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Old 30-01-2008, 17:10   #1
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Could I liveaboard and charter

I'm sure after reading my questions, all will know I'm a complete newbie. I need GOOD advice as to whether my Dream/plan will work. So I have a few questions that I really hope I can get real answers for.
In 6 years I wish to retire. To do this I hope to find a lifestyle that I can afford. To that end, my plan is: I hope to be able to buy a good used boat. (Hopefully a cat around 36 to 40") I will be able to pay about $130k cash for it. Thats question 1. Is it possible to find a decent boat for this price?
I will also put $40k in the bank as a buffer for emergency's and to gain a little cash on interest. For income I need to know if it is possible for my wife and I to take out vacation charters and if so how many per year. I understand that an average all inclusive sailing vacation per week start at around $3.500. The boat would have to be kept spotless and good looking of course. By the time I'd like to retire I would be well qualified as in holding a Masters license, cpr, wife is registered medical professional. Licensed Diver. Speak 3 languages between us etc. All the things that seem to be what most people desire in a captain and crew. I apologize in advance for the length of this letter. I hope all who read this will be able to help we make this decision.
P.S. I would like to do this somewhere tropical

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Old 30-01-2008, 17:19   #2
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problem is as I see it that everyone is trying to do the same thing you have in mind. So you will have a lot of competition already in place and doing business. It certainly can be done but unless you can find a hook that is better than those other guys your just another retiree looking to live-aboard and charter. Many of the popular spots in the Caribbean are covered by the big guys such as Moorings and everyone down there is trying to make a few dollars with their boats. In the end you may be better off hoking up with one of the charter companies and get paid for captaining their boats and save the wear and tare on yours. In the end after all your expenses you may even come out ahead that way. Those are just my observations and perhaps someone else has seen the situation in a different light.

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Old 30-01-2008, 17:27   #3
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Suggest that you check out the Multi-hull forum on this site. I think that your plans for a decent Cat at that price will not be doable (Cats are expensive and hold their value well) ... especially 6 years from now. Talk to some in the Cat forum .. they'll clue you in. Good luck!
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Old 30-01-2008, 19:35   #4
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What you are purposing to do can be done. I have met husband and wife teams doing exactly what you are considering, but there are easier ways to keep the cruising kitty full of cash.

Charter yachts almost always need to operate out a specific location. Some countries are more friendly than others to mom and pop charter operations. Others are nearly impossible. You need a web site and booking people and advertisements in magazines to stay in business, and you have to be located where you can turn the boat quickly around between charters. The people I know doing this are working very hard to make it happen.

Often, you can achieve the same results with a lot less stress and work by doing part time work in your professions. For example, since your wife is a medical professional, she could work for traveling nurses for three or four months a year, and the rest of the time you could cruise. She could work part time in the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico as a medical professional.

I have cruised full time and part time, and both of them work really well. When you work part time, you keep up your professional skills and credentials, and you turn the cash flow on and off whenever you want.

In my experience, mixing work and pleasure by chartering your boat is doing things the hard way. Separating the work from the pleasure has always been easier and more enjoyable for me. When I work, I work. When I play, I play.
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