You have to have your vessel inspected to charter in the Bahamas no matter what. You also have to pay a fee.
Just out of curiosity, what is the down side to having your boat inspected? If I was going to charter I would expect to have and operate a safe boat. Unless of course this inspection
was everytime I went into the Bahamas, that might get old.
I could also run something out of the Keys and go out to the Dry Tortugas
. Not sure what mooring
is like in the Keys but it's another possibility.
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.
For sure I would be accomplished prior to chartering. I will have my Instructors card within 6 months. I would probably spend a few months in the off season making some dry runs to the dive sites so I understand the winds, currents, timing etc. I would then start with some of my dive buddies here in Colorado. Offer them a cost only trip and go through the motions.
Thanks for the advice on Blackbeards, but I wouldn't be a guest on that operation let alone work on it. Nothing against Blackbeards but that is the opposite of what I would want to offer. Too many bodies on that boat, just a little too cozy for me, unless it was booked by the lonely wifes club. LOL.
As far as being a "Newbie", well you have to start somewhere. There will always be someone better than me at something. If they happen to get on my boat, I will hopefully learn something from them. I have dived with DMs and instructors that had poor skills and to be honest with you it didn't bother me. A certified diver has to take responsibility for themselves. It is not a divemaster's job to babysit divers. His/Her job is to brief the dive site, lead them if they want and to make sure everyone is back on the boat in a timely manner.
The day trips is a possibility too. Might be tough to hook up with those cruise
boats and they probably want a piece of the action. Different crowd too. But $400.00 a day pays some expenses if your not burning a bunch of fuel
All good stuff gentleman, I thank you.
BTW, 70 degrees today here in Colorado and 80 tomorrow but get this, Thursday and Friday.. MORE FRICKEN SNOW Highs of 40 degrees.. Our summers here are from June
Huh... starting to get the big picture here? LOL