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Old 04-08-2008, 21:26   #1
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Sailing / Work Plan - looking for feedback

Iím trying to put a sound game plan together that will allow me to join the sailing lifestyle. I donít have a lot of sailing experience so; Iíd love some critiquing from those with experience.

My wife and I started doing crewed charters in the BVIs about seven years ago. We loved it so much we go every year. After the first couple of years, we decide to take sailing lessons at home (S.F. Bay). We went through basic keelboat certification and did a little sailing on the SF Bay.
We love the Caribbean and are at the age where we have the means to make a lifestyle change. Here is the plan:

Relocate to the USVIs, where my wife will be able to get a job as a hotel GM at a large resort. (This is her profession and she has been offered jobs in the past.) This will allow us good income, health insurance, ect.
We would also purchase a 40 to 45 ft cat. I would like to try to make a business out of snorkel/day sails. Their seems to be an existing market for half day sailing / snorkel trips for ~$100 per person (6 people max with a 6 pack). The key would be to use my wife job as hotel GM, to have the inside track on hotel guest looking to spend a day sailing.
After a couple of seasons, we could decide to make the jump to some more extended cruising.

We would like to make the move in about two years, so we need to start planning now. I also need to start picking up sailing experience and work towards my captainís license. Iíd love some guidance on the most effective way to acquire the need experience.

Please let me know if you think the sailing gig Iíve cooked up would be viable or any other feedback on the game plan.
Thanks,

SS
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:42   #2
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Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV or 6-Pack)
USCG National Maritime Center - Charter Boat Captain Information

Sea Service Documentation - The applicant's sea service must be documented by each vessel's owner. If applicant documents service on his/her own vessel, some form of proof of ownership must be included. One day of sea service consists of at least 6 hours underway. For all licenses, at least 90 days of sea service must be within the past 3 years.

Near Coastal Waters (Six-Pack)
360 days operating a small vessel, of which 90 days must have been on oceans or near coastal waters.

Limited OUPV. License for Operating Uninspected Passenger Vessels at Yacht Clubs, Marinas, Formal Camps or Educational Institutions- Launchtender or River guides.
120 days operating same type of vessel.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:00   #3
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Aside from the boat stuff, read the book
Don't Stop the Carnival: A Novel by Herman Wouk

Living and working in less developed areas can bring very real culure shock.

George
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:27   #4
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HaHa! George, I read that book once a year to help me keep a perspective on things! A great read, for sure!

SS,

Here's your chance! Mustang Sally is for sale: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ale-17878.html

Your idea of getting customers through referrals from hotels is a good one. Make sure you factor in a referral fee for the concierge.

p.s. Disclaimer--I have no connection nor financial interest whatsoever in Mustang Sally.
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Old 05-08-2008, 21:08   #5
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Hud - Thanks for the line on Mustang Sally. Looks good, but I'm not quite ready for that yet.

George - Thanks I'll pick up a copy and give it a read. I get your point about less developed areas. You only live once, so a little culture shock might be OK if you have the right attitude.

I am aware of the requirements and certs required.

Two things I would be looking for some info on are:

1) Feasibility of doing daysails in USVI.
2) Advice on how to ways to gain the required sailing experience.
I'd like to get about 6 months documented in the next 2 years and do the rest after relocating.
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:19   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstreeby View Post
... Two things I would be looking for some info on are:
1) Feasibility of doing daysails in USVI.
2) Advice on how to ways to gain the required sailing experience.
I'd like to get about 6 months documented in the next 2 years and do the rest after relocating.
1. Get a boat, or get a job aboard a boat.
2. Log your sea-time (get it signed if working).
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Old 07-08-2008, 20:31   #7
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Hi When i was in the USVI a lot of my friends were running their boats as 6 pac 1/2 day trips, there was a clearing agency that all of the cruise ships used and the agency put all of the boats on a rotation. When it was busy you got 2 trips/day, when not... not. Now this was a long time ago, but my friends there tell me it's still going. What I'm not too sure of is the tourism business in the USVI. It was a difficult place when I was there, lots of crime, drugs and attitude. Experience shouldn't be hard to get, there's a lots of folks taking on crew here in the Pacific, some get them through the internet, some off the dock. If you wanted a nice vacation in a pretty tropical spot go down to Panama when the cruisers go through the Canal. You'll get a boat, there's heaps, you'll get the opportunity to sail to Fr Polynesia and on, possibly, to New Zealand. I did the trip last year and while I bailed out in Am Samoa to work and fix the kitty, I was amazed how many people were essentially sailing backpackers, changing boats, changing destinations. It's a bit of a leap of faith to go to Panama to look for a ride, but it works. Then there's the internet. Good luck. George
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Old 07-08-2008, 21:39   #8
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