Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-01-2013, 11:23   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Islamorada, FL
Boat: Wharram Tangaroa 35'
Posts: 3
Checklist for starting 6Pack Sail charter business

Hello,

we just bought a 35' Wharram Tangaroa catamaran to live-aboard and charter every once in a while.
We have been looking up boat/safety requirements that we might need to start a charter business, but seems we keep getting different information.
For example, some websites say we need to have an EPIRB and some say we don't.

We already have our 6pack captains license (and doing our masters next month) and have the Twic card.. etc. now we just need to figure out how to outfit our boat and get any paperwork we need done

I was pretty much just hoping to talk to someone to have started a small sailing charter business to give me an idea of things i need to have ready.

Also, does anyone know of a good insurance company that covers just liability (not the boat) for a charter boat. and does anyone know about how much insurance will be per month/year?


any and all help would be much appreciated...

Thank you
__________________
Gnatahi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2013, 11:42   #2
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,188
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Checklist for starting 6Pack Sail charter business

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnatahi View Post
Hello,

we just bought a 35' Wharram Tangaroa catamaran to live-aboard and charter every once in a while.
We have been looking up boat/safety requirements that we might need to start a charter business, but seems we keep getting different information.
For example, some websites say we need to have an EPIRB and some say we don't.
Life jackets for all, adequate liferaft space, an EPIRB with would be loved by insurerers.. individual EPIRBS adored..

We already have our 6pack captains license (and doing our masters next month) and have the Twic card.. etc. now we just need to figure out how to outfit our boat and get any paperwork we need done

I was pretty much just hoping to talk to someone to have started a small sailing charter business to give me an idea of things i need to have ready.

Also, does anyone know of a good insurance company that covers just liability (not the boat) for a charter boat. and does anyone know about how much insurance will be per month/year?
Panteaneus are the best I know.. what their Charter coverage and rates are I don't.. sorry.. but they're just an e-mail away.
A touch dearer than some but the VFM you get when the **** hits the fan is worth it..
Satisfied customer..


any and all help would be much appreciated...

Thank you
Congratulations on your Tangaroa.. love Wharrams..
Welcome to CF mate
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-01-2013, 12:31   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,908
Re: Checklist for starting 6Pack Sail charter business

Whew, lots of work ahead of you...for not much money...but hey it can be fun none the less...beats working at Wal-Mart.

Ive been involved in the start-up of a couple of small sailing businesses (and a number of non-sailing businesses), both in the USA and abroad, but it has been a while since I lived in the USA so best for you to verify current regulatory details. Others here hopefully can chime in on current Federal and Florida State regulations.

This is likely to be a conversation not just a check list (a small book could easily be written on this subject, but not by me, at least not today...).

The business fundamentals of a small sailing business are not that different than any other small business so I am assuming we will limit the scope of this discussion to sailing biz specifics. But, keep mind, if you don't have these fundamentals right then you are not likely to be financially successful.

Re boat. Where was your boat built? This is important because if foreign built will need an MRAD waiver to run charters. Also, has it ever had a foreign registration?

Re Boat Ownership. How is the boat titled? There are some advantages to having it owned by a company for commercial use...such as liability limitation. Important note: if you do transfer ownership of the boat for business purposes then be sure and discuss this with the Florida Dept of Revenue before you do it. If you go about it the wrong way they may want to collect sales tax from you.

Depreciation. One of the biggest tax advantages of a boat in charter service is depreciation. A 35' Wharram is not a high value boat, but every little bit helps. Discuss this with your accountant. (Oh yeah, hire an accountant -- you can cost yourself way more money than their fees by trying to DIY your business taxes. Mine, who is expensive, has paid for herself many times over).

Re legal requirements, go directly to the source for legal requirements and ignore the buzz and misinformation you may read elsewhere. The USCG defines and enforces regulations for vessels...not some Internet site where you may have read some stuff. Contact the USCG for your District (7) and ask. I have always found the Coasties to be helpful. Visit USCG Seventh Coast Guard District. It is important to contact your USCG District because the Commander of each district has some leeway in how he choose to interpret some rules -- you want to know the official interpretation for your District.

You will be operating as an "Uninspected Vessel" so the bar for legal/safety requirements is much lower than for an inspected vessel. The Federal requirements are not hard to meet for a boat in this classification (like PFDs, fire extinguishers, etc...) .

Re EPIRB. When I was running charters in the USA there was no requirement for an EPIRB, that may have changed of course. Ask USCG to confirm current regulations.

Re Insurance. Getting commercial-use insurance for a small, lower value, vessel can be an expensive challenge. This will almost certainly be one of your larger expense items. Years ago, in Florida, I used to use Wiseley Marine Insurance of St. Pete as a broker. In more recent years, I have used ORM (Offshore Risk Management) with good results. Especially for commercial use, your insurance company will almost certainly want payment in full of the annual premium to bind coverage. Some may spread it out for you over a few months, but that's about the longest I have encountered.

Florida Dept of Revenue. Contact them and confirm current State tax regulations for charter vessels. I've know a few charter vessels who've gotten sideways with them in the past.

Charter Bookings. Don't try to DIY your own bookings if you are going to be out running the boat. I've watched lots of folks make this mistake. You will lose more money in missed bookings than it is worth. Don't avoid using brokers or agents because of the commission -- 80% of something is better than 100% of nothing -- just be careful of course that you choose your associates wisely...and don't hesitate to dump a broker/agent who is not producing or not doing a good job. If you want to actually make profit in the charter biz then you need to be busting your hump all the time, having a steady stream of inquiries and bookings is essential. If you just want to charter sometimes, and just defray some expenses and not make a profit, then not as important.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charter, sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

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




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:40.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.