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Old 26-06-2006, 14:41   #16
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Originally Posted by CaptainK

Have you thought about chartering around the Key West area?

It's still in the US. It's also borderline along the Carribean & the Gulf of Mexico.

And when you and your wife needs time off. All you have to do is take a flight out of Key West. And head..say to the Rockies or the mountain range along the eastern seaboard states?!!

Something to look into. Maybe?
Key West is not a very good cruising area, IMO. Great weather, and Key West itself is a good base. But the cruising destinations are extremely limited. And unless you have shoal draft, virtually nonexistent.

Now if Cuba were to become available as a destination, that would change things considerably.

Almost anywhere in the Bahamas or Caribbean would be far superior, IMO.

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Old 26-06-2006, 14:56   #17

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To be clear, we do Biscayne Bay and Miami area in the winter... Key Biscayne, not Key West.

I'm not on here complaining about my job... just pointing out some of the more difficult parts, so the original poster could be aware of what the cons were... as he asked.

We do the USA because it's where my marketing tells me I'll get the best results.... so far... we are booked through July right now (and one week in August) without a single referral from a charter agency. Look for us on NY1 on the "Travel with Val" segment (5 boro's only) - we'll be on July 6th. In fact... if any of you are interested in working with us - picking up charters we have had to turn away since we only have one boat... please let me know. We plan to add an additional boat next summer. You just need to be able to have your ticket, keep your boat up to standards, and be gracious and accommodating to the guests.

Let me know...

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Old 26-06-2006, 15:27   #18
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Well, what you described is harder than I imagined to be honest, but it is doable. I'm thinking Campbell River as a base as I might compromise and get some of the trade for salmon fishing. Campbell River is a good jumping off point for cruising in the Desolation Sound area. A 40 foot power boat in the marinas there look small; the really large cruising boats show up here; mostly American.

The was a favourite haunt for Bing Crosby and Hope. Apparently a number of folks have their boat crewed there, fly in and cruise, while the boat is crewed back to their home harbour. Last year I met an 80 year old on a 55 foot power cruiser with his back up buddy of 75 lending a hand; they were from Chicago - as was their boat. Julia Andrews and her husband Blake Edwards often fly in on their Lear jet and cruise on their crewed boat. For fly fisherman, this is the home of Roderick Haig-Brown.

I think chartering out of a well known, but definitely small town coastal endeavour will get a better crowd (not as many druggies) than if I chartered out of Vancouver.

The advantage of Campbell River is that it gets better known every year; this may also be its downfall as every tenth vehicle on the Vancouver Island Highways is some American guy towing a giant boat on a small trailer; they are all Campbell River bound for salmon fishing.

I have contacted Transport Canada for safety requirements and watch keeping requirements for chartering; fortunately we have a marine institute here in North Vancouver where I can take the needed courses.

Here is a link to Campbell river for the curious; tab on the photo gallery and you will see why I think it is choice chartering country:
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Old 26-06-2006, 15:52   #19
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The only problem is if you forget that a business is a business and not just something that sounds fun. I like boating a whole lot, but I don't want to be in that business. You can enjoy your work and I think many people do not, but don't choose this business just because it sounds fun or could be easy.

There really are easier businesses to be in, but not that many things that are more fun. Everyone here likes the fun. The two don't have any relationship. Mixing up the difference is the course to trouble.
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Old 26-06-2006, 16:13   #20
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Good luck chartering that C27
s/y Elizabeth Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 26-06-2006, 17:32   #21

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Paul makes a good point (as he often does).
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Old 26-06-2006, 19:24   #22
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The guys that I know that charter and keep at it for years all have a few things in common. 1) They love being on the water and even if it is working, they choose that over the other alternatives. 2) They manage to separate themselves from the business. Some live on one boat, or land, and run another. Some break up their charters so they have time off for personal use of their boat.
For me the reality, when looking at the numbers, is Sean's friend has it right. Inspected vessel, daytrip, booze. Put 30 onboard at $40.- a head and you have a business. I know one guide who lives on his 40 foot sailboat anchored out in the keys, and runs his flats boat for guiding flyfishers every day he can book. He keeps every $. Another now pays other captains to make some of the trips. In the islands, everyone has a masters and good experience and they all need to make a buck. What they don't have is the boat. You can hire a captain for $60.- a day and shared tips.
Glad you are booked, Sean. What a lousy June. Remember you can always modify the business plan. We all keep trying to learn how to do it smarter.

We have met the enemy and he is us. - Walt Kelly
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Old 21-07-2006, 11:08   #23
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Alex Dorsey ( is sailing around the world on a Westsail 28 and does charter work as he goes. He scouts out the areas that he comes to, does blogs about them on his website, and attracts people who are interested in a taste of the cruising lifestyle. He seems to enjoy his charters, and his charters seem to enjoy their trip as well. He's on the Pacific side of Panama at the moment, and will be exploring South America before heading across the South Pacific.

Chartering is not, however, his ONLY source of income...
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Old 22-12-2008, 17:27   #24
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I don't know but the eco tourism thing might be a better bet. I think your clients may tend to be younger and a little less demanding. They are usually outdoorsy types and used to roughing it. Check out some of the operations in the Queen Charlottes and you'll see what I mean.Down south you could do the Belize rainforest thing.
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:09   #25
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How about this?

Plant yourself on English Bay Beach, Spanish Banks, etc., in a comfy lawn chair with a sandwichboard beside you that reads, "Wouldn't you rather be sailing?", in large letters, with details in smaller font, below. When we're at the beach, watching the boats sailing back & forth, invariably, someone says, "Man, I wish I were out there right now." And, of course, we all agree. I've looked at the charter ads in the Boat Journal, Pacific Yachting, etc., but most of the business names seem to change, leading me to believe that they are not the best venues for this. When my wife & I lived aboard our last boat, out at Sewell's, we used to take the odd dockwalking lookie-loo out with us, though not for money. Still, They'd invariably offer us money upon return - for fuel costs, boat upkeep, just to say thank you - and we'd usually settle for them picking up the beer/food tab, at that bar next to Troll's. It was really a win-win situation.
I often thought I'd anchor off our beaches, row in and set up a sandwich board, just like I suggest. That way, they can see the boat they'll be riding on & it's much more convenient. If the authorities don't like your positioning, you could always move to the RVYC or Burrard Civic. Personally, I'd think you'd be making a pretty good buck, mostly sailing the Inlet.

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