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Old 10-09-2007, 13:22   #1
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becomeing a delivery captian

Hello all new to the forum not to sailing. I have been sailing for 15 years tons of experience. I want to start delivering boats especially sailboats. How do i go about becoming my own delivery captain. So far i go out with captains or people with reputations and end up stuck with a shift that is 75 to 80 percent of the sail while the captain or guy with the reputations sleeps or what ever. So i get paid the least and i do all the work. What am i missing? help me out someone. Oh and yes some of the so called captains are not even captains at all.

Oh and if this is in the wrong spot sorry
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Old 10-09-2007, 15:01   #2
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You need to switch from being crew to thinking like a businessman and assume a lot more resposibility. You need to show potential customers that you are exceptionally resposnsible and entrust you with a very expensive boat. That is all there is to it that really matters. Cheap boats don't usually require delivery skippers. A boat does not need to be very big to be worth one million dollars.

Nothing says you can't deliver any boat an owner requests you to deliver but why would they want you? That is the question you have to answer well enough to get the job. To entrust you they want to be able to inform the insurance comapany that they did due dilegence checking you out and looked over your qualifications and references otherwise should the boat sink and you die they won't get the insurance money.

You need to be a good enough skipper to put together the required crew that can perform under difficult conditions and deliver the boat in perfect condition and on time. This may become impossible at times so you need to be a good businessman to create a proper contract and set the expections of the owner so that you will be able to complete the job and be paid the big money.

BTW, posting a crew available message at the same time you post this one sort of gives people the wrong idea. It makes them think you don't know how to be a delivery captain. You may in fact have all the experience to do this work but you lack the experience convincing people that you do.

Most of our members don't hire delivery captains but a few may. You can post in the forum about all your experience and I know some would like to read about your adventures. You may have some experience that will help someone else. It's what our business is about here. We exchange information and experiences.

We do ask that you keep your solicitations in the proper section (as you already have so thank you) and not spread them around. We hope that will not be a problem. We prefer you not mix your business with our own.
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Old 10-09-2007, 17:41   #3
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blueskyonmars,

I second Paul. Advertise in sailing publications. List your experience.

The best to you.

John
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Old 10-09-2007, 18:38   #4
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Oh and yes some of the so called captains are not even captains at all.

Oh and if this is in the wrong spot sorry
So now you want to be a captain? Work less and make more money?

No big deal, just aquire the experience, the knowledge and the balls and off you go.

I made captain at age 29, long before the internet was available to ask advice.

Nothing has changed however, just go out and do it.

Good luck.
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Old 10-09-2007, 20:08   #5
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I made captain at age 29, long before the Internet was available to ask advice.
Blooming too early must be your problem CSY MAN . In the end you captain in the air when not at sea. A true captain knows no boundaries and I can say you clearly meet that requirement. You have however reached the point when being on a boat it is really better to be delivering your own boat no place while drinking a cold one than going someplace you don't care about busting your butt so you can hurry back to where you don't want to be. Delivery is at the end of the day - still a job.
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Old 10-09-2007, 20:16   #6
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The two best qualifications as a delivery skipper is anything with real sea time, and a few years as a limo driver. You learn to improvise at sea, and to provide chapagne service enforced with a sharp edge from driving a limo.
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Old 10-09-2007, 21:08   #7
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Blooming too early must be your problem CSY MAN . In the end you captain in the air when not at sea. A true captain knows no boundaries and I can say you clearly meet that requirement. You have however reached the point when being on a boat it is really better to be delivering your own boat no place while drinking a cold one than going someplace you don't care about busting your butt so you can hurry back to where you don't want to be. Delivery is at the end of the day - still a job.
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Uh, yeah I guess...

You are of course right about most of that.
Priority is being on own boat with money in the bank.

I don't bloom early however: Around this here town ya see many young and sharp captains driving 100 foot mega-yachts for good compensation before they even have to shave. (I was not in that league, just got the ticket early, not the job.)

It is all about your skills, ambitions and talents.
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Old 10-09-2007, 21:14   #8
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It is all about your skills, ambitions and talents.
If it's a fair contest it is.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:44   #9
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thanks for all the input everyone

I was looking over my sea time after i posted. i am 1343 days including 434 days logged on the lightering vessel i work on. I work like an ant while on board with Pelican. Believe me delivering sailboats is cake compared to lugging pipe being hoisted up on deck of a dirty oil tanker. I think my biggest problem is self promotion. I hate calling myself a delivery captain when i don't have my coast guard ticket that says so.

Does anyone think i should wait until i receive my limited master endorsement.

Oh by the way thanks to everyone for all the input thats what i need.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:58   #10
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I think you need to assmebnle all your experience and resume and perhaps USCG credentials and reviwew it all and draw up a detailed resume in writing that you can show to people. Show people how you pay close attension to details and are able to listen to their requirements. Kai Nui's analogy of limo driving really is pretty close. You need the extra people skills to match your extensive sea skills. Your actual sea experience is and speaks for itself so all you can do is write that up so it comminicates the things you feel are important for a good delivery skipper. These are the things that make you different than other skippers. Spending some time putting it on paper I think is a good first step. then you can start communicate better and work on your verbal presentation too. After that it needs to be printed up so you can hand deliver it to prospective clients or their agents along with your presentation. You will need to establish some degree of trust before you can expect to be hired. If you can complete a few deliveries you can then add the references to the materials. For now I would try to find people that you can list as references that can speak well of your abilities and genral character. Persons in and around the boating community would matter a lot. Since you don't have a delivery skipper track record yet you need to still have references.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:52   #11
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I do not wish to squash your dream and am a strong believer in following your "Star". For what it is worth I will add two cents worth. While there are many individuals calling themsevles "Delivery Captains" the percentage of those individuals making a substantial income are few. Many work for themselves at other things to round out their bank accounts while waiting for the next boat to move. The real money is dealing with very wealthy owners and being trusted with very expensive "yacht" delivery. In order to do this you have to be polished. No "sane" owner or agent is going to turn over this type of asset to someone who does not have the appropriate credentials. So where does that leave you? Everyone has to start somewhere right? You are going to have to do like everyone else and start at the bottom rung. Get some cards made advertising your services, advertise, advertise, advertise! Talk to marina managers, boat hauling services, boat brokers, etc., the people who would be in the position to know who needs a vessel moved and try to get them to reccomend you. Start with very competitive pricing, lower than the other guy's in your area. It might even be advantageous to do a couple of deliveries for free with the understanding that they will stand as a positive reference for you in the future. Take lots of digital photos of the boats you do deliver so eventually you can build a website. The idea is you are trying to build a book of business to show perspective users your experience and have them put their trust in you.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:11   #12
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"I think my biggest problem is self promotion. I hate calling myself a delivery captain when i don't have my coast guard ticket that says so. "

Sounds like pretty good self evaluation. If you feel the lack of a skipper's ticket is a gap in your resume your potential customers will as well. Given the choice between two unknown delivery captains, they will probably choose the licensed captain every time.

All business is about selling. You must be able to sell yourself. The advice above is good.

It is hard to get enough delivery business to make living. Most captains I know have other irons in the fire, or like me, they are retired and use delivery to supplement retirement income.

Put on your best delivery skipper out fit (well pressed khakis, **** with collar, clean boat shoes, neat haircut, clean shave or well trimmed beard, etc, you want to look like a professional skipper, not a boat bum) and call on the yacht brokers in your area. Give them your card and resume/brochure. Be amiable and professional. Drop back in on them every couple of months.

Talk to delivery skippers with whom you have worked. Ask them for referrals on deliveries they can't make.

If there is a yacht manufacturer in your area, contact them and try to get on their delivery crews. You would have to crew a few times for them to get the confidence to send you off with a new yacht.

Word of mouth, references, lots of personal contact.

Delivery is less strenuous than hustling pipe but you may find dealing with owners with big egos has its own downside. Like the limo driver mentioned above, you will, on occasion, kiss a**. Sometimes you kiss so much you think your going to need a lip transplant :-)

George
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Old 12-09-2007, 05:24   #13
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great input

I completely agree with you, If i was going to use a deliver captain i would pick the one with the coast guard ticket. Sound like i have a lot of work to do. right now i look more like a boat bum but that is easy to change. I am sure a few of you know being a Merchant Marine is not the cleanest job so you tend to let your self get a bit ruff looking. once again thanks to everyone for the information.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:28   #14
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now i look more like a boat bum but that is easy to change.
Yes it is. Yoiu need to look like you are supposed to be. Would you hire a cook that had a chef hat or a fry cook hat? It's dumb, but it matters. Take care of the dumb stuff first. It's how all those idiot delivery captains did it. "You don't have to be that good to be better than most" has been a general rule of thumb I still believe about most occupations.

Nothing wrong with being the best there is just don't let it go to your head because you don't have to be that good to be better than most. It works both ways.
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