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Old 24-04-2016, 16:32   #16
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by sailon46 View Post
Few years ago I was moored in Puerto aventuras in riviera maya and I met a guy there from US that was conducting charter business crewed out of the marina. The Mexican authorities one day showed up and wanted to confiscate his 56 catamaran because he didn't have the right clearance. You be careful down there they will find every excuse to make your existence miserable if you try to run any business .Good luck for what it's worth
Yeah, as mentioned earlier, its not uncommon for people to try and do this under the radar. They usually get away with it for a low volume of charters, but to try and run a real business you need to be legitimate...and the rules that define "legitimate" can change often and with little or no notice. Getting busted can mean losing your boat(s) and at least getting thrown out of the country if not jailed. Mexico in particular has a history of impounding boats.
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Old 24-04-2016, 16:35   #17
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by magellanyachts View Post
Absolutely.
It really helps to have a connected local partner.
Give them some free charters
Yes it can make it MUCH easier. Ive done it that way. Difficulty is finding a trustworthy, dependable local partner. Plenty of stories in the tropics of foreigners getting screwed by their local partner.

A reputable, complimentary, local business is a good option to investigste as a partner, such as a marina/resort.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:09   #18
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by elittke View Post
Get the musical CD, "Don't Stop the Carnival".. Tells the story nicely and easy to listen to over again.

But seriously, I have been thinking about the ASA Instructor Certs. Anyone have experience getting some of those? Seems like a nice way to stay on the water more? Then start a charter business?
Great sound track for your own "carnival" experience in paradise! Probably help in retaining your sense of humor.

Im an ASA IE (Instructor Evaluator) so can answer any related questions. Visit the ASA web site for details on becoming an instructor (link posted earlier).

Charters and instruction are a very good combination, but only an affiliated ASA School can submit student certification requests. So, to do that combimed business model you have to also start a school or partner/work with one. I just certified an instructor who has his boat in charter management and will work as a captain/instructor for the charter company (also an affiliated school)...not a bad gig and someone else gets to deal with most of the paperwork hassle. He will get revenue from his boat, plus pay for captain/instructor work. Ive done the same, as well as run my own school/charter company.

If you dont want to start and run a school then there are always opportunities to teach for existing schools. For example, I was just in Belize recently running an IQC (Instructor Qualification Clinic) and off to Martinique soon to do some private instruction/delivery for a new boat owner.

You certainly wont get rich doing any of the above, but it provides a lot of excuses to go sailing and some revenue to waste on the boat.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:30   #19
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by magellanyachts View Post
... Get your USCG Master's license....
Does Mexico recognize a USCG license for commercial operation?

Some venues, like Belize, don't. You have to get a Belizean license (joke) to be legal.
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Old 24-04-2016, 17:51   #20
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yeah, as mentioned earlier, its not uncommon for people to try and do this under the radar. They usually get away with it for a low volume of charters, but to try and run a real business you need to be legitimate...and the rules that define "legitimate" can change often and with little or no notice. Getting busted can mean losing your boat(s) and at least getting thrown out of the country if not jailed. Mexico in particular has a history of impounding boats.
Yes, Mexico is different than the BVI. After getting a work permit, hiring a lawyer, forming a corporation with the right permits I found out that it was perfectly legal to run charters without all of that. I think the limit was six. Who knows. It may have changed by now. Would never do that in Mexico myself.
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Old 25-04-2016, 05:16   #21
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Working as an instructor would certainly keep you on the water more. To carry passengers for hire you need a captain's license.
To work as an instructor--in all but a very few, specific circumstances--you need a captain's license also. (In the United States, at least.)
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Old 25-04-2016, 06:07   #22
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
To work as an instructor--in all but a very few, specific circumstances--you need a captain's license also. (In the United States, at least.)

There is a diagram on the ASA site that shows ASA 's interpretation of when you need a license in USA waters for sailing instruction. Not everyone agrees with this diagram. It was discussed with their Coastie district (CA), but I dont think other districts Ive worked in, like FL, would agree. So, inconsistent even in the USA.

To be on the safe side, its best to have your USCG license or license appropriate to venue. No one wants to be a test case. IMHO, its just professionally appropriate, get your damn license. With the variety of limited licenses available now, its not that hard.
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Old 18-08-2016, 15:41   #23
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

I'd like to thank all members for their input to my question. Thanks to your suggestions and imput I have general understanding in this matter. Found a Mexican company who looks after all paperwork required for this venture. I also had a chance to talk to Harbor Captain. It's not easy task to make it all legal (that is the way I want it) but with patience it's doable. Thanks again.
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Old 18-08-2016, 18:19   #24
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Another thing to be aware of: as mentioned, starting a biz as a foreigner anywhere is challenging. I would plan on at least a year with zero revenue to get legal.
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