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Old 07-03-2012, 09:59   #16
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

Don't bother with the OUPV, get your 100 ton master which includes OUPV. I've worked in the professional world of finance and software for about ten years and slowly but surely I've been realigning myself to what I'd rather spend my time doing. In regards to hiring a captain and all that, get familiar with the cfr's. If your route goes for more than 16 hours, you need two licensed masters for the vessel. The USCG has a big say in your manning.

A lot of the folks on here are right about the stress levels and problems. Right now you (probably) have a ton of money but on the water income drops quite low and you can't throw money at problems like you do in the professional world. There are a lot of people who have a misplaced romanticism about the sea and after "getting out there" realize that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Someone summed it up on here a few years ago in the idea that if you can't figure out a way to be happy in an office with a bunch of money you're never going to figure out how to be happy on a boat that's always breaking down dealing with customer service and tight margins.

Brass tacks level I'd advise you to work in the charter world. Without your master's license (and even with it, honestly) it can be tough, but find what you can. There's a job in San Diego that comes open a lot leading people around the bay in little speed boats. It sounds corny but it's going to teach you a lot more about the professional side of the maritime world than what you probably already know.

Think about the advantages that someone entering your profession would have if they worked around and in the industry for a bit, even part time, but really learned what they could and made connections and contacts. Contrast that to someone starting from near zero.

The name of the game is flexibility and adaptability. Have your plan, but realize that you really don't know a damn thing compared to what you're going to know once you've been charging down that path for a year. I'd focus on charging down the path. Take an $8/hour job on the weekends as a deckhand on a water taxi. Anything. Waltzing into a big waterfront community with no professional maritime experience is going to cost you a lot in terms of money and time, both lost because you don't know where to put your focus.

- 100 ton master, sport fisher captain, sailing charter captain, delivery captain, dive master, "retiring" in my mid 30's from my professional life that although enjoyable isn't where I want to be in 20-30 years.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:01   #17
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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For me there is no Stress at all, quite the opposite- in fact
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that has to do with your 16 years of experience doing that very thing.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:12   #18
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that has to do with your 16 years of experience doing that very thing.
Thatís a part of it for sure, but even more important is an attitude of gratitude and non resistance to what is -accepting any situation- that may come and then dealing with it in an appropriate manner
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:21   #19
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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Thatís a part of it for sure, but even more important is an attitude of gratitude and non resistance to what is -accepting any situation- that may come and then dealing with it in an appropriate manner
can i come sailing with you! i often get the gratitude and non resistance from the punters,but almost never from the wife!
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:30   #20
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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can i come sailing with you! i often get the gratitude and non resistance from the punters,but almost never from the wife!
haha whats a punters??
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:39   #21
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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haha whats a punters??
english term for guests,owner's,or prospective customers...... but never the (trouble and strife)=wife lol
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:41   #22
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

I agree with Rebel Heart, Get a job on a charterboat and learn the ropes.If you are free to go right now you might go to the Virgins or Antgua soon enough to get a deck hand position on one of the motor yachts going back to the Med in the next month or two. A trip across the Atlantic will teach you a lot. If you cant get away right now, maybe plan on being in Antigua for the fall (season begins) Charterboat Show, and look for a job. Learning on someone elses boat will save you untold amounts of money in the long run. Charter guest are usually wonderful, but when I was day chartering, I was vomited upon, had to break up family fights, had a guest demanding a cup of coffee when I was manuvering in a tight anchorage etc. You sometimes get a whole new definition of stress. And yes, I payed 20%. It was a good life but not an easy life.____Grant.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:17   #23
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

Just another thought. For the last 20 years both the manufacturers you mention above have built sport fishing boats exclusively in that size and very nice ones at that. Besides keeping people safe and comfortable, do you have the local fishing knowledge to keep people happy on a fishing boat for a week?
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:38   #24
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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Just another thought. For the last 20 years both the manufacturers you mention above have built sport fishing boats exclusively in that size and very nice ones at that. Besides keeping people safe and comfortable, do you have the local fishing knowledge to keep people happy on a fishing boat for a week?
Fishermen get *angry* when there are no fish. Then they go on yelp and talk smack on you for six months. Ask me how I know.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:56   #25
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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Crewed charter on a 45' boat? Where would the crew sleep? In the engine room?

Image two couples splitting a charter. Each couple wants its own en-suite cabin. Are the captain and the mate going to want their own cabins as well?

If you're going to charter on the basis of two permanent crew, you'll need a boat large enough to have a separate crew quarters.

So who's going to cook?
Much of my response below is really intended for the benefit of the OP.

It depends mostly on the layout of the boat more than the LOA. I run charters on boats in the 35-65 foot range. Bigger is not always better. Some boats are just not set-up well for charter use. .

Guests get the choice accommodation spaces, crew sleeps where ever they can find space. I often sleep in the main salon or cockpit (particularly on cats) because it makes it easier for me to keep watch anyway.

Re food. Critical part of any charter. I hire local cook/crew. Part of their job is to do the provisioning. Most of them are former fishermen who learned to cook while fishing commercial and can make some great local dishes which the guests love. We also make a point of putting lots of fresh local seafood on the table.

Another key point to running charters: Make sure you get off to a good start. If things don't go quite right from the start then it is doubly difficult to recover. If you get off to a good happy start then guest will be more understanding of any problems you encounter later in the charter.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:28   #26
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

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....
-Like any job its work, but itís very nice work - when people come to me there going to have a good time and my #1 goal is to give them the best week vacation of their lives- - People pay a lot of money for a vacation and living with them for a week 99% of the time is easy -How do I make this so easy you wonder, this may sound funny but,-- I LOVE them --all and after being onboard a day or 2 they know/feel it-- we all become one big family,.......
Good point. If you don't establish a good rapport with your guests then the charter is probably not going to be as enjoyable as it could be for you or your guests. Having some common ground to start with helps. Like the OP I have a professional/business background too -- as will most of your charter guests -- this helps. Also, I almost exclusively run sailing instruction charters so we have the common ground of an interest in sailing.

I occasionally cover regular vacation charters for other captains, and while they go well, I find I just don't have as much in common with the non-sailing charter guests.

Captain and crew have to have the ability to establish a good rapport with your guests. A very competent captain with a bad attitude is not going to work out.

A related tip: don't change captain or crew once the guests have met them if at all possible. The new crew will be starting at a real deficit in terms of the rapport with the guests.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:35   #27
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

Question: How do you make a small fortune in aviation?
Answer: Start with a large one!
Boats are very similar.
Be careful !
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:59   #28
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

WOW! Thanks again everyone! This thread brings one thing home... I have a lot to learn! Unfortunately, I don't have a great way to learn it. I'm not at all worried about the business side of things, and I know I love sailing/motoring. I've had small boats all my life. (BTW. Does that time count towards becoming licensed?) My start-up budget covers a professional captain for 6 months, but if anyone knows of someone who would like to be a limited partner I may be interested. The important thing is the business has to be self sufficient (to include my salary) within 6 months. I have mouths to feed.

As an aside, when I say professional captain, I really need an experienced captain. I not only need someone who knows the area and boats, but I also need someone who knows about the customs and laws of the area. I know that really isn't perfect, but perfect is the enemy of great.

I've also heard the saying that a good captain brings business with him/her. Thoughts? If so, this strengthens my idea of a limited partnership or gain sharing agreement.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:05   #29
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

One more thing. I am intellectually aware that I am not entirely rational about this. I get "new business fever." Call it professional ADHD. It's always worked out before, and I think it's because I truly want to offer high value to customers and improve their time here on earth. I have a business plan that I would love to crowd source if anyone is interested.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:40   #30
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Re: Any Advice from the Experts Out There ?

As an ex-IT consultant (burn-out also) who has chartered for a couple of years for a company in the Caribbean, I agree with the comment that you will find a whole new stress level in the game. That is not to say I didn't enjoy it at the time.

What hasn't been mentioned about doing it on your own boat is the permits you will require and the Coastguard inspections that will be necessary (from boat and safety equipment to stability testing) all of which will need to be paid for yearly whether you charter fully or not.

The advice of going to work charters for someone else first is good. If you don't have the responsibility of the boat and its maintenance you can concentrate on the logistics of the care and supervision of the guests which you really need to know about first, also the different locations which you need to know before taking guests to those places. Guests ask questions about where they are going and appreciate knowledgeable answers.

There is so much more involved on that, but will stop there! have you thought of advertising for a couple who want to sail for several months but don't want to necessarily buy a boat?

Good luck!!
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