you may want to contact Soundings, they have a commercial monthly (I think) rag and an on line presence for those in the commercial side of boating.
Can't find anything online, but I have left them a message.
There really is not much magic in being a charter operator/owner...in the US..
License 6-pack or higher
appropriate business license
This stuff all makes sense.
ability or talent in dealing with the public
I shine at this
ability or talent in dealing with high strung people
Yes, the service industry does seem to attract those types, doesn't it.
That's like saying "how long is a piece of string". I would be buying used, and not financed. And I have a reserve above that, but not what I consider "Deep pockets", in other words, I'll have between 100K and 200K, not 500K or more.
If I were going to do it, again...I would find "older" reliable boats and market them to plain joes, with some sailing experience..at daily rates and week rates...not the fancy vacation stuff..just someone who wants to enjoy a sail...YOu would need a few helpers or an arrangement with a marina/tow..but you could buy a half dozen USED boats for what one "charter boat" would cost.
I think I may have given the impression that I would charter bare boat.. I will not... only looking at crewed charter, and therefore, only one boat.
I think you will find it quite difficult to compete with those larger/more well known operators. Their advertising budget was more than my yearly cash flow...Unless you have a unique hook.
I suspect the Virgin Islands are close to saturation. We hope to operate out of Antigua, and although obviously cater to anyone, I live in a community that the recession did not affect at all, and have good connections in that community. As example, the number one CruiseshipCenter
in Canada was from here, and it was owned by a friend mine... not quiet the same market, but it gives you an idea.
It is my understanding that one can expect 16-20 weeks a year that one actually has clients... was this your expirence also?