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Old 16-03-2013, 12:44   #1
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Are we crazy?

Hi All,
Just found this great forum and would love some advice!
My wife and [I] live and work in California and are looking for a change of lifestyle!
We have a rather ambitious plan to pack in our Jobs next year (although we will have some passive income coming in from property rentals and my british military pension) buy a Catamaran (looking at a 38 foot Athena?), move to the Caribbean and spend our days taking people out on day cruses!

[I] know this sounds like some romantic dream but we are essentially level headed and are going to take a full year (or however long it takes) to research and plan the feasability and the practicalities of such an endevour.

We are currently looking at various options of places to go, [B]elize, Cancun, Dominican Republic? and [I]'m conducting security surveys of different countries and islands. [I] saw the post about the attack in [B]elize last year!

[I] know that there is a wealth of experience out there and we would be extremely greatful for any advice. From people that may have done this in the past, the reality and potential pitfalls of it. To location/ safety advice or the best place to start out?

Alteratively you can just tell us that we are CRAZY and dont quit our day jobs!

[B]lue Skies and Calm waters!

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Old 16-03-2013, 13:29   #2
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Re: Are we crazy?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mick.

Yes, youíre crazy, as are we all. Keep on, keeping on.

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 16-03-2013, 13:58   #3
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Re: Are we crazy?

Agreed: you are crazy. At least that is what landlubbers will think. If you care what others think you will accomplish nothing great. So forget about that and get on with living the life you choose. And wear the label "crazy" as a badge of honor, as most of us here do.

It sounds like you plan on supporting your dream through day charters. It is possible to do, and I have known folks in the Caribbean who have done so. It is not easy. Do you have your commercial skippers license? USCG "six-pack" or above, or RYA Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement? One or the other will likely be a requirement. If you are using your own boat, are you ready for sharing your home with strangers every day? Can you present gourmet foods? Basically, the standards are high. If you can meet them, there are opportunities.

Good luck.

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Old 16-03-2013, 14:19   #4
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Crazy is good. Normal is boring.

Expecting to make a living from chartering a single boat is difficult in most places. However offering half day sales, or similar, in places frequented by tourists has worked for some.

We've recently spent 4 months touring the US gulf coast, Carribean and Europe as we plan to do something similar. The one plan that has changed is to not go for a long time but to cruise for a few months then back home to Oz and repeat the cycle ad infinitum. We have 6 grandkids, a consulting business and a tech startup. Consulting earns us money in Oz and the tech startup earns money anywhere.

If you don't have ties at home then go for it. But remember a budget you create on land must be adjusted for actual boat budgets. Many boats are in really poor conditions and many aren't owned by sailors. You need time to find a good deal.
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Old 03-04-2013, 18:11   #5
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Re: Are we crazy?

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Your crazy dream is doable. Others have done it. As was said, you do need the proper credentials to charter out you and your boat.
Good luck in your pursuit.
kind regards,
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Old 03-04-2013, 18:23   #6
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Re: Are we crazy?

Doing an adventure really just requires you and a boat, doing charters you, the boat, customers, paperwork, and a good business model. I know some guys that have great charter businesses but I also know a lot who are losing their boats well after they've lost all their money.

In whatever industry you're in, if I said I wanted to quit my job and do your job full time, you'd probably advise me to start small, get experience, and work my way in that way so I don't make silly mistakes and I learn the ropes. Chartering is basically the same. I have my USCG captain's license and have worked in the charter and sport fishing world a bit as well as doing business at a corporate level for years. I think I might have a shot at running a successful charter business if I wanted to, maybe, but only because of the experience I've racked up.

You could do it, but anyone who tells you it's a good idea to hop into the charter business without experience doesn't have much experience in that industry themselves.

Get your license and be a charter skipper for a while, or otherwise figure out a way to get that experience. If you just want to do it for the hell of it while you make money from other sources, that's different.

Good luck either way, not trying to be a downer, just trying to be real based on what I've seen. There are a lot of people with decades of experience doing the same thing you are and frankly they're better, so you need to own that fact on day one and figure out how to get on their level.

In Mexico for example for every cute day sailing operation there are 10 party boats racking up way more cash. They've ripped the sailing rig off, put slides and a sweet sound system on, and everyone has a blast. There are a lot more clients looking for fun-booze-times than some idyllic sailing adventure. Check out the area, get experience, make your decision.

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