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Old 16-02-2011, 17:05   #16
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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Regarding the backpacker transport business, you might want to look at this story. Seems the competition can get pretty ugly.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tml#post621059
sounds like a pretty bad fellow.

it doesn't sound like anything related to the business of backpacker transportation. He just robbed/killed the guys, for whatever reason, This is not exactly a mafia style operation where offing the competition is the way to get ahead in the business. There's no indication of what the back story is. If it was related, well, he's in jail now...

I think in any situation you need to be careful and watch who's toes you're stepping on (if any). It's not too difficult to steer clear of bad guys, but stuff does happen, obviously.... My thought of transporting backpackers is not exactly about 'running a business' but more just a thing to do to make a few bucks to feed the kitty. I know a lot of people are currently doing it down there. Its a very popular thing to do in Panama since there is no roads between Panama and Columbia. backpackers would much rather pay a few hundred bucks to go on little sailing adventure than fly in a questionable plane. And there are hundreds of backpackers in any given month during the season. There are many hostels and popular backpacker destinations. If you find too much competition, go somewhere else. The backpacking websites are excellent sources of information and you could [easily] build a client base online without ever publicly advertising your intentions locally.

It's been going on like this for many years.... that is a terribly tragic story, but I don't think its any different than keeping yourself safe in any other situation.
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:24   #17
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sounds like a pretty bad fellow.

it doesn't sound like anything related to the business of backpacker transportation. He just robbed/killed the guys, for whatever reason, This is not exactly a mafia style operation where offing the competition is the way to get ahead in the business. There's no indication of what the back story is. If it was related, well, he's in jail now...

I think in any situation you need to be careful and watch who's toes you're stepping on (if any). It's not too difficult to steer clear of bad guys, but stuff does happen, obviously.... My thought of transporting backpackers is not exactly about 'running a business' but more just a thing to do to make a few bucks to feed the kitty. I know a lot of people are currently doing it down there. Its a very popular thing to do in Panama since there is no roads between Panama and Columbia. backpackers would much rather pay a few hundred bucks to go on little sailing adventure than fly in a questionable plane. And there are hundreds of backpackers in any given month during the season. There are many hostels and popular backpacker destinations. If you find too much competition, go somewhere else. The backpacking websites are excellent sources of information and you could [easily] build a client base online without ever publicly advertising your intentions locally.

It's been going on like this for many years.... that is a terribly tragic story, but I don't think its any different than keeping yourself safe in any other situation.
Here is the caption under one of the photos:

Quote:
Authorities allege that Martin also murdered Jean-Pierre Bouahard, who ran a competing business aboard his 50-ft cat Levante.
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:46   #18
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Here is the caption under one of the photos:
They're just stating his occupation

I guess it wouldn't surprise me, I mean, murderers are usually pretty irrational by nature... I'm sure since he's been arrested and the two boats recovered, most of the facts will come out.

As mentioned in the other thread, there are (real)crazies out there, but they are not the average and (usually) not too difficult to avoid for somebody who keeps their eyes open. If this was more than just a robbery/murder (and it certainly could be) then I'm sure there is a lengthy back story that goes much deeper than simply offing the competition... Most business owners don't murder their competition, even in Columbia and Panama.
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Old 16-02-2011, 17:55   #19
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Its not always the boat that costs the most.. Maintaining it can cost 10-15% of the originaly purchase price- depending on your needs. So you will need an income stream to assist you.

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Old 17-02-2011, 00:10   #20
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I read a book once called The Water In Between. It's about a total noob who bought a 36' Ferro Cement boat, never sailed before in his life and didn't know anything about hull construction. He sailed the south pacific for a few years. Awesome book. Guess what happened in the end? NOTHING! The boat didn't sink, the hull didn't crack, nobody died....

just sayin.
I have a friend who had a neighbor on his dock that spent several years fixing up the boat then disappeared on his first offshore leg from Seattle to San Francisco.

The only people that write books about their experiences are the ones that survive.

The odds are a bit better with forethought, experience and practice.

That said I think the OP should go for it. I think he would be better off going for a smaller boat which would be cheaper to buy and outfit and then upkeep, might leave him a bit to live on and would be easier to learn on. I am dubious about the market for hikers willing pay to sail between hiking destinations when there are plenty of cruisers needing an extra hand for a leg or 2 that would be willing to take them on for the cost of food.
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Old 17-02-2011, 00:56   #21
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Unlicenced charter businesses in most parts of world would be illegal.

Can't do it in Aust/NZ.
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Old 17-02-2011, 01:17   #22
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Why do you need a captains license?

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The questions are pretty broad and general, so I'd suggest looking at some of the many existing threads on budget cruising and boats. Most of these are under the monohull subforum. A lot of your questions will probably be answered within them.

One other thought is you're going to need a captains license.

Oh, and ... welcome aboard.
For the canal....
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Old 17-02-2011, 02:08   #23
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For the canal....
No, the OP didn't mention carrying paying customers through the canal. I was referring to his remark about ferrying backpackers from country to country. If he leaves from the US he obviously needs the license. From other countries it depends, but as a couple other posters have pointed out there are potentially serious problems when operating without a license in foreign countries. I know people do it, but the OP seems to be fairly inexperienced in these issues so best to be aware.
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Old 17-02-2011, 03:52   #24
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I am certain that some "experts" will tell you that you can find what you are looking for. I will tell you that your budget and your expert-influenced expectations are out of line and reason!

You will certainly be one of the sinkings that we will hear about, or maybe not, maybe nobody will be near enough to hear you yelling because you are sinking and have no working communication.

There is nothing wrong with setting a budget and goals, except that in this and other forums you will find plenty of arm-chair experts who will make you think your budget and goals are achievable.

I don't have an arm chair, I am out here doing it, and I will tell you...can't be done with any safety for what you are expecting.

OK, experts, pile on!

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Old 17-02-2011, 04:27   #25
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Licencing and vessel standards particually safety - crew training, up to date liferafts, vests, radios, first aid, bilge pumping, water-tite compartments, etc, etc are all about consumer protection.

Might get away in some juristrictions but invariably will be breaking some laws.

QK to damage yourself but not a paying passanger.
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Old 17-02-2011, 08:12   #26
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Boats that are :

(i) under 35k
(ii) over 35ft
(iii) good enough to get into charter survey, and
(iv) good enough to sail to asia.

don't exist. You will have to rethink your parameters.
Go smaller (e.g. a Southern Cross 31 or Westsail 32) or spend more. Also be prepared to invest a huge amount of sweat equity.
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Old 17-02-2011, 08:39   #27
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Maybe not a sinking... maybe just stuck on the beach with a boat you can't finish coz everything thing turned out to cost more than you thought... then deciding to go anyway.
Happened to me once... bought a boat in the states and set to work... and guess what... exchange rates dived and my upgrade fund shriveled...
Sailed back in a boat with missing bulkhead and bad reputation to my certain doom (according to experts)... only a handheld gps, compass, wheelpilot(crap) and vhf... I made it but it was tough and could easily have gone the other way... but a lot of much better prepared boats came of as bad that year... survival is often a crap shoot.
What it comes down to is your abilities to cope all round... stamina, nav & seamanship skills and a healthy dose of survival instinct.. the boat will be fine if she's basically sound.
Not saying it can be done, not saying it can't.... that would be arrogant... there are folks who have and succeeded... and those that failed or sank....
what it boils down to in the end.... is you...
Regarding Charter... thats a fantasy chased by many... most that find it often fall foul of the authorities sooner or later...
"you can't keep everyone happy alla de time" someones gonna blow deon ya
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Old 17-02-2011, 17:45   #28
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I have spent a couple of hours a day for the last 2 years looking at sailboats.
Another boatholic here? Now that there are the two of us ... ;-)))

Valiant, Southern Cross, PS, Vancouver, Pearson, Rival, Laurin, to name a few.

But none of them is above 35' except the Pearson (say the 365).

None of them for charter business.

For charter business Bavaria Holiday.

But not for sailing to Asia.

b.
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Old 17-02-2011, 17:51   #29
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For the canal....
For insurance too.
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Old 17-02-2011, 19:25   #30
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If anyone can give me advice on the type of boat and length I should be looking at then that would be greatly appreciated. Any other comments or advice would also be sweet.
Let me suggest you read Twenty Affordable Sailboats To Take You Anywhere by Gregg Nestor and/or 20 small sailboats to take you anywhere by John Vigor.
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