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Old 12-01-2019, 12:04   #16
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

We've been doing deliveries for 30yrs. We charge $450/day + all expenses from the minute we walk out of our door til' the minute we return. We charge half rate for lay days beyond our control (mechanical/weather).

We have never had an issue getting our rate but we did learn very early on, you can't get money from a sailboat owner. We deliver powerboats only.
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Old 12-01-2019, 13:04   #17
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Advice for starting a delivery boat business

Advice? Don't deliver sailboats to make money.



You will get on boats with "clean" surveys only to find issues. You will get on boats with issues on the survey that were fixed- sometimes by boat yards- only to find things the repair broke other parts of the boat because of poor workmanship. Usually this happens with first time buyers. You will board a boat that has not been used in 1-2 or 3 years and then be expected to run it non-stop on a delivery. Then when stuff breaks, people will turn to you.



Then of course, you are expected to navigate perfectly even when the chart plotter has ancient charts and the paper charts look like they were hand drawn. When the owner-crew gets sea sick, it is you who pulls the extra shifts.



Like @boatpoker said, sailors are notoriously "frugal". Best example? I got undercut on a job by someone who advertises here. Then the owner called me back rather sheepishly from Tortola when the person bailed because it was taking too long and his girlfriend/crew was seasick. While not at boat poker's rate, I am never the lowest bid. I cannot justify working as hard as one needs to work to do a delivery right, with the associated risks and responsibilities- for a peanut butter and jelly.

Oh yeah. If ANYTHING happens on a delivery, when the ---- hits the fan, the Master of the vessel has a front row seat!



So why do I do it? I love the challenge. There is nothing like the thrill of helping a new sailor trim the sails on his new-to-him/her boat the first time. It is infectious!
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Old 12-01-2019, 13:35   #18
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

I've hired a few captain's over the last 9 years. The first had 400,000 miles and many, many, ocean deliveries. The second was a Greek, who had spent 25 years as a charter captain in the Aegean. The third was a guy on Findacrew who had done about 20,000nm on several sailboats but hadn't been a full time captain.

The first two charged $150 or 150 euro respectively per day. This is pretty much the going rate for the Caribbean and Med for jobs that last more than a week. The third guy was paid $1000 per week for a seven week job.

The first two have been successful as a lifelong profession, but still don't make a whole lot of money. The third guy will struggle to get jobs - most likely always. I've never met a captain who bragged about how much he was knocking down monetarily wise.

As Forest Gump said "Dream, but don't quit your day job"

As an aside, my daughter who is 22 left today to do a Yachtmaster program at UKSA on the Isle of Wight. It takes 14 weeks to complete and when done she will test with the RYA and then get a commercial endorsement through MCA. She is an advanced under water diver and has done about 6,000nm with me on many overnight deliveries. With that, when she get's her Yachtmaster she will need to work for at least a year or two as deck hand, bosun, and first mate before someones going to let her Captain their $$ boat. Again, the facts are that it's a bitch to make much either as a captain or doing deliveries.
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Old 12-01-2019, 13:53   #19
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

Would you really want to be responsible for someone else's boat for what amounts to chicken feed?
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Old 12-01-2019, 14:18   #20
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

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Would you really want to be responsible for someone else's boat for what amounts to chicken feed?
Dozens of trips in same Fleming 55 Chicago - NY City - Montreal - Miami - Nasau.
60' Sea Ray Toronto - Miami
41' Lagoon power cat Lucaya - Antigua
68' custom trawler Antigua - Corpus Christi
55' Californian Beaufort NC - Toronto
55' Regal Toronto - Duluth ......
57' Carver Midland, ON - Charleston

Hell Yeah !
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Old 12-01-2019, 14:24   #21
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

I preferred getting two thousand a day catching fish on a 200' boat, but that's just me.
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Old 12-01-2019, 14:29   #22
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

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Would you really want to be responsible for someone else's boat for what amounts to chicken feed?
Fortunately, I don't have to. But I am responsible for my own boat for free. Actually it cost's a hell of a lot.

As to the question, you should go on findacrew some time. There are hundreds of people looking to captain for chicken feed. IMO, it's not that bad of a gig. You get paid housing and food while seeing the world and doing something you love.

One last thing. Someone mentioned getting insurance to cover you. I don't know the in's and out's of that from the Captains side, but none that I hired had insurance, and my insurance covered the boat during their periods of command. What else is needed?
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Old 12-01-2019, 14:40   #23
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

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One last thing. Someone mentioned getting insurance to cover you. I don't know the in's and out's of that from the Captains side, but none that I hired had insurance, and my insurance covered the boat during their periods of command. What else is needed?
Sharon and I do not have delivery insurance. Part of our contract requires that our qualifications are submitted to the underwriter and they approve our control of the vessel. We have never been denied.

No underwiter is going to issue insurance to a delivery skipper that covers all vessels and all itineraries.
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Old 12-01-2019, 17:04   #24
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

"All in all, the soundest, least troublesome and least expensive policy is to just buy a boat and consider the expense of ownership the cost of having a hobby. The acquisition cost should be considered "sunk cost" :-)!"

I think Trentepieds missed the point of the OP's inquiry; he is inquiring about becoming a delivery Captain, not taking up sailing as a hobby.
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Old 12-01-2019, 17:24   #25
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

I will try to answer some of the questions

1. I will be doing this part time even after I retire.
I do not expect to earn a lot of money.
$4,000 to $8,000 per year before I retire
$20,000 to $30,000 per year after I retire.

2. I have talked with 6 Delivery Captains in the past few years.
They were located in Florida, NC, Maine and SC.
They all said about the same thing
Expect about $150 per day as a mate and about $300 per day as the Captain.
Plus a one way ticket home.

3. I have done 1 delivery as a mate last summer.
2 days was paid $150 per day.
The Captain used his own chart plotter and told me he always carried his own because he can trust it.

4. The way I figure it instead of spending $150 per day on vacation I will be earning $150 per day as a mate.

I say part time but I will be spending time finding the delivery work.
You know hanging out at yacht clubs and bars doing marketing.
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Old 12-01-2019, 17:26   #26
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

Absolutely agree that yacht brokers should be the first place you go. I passed on many boats because the brokers involved were not prepared to organise delivery. A few thousand is neither here nor there when it comes to having a boat delivered to where you want, or as a cost to getting your boat sold.
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Old 12-01-2019, 17:49   #27
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

I've been toying with a similar idea for retirement. Thanks all for the sobering reality check.
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Old 12-01-2019, 19:58   #28
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

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Thank you for the offer but I am not ready for ocean trips, yet.

Since I am still working full time and I do not have ocean experience, my plan is to do 1-2 deliveries along the US East Coast per year until I retire in a few years.

The USCG 100 Ton training classes is a way to get to know people in the boating business, in my target market NYC Area.
I will be conducting my next class in March in Bridgeport CT.

My day job is a project engineer doing advanced process control, controlling temperatures, pressures, levels, etc. in heavy industry.
I am also the groups trainer, conducting training classes for our new employees all over the world.

So I have years of experience training people on technical subjects and the USCG approved training company that I work for, hired me based on this experience and my personality.
If it’s of interest and you enjoy doing this part time.
I think you are on to a good opertunity, working on a part time contract with a recognized USCG training company.

This will answer the why’s. Let the school have the headaches of marketing and organizing course.
Trying to set up on your own and establishing a reputation would be more a full time job.p
I believe the market is there and with recent changes coming from Manila 2010 and later IMO requirements. The ability to challenge commercial certificate exams is going to end sooner rather than later. The market will get stronger.
Student ussualy like to have a one stop shopping so a recognized school doing all the course required tends to have an advantage.

Fitting courses into work schedules is also a big attraction.

If you find you get opertunies for deliver trips. Looking at it as a pleasure or adventure for no cost or modest remuneration rather than a money making venture. Is the way to go.

I used to instruct for 100 bucks a day. I never did manage to convince my wife I was actually working.
She was right I was doing it because I enjoyed it.

What current rates are I wouldn’t know.

Instructing a commercial course. Pays quite well. Probably not quite as well as your day job. certainly worth your while.
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Old 12-01-2019, 20:04   #29
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

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Thanks to everyone for your comments.

....


4. The way I figure it instead of spending $150 per day on vacation I will be earning $150 per day.

... ...
:
Hey go for it. FWIW, $150/ day is high for a mate. As other posted there are guys who will “captain” a delivery for $200!

Never thought of deliveries as a vacation. I get done with a vacation rested and relaxed. At the end of a 7 day delivery I take a few days off, to catch up on sleep. And getting used to sleeping for more than 4-5 hours. Even my mate(s) are dragging a bit at the end of a delivery.

Do a few more before investing in making this a regular gig.
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Old 13-01-2019, 06:24   #30
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Re: Advice for starting a delivery boat business

I'm not sure I'd want someone delivering my boat that was viewing it as a vacation. I would want a serious professional that paid attention to getting the boat where it's supposed to be when it's supposed to be there with no screw ups. You want to relax on a boat buy your own.
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