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Old 16-10-2017, 16:59   #1
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Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Hi all!! Thanks to many of the wonderful people on this forum, after losing a boat we were about to purchase to Irma, I was about to give up on our sailing plans. But, we forged on and found another boat albeit it happens to be more than we had intended to spend - its larger and newer, etc.

Now we are discussing how to help out with the operating costs and my husband and I think that we would both really fit with hosting guests aboard. We have kind of done this in the past when we have invited non-sailors to share a bareboat charter...we end up doing the sailing and provisioning, etc.

I have done a lot of google searches to try to dig up information but I cant find much first hand experience. I assume we will have to keep our chartering services in the waters of selected islands and obtain business licences, required certifications, and insurance. Plus a website.. I would imagine this all adds up. Has anyone done this, or know about the requirements or have general advice? Our plan is an 'all inclusive' 1 week stay charged by the couple. Ideally 2 couples at a time. We sail and cook/clean.

Thanks in advance for your input!!! Also, if you have websites that would help, let me know!
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Old 16-10-2017, 17:20   #2
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

you might be able to glean some info if you join the group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/62587612802/
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Old 16-10-2017, 17:48   #3
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Been in the charter biz off and on for decades across several countries. Yep, it adds up...especially if you do it right, legal, first class service, boat in great condition, marketing, commercial insurance...

If you actually want to make a profit, then its lots of hard work, if you just want to defray some expenses then not as much, but your expense ratio is much higher if you are still doing it right.

What is the info you want which you are not finding?
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Old 16-10-2017, 17:57   #4
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

I guess first, I'm wondering if most people select one area ie: the BVI;s or the French islands, etc. and if there are benefits of one over the other. We are Canadian and I think that the US islands would be very difficult so we'd probably not consider those.
We just let go a Ltd company we had used for consulting work in the past and so would have to create another...is this right. To 'do it right' would include first of all having a ltd co. Is insurance exorbitant in cost and does it dictate a lot of what you do, who you host, etc?
We only want to host say 2 couples at a time, maybe with 1-2 older children and maybe do this for 3-4 weeks of the year in an all inclusive manner.
So, I have a lot of questions, but first off, I would like to understand the best location to base ourselves in when we are doing the chartering probably in February.
Thanks!!!
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Old 16-10-2017, 18:11   #5
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Yes, first you need to pick a venue. This will then drive you down the path of the other details. One where you, and your boat, can legally work makes it a lot easier.

So, my suggestion is first choose a venue then find out the details for that venue. All venues are different so that is one of the biggest variables.
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Old 16-10-2017, 18:18   #6
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Typically it works out best to operate under a corporate entity. One of the biggest reasons is liability limitation, in most venues your liability will normally be limited to the assets of the entity (unless you do something really foolish).

Insurance cost again may vary by venue, sue happy USA waters more, less litigous areas maybe less. Also can vary by number of charters. Some insurers will cover a limited amount of charters per year for substantially less than full time commercial use.

Number of guests or who doesnt really have any impact on insurance rates (assuming 6 PAX or less and no high risk activities).
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Old 17-10-2017, 04:53   #7
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, first you need to pick a venue. This will then drive you down the path of the other details. One where you, and your boat, can legally work makes it a lot easier.

So, my suggestion is first choose a venue then find out the details for that venue. All venues are different so that is one of the biggest variables.

And perhaps another big issue is about legal certification to take passengers for hire. Don't know what that's like in Canada, but here it requires a Coast Guard license... and the previous sea time (experience) required to qualify can be significant. (IIRC, 360 days on the water for the least rigorous license.)

Don't know how that applies to whatever sailing/chartering venue you might pick. Might be a license from your home country is sufficient (others will know that).

Anyway, my only point is that for some folks, deciding to charter one day and actually starting business the next (or even soon) isn't always possible.

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Old 17-10-2017, 06:10   #8
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Quote:
Originally Posted by All is found View Post
We just let go a Ltd company we had used for consulting work in the past and so would have to create another...is this right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Typically it works out best to operate under a corporate entity.
As belizesailor says, it is typically best to operate under a corporate entity, but that doesn't meant that you HAVE to do it that way. There are pros and cons, depending on what country you are operating in. So, as has already been mentioned, you have to pick a venue.

I would say, after picking a venue, the next priority would be to determine if you need some sort of specific maritime license to operate in that venue. As mentioned, in the U.S. you would have to have a Coast Guard license, which involves meeting a number of prerequisites and passing tests. Other countries will have their own requirements, and you will have to find out what those are.

After the above, then you get to the point of finding out about setting up and running a company in that country. Business licenses? Permits? Insurance? A bond requirement, perhaps? And along with all of this will come the question of whether or not it is best to create a corporate entity.

I wish you the best of luck, but be aware that it is not nearly as easy as a lot of people would like it to be... Otherwise everyone would be doing it!
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Old 17-10-2017, 10:42   #9
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Quote:
Originally Posted by All is found View Post
Hi all!! Thanks to many of the wonderful people on this forum, after losing a boat we were about to purchase to Irma, I was about to give up on our sailing plans. But, we forged on and found another boat albeit it happens to be more than we had intended to spend - its larger and newer, etc.

Now we are discussing how to help out with the operating costs and my husband and I think that we would both really fit with hosting guests aboard. We have kind of done this in the past when we have invited non-sailors to share a bareboat charter...we end up doing the sailing and provisioning, etc.

I have done a lot of google searches to try to dig up information but I cant find much first hand experience. I assume we will have to keep our chartering services in the waters of selected islands and obtain business licences, required certifications, and insurance. Plus a website.. I would imagine this all adds up. Has anyone done this, or know about the requirements or have general advice? Our plan is an 'all inclusive' 1 week stay charged by the couple. Ideally 2 couples at a time. We sail and cook/clean.

Thanks in advance for your input!!! Also, if you have websites that would help, let me know!
Grats, it sounds as you are taking a pragmatic approach not the normal dreamers. Good luck.
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Old 17-10-2017, 10:49   #10
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
...
After the above, then you get to the point of finding out about setting up and running a company in that country. Business licenses? Permits? Insurance? A bond requirement, perhaps? And along with all of this will come the question of whether or not it is best to create a corporate entity.
...
And in many venues, getting those permits will require a little "propina" (tip) for the officials....without it, nothing is going to happen. Cost of doing business.
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:21   #11
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Quote:
Originally Posted by All is found View Post
Hi all!! Thanks to many of the wonderful people on this forum, after losing a boat we were about to purchase to Irma, I was about to give up on our sailing plans. But, we forged on and found another boat albeit it happens to be more than we had intended to spend - its larger and newer, etc.

Now we are discussing how to help out with the operating costs and my husband and I think that we would both really fit with hosting guests aboard. We have kind of done this in the past when we have invited non-sailors to share a bareboat charter...we end up doing the sailing and provisioning, etc.

I have done a lot of google searches to try to dig up information but I cant find much first hand experience. I assume we will have to keep our chartering services in the waters of selected islands and obtain business licences, required certifications, and insurance. Plus a website.. I would imagine this all adds up. Has anyone done this, or know about the requirements or have general advice? Our plan is an 'all inclusive' 1 week stay charged by the couple. Ideally 2 couples at a time. We sail and cook/clean.

Thanks in advance for your input!!! Also, if you have websites that would help, let me know!
Been in the business for the last 12 years, in the BVI. There is too much to explain in a letter. PM me, if you want, and we will set up a time to talk. I will give you the names of a few other folks in the core of the industry who might be helpful. There is a ton of info, if you know whom to ask.

Best of Luck,
Tim
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Old 17-10-2017, 12:47   #12
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Re: Running a skippered charter/hosting paying guests

Dear All is found,

My girl and me are way behind you, as far as living the dream. Which boat did you purchase ?

Although we do it the other way around, first a solid business plan and then the hardware. But it might be interesting for you to mention that there are several companies where you can place your vacant beds/cabins for a certain time and route. They don't have any mercy though with not being on time.

I do not want to advertise so pm me and i'll provide you with their adress/phone. Keep in contact anyway.

Good luck, and read my post. Time to chance course

Btw thanxz to Cadence for pointing me out to this post
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