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Old 14-01-2012, 20:38   #1
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Lightbulb Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

Thinking about making money on my new investment,
I would like to start up a Island hoping adventure with a half day fishing trip and snorkeling trip thrown in. I wish to cater for 6 people including 2 cabin crew members.
Only got my boating licence two years ago. Have the ideas but have heard to many story about other licence's you need not sure where to start or who to contact. But am will to live the dream, no matter the cost, Has anyone done this sort of thing and how did you start out and how is going now.
I have a 23ft Bayliner Ciera 2007. Wish to pay ot off with this part time business.
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Old 14-01-2012, 20:42   #2
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Re: Starting a charter in QLD Australia

Is the boat in survey for charter use....?

Also, is your ticket a commercial one....?
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Old 15-01-2012, 09:05   #3
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Re: Starting a charter in QLD Australia

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, FloatingFree.
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Old 15-01-2012, 09:18   #4
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Re: Starting a charter in QLD Australia

I ran a "six-pack" charter business for five or six years, taking tourists out to our local islands on a 30' Seasport Pilot (nice, cozy, rugged, small motor yacht, not really like a Bayliner Ciera, no offence).

Even though I charged US$700+, I made absolutely no money, didn't even cover costs. Mooring, insurance, taxes and fuel were very exorbitant. Another problem is that your hobby/dream becomes a job and you spend your time catering to individuals who may be mostly really appreciative but sometimes are, er, high-maintenance. And finally, you put a lot of wear and tear on your body as well as your boat.

I guess my advice would be to be careful what you wish for. If you can find a way to do one charter a week or so, perhaps dive charters or something where the passengers already have an agenda and are not depending entirely on you for 8 - 10 hours, then you can get a partial subsidy for your hobby and it will still be fun. Any more than that and it becomes a case of diminishing returns, and not just in terms of cash.

Hope this helps.

Nick
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Old 28-01-2012, 15:05   #5
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Re: Starting a charter in QLD Australia

Has not yet been surveyed, nor have i got a coxswains ticket, but these are on my agender for this year, Have done alot more research since I posted this query of mine. Have got the plan in place. Thanks Island Hopper.

In response to Nick My plan is to take the Le Naturist out to the Island's and Reef Tour, Camping on some of the Islands with in the Whitsundays. Most Naturist I,ve met are always willing to help out. I'm hoping to have 1 trip a month consisting of a 4day 3night trip. At the Start will just run it a social group for recreation purpose and will charge them for what it will cost me. maybe a little donaation my way for upkeep/maintance.
I keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks everyone

Todd
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Old 28-01-2012, 16:34   #6
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Re: Starting a charter in QLD Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingFree View Post
Has not yet been surveyed, nor have i got a coxswains ticket, but these are on my agender for this year, Have done alot more research since I posted this query of mine. Have got the plan in place. Thanks Island Hopper.

In response to Nick My plan is to take the Le Naturist out to the Island's and Reef Tour, Camping on some of the Islands with in the Whitsundays. Most Naturist I,ve met are always willing to help out. I'm hoping to have 1 trip a month consisting of a 4day 3night trip. At the Start will just run it a social group for recreation purpose and will charge them for what it will cost me. maybe a little donaation my way for upkeep/maintance.
I keep you posted on my progress.

Thanks everyone

Todd

Getting an existing boat into survey can be quite a task. Its often much easier to buy a boat in survey in the first place. No doubt you have been to the dept of transport website and researched the hell out of that so far.

While I am not trying to put you off, there is a saying that has been around for years. " How do you make a million dollars in the marine industry? Start with Two million dollars!" Its quite true for a lot of small startups that go in with a dream to be on the water, but without the knowledge of actually running a marine/tourism business.

Before opening my sailing school some ten years ago, I worked for a larger one on a meagre $20 ph for a year to get a feel for the industry. I then set my own up and remain financially the same to this day. But it was a nice lifestyle for three years and beat a real job.

Start looking for agents and work out their fees in the mean time. They will love taking your money, but you will need them to get you customers.
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Old 29-01-2012, 21:55   #7
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

What sort of thing am I up for in getting a boat in survey????? what the heck is it for anyway, I'm on the hunt for some answers,
I only want to run this part time business trip once a month on my break??
Social nudist group boating trip
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Old 29-01-2012, 22:01   #8
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

Todd, Run away now. save yourself the heartache. One call to waterways will tell you that a 23 ft bayliner(or any other 23 ft boat) does not qualify for survey. At least it didnt when i briefly looked at the rules 18 mths ago.

sorry to be so negative
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Old 29-01-2012, 22:09   #9
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

G'Day FF,

Listen to the above advice! GEtting the usual production small craft into survey is gonna cost you a bundle. Then check your insurance costs (you were gonna have insurance, weren't you??). If it was feasible everyone would be doing it.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 29-01-2012, 22:33   #10
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingFree View Post
What sort of thing am I up for in getting a boat in survey????? what the heck is it for anyway, I'm on the hunt for some answers,
I only want to run this part time business trip once a month on my break??
Social nudist group boating trip
Please don't take this the wrong way but your questions really show your inexperience and the fact that you only got your recreational boating license 2 years ago would make it difficult to get your Coxswains license unless you have a couple of thousand sea hours under your belt that you can prove.

It is also not as simple to get a Coxwains license as a recreational license. When I got mine the books to study alone were over a meter high.

Your other issue is that I don't think that the local tour operators and the majority of cruisers would take too kindly to a bunch of "naturists" running around the Whitsunday Islands.
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Old 29-01-2012, 22:52   #11
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatingFree View Post
What sort of thing am I up for in getting a boat in survey????? what the heck is it for anyway, I'm on the hunt for some answers,
I only want to run this part time business trip once a month on my break??
Social nudist group boating trip
I expect getting a 23ft Bayliner into survey will be extremely difficult.
Go to dept of Harbours & Marine(may be called Maritime Safety Old ) and enquire.

Vessel will be a commercial vessel.
Vessel will have to be surveved to conform to the requirements of the USL code (Uniform shipping Caws Code) :: National Marine Safety Committee ::: National Standards ::

Generally speaking its easier if vessel built to survey standard when built. (annual survey is required). I expect you would need a naval arciteck to approve plans of vessel if not built to survey and subsequently modify and be checked by authorised marine surveyer to comply. If vessel is petrol inboard I suspect will not comply. Outboards or inboard diesel are required.
Cost could be prohibitive.

Cheers
 
APPLICATION OF THE NSCV The NSCV applies to commercial vessels engaged in domestic operations.
In particular, the NSCV shall apply to
a) The design and construction of
i) new vessels;
ii) existing vessels subject to initial survey; and
iii) existing vessels subject to upgrade in survey.
b) the competencies of certain persons on board vessels ; and
c) operational practices on board vessels.
The NSCV may also apply to existing vessels that have been altered and existing vessels without change in survey status to the extent required by applicable legislation.
NOTES:
1. Commercial vessel, domestic operation, new vessel, existing vessel, initial survey, upgrade in service and alter are defined in Clause 1.8 below.
2. Design and construction includes arrangement, accommodation, personal safety, watertight integrity, construction, fire safety, engineering, stability and equipment.
3. Part B and the other Parts of the NSCV may also be applicable to non-SOLAS vessels engaged in international operations where a relevant National Authority has adopted them for such purposes. In Australia, the relevant Authority is the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).


Getting Coxswains ticket is the relatively easy part.
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:11   #12
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

The sad reality is, you're not going to get that boat into survey. Period.

I've had 5 boats in survey over the years when you could write off costs against their own income, AND your normal income. It was the only way I could afford to have boats I couldn't afford! Those days are gone.
In every case they were older boats that had been built to survey originally. That means first up they have to have a minimum hull thickness and your average private pleasure craft just doesn't get there. You will be required to cut a few core samples to be measured and tested if the boat wasn't inspected during construction, passed and given a number that gets glassed into the hull.
It's most likely your life lines/rail will not be high enough, or have enough strands. This is not as cheap to rectify as it sounds.
The amount of safety gear for 6 or 8 people on a 23ft boat will leave little space for anything else.... on the other hand your clients probably travel pretty light

The challenges of getting the right qualifications to operate for reward have already been mentioned.

The closest you'd get is to make friends at your local SunLovers' Club and get them to chip in costs for fuel, food etc in an informal arrangement, just as friends do all the time.
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:30   #13
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

Using your boat for reward or gain whether its by donation or not requires you to operate as a business/charter operation.

All of the above posts are totally correct.

What you are proposing is stuff of dreams and it's sad that you cannot do it as you wish. Lets say you set up at Bowen? Any legit charter operator running alongside your operation will want you to also run under the same guidelines and costs otherwise it would be grossly unfair to them.

Asia it may work for you others could advise but i'm afraid your pushing it uphill.

I've handed in my AMSA accreditation that allowed me to construct charter vessels to the USL Code which is the guide lines for all charter boats under Australian code. The above advise is all correct. Cheers mate :-)
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:40   #14
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post

The sad reality is, you're not going to get that boat into survey. Period.

.
+1 Unfortunately I do agree would likely be impossible.

Remember the problem with a Cairns Custom craft built in survey where lives were lost in Torris Straights. That means it is much harder in 2012 to survey a vessel.
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:47   #15
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Re: Starting a Charter in QLD Australia

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+1 Unfortunately I do agree would likely be impossible.

Remember the problem with a Cairns Custom craft built in survey where lives were lost in Torris Straights. That means it is much harder in 2012 to survey a vessel.
Have you heard anymore on the capsize up there where the woman drowned? Was it a wave??? Cheers Frank
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