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Old 28-10-2008, 19:10   #61
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John Drake and Sulli have told it like it REALLY is. I've been chartering since '02, but I don't do it full time or to make my living. I run three or four per season just to help with expenses. doesn't cost me much more (except insurance) to have folks on board once in a while, and its kinda fun, tho definitely work. I've drummed up all my own trade while back in the states over the summer, but if I was trying to run full time I'd most DEFinitely use a broker.
That said, this is a very economy-sensitive trade. Last year at this time I had three bookings and deposits. This year, with the same promotion, I don't even have a solid nibble! Let's face it, it depends on discretionary income!
Re-read John's posts - and it you still want to do it, go for it .... but don't expect to show much profit for your efforts or to even break even for a couple of years.
BTW - those who suggest getting a few boats of your own to charter out as a way to increase income need to go take a look at The Moorings, Sunsail, etc. Takes LOTS of capital, LOTS of staff, LOTS of advertising, LOTS of insurance, LOTS of maintenance experts ..... so forget that one!
Also better know your way around - REALLY know your way around - the area in which you plan to operate, including sources for fresh fish, ice, food, water, parts, restaurants, taxis ..... etc.
Have fun!
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Old 03-11-2008, 17:49   #62
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SITS you say
"Creating a website and finding ways to point prospective customers to it is not a difficult task"
Tell me how please my marketing is rubbish, I've spent a fortune getting my boat up to the 'Charter spec' for the UK boat was ready April 2007 I havent had a single charter yet
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Old 07-11-2008, 15:27   #63
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SITS you say
"Creating a website and finding ways to point prospective customers to it is not a difficult task"
Tell me how please my marketing is rubbish, I've spent a fortune getting my boat up to the 'Charter spec' for the UK boat was ready April 2007 I havent had a single charter yet
Well, I don't know much about marketing or SEM, but I do know design and usability.

Here's a few things:
  1. there's a broken link on your site
  2. contact info should be at the top of the page, or at least put a link to a contact page at the top
  3. I'd remove all the photo's and put them their own page.
    Then put just one or 2 larger photos on the home page.
  4. Left align the text. Much easier to read. Looks more pro.
  5. ad a page with the specs of the boat rather than linking to another site.
  6. Break the content of your site into separate pages or at least ad sub heads to break it up and make it easier to scan (ideally matching that blue or green that you're using.)
  7. Larger more stylized logo would def make it look more pro. Or maybe at least a large photo spanning the full width of the top of the page with larger knockout text over it.
  8. When you do ad more pages, put nav just under the head/logo either left side or across the top
  9. shoot better photos. The interior shots are WAY out of focus. The exterior ones would be nicer if they were shot on a sunny day with a blue sky. Also I don't think the blow ups need to be as big and maybe have them open in a pop-up, or at least a forward back arrow to scroll through all the photos.
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Old 07-11-2008, 17:18   #64
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Hi Grunzster
Thanks for your advice I will try to incorporate it and sort the broken link asap. SITS said on page one that he could get something to point to his website, any ideas what he means?
PS how do you get 5 stars with only one post?
Thanks again for your input.
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Old 08-11-2008, 15:19   #65
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No problem.

I'm not sure what he meant. Could be a lot of things. Maybe he was talking about SEM. Maybe a page specifically designed to draw traffic to your site. referral links on other site.

I don't have any stars. My empty stars just seem to be a slightly different color then the empty ones of people who already have a star...or more.
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Old 08-11-2008, 16:28   #66
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Ok, and now back to the original topic.

Some of these negative comments really have me confused.

I'm a total newbie, but have a rough idea of what I need to live on, based on tons of info from experienced full time cruisers. Granted some years will be more, due to something big blowing up, but then other years will be a little less so it will kind of even out.

First of all I plan on living on the hook as much as possible. That alone is going to cut a lot of costs.

I understand my expenses are going to be more than I'm thinking if I'm chartering due to higher insurance, more wear and tear on the boat, etc. I also realize it's just generally going to be harder than I'm expecting and that everyone with a boat is trying to do the same thing, so there is a lot of competition.

BUT...

There's a lot of comments about needing to work non-stop pampering guests to death.

Why? Just don't market to that type of people. Also have you noticed the insane prices the big companies are charging for just a bare boat. You get a full tank of gas and that's about it. No meals, no captain, no pampering.

If I charge a little less than the big guys, but provide tanks and a few meals, but no over the top pampering, people would still be getting much more bang for their buck.

Also, it was pointed out that most charters book only about 15% of their time.

Well based one my once again rough math and the above scenario that would be enough to cover all my costs even if I was making payments on the boat. And while only working 8 weeks out of the year.

Do day trips instead, and charge about $150/head, which was pointed out earlier is about the average rate. And you lower your costs more, by not needing to provide as many meals. Also a little less maintenance by not having people on the boat full time for an entire week. Then you can work that same 8 weeks and make even a few $k more per year, while only working a 5 day week.

I realize, I'm a total newbie, this is just rough math, and I'm making it sound easier than it really is. But it just seems a lot people in this thread are making it seem much harder than I imagine it is.

BTW - also ad some sporadic freelance work throughout the year for my current employer for a little extra cushion.
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Old 19-08-2009, 14:24   #67
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Hey all,

This thread has been really helpful to me. Really great. Thanks alot to all.
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Old 10-09-2009, 07:38   #68
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This is kind of a sad thread. A lot of negativity for what can be a fabulous way to earn a living when you luv the sea. Like any business you can do well or go bust. As a professional captain/crew/entertainer I love my job now. And you can make a lot of money at chartering if you want and know how.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:32   #69
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This is kind of a sad thread. A lot of negativity for what can be a fabulous way to earn a living when you luv the sea. Like any business you can do well or go bust. As a professional captain/crew/entertainer I love my job now. And you can make a lot of money at chartering if you want and know how.
Please...tell me how.

I need out of this cubicle NOW!
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:12   #70
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I need out of this cubicle NOW!

You and me both, buddy. See you in paradise!
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Old 10-09-2009, 14:30   #71
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You and me both, buddy. See you in paradise!
Hopefully sooner, rather than later.

I'm beginning to think it's time to try to at least make the move to Florida. That will at least be a step closer.
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Old 12-09-2009, 00:33   #72
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Originally Posted by Cacique View Post
SITS you say
"Creating a website and finding ways to point prospective customers to it is not a difficult task"
Tell me how please my marketing is rubbish, I've spent a fortune getting my boat up to the 'Charter spec' for the UK boat was ready April 2007 I havent had a single charter yet
I uselly have more charters than I can handle and would happly send some folks your way if your willing to do Italy, Croatia or Greece,
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:50   #73
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- - What everybody is basically saying is that if you are going to go into the "crewed charter" business you will be "working for your money." It will not be a "free source" of income. If you are a "people person" who is naturally happy (or appears happy) and have a personality that attracts people to you, then you can do well in the crewed charter business. Other aspects of the details and requirements to get into the business have been discussed ad nauseum. But they are important things that must be done and kept track of and financial record keeping, taxes, fees, etc. all add to the time you must devote to being an accountant.
- - However, the real key to success is having a "hook" into the market. Something that makes your presentation different than the "run of the mill" crewed charter operations. High end operations tout mega-service and 5+ star food. Lower end operations put out a "theme" to their operation running from literally "bare-boat" on to "party hearty" operations and others push eco-tourism; historical tourism; etc. all based out of the boat. Family orientated with special attention to entertaining the kids so that the parents can sneak off and re-discover the romance in their marriage. Once you have a "hook" you can reel in the customers. Without a "hook" you are competing with a very large number of "stock" crewed charters and you will probably starve.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:24   #74
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The charter business sounds very much like the restaurant business: Any fool can start one up and make gobs of great cash money. Except, what is it? 90% fail within the first five years?

In any "service" business, it is never EASY to succeed, unless you happen to be a really sharp people person, really lucky, with a great hook to distinguish your business. And, the business skills to make it work as well.

The only folks who swear up and down that it is easy to start any new business, are the ones selling tickets to seminars that claim to teach you the secrets. And they make their money selling tickets--not running the miracle businesses they endorse.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:57   #75
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Im not sure if you have to be really sharp-or lucky- I beleave you make your luck-I think an avarage person can do very well if the person works at it, and it helps alot if you really love your job! I started in Greece only about 3 years ago and im swamped to the point im turning down about 50% of the charters, in fact this winter I will be running an ad for folks like you wanting to pick up a charter here or there!

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The charter business sounds very much like the restaurant business: Any fool can start one up and make gobs of great cash money. Except, what is it? 90% fail within the first five years?

In any "service" business, it is never EASY to succeed, unless you happen to be a really sharp people person, really lucky, with a great hook to distinguish your business. And, the business skills to make it work as well.

The only folks who swear up and down that it is easy to start any new business, are the ones selling tickets to seminars that claim to teach you the secrets. And they make their money selling tickets--not running the miracle businesses they endorse.
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