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Old 26-01-2015, 09:22   #16
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

If making money is the goal- the easiest way to do it is just to be a salary man. Lots of boat Captains making 80 or 100k/year.

If your goal is floating around and having a good time, then just float around and have a good time. No need to turn it into work, especially if you have a $100k fixed income.

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Old 26-01-2015, 09:25   #17
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

I would give Charter House a call, and speak with Derek. He currently has 7 of my clients boats being managed/cleared through them. I would stick with multihull's as that is where the industry has shifted.

Home - CharterHouse Yacht Club and Derek's number is 919 730 4569

He's done a great job for all of my clients.

Kind regards,
Wiley Sharp
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Old 26-01-2015, 09:32   #18
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

You did say rough plan. Best of luck with it but you have one hell of a lot of research to do in the next two years.


I don't think you will find the buck going anyplace close to what you are familiar with. I am also not sure the
USVI have the ultra high class visitors?


Again, best of luck.
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Old 26-01-2015, 12:37   #19
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

I think it's a grand idea, get your licenses and legals together, buy a house, buy a boat. You are already ahead of the game.

Offer your boat for charter with a website, if you don't get many guests, you still have a boat to sail in a beautiful place.

About a beach bar, I can't comment, but hell you will be in a beautiful place having fun sailing and what can go wrong with that?

Hurricanes? I can be a naysayer too...
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Old 26-01-2015, 15:42   #20
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

I've lived in St. Thomas for about 7 years. There are successful charter businesses. If it were me, I'd buy a cat. There are just more people who will be comfortable on one.


As to the beach bar, I'd recommend settling for a waterside bar. Most of the beach bars are attached to hotels and resorts. There was a fabulous restaurant/bar in Red Hook called Big Bambooz, but the owners got tired of running it and sold it to a chain. Every time I drive by it is practically empty. They have a successful branch at the cruise ship harbor, but they can't attract the same business.


It is very seasonal here. I would be surprised if you can get insurance to cover you from September through October. Also, there is very little business during those months.


Maje
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Old 26-01-2015, 19:29   #21
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

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Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
I've lived in St. Thomas for about 7 years. There are successful charter businesses. If it were me, I'd buy a cat. There are just more people who will be comfortable on one.


As to the beach bar, I'd recommend settling for a waterside bar. Most of the beach bars are attached to hotels and resorts. There was a fabulous restaurant/bar in Red Hook called Big Bambooz, but the owners got tired of running it and sold it to a chain. Every time I drive by it is practically empty. They have a successful branch at the cruise ship harbor, but they can't attract the same business.


It is very seasonal here. I would be surprised if you can get insurance to cover you from September through October. Also, there is very little business during those months.


Maje
Completely agree.. there are a few spots in downtown STT that used to be bars and restaurants but are now sitting empty or are selling junk. Then there is frenchtown... some small, but awesome, restaurants/bars in that area.

Over in redhook you have a few options but the rents are sky high.

You may be able to find something up the hill but you better have a great view and awesome food.
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Old 27-01-2015, 01:17   #22
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

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I think if ultra-high end is your goal, you should probably take a look at what ultra-high end in the yacht business means.

I'm not sure that a 55' Oceanis is the answer to that question.

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ultra high end on the food side of things. you know, with cristal champagne, foie gras, lobster, and most of the clients would be ideally couples or small families.
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Old 27-01-2015, 01:21   #23
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Lots to think about. I should also comment that our goal was to really just offset some of the costs of having the boat, not really all that concerned about making a huge profit.

Ill be down this spring and probably scout out some locations for the bar, again I am not all that worried about that aspect.

ultimately we are really only interested in a monohull, because a cat while it would be a lot easier to get folks to charter, Im really only interested in taking people out who like sailing and like getting leaned over

Thanks everyone! yall are very helpful.
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Old 27-01-2015, 04:49   #24
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

Your in luck, I spoke with my friends next door that own one of the only water front restaurants in St Thomas. They are ready to retire after 27 years. Bring them a suitcase full of cash and they are willing to step down. I'm not kidding.

As for the boat I can help you with that as well. I am part of the management team of the most successful bareboat charter company in the USVI's. We actually need a new 48 - 50 foot 4 cabin boat now. You can put it in charter with us for a few years while you build up your restaurant then sail off into the sunset.

By the way buy the boat now, don't tell your banker your moving to the Caribbean they will stop taking your phone calls. Financing a boat once you are here is nearly impossible.


PS Welcome to the board and rock.


Jay
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Old 28-01-2015, 15:19   #25
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Re: Planning on moving to usvi to open a charter business- need advice

Good words for Rubikoop and 2Hulls and others. It's a business and yes, you can blow through a lot of money before you will know if you are doing it right. Landlubber ladies don't like monohulls. Sea going types, male and female, will go bareboat, so no chance to show off the culinary skills. I've sailed monos all my life but I charter cats (and have owned a charter cat). It's supposed to be a vacation, not a knock-down-drag-out epic sea voyage. Yes, you will need a Coast Guard master's ticket rated for the boat's Gross Registered Tons (not to be confused with its displacement). You will also need to be rated for both Power and Sail and you will also need an "Oceans" rating if you plan on visiting the BVI or any foreign destination. There may be a waiver for this in the VI area, I don't know. The Jones Act waiver ($500 application fee) is not too difficult for a cat because, in my opinion, there are no suitable ones built in the US for charter cruising, at least for a reasonable price.

Now having said all that, count me in. I'm looking for a Leopard 47 Power Cat or a Lagoon 500 Sailing Cat and reliable charter operator to put her with. Send me a message if you're interested. I've got the licenses. Jack PS: In the USVI they drive on the wrong side of the road with left-hand drive cars, or at least they did.
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