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Old 06-08-2008, 13:45   #1
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GREENHORN QUESTIONS (bluewater sailing)

Hi Folks,

I'm new here, and thought I'd introduce myself. For starters, I have no bluewater sailing experience, but I'd sure like to get some. If there is anybody here that is looking for somebody to train somebody that they could hire on the cheap, please send me a private message so we could discuss the possibilities. I have carpentry experience along with the various tools of the trade, and I'd be more than happy to be hired on to do boat repairs, perhaps in lieu of payment you could give me some lessons and bluewater experience. I have studied celestial navigation as well, so perhaps if you'd like a custom course on it as well as a tutorial on the various celestial nav software availible for free, maybe we could work something out. I've built my own sextant and would be happy to build another one for you if you are willing to trust an amateurs craftmanship. Also, if you are interested in sharing boat ownership and would like to have a sailboat moored off the Pacific coast, either in the U.S. or Mex., or in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, or perhaps even the South Pacific islands somewhere - again, send me a private message. I am a U.S. citizen, by the way.

Anyway, my partner and I have been dreaming about possibly starting a charter business somewhere in the South Pacific for some time now. Right now, the plans are just dreams. But I was wondering if someone could answer some questions I have about some of the micronations out there. First, are there any micronations in the South Pacific that are friendly to foreigners, and in particular, USians, who wish to become expatriots of sorts and start businesses on their islands. Another question I have regards leasing land on one of the micronations. Does anyone have any experience with this, and or scuttlebut? For a chartering business, if I wanted to be the captain, would I have to have ASA certs?

Last, but not least, it seems my partner has suffered from seasickness in the past, is this a dealbreaker as far as chartering, or are there people out there that have overcome the problem?

Thnx to all in advance,
EXILIO3000
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Old 06-08-2008, 14:38   #2
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A lot of people think of this idea. Some of them try and some of them don't make much money. Others try and don't make any money. The ones that make money are few. If you don't make much money it could be fun so it helps if you don't really need the money. Finding enough customers to make money means you need to be where people that spend money hang out.

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I wanted to be the captain, would I have to have ASA certs?
In the US and it's territories you need a USCG Captains license to charter a boat for hire. In many places you only need a hat. Some countries may want you to have a visa to work in the country and some may require other official papers.

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Last, but not least, it seems my partner has suffered from seasickness in the past, is this a dealbreaker as far as chartering, or are there people out there that have overcome the problem?
Sea sickness is a condition resulting from the sense of balance in your inner ear being very confused. When it becomes too confused you are sea sick. Some rare people never get it but most people can get it once in a while at least. Others can get over it in a few days. Overcoming the sensitivity seems to be possible but not for all persons. My wife and I sail together and she can get it easily and I don't tend to get it at all. She found the electric devices that look like a wrist watch works well for her. These are actually approved by the FDA.
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Old 06-08-2008, 20:48   #3
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Welcome exilio3k - You sound like you have the target figured out and the research has begun. Immigration rules and operating businesses vary by country. I don't know of any that are particularly friendly over any other. I know people that do charters in Asia sometimes semi-legally.

Most countries will have rules in place designed to assure them that you will be a net add to the country not a net drain. Creating employment, bringing in tourists etc. are good things.

A well laid out business plan and demonstration of the capital required to start is sometimes required to get past the officialdom.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:49   #4
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Hey, thanks for the replies guys.

In regards to seasickness, I've read some good things about onboard gyroscopes that significantly increase stability. There are models designed for and tested on small craft, but I've never been able to find any for sale.

cheers,
exilio3000
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:15   #5
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To get where you want to go you need to get some blue water experience under your belt. There are several ways to start. Some start by taking an ASA blue water course, some by answering ads in the crew-wanted forums, and some by going to the islands and standing on the dock with their thumb out.

Trading for labor is a cruising tradition but to get started you need to be where the work is. Crew gets hired for two reasons; first because of reputation, i.e. they've worked for someone before, and second because of availability, i.e they're standing an the dock when the boat is leaving.

Everybody who takes an island cruise wants to jump ship and go native but of those that do very few are successful. The reasons are low pay and long hours, how does working 16 hour days for $8 a day sound to you?

Most islands don't consider sea experience as an importable skill. They want doctors, engineers and such professionals then businesses that will provide jobs for their residents.

If you want to run a charter business I don't see a captains license as the biggest hurdle, the major requirement for that is only 360 sea days, no, the biggest hurdle is business experience, finding work, handling money ( pinching pennies ), handling difficult customers, and learning when to say no.

If I were investing money in someone's marina/charter business I would be looking first as to whether they had experience in running a hotel. I could hire the other skills.
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Old 07-08-2008, 14:00   #6
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As to seasickness it depends on how severe your partner is affected and how motivate they are in finding a solution. Me, I get seasick every time I go out but after chum the waters I seem to be fine. During island hopping cruises I lose a lot of weight cause I never keep down my last meal leaving port but I've done fine in thirty foot seas when even the 'I don't get sick' crowd is down for the count. One really doesn't know until you've been out to sea for a while how you're going to adapt. Some are fine until the big blow comes, some, like myself, get over it quick and some take two weeks or more to adapt. I've met old salts who didn't like to go ashore because it meant a long period of re-acclimation once they were at sea again.

Two observations. One, people who stay below rarely get over being sick and two, everybody gets sick at some point if the seas are bad enough.
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Old 07-08-2008, 14:06   #7
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cruising from california through panama to east coast

We are planning to purchase a 47 foot motor yacht in California and would love to hear from anyone who has done the trip south from L.A. through the canal and back up to Florida...
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Old 07-08-2008, 14:25   #8
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As to seasickness it depends on how severe your partner is affected and how motivate they are in finding a solution. Me, I get seasick every time I go out but after chum the waters I seem to be fine. During island hopping cruises I lose a lot of weight cause I never keep down my last meal leaving port but I've done fine in thirty foot seas when even the 'I don't get sick' crowd is down for the count. One really doesn't know until you've been out to sea for a while how you're going to adapt. Some are fine until the big blow comes, some, like myself, get over it quick and some take two weeks or more to adapt. I've met old salts who didn't like to go ashore because it meant a long period of re-acclimation once they were at sea again.

Two observations. One, people who stay below rarely get over being sick and two, everybody gets sick at some point if the seas are bad enough.
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Old 07-08-2008, 14:43   #9
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I've met few people who do make living from chartering but if they have three things in common, they are all competent sailors with suitable craft and working the most likely places to secure paying guests.

I am not being disrespectful as I admire the goal and truly hope you achieve it, but suggest gaining more sailing experience is the best way to start.

Not everyone suffers sea sickness - but Nelson did and he got by just fine.

Good luck
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