Re: Starting a business?
Lots of good advice here. Scratchee's probably the best. To get your Master's ticket you need a year's accredited sea-time anyway, so why not work aboard a skippered boat and see how it really goes?
When I owned a 42 foot ketch, I once thought it would be great to combine my love of sailing with chartering for a living, but came to three conclusions:
1. Being seasonal, and subject to so much competition, it is a marginal living at best
2. I am not patient with 'difficult' or demanding people, so unless I hit it off with the customer, it would not be enjoyable for either party
3. After too much exposure - i.e. doing it daily just in the one area - it would probably take the pleasure out of sailing. I like going to new places.
Also, as others here say, 30ft is way too small for skippered charter. You, a deckhand/cook and a couple? It may be OK if you are close friends, but when people pay they expect space and comfort. My current 30 footer is to me, the ultimate boat for sailing solo, and occasionally I will invite one or at most two other persons aboard for company. But for anything more than a day-sail that's about the limit for a 30 footer. On charter, the ladies in particular will demand privacy simply not afforded aboard a small boat. Bareboating with a couple of friends, I would be looking at 34ft minimum.
If you were the only game in town in a really exotic foreign location, people would probably pay for the 'experience' and accept some short-term discomfort on a 30 footer as part of the deal, but in a competitive environment you really need to run your business plan around something closer to 40ft.
Last edited by arvicola-amphibius; 07-19-2013 at 10:40 PM.