The replies so far may seem negative, but sadly that's because the project
you outline can very easily be a journey down the boulevard of broken dreams.
It is possible to make a go of being an owner/skipper, and niche marketing
is the way to go - there's no point taking on the big "corporates".
But, at the prices you mention for the boat, it will not be new, and maintenance
, renewals and repairs
will probably be high as a result. Nearly everybody new to this business fails to realise just how much maintenance
is involved. That means out of season too. And if you have a major breakdown and a string of charters booked what then? That has broken more than one business of this sort that I know of. Remember, too, that if it doesn't work out you now have a boat that has been chartered and will have depreciated significantly in the eyes of a private buyer, no matter how unfair this may be in regards to the time and effort you've spent looking after her.
Don't underestimate fixed costs like insurance
- I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in the UK our insurance
costs increased massively (x 10 roughly) between 2002 - 2006 as insurers moved out of the market leaving only a few brokers who could charge what they liked. If you are not working full time, then these costs will form a significant part of your weekly rate, which is why most charter outfits have to work such long seasons to defray them.
costs money - whether you go through a broker or do it yourself. If it was as easy (and cheap) as just having a presence on the web, then everyone would be doing it.
You have to be ready and able to fix everything and anything any time of the day or night, and be ready to go first thing the next morning. Most people will be forgiving of the odd glitch, but rapidly run out of patience with anything greater than that. And you have to go, unless the weather
is really, totally atrocious - the first thing you learn is that your guests have booked to go sailing/diving even though you might think it's madness to do so.
Finally, you've got to love people - it's amazing how many charter skippers find that they don't.
It can be a great life, but the pitfalls are numerous and the rewards (at least financially) are astonishingly poor. It's no surprise that many skippers end up hating the very thing they loved most when they started out - going to sea.
Why not try and get some work with an established business as a skipper
first, and see how you like the work? And if it's obvious then that it's the life for you, then the very best of luck to you.