I will summarized that I have learned over the past 5 years talking with Delivery boat Captains, general life and from this thread.
1. Being a one person operation it is hard to have fulltime work
as a Delivery Boat Captain
But it is a great business if you want to do it part time.
This is the same problem most one person contract business have.
I am a project engineer
and I have seen many good engineers leave a large company and become a one person engineering consultant.
They normally fail because they did not realize how hard it is to get customers and spend more time selling, less time doing engineering and getting paid.
I have also seen many good engineers retire and have a very good part-time consulting engineering business.
I see delivering boats in the same way.
If you need a full time income make Delivering Boats just one part of your business.
2. You do not need to get your USCG Masters (Captain) License
but it helps and some insurance companies will require it.
To get the USCG Masters License
you will need to
a. Pass the 5 part USCG Test.
b. Have a medical
and drug test.
c. Get a Transportation Workers Id Card that requires a background test.
Even if you are only looking to be a mate getting your License will help you get work
3. Be prepared for the boat to be in poor condition when you arrive.
This is something that happen to me a lot in my engineering work.
I send out a detailed list of things what must be ready before I arrive, have a remote
meeting to review the list but still some customers do not do the work before I arrive.
Not a problem, I see this as an opportunity for making more money
Now much we charge is dependent on many factors and yes sometimes we do not charge the customer.
The same is true with when you arrive at a dock
and find something wrong with the boat.
Just deal with it and make a few extra bucks or use it as a good will gesture for future business.
4. Gain the skills to do at least some simple boat repairs
I think it would be wise to know how to repair the simple things on a boat if you intend to deliver them.
In my case, I have owned 5 sailboats, all in bad shape and spent the time and energy fixing them up.
5. Finding work.
All have said you need to develop relationships in the business to find work.
I have a 5 year plan of developing relationships in the NYC
area by teaching the USCG Approved 100 Ton Masters Class.
This gives me the opportunity to get to know people in the business in the market I am targeting.
6. Be professional
It seem to me the marine
industry is full of unreliable and unprofessional people.
People who will not show up, show up late or show up drunk.
By getting your USCG License and developing personal relationships with people in the industry, you can demonstrate that you are professional.
The 6 delivery boat Captains that I have met over the years all told me that this was the most important issue when hiring a mate to help them with a delivery.
7. Setting up a business.
I talked with my tax guy and he setup an LLC for me.
8. Should I get Insurance.
I am not sure if I should get insurance for the next 5 years when I will only be a mate.
As a mate I am under the Delivery Boat Captains insurance and also the boat owners insurance.
But as some have said that does not stop you from being sued.
I will get a dash cam and have if recording so it anything does happen I will have supporting evidence.
to bring for a delivery.
Just for safety
I will bring with me a few items
a. Small plot charter
with current charts
as a backup.
b. Hand help VHF radio
c. A good pair of binoculars.
d. My PFD
that has a light, knife and whistle attached to it.
e. Maybe some tools
f. Sleeping bag, warm cloths and rain suit.
10. Know yourself.
Do you get seasick?
Do you panic when things go bad?
Do you get mad when people do not do what you ask them to do?
Do small things bother you?
Can you eat crap food
Can you handle less then 8 hours sleep per day?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, delivering boats may not be for you.