It's not a long sail to say do a charter from Des Hais down to St Bequi
Or St Martin to Antiqua
or the VIs
You can offer a few location package alternative location. I don't see this as anything but making you MORE competitive.
I'm afraid you aren't considering the wear and tear on the boat of what you suggest when Christmas Winds are blowing. In the 7 years I've been down here this time, we have had Christmas Winds extend all the way through April one year and last considerably longer than the two weeks of yesteryear, most years. Charter boat regulations in the BVI have become nearly prohibitively restrictive and expensive there and I really don't think they are a tenth as interesting or as much fun to sail as the Grenadines. They are also probably the
the most congested and overpopulated islands anywhere as far as charter boats are concerned. They are no longer even a remote possibility for a charter boat that is not based there full time.
At a certain point bashing across channels in 30 to 35 knots of winds in the Leewards is not a commercially profitable endeavor, especially when there is so much established competition up that way, for one or two charters, costing me three or four down here.
We considered all these options carefully when we began chartering and found our niche to be the most acceptable option. We actually are available anywhere in the Antilles, but the relocation fee (an industry standard like a one-way bareboat trip) is rather stiff for a single charter.
Still, it's just not all that simple. There are charter boat licensing fees (not even slightly cheap: SVG over us$500.00 per season) as well as travel time to consider and even the cost of groceries and liquor are much different in each area, changing the costs of the charters significantly.
At present, if we were to begin a charter in St Lucia (which we do) groceries and liquor are about 20% higher, reducing our profitability. Adding overnight sails in Christmas Winds to a vacation for folks who have never set foot aboard a boat before, except perhaps the occasional ferry, isn't the best route to happy customers.
It isn't as though we haven't given all these things a lot of thought. Before we hung out our "shingle" we had 5 round trips from Grenada to StT. We checked out the regs, customs/immigration fees, park fees, costs of provisions (we have receipts from every market we shopped at), anchorages and length of travel between anchorages, etc. before we slipped into our present niche.
I know I'm sounding a bit argumentative, but there are areas where we either can't work (like the Franch Islands) or we are just not well enough established to actually offer the exceptional vacation we can here. And that is what we seek to offer; the exceptional. At least 75% of our days on charter, we are not sailing with other boats going in the same direction at the same time. We sail through the reefs right up to the cut in the Tobago Cays whenever possible, not dropping our gear outside and powering in, as 99% of the other boats do.
As for Deshaies (a favorite of ours), Guadeloupe (way, way far from the airport), to Bequia, about 200 nautical miles, that is a whole lot of sailing (including 4 channel crossings) for folks looking for a relaxing vacation on a boat.
Again thank you for the suggestions and we will make every effort to use those that we think will help us.