Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-04-2010, 09:27 PM   #1
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Greetings:

Although this is not an original idea, I know, we want to buy a boat and then charter it ourselves (we being the operators).

I am having trouble finding links or particularly forums where others who are operating their boat for charter may exchange ideas.

Can anyone help? Particularly I am looking for forums that discuss issues specific to charter operations - marketing, client issues, cost vs. income etc.

Any assistance is very much appreciated.
__________________

__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2010, 12:42 AM   #2
Admiral
 
MMNETSEA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avonbusse View Post

Greetings:

we want to buy a boat and then charter it ourselves (we being the operators).


Could you amplify on the above? Without knowing a little more in the detail, it sounds like paying twice for same thing.

Do you mean you would rent the boat out to others? If so would this not be the same as renting out a house that you own, except that even the biggest companies that operate boat charters have to plan on the boat being returned to them for re-provisioning and planned maintenance PLUS accepting the real possibility of the boat requiring unplanned repairs, which could mean the boat being out of commission for a period - In that event the Charter Company may be obliged to put another boat into charter to take the place of the boat being repaired. It would be interesting to have access to the books of a company like Sunsail or the Moorings, and check the history of an individual boat, in terms of days out on charter against days idle - in terms of bottom line profit after tax, etc..

Unlike property like land or buildings which over time may gain in value. Boats are generally a wasting asset - only a few become classics which gain or hold their value. Boats in charter with the professional large companies may only show a book profit for no more than 4/5 years before they are written off.

The big companies also have the advantage of putting boats into charter that are brand new and that were built in companies that the Charter companies may actually control. The individual one-man operation is at a disadvantage from day one.
__________________

__________________
MMNETSEA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2010, 12:51 AM   #3
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Sorry for not being quiet specific.

We intend to provide crewed charters. From what I can gather, we can expect to have clients from 16-20 weeks a year.

Now, on the surface, that makes it feasible. There are a large number of crewed charters available primarily in the USVI and BVI. Some appear to have been around for years, so I assume they are making at least some money.

Yes, I expect the boat to depreciate, but I will be sourcing used not new, and see the depreciation as a cost of doing business. With boat prices being as low as they are now, that depreciation may in fact be mitigated over the next few years.

These are all items I would like to see discussions on, hence my hope that someone could point me to a website/forum where actual operators discuss various business related issues.
__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2010, 01:21 AM   #4
Admiral
 
MMNETSEA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067
Default

It will be interesting to hear from operators who can successfully run a business using a single boat - especially starting off with a used boat without back-up boats, crews and facilities.
__________________
MMNETSEA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2010, 06:05 AM   #5
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

You're right, there are quite a few couples running their boat as a charter boat. In the "wild west" days in the Virgin Islands, both US and British, that was how a lot of cruisers supported themselves. I just did a quick Search for Cap'n Fatty Goodlander, who used to write about all things Virgin Island sailing/boating/chartering. I find he's got a web site as Editor of All At Sea on line magazine. You might find some helpful hints there.

All At Sea

Fatty's editorials are there, but since he's been off cruising for quite some time, now, there's less about the boating scene in the Caribbean, more about his travels and travails around the world.

I don't know of any forum for or by charter captains, though.

Another resource might be The Triton which is an on line magazine for professional captains and crew. Not being one of either category, I don't know enough to judge whether it can be of help, but I find it interesting reading of our old stomping grounds.

The Wild West of the Caribbean has changed quite a bit, and the best places to charter are still the Virgin Islands, and St. Martin/Sint Maarten, thoough I've heard that Bonaire offers some opportunities. You need more qualifications now than 30 years ago. Being a licensed captain, having suitable insurance, being a legal resident where you're conducting your business.

If you can find some of Fatty Goodlander's articles from the 70s and 80s, there's lots about the good, the bad, and the just awful of chartering. I don't recall anybody we met getting rich doing it, but most of them managed. The catamarans in St. Maarten made very good money.

I can natter on, so I'll end this now.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
Moderator
 
redbopeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,186
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avonbusse View Post

Greetings:

Although this is not an original idea, I know, we want to buy a boat and then charter it ourselves (we being the operators).

I am having trouble finding links or particularly forums where others who are operating their boat for charter may exchange ideas.

Can anyone help? Particularly I am looking for forums that discuss issues specific to charter operations - marketing, client issues, cost vs. income etc.

Any assistance is very much appreciated.

Some questions--

1..Where are you now? Nationality?

2. Where do you plan to offer your services for profit? the VI? Elsewhere?

3. What are your current boating qualifications--licenses, experience, etc?

4. What are your hospitality industry qualifications which will help you with this venture?

Please do give us a little more info about your relationship to this charter industry as well as how it fits into the big picture for you.

Without experience, almost everyone thinks things are much more profitable than they are. The less experience/exposure the more the person is likely to think that chartering is very profitable. I know a few couples with unique boats and unique situations AND all the right experience/licenses to make things happen--they are successful in their chartering endeavors. They also have realistic goals and backup income plans as well. Unfortunately, the average cruiser wannabe (or cruiser) isn't going to be in the same league with these folks in terms of professional sea time and capability. This doesn't stop people from trying to charter, but it should give us all pause. I know of a cruising couple who had a nice cruising boat but big repairs, little savings, and poor credit left them without enough money to get back to the USA to work. They started illegally chartering their boat to bring in some money. They were in a high risk situation and often didn't even clear their expenses. Seriously, at one point they were making $US 10/day. When they finally had $500 cash in hand, they sailed back home to the USA to find jobs. They stayed here, working, for the past several years and they've just headed out cruising again--with a much bigger cruising kitty and a better prepared boat this fall--and NO plans to charter again.

If you enjoy the idea of chartering for what it is--you might find a skipper who is willing to take you on as crew and you can learn the ropes there as well as gain the sea time to get your licenses so you can do more on your own later. Working for someone else is a great way to see what is good and what is bad without risking your own capital in the venture.

If you're really just looking for a way to afford your cruising, you might just consider getting work permits to do whatever it is that you do now but in more exotic locations where you can live aboard your boat. I know a Canadian who just moved to BVI to do what he did in Toronto--but he'll be living aboard his cruising boat while doing it--and cruising around a bit between gigs for sure.

We look forward to hearing more about your plans,

Fair winds...
__________________
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

redbopeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2010, 03:21 AM   #7
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbopeep View Post

Some questions--

1..Where are you now? Nationality?
From Canada with dual Canadian and German citizenship; the dual German allows me to work in any EU country, including colonies in the Caribbean.

2. Where do you plan to offer your services for profit? the VI? Elsewhere?

The VI have too much competition albeit currently it is the number one place. We plan to be chartering out of Antigua, 1+week long cruises customized as applicable.

3. What are your current boating qualifications--licenses, experience, etc?

We initially plan on hiring a qualified skipper for at least the first season. My sailing experience is in the gulf islands of the west coast of Canada, which although it has significant currents and tides, it is different then the Caribbean. More challenging in some respects, less so in others as I suspect more motoring happens in the gulf islands.



4. What are your hospitality industry qualifications which will help you with this venture?

I have acted as a hunting guide for numerous clients. You see the good, the bad and the ugly, and all expect to be serviced as if they are in a 5 star hotel, even if tenting in the bush 100 miles from the nearest town. I have learned how to smile, too put my foot down when needed and to deal with safety issues with authority when that is required. I always got tips, so I probably did the right things at the right times.



Please do give us a little more info about your relationship to this charter industry as well as how it fits into the big picture for you.

I am not sure of the question here? Perhaps you can rephrase it?

Without experience, almost everyone thinks things are much more profitable than they are. The less experience/exposure the more the person is likely to think that chartering is very profitable. I know a few couples with unique boats and unique situations AND all the right experience/licenses to make things happen--they are successful in their chartering endeavors. They also have realistic goals and backup income plans as well. Unfortunately, the average cruiser wannabe (or cruiser) isn't going to be in the same league with these folks in terms of professional sea time and capability.

I am the treasurer and have been on the board of a large business incubator (over 100 clients with 2 campuses). I know startups and emerging business well, have taught business planning and do consulting to small to medium businesses. I understand SWOT analysis probably better then most. Hence my questions about an industry or association connection. This is not the get rich project, this is the semi-retirement one that will provide an offset for 5-6 months of the year to costs. I have little idea of what expense ratios to expect, although it seems that in the average season one can expect 16-20 weeks of clients. Does that square with your information?



I also have some other sources of income, that although not substantial, will assist.

This doesn't stop people from trying to charter, but it should give us all pause. I know of a cruising couple who had a nice cruising boat but big repairs, little savings, and poor credit left them without enough money to get back to the USA to work. They started illegally chartering their boat to bring in some money.

There would be no financing involved in the purchase of the boat, and there will be reserves for expect expenses. I expect to be looking at one or more of replacement/repairs of rigging, sails, bottom, engine and probably most electronics, unless one gets really lucky on the purchase. Most electronics I would suspect are probably dated in most cases.



Quote:
If you enjoy the idea of chartering for what it is--you might find a skipper who is willing to take you on as crew and you can learn the ropes there as well as gain the sea time to get your licenses so you can do more on your own later. Working for someone else is a great way to see what is good and what is bad without risking your own capital in the venture.
Not an avenue I had seriously considered, although certainly an option. I really need to be able to get some numbers together before making such a decision. The one thing I sense is that currently boats are probably as cheap as they are going to get, and the question is how much longer will that be the case? If there is an upswing in demand on used boats, there may be a mitigation on expect depreciation.

I truly appreciate your thoughtful questions and comments, and look forward to any others you may share.

Sorry for the bold answers, as when apparently this board only allows a certain number of quotes, and I kept having to reduce them
__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

Thank you for providing a few more details.

Antigua and Barbuda is no longer a colony of the UK, but rather an independent state within the realm. I do not believe that your EU status will help you with regard to working there, but I could be wrong. I believe that the only "colony" left to the UK in the Caribbean is Anguilla - if it still is. Great history, that island. Its history was reportedly the inspiration for the book/movie "The Mouse that Roared" (it wasn't - the book was published more than 10 years before Anguilla's "native uprising" - but it could have been).

I assume you've been to Antigua. It's a great place to run charters, Antigua has hundreds of beaches and some beautiful coves, its sister island, Barbuda is, according to my in-laws, just gorgeous, and for excitement you can take people to unfortunate Montserrat to see what a volcano can do to a country and culture. Montserrat is just a night sail away from Antigua.

Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barths are a departement of France, and thus your EU credentials are recognized. However, they're French, and when it is to their benefit, they love to call down French rules and regulations on anyone trying to compete with the French entrepreneurs. ("It's the law" was intoned whenever they felt they were losing the argument, regardless if that was true or not). Martinique is a gorgeous island and one where tourists should visit inland as well.

You might have some difficulties making money if you have to hire a captain, but it's worth looking at. I think that monohulls are great for charter boats, but catamarans with their significantly greater size are extremely popular right now.

Brenda's suggestion wrt hiring on as crew might be very useful for learning more about how the Caribbean charter market operates. We've met many sailors who have come to the Caribbean as tourists, loved it and decided to relocate there, live on their boat and charter to support themselves. Most of them were not successful. A tough place to make a living.

Good luck.

Jeanne
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 03:21 AM   #9
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post

Antigua and Barbuda is no longer a colony of the UK, but rather an independent state within the realm. I do not believe that your EU status will help you with regard to working there, but I could be wrong. I believe that the only "colony" left to the UK in the Caribbean is Anguilla - if it still is. Great history, that island. Its history was reportedly the inspiration for the book/movie "The Mouse that Roared" (it wasn't - the book was published more than 10 years before Anguilla's "native uprising" - but it could have been).
British Oversease Territories (colonies) in the Caribbean include Anguilla, but also BVI, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and Turks and Caicos. Seeing that as a Canadian I can't work in the U.S. (USVI), the islands right next door become attractive as an option.

I assume you've been to Antigua. It's a great place to run charters, Antigua has hundreds of beaches and some beautiful coves, its sister island, Barbuda is, according to my in-laws, just gorgeous, and for excitement you can take people to unfortunate Montserrat to see what a volcano can do to a country and culture. Montserrat is just a night sail away from Antigua.

I am quiet familiar with both Antigua and Montserrat, and love both of them for their own characteristics.

Although I agree that cats are becoming more popular, there are a number of things that are shying me away from them. First of all, I am tall (6'4"), and there are very few cats under 43 ft that I could stand in, and those then become quiet expensive. I have a much, much broader choice with sailboats. Secondly, as you are aware, cats do not do well upwind, which would mean more motoring, which increases operating costs. The offset to that is of course that theoretically one can earn more income with a cat. I still wonder though if the depreciation on one versus a sailboat offsets the additional income. Again, this is the type of feedback and discussion I would like to have with current operators.

Brenda's suggestion wrt hiring on as crew might be very useful for learning more about how the Caribbean charter market operates. We've met many sailors who have come to the Caribbean as tourists, loved it and decided to relocate there, live on their boat and charter to support themselves. Most of them were not successful. A tough place to make a living.

The one advantage I may have is that I come for an area that has survived the recession quiet well, with many well-heeled people living here. I am well connected in the community, and would spend a significant part of my marketing right here. To give you an idea of the market, a friend of mind operated the number one CruiseshipCenter in Canada in my home town. Not totally the same market, but it is indicative of the potential here. Also, I am also only 4 hours away from Ft. McMurray, where the average income is in the low 100's. A lot of oilsand workers go south for holidays, and again, I have some connections in that area.

I am not trying to bury my head in the sand... I suspect there are challenges I am not aware of, and again, those are the ones I am trying to determine. Saying it's a tough place to make a living is one thing, but why is it a tough place? Operating costs? Lack of clients for enough weeks? Regulatory issues? Other?

I do appreciate all input.

P.S. Does anyone know why this forum won't allow for more than one quote in the body?
__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 05:53 AM   #10
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avonbusse View Post

From Canada with dual Canadian and German citizenship; the dual German allows me to work in any EU country, including colonies in the Caribbean.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but an EU passport, or even British-EU passport, does not entitle you to live and work in British overseas territories. Britain is in the EU - her overseas territories are not. In fact, even those closer to home, such as the Channel Islands are outside the EU.

As for France, it depends on the territory's status.

The French terrritory and colonial system is complicated. In general, there are COMs (Collectivités d'outre-mer) and ROMs (Régions d'outre-mer).

A DOM (Département d'Outre-Mer) is, quite literally, a part of France with exactly the same laws; the citizens are French nationals; they are part of the EU and use the Euro and send representatives to the French parliament. There is no legal difference, there just happens to be thousands of miles of ocean between.

A TOM (Territoire d'Outre-Mer) is more akin to what we think of as a colony, although remaining very integrated into France. They may have different laws and customs, and enjoy much more autonomy of government. However, they still send representatives to French government and are still 'owned by France'

The difference is not so well-known even amongst the French but, what it means is that as an EU citizen you have the right to live and work in France and therefore the DOMs but not to areas outside France, i.e. the TOMs.

Check the status of the place before trying to set up shop there.

Bad news? Maybe, but better to get it now rather than later.

Aye // Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

Yes, now that you mention it, I did know that Montserrat was a colony, but since little is happening there, running a business from there is a non-issue. I just don't think of Turks & Caicos or Cayman Islands as part of the Caribbean, and if you were considering eastern Caribbean chartering, they would not even be destinations for you. And you had excluded the BVIs from consideration. However, as Stephen on Nausikaa states, your EU passport won't allow you to operate out of there anyway. The French islands of the Caribbean are a DOM, so you can work in those islands.

My experience in the Caribbean extends back more than 30 years, and it's only recently that we have disentangled ourselves from the Caribbean boating scene - we sold our condo down there just before this last recession - so I was talking about making money in the heyday of chartering.

If you haven't done it already, I think that the best market research you can do is to charter a 2 or 3-day crewed vacation on one of the monohulls to give you a better idea of how the charters are run.

In looking at The Triton a bit closer, I see that they have a forum, and you might want to browse through it. Though it doesn't seem to address your questions, you might find someone there who can give you more advice. Triton forums

Oh. Two ways you can insert multiple quotes into your post. First would be to click on quote reply, setting up the entire topic you wish to quote from, then editing out the extraneous wordage and inserting your replies in bold, or italics, or even a different color. That is one way. The other is to use the "insert quotation" icon above (balloon icon next to the "insert email" envelope icon).

Good luck.

Jeanne
__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2010, 03:53 PM   #12
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but an EU passport, or even British-EU passport, does not entitle you to live and work in British overseas territories. Britain is in the EU - her overseas territories are not. In fact, even those closer to home, such as the Channel Islands are outside the EU.

As for France, it depends on the territory's status.

The French terrritory and colonial system is complicated. In general, there are COMs (Collectivités d'outre-mer) and ROMs (Régions d'outre-mer). ....

....

....The difference is not so well-known even amongst the French but, what it means is that as an EU citizen you have the right to live and work in France and therefore the DOMs but not to areas outside France, i.e. the TOMs.

Check the status of the place before trying to set up shop there.

Bad news? Maybe, but better to get it now rather than later.

Aye // Stephen
I was NOT aware of the differences. Thanks for the heads up, and definitely I will investigate further. My prior information was that with an EU passport, that colonies (or whatever they are called now) were accessible. I should have added the Dutch colonies (ABC etc) that I thought were included, but again, I will look into that.

This is the type of things I would hope to discuss with existing operators, as it can make a difference on plans. Agreed, better to find out now then later.

__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2010, 09:51 PM   #13
Ensign
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Default

I am a charter agent and get this question all the time.....

What size & model of BOAT are you plannning to charter, and how many crew......captain only? Captain & Chef, or more? How many guests will you be able to accommodate? That will answer the most important q;uestions as to whether you can make any kind of living chartering.

Thanks,

__________________
sailorgal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2010, 09:55 PM   #14
Ensign
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorgal View Post

I am a charter agent and get this question all the time.....

What size & model of BOAT are you plannning to charter, and how many crew......captain only? Captain & Chef, or more? How many guests will you be able to accommodate? That will answer the most important q;uestions as to whether you can make any kind of living chartering.

Thanks,
We are looking at a ~40 ft 3 cabin mono (cats are too much $$$, and yes, I am aware of all the arguments pro multi for charter). Crew is captain and chef; so that means at most 4 clients (2 couples).

__________________

__________________
avonbusse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charter


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bukh Dv-18-Me Running Cold zerubb Engines | Propulsion | Generators 3 06-08-2010 08:03 AM
Replacing Running Rigging - Need Help Waterdog Rigging & Sails 6 11-01-2009 02:11 PM
Xxxxx Boat Charter, Mallorca - Very Bad Experience corrado General Cruising Forum 3 08-28-2009 05:10 PM
Running Off To Join The Circus........ duckwheat General Cruising Forum 5 05-24-2007 03:39 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0