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Old 03-05-2017, 15:55   #1
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Question Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

We are considering chartering our 2015 Jeanneau 409 for day cruises somewhere in the Caribbean. We are currently in the Exumas and will be in Puerto Rico in roughly 6 weeks.

Does anyone have any advice on what island would be easiest for a couple Canadians to setup a chartering business?

I assume insurance is going to be much higher due to the liabilities. I am just not sure what country is interested in having outsiders setup shop taking jobs away from the locals.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:51   #2
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

Just a shot in the dark, but being Canadian, you might find a better reception in the BVI's, though I would think that STT might be better if you wanted to market to the cruise ship industry. George
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Old 04-05-2017, 04:33   #3
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by gts1544 View Post
Just a shot in the dark, but being Canadian, you might find a better reception in the BVI's, though I would think that STT might be better if you wanted to market to the cruise ship industry. George
I would imagine BVI is fully saturated.

What does SST stand for?
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:01   #4
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by epiic View Post
I would imagine BVI is fully saturated.



What does SST stand for?


STT = St Thomas
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:10   #5
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

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STT = St Thomas
Interesting...

Of all the ports cruise ships go to, why would St Thomas be a good choice?
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:07   #6
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

at 2015 Jeanneau - and it is your boat.
I assume you love your boat. chartering would be the last thing it would do.
The value of your boat will decline rapidly - why do you think there are so many almost new Jeanneaus and beneteau's 's on the market at low prices ? they are the preferred boats for caribbean charter.

Charter Only if you limit your customers to people you know if you want your boat back in reasonable shape.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:15   #7
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

You mention day cruises in your question. Are you talking about skipper'd day trips only, or chartering your boat out bareboat?
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:29   #8
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

We chartered our cat in NZ. Tough and you have to really love answering the same questions and not care too much about your decks.

In addition the red tape was fantastic and inane.

My two cents, enjoy your boat and think long and hard before going through all the hoops to get it into service (and you).

Bareboat daycharters I'm assuming not, that would be insane. :-)
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:42   #9
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

Assuming you are a US Citizen, any of the US Territories would be my choice (St. Thomas, St Croix, Puerto Rico). My choice would be St. Thomas. At a minimum you will need:

1. Insurance that covers your commercial enterprise.

2. A Masters License acceptable to the US Coast Guard. I hear that in the USVI the Six-Pack has been expanded to allow eight paying passengers.

3. Equip and pass applicable US Coast Guard Inspections.

3. I would base out of Charlotte Amalie Harbour which is where the the cruise ships port. Anchoring-out in the harbour is free. There are many easy access places to pick-up passengers. Inexpensive party supplies (snacks, beer etc.).

4. Check with the Territorial Government regarding conducting business in the USVI just as you would in a mainland political subdivision (vendor's license, taxes).

5. See a lawyer about a business entity (LLC, Inc. etc.)

6. Stay clear of BVI Waters for day chartering for many reasons. By the time you sail to the BVI, customs in-and-out + fees the day is half gone. There is plenty to-do on St John and St Thomas.

7. Be prepared for head messes.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:00   #10
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

SORRY, airline jargon!

EIS = Beef Island (Tortola) / SXM = St. Martin

SJU = San Juan / STT = St. Thomas / STX - St. Croix
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:12   #11
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

Having been in the Caribbean for 3 years including a season around the BVIs for a season, I would never charter my own yacht out especially if it was as new as yours. Watching people motoring flat out down wind with no sails up, anchoring disasters and groundings. The only way i would do it would be skipper myself, taking guests out. Tiring, hard work and at times demanding but at least you would be in command of your own vessel!
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:28   #12
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Prairie Chicken View Post
You mention day cruises in your question. Are you talking about skipper'd day trips only, or chartering your boat out bareboat?
I would be the skipper and would take people out myself.

I would never put my boat in service with an agency.
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Old 04-05-2017, 13:07   #13
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

It's probably most to do with legality and licences. Not every boat that wants to day charter can set up a business or it would look like Thailand where there may be 1000 longtails trying to divide up 100 tourists.

Marketing in tourism is important. Where do you get your passengers? Open your own shop? Pay for play by tour desks?
Dunno how cruise ships work but that's all vetted I would think.

Sail down and ask questions.

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Old 04-05-2017, 15:16   #14
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

Have done it and it is a nightmare. Better putting it into charter with someone like Horizon. BVI probably the best and, if so, finding local (Belonger) partner is advisable.
To do it legally you need a Trade License among other things.
Good luck
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Old 04-05-2017, 17:44   #15
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Re: Chartering our boat in the Caribbean?

+1. Getting legal in a foreign country can be a serious PITA and consume a lot of time. Some venues more so than others. Been there, done that. I would plan on it taking at least a year.

Requirements for every nation are different.

Do some research and find a friendly venue for your nationality.
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