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Old 05-05-2009, 21:50   #1
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Taking Tourists on Sail / Snorkel Trips

Has anyone considered taking tourists on day sails or snorkel trips as a way of making money while in the Carribean? Seems to me that it wouldn't be that hard to go to shore, talk with the tourists on the beaches & BAM, you have cash for the kitty!

I'm currently in the planning stages of preparing to leave shore for the cruising lifestyle within the next 2 years. I'm 27, just bought my first boat(a Pearson 26) & have come to love sailing. The Pearson is awesome for now but I'm on the search for the boat that will take me to places unseen..

So, thoughts?
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Old 05-05-2009, 22:01   #2
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Insurance

At the very least, check with your insurance company to see what liability coverage you will require. Each country also will have its own requirements / restrictions on commercial activities.

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Old 05-05-2009, 22:21   #3
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In addition to insurance you need to see what the applicable laws are for doing business in that country, especially if you are a foreigner.

At least in U.S. possessions, you will need your 6-pack to take just 6 people out, and I imagine other regulations would apply. If you are a foreign national, you will probably be very restricted in any business venture you wish to take on.

Also some guy coming to shore and trying to convince tourists to get on his boat probably isn't as simple as you think. Most people need to be exposed to an idea, think it over and have some knowledge of the business at hand before making a committment.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:54   #4
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In Florida, 6-Pac ticket to take (up to 6 )people out, CPR card, Drug Consortuim (sic ?) card and anyone working on the boat, not a paying passenger needs a drug card also. That would include your wife, girlfriend or kid serving as deckhand, etc. Pretty big fine for that one. You might need a sail endorsment also, not sure on that one. Someone else with a wiser head will hopefully chime in.

Guys??

Check the USCG site or Sea Schools.

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:12   #5
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In addition to the items mentioned above, there are usually locals making a living by doing this at every tourist port, if an outsider (you) starts cutting into their trade something bad happen to your boat, or you.
Be careful,
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:11   #6
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Nothing is ever simple is it?
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:04   #7
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double whammy

To insure the boat you'll need a 6-pack license. To insure the business you'll need divemaster certificaton. Most divemasters carry at least a million bucks worth of liability coverage, and that doesn't come cheap.

To be at all competitive, even "just" for snorkeling, you'll need a much better dive platform than a Pearson 26.

You can pretty much count on the pros running unlicensed, untrained, uninsured, underequipped amateurs out of town. When I was in the business, it was a fairly simple matter to do so. A phone call to the coasties, port captain, or whomever usually suffices. I've heard tell, in the Carribean, of a fellow trying to run a side business similar to the one you've proposed who kept mysteriously losing props every time he left his boat for a few hours. Funny things like that happen when you undercut the business of pro divers.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:08   #8
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If doesn't seem so, does it?!?! While I understand that there are rules & regulations I don't think it's that big of a deal if it's strictly hand to hand, cash transactions. Simply talking to the tourists, working out a deal(for less then they can get it otherwise since my goal is only to make 1000 a month or so & I'll be doing excatly what I want to be doing anyway, sailing). I suppose I'd be banking on not getting caught.. good things considering my ninja skills are up to par!

Anyone ever done any work at tourist resorts to make money while cruising?
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:13   #9
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Hi, Chris.

It might not be a big deal, or it might. You might stay "under the radar" for a while. But working without a work visa and not paying income taxes could get you put in jail in some countries. The best you could hope for is deportation.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:15   #10
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You can go ahead and try it but you will still be breaking various laws and safety standards set up by dive organizations. No business that breaks the law is successful for very long and you just might get yourself put in jail and/or have to pay large fines. Deportation would be one of the milder penalties.

Setting up an illegal business and constantly having to look over my shoulder out of fear of getting caught is not my idea of a good time.

Its your choice.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:33   #11
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Hi Dallas - There aren't too many people that aren't thinking how to make money with their boat doing what they like - sailing and snorkeling, scuba diving etc.

Although I don't have experience in the Carribean - I do see people (locals) hawking snorkeling trips all the time in Asia. In the Philippines we got a long boat, two boat guys, all the snorkeling gear for 8 people, a fantastic BBQ lunch with meat, seafood, beer at a private beach. Total cost? $10 a head.

And even at that the many boat boys have trouble hawking themselves on the beach because the hotels and beach clubs have concierge people that sell that stuff (at a higher price) and tourists view that as "safer."

Not saying you can't do it. But if the income is gonna be necessary for you to cruise, you better do a ton more research. Especially in the arena of what happens if you getcaught illegally working in a country. Biggest question? Could they impound your boat?
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:38   #12
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I think it is a big deal to the locals as earlier posts have stated. The way to do it is to become a local in an area you like and that means years of living there.
Years ago I did something similar in Maui, not as a real income stream but I was friends with a tour salesman & he'd send an occasional charter to me. It wasn't a real issue with the real charter folks because it was infrequent. If I wanted to start generating a living I would have needed to get the licensing, insurance like everyone here is stating.

Like David M stated 'Nothing is ever simple is it'. It's just not that's the way it is and you need to realize that.

If you want to consider a tie to a resort, these guys are real businesses they will only work with other real businesses. They need to know you're reliable, safe & offer genuine value to their guests as the guests experience with various tour operators of which you'd be one is a direct reflection on them & their continued operation. So they have to have a comfort level with only legitimate operators.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:53   #13
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time for a reality check

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas_Chris View Post
since my goal is only to make 1000 a month or so
Only a $1,000 a month or so! You know, in places like the Bahamas there are boat hands working three dives a day, six days a week whose wildest dreams are that if they stay in the business long enough they might some day be able to clear $1,000 a month in the height of the tourist season.

Here's why you won't stay "under the radar" for long: on any given island there are precious few reefs that are good for snorkeling. The pros dive those reefs day in and day out, and are very protective of them because of how fragile they are. They will be aware of increased pressure on those reefs the moment it happens, and when it's some yachtie in a Pearson 26 trying to eke out extra cash at the expense of their natural resources, not to mention their source of revenue, don't expect them to take a patient approach in dealing with you.

I worked as a divemaster/scuba instructor in a resort area for fifteen years. I'd have to work ten dives a week to clear $1,000 a month. That's a fairly high-profile work load, and I guarantee you every park ranger, coast guardsman, dive boat operator, air fill operator, harbor patrol officer, harbormaster, fish and game officer, et cetera within a hundred miles knew me. And I knew all my competitors. And when someone new came into the area, it didn't take long to figure out whether he was legit.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:38   #14
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I might be wrong but I think in the US a vessel that carries passengers for hire also has to have been manufactured in the US. Years ago, there was a big stink about the African Queen (of movie fame) not being able to carry passengers for hire because it was built in England (I think) .... I believe congress finally passed a law granting it an exception or some such thing! If I'm right about this, you might make certain that you purchase a US built boat if you intend to charter in the US or US territory.
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:54   #15
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Thanks for all the responses.. after all, thats why I asked. I'm just a guy that plans to live a dream that I've always had without waiting a moment longer then I have to. I'm over the standard social ways that our "normal" life tells us we have to live and am ready to truly be free. I've never been to the islands, and am fairly new to sailing - having the pearson only a month & being on the boat 4-5 days a week. Your right things seem sooo much eaiser in my head then reality. haha, either way, I will make this work. The plan is to leave in less then 2 years.. Any advice?

I do not intend on taking the pearson on the trip.. I'll be spending 15-25K on something that's abit more suitable.

Thanks!
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