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Old 07-06-2011, 23:15   #1
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Ready for a new life

Ok, I need a new life. Left ocean 10 yrs ago and can't wait any longer to return. I have enough money to buy something like a Catalina 36 in the mid eighties year range in decent shape with around 20k left over. I have plenty of coastal experience, not recent enough to qualify for capt. license. Plan on getting experience as owner operator on my own boat for enough hours to qualify to take captains test or take a course to help. No residual income, in my mid fifties, healthy. Interested in offering intro sailing courses, sunset sails, day sails and adventure sails around west coast and channel islands. Surfing, snorkeling, kayaking etc. Also with Americas Cup coming to San Fran, would spend time there offering same and front and center spectator sailing for trials and races. I plan to market via internet and not really have home port, but sail around west coast from SF to San Diego. If home port is better for business, San Diego would be first choice, then either Channel Islands/Ventura area or SF. I love San Francisco. Am I delusional to think I could cover boat expenses, including maintenance, insurance and repairs and keep myself fed and clothed with enough left over for beer and wine and new bicycle tires once in a while? Not looking to get rich, just to live a simple life I enjoy. I have plenty of "people" experience and realize the eccentrics and expectations that goes with service industries. Is everyone out there trying the same thing? Are there those who actually are making it this way? Or again I ask, am I delusional? I just don't know how much longer I can keep on keeping on in my currrent existance. I would not hesitate if I were twenty years younger or the job market on the west coast wasn't as bleak as the media reports. A job some where on west coast near enough to a marina to live aboard, marina bound, is still a "restrictive" existance. Not necessarily looking for blind encouragement, I am ready and about to "just do it". Interested the myriad of obstacles that I know I haven't accounted for or a plain reality check. So come on all you CFers, I am a big boy, I can take it. Send the replies please before I "just do it". BTW, will probably just do it any way, sink or swim. Arrrgh, Now bring me that horizon.........
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Old 07-06-2011, 23:34   #2
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Re: Ready for a new life

Given today's financial outlook and loads of folks without a job - getting customers would be tough, especially since other people are already in the business and not doing so well.
- - Then again marketing has always been the secret to success. With excellent marketing you might be able to get customers.
- - Still, the costs of operating what with commercial insurance, boat inspections, licensing and local taxes, especially in California, trying to be competitive is going to be a challenge.
- - All of which amounts to it probably can be done but it is not going to be easy.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:35   #3
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Re: Ready for a new life

I'd say no. It sounds like you are just fed up with your current life/situation and want to do something fun but don't have much money to fund it and no real business plan. I use to advise clients getting into business for themselves and if you look at the success ratio it is quite scary. A small percentage make it even 5 years. Is this a business you have always wanted to create and have or just a way to make a living for as long as it works? To me it sounds like the later. Are you willing to sit down a create a business plan and run it by some experts? If not, I'd say you aren't serious enough about this and should wait until you are or find another outlet for your dissatisfaction.

Sorry for the downer response, but a business to just cover and expenses and provide a simple living hardly ever works. You really need to have a firm profit motive, otherwise you will be coming up short.
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