It seems to me your dream is similar to mine, albeit I'm 6 years further down the road.
I’m in FULL ADMIRATION of your plans to make a life change.
after all that is what I am doing. But yes! Being green is where we all start…
The posts are full of a wealth of information, but we must also consider that all posts are in good faith and the individual perspectives of the writers.
I am an engineer
with studies in several other areas that enhanced my business activities in a previous life. After years of dreaming about owning my own yacht, 6 + years ago I started to make that idea a reality. Rather than buying
an off the shelf production boat or a second hand “renovator’s dream”. I decided to build my "Room With A View" i.e. a live-aboard trimaran
. Much research
and knowledge had to be accumulated in a short space of time. Believe me its never-ending and draws one in even more as one progresses.
During the time of my research
into the various yacht building techniques and materials, I decided on a system similar to what Neel use and using what many would say the best materials. However, as time progressed, I became more and more inclined to build a catamaran
. When I assessed the cost of DIY SE Asia
, it became apparent that I could build 2 catamarans for the price
ONE off the shelf.. And when I consider 'customizing', the cost just goes UP.
The idea to build two catamarans really came about from the concept
to demonstrate and test the 'equipment' of my forthcoming business, i.e. for marketing
, and the extra space for up to 8 passengers in a “Luxury Charter” situation. One must remember that any yacht still costs to keep, maintain etc etc. My idea is not to become a sea gypsy
as some people choose. In my opinion there are better ways of living your dream.
Being an engineer
and hummmmm, let's say an inventor, to keep my costs down I am designing and will manufacture my own equipment
as well...... to cut that story short. I will soon release a new Brand name... all top quality gear
BUT lower in price
...Company motto being “Affordable Yachting” ...Sorry, I'm not actually promoting this on this thread... that will come later... and through other media.
Therefore, whilst my primary reason for me having two catamarans is for marketing
my new and up coming 'brand name' of yachting equipment
. I would still have substantial costs just to have them moored in a marina when not used.... Therefore, I intend to use them for ALL IN “luxury charters" with skipper
and helper. And with a bit of luck I’ll skipper
one from time to time myself…
This type of charter must have something unique about it... that will encourage those clients willing to spend $3,500 to $4,500 a day for a week or maybe 2. The marketing will necessitate getting some agents involved. Otherwise you risk becoming one of many who struggle to get the odd “passerby client” who is really only interested in a very cheap
holiday and probably can only afford a few days at a time…. So marketing is important.
So I started off with the intention to build a 40 tri, but ended up building 2/ 50 cats… they are 80% complete and due for launching in 6 months… In the interim I stumbled into developing another business…
I STILL HAVE an inclination to build a trimaran
, it will be 50’ to 52’… use the best materials and building systems… That tri will become my “Room With A View”. It will be just as hi-tech in every aspect as the cats will be. Designed more for safety
, comfort and live-aboard ability, while not neglecting performance considerations, like hydrodynamics and aerodynamics for better up-wind performance. Flat faced bridge deck
cabins just don’t it for me! Later this year we will start designing it. It should be slightly less in cost to build than the cats. Maybe we will build 2 at the same time as my partner loves trimarans as well. He also has the facilities and yacht building experience and knows how we can do it inexpensively as do I.
Any way back to your situation.
1. “Sell everything.”
I suggest you do that is stages, if at all.
2. “Finance a Neel 45.”
Neel has many good aspects, but hummmmm also a few less good as well. And financing
is like a mortgage so it may be good to look at other alternatives, perhaps similar to what I am doing, so that you own the boats out-right. Of course depending on you financial situation. For $550,000 to $650,000 its possible to build two tri’s, and state of the art.
3. “Do long haul charters in the Caribbean
as a private charter (if this boat really can do 200+ NM per day, that should allow a new type of chartering in the luxury as close as can be to big cats). Could I make Barbados
in 5 days out of Fort Lauderdale
I agree with some of the comments about 200 + NM… that may be possible on the odd occasion when conditions are perfect. Remember Luxury Charter customers are willing to fly to a destination
for their “adventure holiday”. And there are many places in the world that can offer a unique experience.
4. “Live on the boat. No cars, no home, etc... which means those expenses go away.”
Yes live on board is nice. But there are on going expenses which should be considered. I don’t claim to have all the answers but certainly I’m addressing some of the issues mentioned in this thread, especially in respect to income…..
“I am about to put together a cash flow sheet (at minimum 2-5 years to START in order to align finances and position, then into the soup so to speak).
I have looked at the amoritization schedule, insurance
cost, maintanence, crewing
, etc... and the numbers look pretty good. I don't think I would get anywhere close to rich, but the alternative is not anywhere close to rich on land. However, it assumes I could have a decent stream of business. Big questions are”
Yes, determine your financial status, find out how much money you can get together, without selling everything… and take it from there.
“1. is 40 - 50% utilization realistic? Could I book it to be makingmoney 180 days a year for example?”
Depending on where the intended charter business will be to some extent will play a part in how much time your boat is earning. Most locations are dependent on seasonal weather
changes, so there are high season and low season.
“2. As a private, can I actually get business? The big boys certainly have an incredible advertising budget
and well put together program which would be tough to break. However, I do not see them running the long hauls and it seems more of a motor
around the island touring affair rather than sailing.”
As a small operator, its probably good to get in with a group and do common marketing, agents are probably a good way to go.
Yes the “Big Boys” have big budgets!. Dream Yacht Charters has around 500 to 600 yachts worldwide in a variety of locations. In my part of the world they have about 30 to 40 yachts, that operate all year round, along the west side of Langkawi in Malaysia
to Phuket is from Nov. to Mar. Then they take 10 or so yachts to the east side of Malaysia
for about 7 months.
It good to note that that the eastern islands of Indonesia
has opened up to crusing and there are literally hundreds of sparsely populated pristine islands with excellent diving
I have a lot more questions, but I think that is a good start. Gotta get the dream rolling, or get a new dream!
No doubt you’ll have even more questions when you have gone through all the responces to your posting… As you indicated you are “green” i.e. very little sailing experience. My suggestion is to enrol into one of the many sailing courses. Personally I recommend doing an RYA Yachtmaster
course. This is one of the most widely recognised courses. These courses and are held in many countries, prices are pretty similar everywhere. They are also good because you get a week of sailing and a week of theory classes
for each of the different levels…. To do the whole course would take about 4 months… you would get heaps of sea miles and certificates for each level… By doing a fast track like this there is a good chance of getting a substantial discount for the course. Once you have reached Yacht Master level you would be qualified (on paper) to skipper a charter yacht and get insurance
. But, but, but, …. Experience is also VERY IMPORTANT…
Langkawi, is a good place to do the course, Langkawi Sailing School
is located here. Many people from many countries do the course here. Because accommodation costs while doing the theory courses is not expensive, which makes it an attractive place to get qualified. Practical sailing is live aboard while sailing. Some people split up the course in different locations to get a wider perspective and see more locations, but I would suggest this will cost more money and take longer….
Bear in mind by doing a course like this you will actually get a better indication if your decision to pursue this kind of life style is the correct one for you… also it will answer many of the questions which come to your mind. I'm not affiliated with them but know some people who did the course with them and praised them perhaps just google
them and read more...