... I mainly want to get a captains license to start a small charter business. My main focus is understanding and learning how the industry operates. Once I get a firm grasp on that, I would be able to carve out a niche. I've been looking into yacht hauling companies thinking that may be a good segway into some of the larger marinas since I have so much experience in that field. Im relatively young (mid 30's), no wife or kids so I would be able to devote all my time to this endeavor. Im a pragmatic dreamer who follows through. I want to learn the correct way and if I have to pump a little gas in return for some worthwhile experience, so be it. Without ever being in a marina environment, its hard to get more specific than that. Any advice good or bad is welcome. If im going to go through with this I don't want to be completely blind going into it.
Love your enthusiasm -- that'll help immensely.
As others have mentioned, the long pole in the tent for the six-pack license is the documented sea time requirement. One way you might consider is trying to find a job as a hand on a commercial or charter fishing vessel. The pay will likely suck, but since you've got no dependents you may be able to make it work. It'll get your foot in the door, and you can begin to bank those hours against the sea time. You'll also get a view of the marine industry from the sides of both a service provider and a service customer.