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Old 23-02-2012, 10:51   #16
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_mariner View Post
Excellent info, thanks for sharing.
You're welcome. I have an MRAD waiver on my cat. There is a relatively long waiting period as I recall (years ago), but the process was easy.
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Old 23-02-2012, 11:32   #17
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Belize,
How long was the wait for approval and what area or states did you apply for?.
Was this for the Wildcat?
Did you purchase the boat from the Bumfuzzles?
Did you ever actual use this boat for a charter business?
Did you have to do any equipment upgrades?
I gather that a US built boat would be easier permit wise for charter in US waters. Correct?
Thanks
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Old 23-02-2012, 13:27   #18
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Answers embedded below:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post

Belize,

How long was the wait for approval and what area or states did you apply for?.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
As I recall, the whole process took a few months. At the time there was a 30-day required public comment period (have not looked at current details). I applied for all US states except for the few (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii) that the agent was nice enough to warn me away from (probably easier for him too). Apparently in these states a protest was almost a certainty. Fortunately, I did not plan to work the boat in any of these states anyway. My waiver specifies all US waters except the above states with primary use expected in Florida and Texas.
The waiver limits passenger carriage to 12 passengers and commercial fishing use is not allowed.
Was this for the Wildcat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
Yes.
Did you purchase the boat from the Bumfuzzles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
No. Mine is a well-built 2000 model purchased in 2001.
Did you ever actual use this boat for a charter business?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
Yes, it went straight into charter use in Florida (No FL sales tax as a result) and has been, to some degree, in charter use ever since (captain-only). A combination of charter, sailing instruction, and cruising since 2001. She worked charters in Belize from 2005 until last year when we started an extended cruising break. Good layout for charters.
Did you have to do any equipment upgrades?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
Nope. The MRAD waiver per se does not require any upgrades to gear. This all falls under USCG rules. MRAD waiver or not the USCG safety gear requirements are the same. She was, and is, categorized as an uninspected passenger vessel (UPV) so the requirements are quite easy to meet (essentially the same as a recreational vessel with a couple of minor exceptions).

The requirements for inspected vessels are much more extensive and verified on-board by a USCG inspection team before you get your permit for the year. This inspection includes not only saftey gear, but on-board timed drills including fire-fighting and MOB. No passy, no tickey, no charters.
I gather that a US built boat would be easier permit wise for charter in US waters. Correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BelizeSailor
Dead easy -- none required for an UPV. Unless the regs have changed since 2005, there was no federal level permit required for a US built boat operating as an UPV in US waters. Maybe some local or state paperwork depending upon the venue. FL I know paid much closer attention to your related tax status and filings if the boat was operating in charter.
Thanks
Of course, now the waiver is somewhat of a moot point because the boat has not been in US waters since 2005. However, it might come in useful for re-sale (as might the Belizean registration...which is much tougher to do).
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Old 23-02-2012, 14:22   #19
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Thanks Belize. That's the best post on this topic ever.
So, the waiver is only for the "6 pack" boats and no such waiver exists for the larger capacities charters. Gotta be US built?
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Old 23-02-2012, 15:13   #20
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Thanks Belize. That's the best post on this topic ever.
So, the waiver is only for the "6 pack" boats and no such waiver exists for the larger capacities charters. Gotta be US built?
You're welcome, hope it is useful for you.

I don't recall the size/tonnage parameters for the exemption, but check the MRAD link I posted earlier, it should be specified there.

Not per se "6 pak" boats because they gave me a 12 passenger limit.
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Old 23-02-2012, 15:54   #21
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

There it is in your link


There are some basic requirements for a vessel to qualify for a waiver under this program:
  1. The vessel must be at least three years old.
  2. The vessel, when in service, cannot carry more than 12 passengers.
  3. The intended use must be to carry passengers only. Activities such as carriage of cargo, commercial fishing, towing, dredging and salvage do not qualify for this program. Sport fishing is permitted as long as the fish caught are not sold commercially.
  4. The vessel must be owned by a U.S.-Citizen.

What I'm guessing is that you need the next step up in Captain's license from OUPV as discussed in the earlier posts to add that 7th person. Is that the 100 tonner? Just wondering. Learning a lot here. Don't want to own one myself as a business but if I bought one where the paperwork was completed and approved then that wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Old 23-02-2012, 18:31   #22
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
What I'm guessing is that you need the next step up in Captain's license from OUPV as discussed in the earlier posts to add that 7th person. Is that the 100 tonner? Just wondering. Learning a lot here. Don't want to own one myself as a business but if I bought one where the paperwork was completed and approved then that wouldn't be a bad thing.
You would need at least an OUPV (aka "6-pak") license to get started. You could always start with that and upgrade over time. There are a bunch of "restricted" licenses now that might fit what you want to do and which have less onerous requirements (like "Charter Captain" for example). Just look at the USCG site for the plethora of current license types.

I hold a 100-ton license, as I recall the limit is tonnage only -- don't think there is a specific number of passengers limit from 100-ton and up (don't recall for sure) , but I used to legally captain a power cat which was USCG rated for about 200 passengers (inspected vessel at that passenger level). Now, I rarely run charters with more than 6 guests anyway (that's the realistic max for the Wildcat, but I do sometimes run larger groups on larger cats in the charter fleet here). Too many damn people on a small boat anyway.
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:24   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor

You would need at least an OUPV (aka "6-pak") license to get started. You could always start with that and upgrade over time. There are a bunch of "restricted" licenses now that might fit what you want to do and which have less onerous requirements (like "Charter Captain" for example). Just look at the USCG site for the plethora of current license types.

I hold a 100-ton license, as I recall the limit is tonnage only -- don't think there is a specific number of passengers limit from 100-ton and up (don't recall for sure) , but I used to legally captain a power cat which was USCG rated for about 200 passengers (inspected vessel at that passenger level). Now, I rarely run charters with more than 6 guests anyway (that's the realistic max for the Wildcat, but I do sometimes run larger groups on larger cats in the charter fleet here). Too many damn people on a small boat anyway.
Excellent info Belize.

The only other consideration I would think about is if the boat is mortgaged there may be restrictions on its commercial use by the lender.
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Old 23-02-2012, 21:04   #24
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Ex Calif is correct, that would be a commercial loan, could be an Small Business Administration guaranteed loan. Insurance will be different as well with a commercial exposure.

I don't have the nautical experience these guys do, but, at your age, I'd suggest you buy a Hobbie Cat and sail it and have fun first.

Study and learn, not only the ropes of boating, but business as well. Get some formal (maybe college) business courses. While that is not experience, it is the best way to gain the basic business concepts and skills you'll need to be self employed.....others who don't spend years acquiring the same level of knowledge and they may not get it all, so a formal education will help. Not required, but will really help you and things will go much faster.

If you want to live on a boat, buy a tub and live on it. Get a good living going first to build up your cash for the goal....living on a boat would probably help in that respect as well. You'll find out soon if your dream is still alive.

You'll need some experience on boats before you go to a bank. Maybe look for crewing possibilities and work on your mariner requirements.

Nothing wrong with having dreams, we all have them regardless of age, but you have an opportunity to build your life to make them happen. Dream big, think small and take it a little bit at a time. You'll get there!
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Old 24-02-2012, 07:31   #25
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Excellent info Belize.

The only other consideration I would think about is if the boat is mortgaged there may be restrictions on its commercial use by the lender.
You are venturing into a subject area, boat mortgages, with which fortunately I have zero experience.

Although like any other third-party financed venture I expect the mortgage company would place restrictions on the use of the vessel. If I were in their shoes I know I would.
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Old 24-02-2012, 07:39   #26
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

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Hi everyone! I am new to this forum but thought it would be the perfect place to find answers to the questions I can't find anywhere else. We just got back from the Strictly Sail show in Miami this past weekend where we got to tour plenty of beautiful catamarans and even got to sail one in a beginners course for the first time. I've been getting books at the library and searching online, and it just seems impossible to get the answers we're looking for. ...
Hey ColonelK, I think we've answered your questions and then some (maybe more than you wanted). Was this helpful to you?
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Old 24-02-2012, 22:48   #27
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Yes, I can't believe how helpful you all are. It's amazing that do many people would take the time to respond to this. Thank you all very much. I'm sorry I haven't been more responsive but I didn't expect such a quick response from so many people and am out of town for my cousin's wedding right now.

But I guess I should mention that this isn't necessarily something we plan on doing right away. At the earliest, we were thinking 3-5 years away but are still feeling it out. So while I currently have no sailing experience, we plan on going on a week long charter this summer to see if living on a cat, sailing one, and chartering it is for us. I know a week isn't long but it should give us a taste. Also, I expected there would be classes and tests and licenses needed and have no problem doing what it takes to get those. Though I admit I did not expect you need a year or more experience first. And I have a college degree in marketing so I'm hoping that will give me an edge in the business side of it. I just don't know enough about the specifics yet as they relate to chartering. I also own and run a separate business that we would hope and need it to get to the point where we can hire people and make extra income from it to help with the chartering/catamaran dream.

As for where we would want to charter from, we live in fort Myers actually, but would prefer most to be based in Florida somewhere, either south or south west Florida. Marinas and slips seem to be much more affordable in south west Florida. But if regulations and costs were too much to base in FL, I think we would be happy to consider elsewhere in the caribbean.

I think that answers some of the concerns and questions raised, but let me know.

Here is a follow up question for you all, I believe it was suggested that I get experience needed before buying my own boat, which I agree with because we need it making money to afford it. I think it was mentioned to join some of the crews that are sought on this forum as well. I checked out a couple of them and it seems teu don't pay, which is fine since I really just need the experience. But also they seem to always require years of experience. They often have a captain and just need crew so it seems to me they should be able to still use someone eager to learn like me. But it's a vicious circle that you need experience, this is a great way to get it, but you can't unless you already have that experience. Any thoughts or ideas on that?
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Old 24-02-2012, 23:39   #28
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

ColonelK, before you get too carried away with this idea I'd like to suggest some research on the business side. Since you have some marketing/business education you should appreciate the idea. I spend my career working as a CPA helping people like yourself get started in business so I can speak from a little experience. Go talk to some people doing exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it. Find out what size, kind and age of boat they are using and what kind of customers they are attaching. What's the mix of charters? How many daily, weekly, etc.? How many want a crewed boat and how many are looking for bareboat charters? My guess, and its just a guess, is that the market is flooded with boat owners wanting to do this sort of thing.

I know this is throwing cold water on your dream but you owe it to yourself to do the business research first. All the stuff about licenses, boats, living the cruising life, etc. is fine but if the business side doesn't work it doesn't matter.

And the part about finding some employees to run your other separate business, well I don't know what kind of business it is but that hardly ever works. Nobody knows and runs the business like the owner who has the investment in it.
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Old 25-02-2012, 00:16   #29
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

Bit hard to say without knowing the budget....
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Old 25-02-2012, 00:17   #30
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Re: Can we afford a catamaran ?

One of the greatest threads I have ever read!!!! Good on all ya!
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