other way around in the surrounding countries. In the United Kingdom and Germany, there are only two or three competitors in a market that's many times the size of the Dutch market. That's why Baitstar would like to expand further in these countries.
Export countries: Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, and occasionally other countries in Europe.