Originally Posted by Julius Katzke
Hi. I'm new to this site, a first time user so if I get it wrong let me know.
I have a 44ft sailing cat, I'm in Phuket, Thailand
and would like to start a charter business here. Any advise would be welcome.
How do I do this?
Who do I need to contact?
Is it viable?
I've been thinking about starting a charter business for a few years but, have not moved forward on it yet for a number of reasons. One is I do still get some freelance work in my original vocation (electronics) which helps pay the bills and also allows me to be part of a group health insurance
plan at a "reasonable" cost
. I often get work during the summer which of course is when my charter business would probaly be busiest. So until the freelance work dries up there has not been an urgency to start up the charter business and pay the additional expenses to start it up.
What I can tell you it is a tough business. I was only planning on day and sunset charters mostly. From what I could gather if I could break even I would be doing good. There were some advantages in writing off some boat expenses. But, there were additional up front expenses like more expensive insurance
premiums. I would need a new survey
too and that is all before you try and get the passengers on board. I would not try it without making sure you have all your insurance
bases covered. Including liability.
If you are doing weekly charters I would expect you will be working quite hard. You will have a floating bed
& breakfast, lunch and dinner. But, unlike a land based operation you probably won't be able to call the local handyman for help. So you'll be fixing heads, engines etc... while trying to keep the guests happy.
Part of me says it could be a fun way to help pay for some boat expenses and show people how wonderful sailing is. But, weather
may not always be your friend. Plus you may have people on board not all of whom really want to be there. Couples redfining their relationships etc...
Things are going to break and people are going to lose things over the side and I'm not just talking about their lunch but, stuff you bought. Fishing
poles, snorkle masks and fins etc... so you need to carry extra stuff to have backups.
You may want to have a broker(s) do your booking but, of course they will take a cut too! But, it allows you to concentrate on your charter and not spend all your time answering questions from people who are just thinking about a charter.
My gal and I do go on a lot of charter vacations and crews do work hard. We are fairly easy going and really only want to eat, snorkle, eat, nap, snorkle, have sundowner drinks, eat, sleep and repeat. We hardly get off the boat. But, others may want to hit the town, shop, bars etc... You will
be at their beck and call no matter how tired you are or what you really need to fix. Others I'm sure can more specific about the good and bad of the biz.