Starting a business? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

Going south for the winter does add some complications in terms of finding another home base, suppliers, business licenses, relationships with a marina, etc. But it gets even more complicated if you leave US territory.
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

The Baba may look "homey and comfortable" to you, but you are looking at it completely differently than a charter guest would be. They aren't going to live on it, so "homey" doesn't count for squat with them. What they will want is a big cockpit and/or a deck that they can lounge on. If they go below (and that's a big "if") then what they will be looking for is a sort of comfortable, airy, living room with lots of light. Oh, yeah, and a nice, big head that they can use when they need to.

You also need to take to heart the comment that this is not something you can do by yourself. You WILL need a mate of some sort. You simply cannot attend to all of the details of sailing the boat by yourself, AND attend to your guests at the same time. Ain't gonna happen.

If you plan to live aboard, then you have to have a marina that allows that. Not all do. Be sure you ask about that when looking for a place to keep the boat.

You may not have to serve full meals on day trips, but you will definitely need to have some refreshments and snacks available. On overnights, yes, guests are going to expect to be fed.

And, as others have said, a Coast Guard Captains license is an absolute requirement.

Good luck to you.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-10-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

I had some friends who were interested in buying a bed and breakfast, to live in and run as a business. I asked my dad, who was in the hotel business, if he had any advice for them. He said, "Anyone who wants to own a bed and breakfast should spend a year working in someone else's bed and breakfast."

That may or may not be possible in the type of business you are considering, but the point is: best to experience and learn about the business, including if you like it, before going all in.
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post #14 of 20 Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

It’s a grand dream my friend. Don’t ever let someone put your dreams out to pasture. We all crush enough of our own dreams without letting others do it for us.
That being said, keep in mind the guys you have here in this site live this life style" not chartering" but right next to it. Most are Yachtsmen, most don’t just think, they “know”. They have read many dreamers and watched many make it work and many fail. They have great advice "collectively". Some guy’s optimist by nature and will encourage you, using all the “positive examples” they have in their life. Then there the guys that always have something to say on the other side. Please beware of this….. Look for the signs. Watch for the
• Negative Nancy
• Downer
• Drag
• Debbie Downer
• Naysayer
• Prophet of doom
• Doomsayer
• Futilitarian
Keep your dreams real man... You only live once. If you don’t get it right the first time what have you lost, really? Your time. But you will have learned and gained so much.
You don’t want to forgo safety “ever” and need to be trained before you let any other person on your boat, paying or otherwise. You are the captain of that boat. If someone gets hurt or worse, its all on you brother. so take it seriously. You are young enough to get a lot done in a short amount of time. If things don’t work out you can get back up quickly. Keep in mind that there is some so called old salt’s that have not untied their boats in months. They are some that had dreams before that did not materialize so they figure that no one can do it if they can’t. Then there are some here that have circled the planet by their self. So with that I will say;
Do the Google searches.
1) What are the successful charters doing in the area you want to do it in?
2) What is the pressure? How many are in your market?
3) How long will it take to get it underway?
4) How much will it cost me all together?
5) Water living is not the charter business. Do you want to work were you live?
6) Are you just wanting a way to pay for living at the dock in your boat? There is other ways.
7) how many years are you willing to invest in the process?
Remember if you can’t do it safely don’t do it.
Do it.
God Speed, Capt.Burt
[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by ltgoshen; 04-11-2013 at 08:45 AM.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-19-2013
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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 09:40 PM.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

Mandavel -
If you do nothing else but focus strictly on getting your captains license, by the time you get it you will be able to answer the rest of your questions.
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

I've made my boat pay for 38 years now. Packing clams,towing house boats, chartering to a couple of working girls following the herring fleet, sailing charters all over the Salish Sea. but the easiest is my threehoursail.com in Victoria. None of the previous stated objections apply and I can assure you it beats working for a living . Fortunately I,d built in the proper plumbing, wiring and w/t bulkheads so CSI was a given. I carry 18 day and 6 overnight passengers .Both my mate and I have our master limited ticket.At 70 ,I,m approaching a waypoint so the whole kit and caboodle is for sail . Google threehoursail.com/about/captain_crew.html‎

Last edited by Capt Len; 07-22-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
I've made my boat pay for 38 years now. Packing clams,towing house boats, chartering to a couple of working girls following the herring fleet, sailing charters all over the Salish Sea. but the easiest is my threehoursail.com in Victoria. None of the previous stated objections apply and I can assure you it beats working for a living . Fortunately I,d built in the proper plumbing, wiring and w/t bulkheads so CSI was a given. I carry 18 day and 6 overnight passengers .Both my mate and I have our master limited ticket.At 70 ,I,m approaching a waypoint so the whole kit and caboodle is for sail . Google threehoursail.com/about/captain_crew.html‎
There you go Gilligan! Turn Key!!!! Just write this fine gentleman a check!
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

I have no idea about the feasibility of the day charter market in Annapolis, so I'll leave that to others to comment.

However the fees for the necessary licenses include:
  • OUPV course ~$550 (optional - but strongly recommended)
  • $445 in miscellaneous costs (Physical, Drug Test, Drug test enrollment, Testing Fee, Application Fee, CPR/First Aid Certificate, etc.)
  • TWIC ~$145

About $1200 in costs, plus time.


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post #20 of 20 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Starting a business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Len View Post
...chartering to a couple of working girls following the herring fleet...‎
What kind of adhesive did you use to mount the mirrors on the headliner?
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