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Old 08-08-2012, 16:40   #1
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Day Charter in the Caribbean

Getting ready to buy a 420 Lagoon and situate in the Caribbean. For supplemental income and to keep busy, I was thinking of doing some day charter. I am an certified diver and experienced kiteboarder. My wife is a great cook, too.
Any advise on permits and license? Good and bad situations?
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Old 08-08-2012, 17:35   #2
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

A number of licenses and certifications need to be obtained, for a "charter captain".
1) USCG - Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel; OUPV (6-pack license). You need 360 days of sailing/boating, of which 90 days spent during the last 3 years. There are tonnage and coastal waters issues that will need to be addressed. Proof of time must be submitted; USCG forms need to be filled out;
2) A medical exam - USCG form;
3) A drug test - USCG form;
4) FCC license (there is an exam for that) - FCC form;
5) TWIC - Homeland security background check (personal appearance for evaluation);
6) A boat safety course/certificate;
7) Current certifications in CPR and in First Aid;
8) Commercial insurance coverage for your boat;
9) Registration of your boat - for commercial use, and
10) USCG exam (multiple choice questions - boating and seamanship).
This is NOT a complete list of licences and certifications needed, but it is the road you must take to charter your boat per USCG regulations. Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2012, 17:51   #3
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Thanks. The only scary part is the insurance
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Old 08-08-2012, 17:53   #4
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

To me the only scary part would be having day charterers aboard my boat!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 17:53   #5
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Do most of these small countries have their own rules? Special permit to solicit business on there territory?
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Old 08-08-2012, 18:00   #6
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
To me the only scary part would be having day charterers aboard my boat!!
Elaborate please?
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Old 08-08-2012, 18:02   #7
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

A lot of you are in the Carib, and must be doing something. I can't just sit around drinking. Sorry to be so lame with the questions, but would really like some imput on day to day activity.
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Old 08-08-2012, 18:20   #8
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Day charters wouldnt be too bad as compared to overnighters.... been there done that... it can be a little tedious.....
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Old 08-08-2012, 19:49   #9
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Caribbean's a big place, and each country has its own laws, where exactly do you plan to run charters?
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:50   #10
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re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
A lot of you are in the Carib, and must be doing something. I can't just sit around drinking. Sorry to be so lame with the questions, but would really like some imput on day to day activity.
For BVI (biggest market probably) you need a trade licence and work permit. Neither will be granted automatically and day charter licences are harder to get than term charter. Expect to take 9-12 months to get them both.

Don't try and do it without the licences as when they catch you they'll take your boat, impound it in the highest charging marina in the territory and lock you up while deciding whether to deport you.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:53   #11
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Re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
Elaborate please?
Every time I think hear of something like this I think of the cattle boats that load up a bunch of people that have never seen the water, pump margaritas into them, take them "Sailing" with the headsail and both engines running, and drop them off back at the dock and scrub the sunscreen and other stuff off of every surface that can be touched........
Fine if it's what the boat was built or bought for, but not for a boat that is your's.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:08   #12
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Re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

So much for that idea. Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:08   #13
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Re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

The cruise ships and hotels control this business in the islands as they have all the potential day sailors. It is difficult to join their listings. They do all the scheduling and control access of their passengers and guests. You will have to meet all USCG regs to charter in US islands. Non-US islands each have their own regs. A non-resident who will compete with locals will have difficulty starting a business. I once did a day trip out of St. Thomas on a small sailboat that I signed up for in a hotel. It was not the typical head boat, only 4 passengers and two crew (captain and cook). We went over to St Johns for the day. The Captain paid a fee to the hotel for her listing.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:13   #14
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Re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

I'm still laughing at what sailmonky said. Maybe I'll write a novel or do some charity work in Haiti.
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Old 09-08-2012, 18:00   #15
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Re: Day Charter in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
Do most of these small countries have their own rules? Special permit to solicit business on there territory?
Yes, rules are different in every country. For example, in some countries they could care less if you have an license or work permit etc. In others, they will hold your feet to the fire on every little rule...and then make up new ones when you comply.

So, no one can answer your questions without knowing where do you plan to run charters. So, what's your intended venue?
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