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Old 27-04-2008, 08:22   #16
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Thinking about this a bit more - the best dive "charter" I ever went on (ok, I have not done a lot! - not really that bothered about Diving to spend really good money on Charters) was in the Philippines, forget exactly where .....1/2 a dozen punters, a couple of open boats driven by locals, off for a couple of dives in the afternoon and then stopped on a beach for a BBQ and a few beers next to a driftwood fire. Mr Host had a light touch, not in your face jollying things along - but keeping conversation ticking along. Miss Host did much the same........a really laid back experiance far greater than the sum of it's parts.......that has obviously stuck in my mind
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Old 27-04-2008, 10:02   #17
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David, the funny part is when I read this, I was thinking about the *guests* needing to provide references! ha ha



That's how I see it.

I don't have trouble filling the seats on my charters (good marketing). I have trouble keeping the crazies off the boat.

And... Dan's expectations are definitely right in line with all guests' expectations. They can understand a small flub up here and there, but that's it.

Oh, and another thing they expect: Infinite water. They'll take showers like you've never seen, emptying your water tank">fresh water tank in 2 days on a week long charter, even when they think they are conserving. I think that is my biggest problem, aside from lack of sleep. People are very wasteful, even when they think they are conserving. I had people go through 120gals in 2 days taking "short" showers where they though they were conserving water. They just don't "get it" when it comes to living on a boat, because they don't typically have one and have never lived on one. Plus, our socieity is very wasteful, so you can't really blame them, but that's another thread! ha ha

Oh yeah... one more thing to think about: The boat.

If you are doing a dive boat (rather than a sailboat with a couple aboard), you will have to learn the ins and outs of getting your captain's license and how to run an "inspected vessel" (dealing with the USCG's inspection program).

I say all the negative so you can be aware of it, not to convince you otherwise. By alll means, proceed... but these are the pitfalls.
Sean,
Screen the passengers...that is pretty funny! I wish I could do that at work!

David
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Old 27-04-2008, 10:07   #18
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You will have the worst boss in the world. He will over work you and under pay you. He will make you wash dishes, clean up other people's spew, wash their soiled bedding and extract various unmentionable items that they will jam into marine toilets.

He will insit that you cook like a courdon bleu chef and be the most gracious host in the world, putting up with the most atrocious behavior from the most disgusting land lubber types that you could hope to never meet.

When he finally goes broke he will give you the flick without batting an eyelid. Forget about 401k contributions, severance pay, workers compensation and medical benefits.

If that's the kind of guy you are willing to work for, go ahead but don't say you weren't warned.

Cheers Cisco.
Gawd you are so right Cisco. Being a licensed boat captain is the definition of being a jack of all trades. Additionally, people expect you to be a master at all those trades.

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Old 27-04-2008, 11:41   #19
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BOOM!!!... sound of bubble bursting.

Actually thanks... I asked

Sully, I have read many of your posts and have come to respect your opinion. Just curious what kind of charters do you do? How many people on board? I would only have a max of four people on a charter. I also figured I might need a deckhand/ divemaster to help with the diving part. Both me and my wife are excellent cooks and as far as food goes, that is the last of my worries.


You guys are all throwing great stuff at me and that is exactly what I asked for. Not to be argumentative but I would like to address a couple of your concerns and please shoot any holes in it that need to be.

USCG...inspections... I would get a six pack license as I wouldn't ever charter to more than 4 people at a time. No inspections with that license.

Wastefull people....mmmm only have to deal with 4 at a time, maybe encourage the romance of showering together..... wait a minute, that could turn into a disaster. I guess you just have to reinforce the value of fresh water.. BTW don't water makers replentish a holding tank?

A few of you brought up the interviewing of the clients. Don't laugh but I think if one structures their marketing to appeal to a certain type, one maybe able to weed out some of the riff raff. As I mentioned before, my experience with scuba divers, especially the ones in my age group (53) are alot mellower when it comes to drinking. If a problem does arrive, is walking the plank still applicable?

Oh yes.... I saved this beauty for last. The old arm up to the elbow in someone elses poop.
Whatever the cost of ANY tool that will snake a toilet out.. I will gladly invest in.

You know, I have been on dive charters and I can honestly say, I didn't expect 5 star cooking. I was fed three good meals a day with a variety for breakfast and I was always satisfied. Cooking for me is a piece of cake, I love to do it and with planning and preparation I don't even look at it as a chore especially if there is a BBQ involved. In any case, after a slow start to this thread, I really appreciate all the negativity, I mean all the great advice. No seriously thanks for the input.

Bruce
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Old 27-04-2008, 12:14   #20
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...none if you keep the vessel under 100 tons.
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Old 27-04-2008, 16:58   #21
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Thanks, Bruce. Very kind. Not many people would respect my opinion, so I'll take one where I can get one!

Here are some answers, now that you're working with reality...

I did overnight week charters for couples and small (max 4 persons) families. We had a lot of great European guests, some great Americans and some ugly Americans.

No inspection needed for the OUPV (six pax) license.

Think of me when you are "reinforcing" the short shower thing. Think of me when you run out and have to waste lots of power running your watermaker... ha ha! Seriously, this was the most aggrivating part for me. But... it's part of the job.

As to weeding out riff raff: I charged a pretty steep rate. I figured it would keep cokeheads and drunks off. Boy was I wrong. The "new money" types, who made some recently or did not come from a long line of family money were the ones to watch out for. The "real estate rich" were the worst. They were just riff raff with some money. The truly ultra-rich or rich by family (like our Swiss Bank manager guest, a tennis pro) or the poor working class people treating themselves (cops, artists, etc..) were the best guests of all.

The "new money" people thought they were gods, probably because they had been lowly people their whole lives and now was their big chance to be a hotshot. The people with no money were thoughtful and kind. The ultra rich were quiet, reserved and also kind. You do meet a lot of interesting people in the business.

Ahhh... the tool to remove the clog... lol You have to take apart the head, full of water, pee and whatever else, take the hose off the head and use something to unclog it. There is no tool because clogs happen after the pump or inside the pump. Once you have pulled it apart, you are already in up to the elbows. ha ha

If you are prepared for the downsides, the upsides are good. It's just important to be ready because those downsides are big.


Quote:
Originally Posted by S.I.T.S. View Post
BOOM!!!... sound of bubble bursting.

Actually thanks... I asked

Sully, I have read many of your posts and have come to respect your opinion. Just curious what kind of charters do you do? How many people on board? I would only have a max of four people on a charter. I also figured I might need a deckhand/ divemaster to help with the diving part. Both me and my wife are excellent cooks and as far as food goes, that is the last of my worries.


You guys are all throwing great stuff at me and that is exactly what I asked for. Not to be argumentative but I would like to address a couple of your concerns and please shoot any holes in it that need to be.

USCG...inspections... I would get a six pack license as I wouldn't ever charter to more than 4 people at a time. No inspections with that license.

Wastefull people....mmmm only have to deal with 4 at a time, maybe encourage the romance of showering together..... wait a minute, that could turn into a disaster. I guess you just have to reinforce the value of fresh water.. BTW don't water makers replentish a holding tank?

A few of you brought up the interviewing of the clients. Don't laugh but I think if one structures their marketing to appeal to a certain type, one maybe able to weed out some of the riff raff. As I mentioned before, my experience with scuba divers, especially the ones in my age group (53) are alot mellower when it comes to drinking. If a problem does arrive, is walking the plank still applicable?

Oh yes.... I saved this beauty for last. The old arm up to the elbow in someone elses poop.
Whatever the cost of ANY tool that will snake a toilet out.. I will gladly invest in.

You know, I have been on dive charters and I can honestly say, I didn't expect 5 star cooking. I was fed three good meals a day with a variety for breakfast and I was always satisfied. Cooking for me is a piece of cake, I love to do it and with planning and preparation I don't even look at it as a chore especially if there is a BBQ involved. In any case, after a slow start to this thread, I really appreciate all the negativity, I mean all the great advice. No seriously thanks for the input.

Bruce
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Old 27-04-2008, 20:04   #22
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Seems like almost everyone here with the exciption of Pelagic really has little or no personal experence in the week long charter bussness,
Pelagis is right on in my experence 100%

I ran a dive charter bussness on my Alban trawler from Palm Beach to the Bahamas for 10 years doing over 100 weeks as Dive charters in the Bahamas , I only remember one clinit who was hard to live with , mostly beacuse she wanted to prove she was more of a man than the other guys onboard.

What I have found is most people want to have the best time of there life for that week and most of them do! People save up all year to come and spend a week with you , most are in a great mood and very happy to be aboard I never allowed smokeing/drinking so that helped.

I dont know where a lot of you guys get these "bad" customers but I dont have that problum.

I give them 2 meals & a snack a day Breakfast (simple) and lunch/dinner and wile its not 5 star it not bad , in the Bahamas I would never bring any meat of any kind - and caught, speared or just picked up the food right out of the ocean , it was fast and easy to get fish, counch, lobster if you knew where to look , so the food was fresh and good and cost me nothing.
I never had any troble finding a nice woman to come along and be crew,cook and that female energy seems to help keep things smooth in many ways, to this day I have never had to pay for help, other that there food and expensies.
I say go for it , its not anywhere near as hard as I hear some of the guys saying and if it is really that hard on them then there doing something very wrong, .
I never use a broker and got all my bussness thru word of mouth or website , no cost there, so the costs can be very low if things are paid for and the profits can be nice, not to mention its a great lifestyle

Water has been a challange at times , but I have no water maker .. YET, I dont really need one where I am now.
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Old 27-04-2008, 20:43   #23
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Not to discourage you but:
1-Extremely competitive and cut throat
2-Check out commercial liability insurance and similar costs
3-Check out MARKETING expenses, no marketing means no guests
4-It is the "hospitality business" and you are going to be entertaining all comers, no matter who, what, or how they are, all day every day. Kinda like a greeter at WalMart, except you have to buy your own vest and not curse when someone drops a nice weight belt on what used to be your fiberglass deck.

I give the folks who can do it, great credit.
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Old 27-04-2008, 20:49   #24
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Thanks Ram! I was beginning to wonder if maybe I had taken too many happy pills as a kid.

Sully is correct that “sh*t happens” but it also does in any job.

Where else can you find a job with people being predisposed to having a great time doing the stuff you enjoy doing in your spare time? Much better than being a Dentist and no commute!

When you get lots of repeat business and word of mouth references then you know you are doing things right and for the discriminating customer who puts his safety and vacation dreams in your hands, like Sully says, you can charge a bit more and have a good life.
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Old 28-04-2008, 19:14   #25
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Once again, I thank you all for your honest and valuable input. I am minimum a year out on this adventure and need for a few things to come together before I can move forward. There really is a lot to consider. I am not in a position to retire as my investments will need another 10 years to mature. Selling my home and trading the equity for a boat is well... possibly foolish but then so is being unhappy commuting to work on packed freeways with a bunch of idiots who could give a rats ass about anyone other than themselves. I hate to sugar coat it like that but...you don't really want to know how I feel.

My favorite times are getting up to Wyoming or New Mexico where I can fly fish. I love that serenity. If I can't do that I would prefer diving off a boat somewhere. Here lies the appeal. I can have the best of both worlds. I would love to throw an eight weight fly rod at some bone fish or tarpon in the morning and dive in the afternoon. All the things I love to do revolve around boats and the water.
I spent 12 years in San Diego with a lot of time on my boss's fishing boats. 28' whaler, 36' topaz and a 42' invader. We took customers out on the weekends and during the winter the boats were in Cabo... those were week long trips. The good old days.
I have kept all of my deep see fishing equipment and wasn't sure if I would ever use it again but I am glad I didn't get rid of it. I'm starting to ramble but just wanted to share those feelings. (sorry guys, we all have a feminine side).
Hope I can make it work.

Bruce
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Old 29-04-2008, 01:58   #26
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Bruce,

Not to second guess you or anything but why stay in the rat race?

It boils down to trading your time at work for your stuff. I certainly don't know you or anything about your life but if it's that bad just dump it.

Go work at a fly fishing camp in Wyoming. The money will suck but then again, maybe you don't need the "stuff" you think you need.

Sorry if I am overstepping a line here...
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Old 29-04-2008, 06:28   #27
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Hey I have an idea. How about I go live on a boat and have the ability to do all the things I love. My life isn't "bad" but I do get very tired of the proverbial "rat race". I am just trying to find a way to supplement the monthly expenses while living the boat life.

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Old 29-04-2008, 06:53   #28
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Hey I have an idea. How about I go live on a boat and have the ability to do all the things I love. My life isn't "bad" but I do get very tired of the proverbial "rat race". I am just trying to find a way to supplement the monthly expenses while living the boat life.

Bruce
I think you're on to something there Bruce. I would suggest that you get a boat and spend some time living and cruising on it. Get your instructor rating and then get a job working on a dive boat for a while. I'm of the opinion that the Captain needs to be the expert. What happens if you have an experienced dive Instructor charter the boat? He or She isn't going to respect 'Capt. Newbie' who just bought a boat and had a dream but isn't an expert on the area, an experienced dive master/instructor, and experienced Captain. You'll know when you have the experience to start running charters because you won't have many questions left to ask about how to do it or what it would be like. Now that I think of it, Blackbeards runs sailing/diving charters in the Bahamas and they are almost always looking for help. That would be a great way to get the experience without having to buy the boat yet.
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Old 29-04-2008, 07:46   #29
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[jzk - that is what I was referring to, they have a couple of dive shops they work with and arrange (via VHF or phone) pickup at the ship, I've been on those dive boats a couple of times. But the ships are in harbour for such short periods that a catamaram daysail with dive is out of the question; even with a fast dive boat and a 30 minute trip to the dive site a 2-tank dive is cutting it mighty fine.
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Old 29-04-2008, 07:53   #30
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[jzk - that is what I was referring to, they have a couple of dive shops they work with and arrange (via VHF or phone) pickup at the ship, I've been on those dive boats a couple of times. But the ships are in harbour for such short periods that a catamaram daysail with dive is out of the question; even with a fast dive boat and a 30 minute trip to the dive site a 2-tank dive is cutting it mighty fine.
I hear what you are saying, but I have done several Catamaran trips off of cruise ships. Of course, these are 60 ft day charter type catamarans, but the guests still pay $89 for 4 hours, or $139 for 8. Take 6 people snorkeling for a bit, serve them drinks afterwards, play some island music while everyone dances, and then they are gone forever. Maybe even sell them trinkets and photos. Have the wife learn to do those hair braids that they sell for $10 per braid that only take 4 minutes to do. If you could net $450 for the day, that wouldn't be a bad take to help the cruising lifestyle.
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