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Old 23-04-2016, 16:54   #1
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Starting a Charter Business

Hi. I'm new to this site, so please be patient and bear with me on this topic. Pretty soon I will be living full time in Mexico on the Caribbean side on Riviera Maya. For now I'm leaving here part time only (5-6 months) and carry a "Residente Temporal" status. In two years this will be changed to "Residente Permanente" with me living here full time. I've been freshwater sailing smaller and larger boats for almost all my life. Now I'm taking ASA Bareboat Certification courses in order to be allowed to charter. I'm thinking about getting my own sailboat here to Mayan Riviera. It would be in the range 40-50ft. and I would lke to start chartering it for day cruises, overnight stays or short places hopping. We already have our own place to live on land here so we don't need to worry about renting any place. Also a suitable marina is available nearby. Any advise would be welcome and thanks for any kind of input
Where to start?
How do I do this?
Who do I need to contact?
Mexican registered boat or foreign?
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Old 23-04-2016, 17:09   #2
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

ASA Bareboat certification allows to to charter a boat from a charter company - maybe. It does not allow to take paying cutomers out on a skippered charter.

You had better check with a local Mexican business lawyer to see what qualifications you need, what buiness licenses you will need, what certification standards are necessary for your vessel, etc..
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Old 23-04-2016, 17:25   #3
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

- Get employed in a similar business that already exists, learn, improve, apply.

- Learn how any business works (this is not country specific, three years in any business college or two years in any specific business will teach you this),

- Learn how business is done in Mexico, get 'fluent' in Spanish (unless you already are, esp. legal and business terms,

- Learn how businesses are structured in Mexico, how taxes are structured, etc. OR hire a local gun to sort this out (a lawyer (per hours) and an accountant (hours or part time) - you want people who have experience with this specific business type,

- Build a business plan. Decide on how you want to fund the undertaking. Check if the funding you want is allowed and available.

- Think how you are going to advertise. Test the channels. Check their visitors numbers and rates.

- Outsource everything you cannot do well yourself and everything that is time consuming, unless you want a full time job (80 hours a week),

- Check you business plan against best business alternatives unless profit margins are not essential to you.

Etc. Business as usual. I think getting perfect understanding of how businesses are run in Mexico is top of the lists. Then the rest.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 23-04-2016, 17:34   #4
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

"Advise" is a verb, "advice" is a noun.
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Old 23-04-2016, 19:51   #5
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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"Advise" is a verb, "advice" is a noun.
Not on the internet lol.
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Old 24-04-2016, 04:42   #6
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, pzmaria.
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Old 24-04-2016, 06:59   #7
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Pz, this topic has been beat to death here. Search the forums for related threads.

Ive been around the charter biz for decades, in a few diff countries, a few related suggestions:

Setting up a business as a foreigner anywhere is a trying, but educational, life experience.

Every country, and sometimes locales within a country, is different. Find out the regulations from authoritative sources (local gringos often have it wrong). A good local attorney can give you the correct answers and help set things up legally for you.

Find out how the system really works, versus the wtitten legal statutes, as a foreigner you will have to accommodate both. In every country in Central America there are common unofficial ways to get things done.

Read Herman Wok's " Dont Stop The Carnival". Twice. Once before you attempt this and once after. Its even funnier the second time.
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Old 24-04-2016, 09:41   #8
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzmaria View Post
Hi. I'm new to this site, so please be patient and bear with me on this topic. Pretty soon I will be living full time in Mexico on the Caribbean side on Riviera Maya. For now I'm leaving here part time only (5-6 months) and carry a "Residente Temporal" status. In two years this will be changed to "Residente Permanente" with me living here full time. I've been freshwater sailing smaller and larger boats for almost all my life. Now I'm taking ASA Bareboat Certification courses in order to be allowed to charter. I'm thinking about getting my own sailboat here to Mayan Riviera. It would be in the range 40-50ft. and I would lke to start chartering it for day cruises, overnight stays or short places hopping. We already have our own place to live on land here so we don't need to worry about renting any place. Also a suitable marina is available nearby. Any advise would be welcome and thanks for any kind of input
Where to start?
How do I do this?
Who do I need to contact?
Mexican registered boat or foreign?
thinkin' that asa bareboat certification doesn't come close to qualifying as a professional captain for hire even in mexico.
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Old 24-04-2016, 10:18   #9
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

I am somewhat familiar with Mexico charters having managed charters there. Mexico is somewhat tricky. Need to jump through the hoops. Get to know someone who is already doing it. Get your USCG Master's license. I was a charter captain in the Caribbean for a few years. There were two ways of doing it. By the book or under the radar. I did it by the book but found out later that under the radar may have been the way to go since it was actually legal if you kept your charters under a certain number.
Hire a local captain as a business partner to get you going.
Get to know the local officials.
Good luck. You will face some challenges.
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Old 24-04-2016, 10:20   #10
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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?
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Old 24-04-2016, 10:32   #11
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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Originally Posted by elittke View Post
-----
-----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?
Working as an instructor would certainly keep you on the water more.
To carry passengers for hire you need a captain's license.
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Old 24-04-2016, 11:07   #12
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Quote:
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?
I got my initial ASA instructor certs on a cross-over from Sail Canada. My 214 certification required demonstrating my ability to sail a catamaran, teach the concepts and skills, and get 90% on the exam. The latter is the standard way.

To teach on a power drive sailboat in the US you will also need your USCG license.

The ASA website has schedule for instructor courses.

https://asa.com/become-a-sailing-instructor/



It is a great way to spend time on the water and to meet some pretty great folks.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:59   #13
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzmaria View Post
Hi. I'm new to this site, so please be patient and bear with me on this topic. Pretty soon I will be living full time in Mexico on the Caribbean side on Riviera Maya. For now I'm leaving here part time only (5-6 months) and carry a "Residente Temporal" status. In two years this will be changed to "Residente Permanente" with me living here full time. I've been freshwater sailing smaller and larger boats for almost all my life. Now I'm taking ASA Bareboat Certification courses in order to be allowed to charter. I'm thinking about getting my own sailboat here to Mayan Riviera. It would be in the range 40-50ft. and I would lke to start chartering it for day cruises, overnight stays or short places hopping. We already have our own place to live on land here so we don't need to worry about renting any place. Also a suitable marina is available nearby. Any advise would be welcome and thanks for any kind of input
Where to start?
How do I do this?
Who do I need to contact?
Mexican registered boat or foreign?
You're in a different part of the world; however, if you're a competent sailor should not be a problem providing you comply with local government requirements. I operated a skippered charter for years on the Great Lakes and Caribbean. Guests did most of the helming and cooking for 3-4 day charters.
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Old 24-04-2016, 15:13   #14
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Re: Starting a Charter Business

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
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Old 24-04-2016, 15:34   #15
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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
Absolutely.
It really helps to have a connected local partner.
Give them some free charters
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