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Old 22 July 2011, 11:56   #1
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all advice welcome for new charter biz

Hi Newbie here so please be gentle!
I would appreciate any advice anyone could offer as I am pretty clueless on the whole subject but...
I am considering a career change from builder in the uk to rib operator for charter in the med up to 12 miles from the coast of spain. 7m rib taking people sightseeing, lunching, snorkling but not water skiing etc. Daylight hours only and 8 passengers max. I am hoping to pick up one day charter a week high season and I would skipper.
That is pretty much the model of it, but about me-
44 yrs old
10 years experience with a searay 4.3 merc inboard
ppl sep (not important save the vhf license)
RYA ICC
Willing to learn before taking passengers.
Physically and mentally all there.
I would like the boat to be UK registered as I would remain Uk registered as well, the charter would only operate for a few months a year.

So the questions are-
what kind of qualifications do you think I would need?
what would the Spanish Authorities make of it all?
what kind of boat would you recommend? (I would like the biggest possible on a trailer as I don't want to pay marina charges here which are very dear)
Anyone done the same?

Thanks in advance
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Old 03 August 2011, 18:43   #2
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Hi Rewdan,

Right now, i'm doing the same thing. I'd like to move to Spain, after i've sold my house and start a RIB charter business over there. I had the same questions, but most are personal. The license you need is the ICC-2 or RYA with commercial endorsement.
Spanish authorities don't care, as long as you pay your taxes.
Kind of boat is personal. What are you offering? Speed and action or nice vieuws and dolphin watching? Try to google for "matriculation tax".
As long as i haven't sold my house, i'm doing this business here in Germany. Just do get some experience before starting in the Med.
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Old 03 August 2011, 19:06   #3
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...I am considering a career change from builder in the uk to rib operator for charter in the med up to 12 miles from the coast of spain. ......... mentally all there.
are you sure!
Quote:
I would like the boat to be UK registered as I would remain Uk registered as well, the charter would only operate for a few months a year.....
what would the Spanish Authorities make of it all?
i'd be amazed if they would be too happy - even if (and I don't know if this is the case) european harmonisation means you could...

I think there is another ex pat who runs charters in spain on here - search tool (perhaps members search for someone in spain) will help find him
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Old 04 August 2011, 03:06   #4
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Hi Rewdan,

The license you need is the ICC-2 or RYA with commercial endorsement.
Spanish authorities don't care, as long as you pay your taxes..

Or you could follow the law-

If you are running a UK flagged vessel as you have described then you will need to comply with the MCA Codes of Practice for small craft.
Essentially this means your skipper will need to be

RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence or
MCA Yachtmaster Coastal, Offshore or Ocean Certificate of Competence

Both carry the commercial endorsement.

Level 2 is not enough for this kind of operation.

You then need to look at the local laws and see what (if anything) they dictate.

My experience of the Spanish authorities is they apply the rules differently from port to port. We have trained quite a few people who have gone on to set up charters, thrill rides, RIB rides, day trips, PWC hire, water ski and so on in different parts of Spain. In some cases the Spanish Authorities have been stricter than UK, in some cases less so.

Happy to talk you through the qualification route if you call me in the office 02380 231122
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Old 04 August 2011, 11:03   #5
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Thanks Doug, I'm on my hols in Spain at the moment but I may well give you a ring when I get back to the UK in the autumn, I will approach my local town hall and try and get their idea of what the score is.
I am willing to take the correct qualifications, at the moment the biggest question is whether we move to Spain in the first place.

Robert, good luck with your move, I only want to do pleasure stuff, nice beach restaurants, dolphins, inter island taxi etc. But smart stuff, I am in Ibiza (if I do the move) and there are plenty of wealthy potential clients wanting to go places. That said, I would be happy with a single charter a week as the idea of moving to Ibiza would be to lessen the work load and enjoy life a bit more.
The boat would have to be around 6 years old, plenty of sun lounging cushions and shiney bits rather than decked out for the SAS and trailer-able so I could pull it out at the end of the day and take it home, (no mooring fees). Big as possible and better not forget, for my own personal use on days off!

Polwart...Yep I am sure. 25 years of the building biz is enough to make you sure. Skyped my mum today back in the UK and it was peeing down, British summer sucks!

Anyway, to all that have replied many thanks, keep the info coming as it is all appreciated and will help me evaluate my potential move to Spain/new career. You need to do something to keep busy and not drink yourself to death out here so why not drive a boat! (beer in hand whilst typing!)
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Old 05 August 2011, 04:27   #6
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Doug, you]re absolutely right that the rules are different from port to port, and also from comunidad to comunidad (sorry, but i don't know the english word for it).
What are the costs for a RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence, how long does it take and is it doable for someone who is not a native english speaker?
Thanks!
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Old 05 August 2011, 08:51   #7
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I wish you luck in your new venture and wish we had more reliable sun. Do your market research very well, check on any "competition" and get yourself the very best boat for the seas in the area. Well worth checking out the new European "vibration" regulations that are now in force for all craft built after 2010.
Be very, very harsh in your business plans, there is no place for "rose tinted glasses". When putting funding into place, ensure you have a surplus beyond expected costs, as cash flow (or lack of it) kills most new businesses in the first couple of years.
Try to be the best at what you do and find something different to give you an edge.
Steve
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Old 05 August 2011, 09:22   #8
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Polwart...Yep I am sure. 25 years of the building biz is enough to make you sure. Skyped my mum today back in the UK and it was peeing down, British summer sucks!
Oh I can completely see why someone would want to do it - it was simply your sanity I was questioning!

For a few more constructive thoughts:

1. I'd guess most serious charter operators in the UK would consider 6yrs old a pretty old boat that was due replacement. Do your target market expect a slightly cheaper older boat or something that says "luxury" and "quality"?

2. Whilst marina/harbour fees are expensive - launching and recovering is a PITA, that will eat into your working day. Perhaps more importantly your boat is a big advert for you when tied up alongside so having a 'prominent' berth could pay for itself in increased charter work. It would also make short trips (which might actually get higher margin?) more practical.

3. Can you really manage on just 1 day per week of charter during the "season". How much can you charge per day? How much will you spend on fuel? How much for launch fees, insurance, getting/keeping the boat coded, repairs/servicing, advertising. How much do you need/want to earn? Now if you are essentially planning to retire our there and this is just pocket money, or a way to keep an expensive boat then it might work - but if you are trying to pay bills from this then you need to do your sums very carefully.
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Old 05 August 2011, 13:50   #9
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Thanks for the good luck wish 250, this is a learning curve for me. I appreciate the input.
Polwart, I wouldn't blame you if you were questioning my sanity, I do on a daily basis! That said, after more than 2 decades in construction and still everything from a hod carrier to a roofer, it's time for a change. It's a young mans game.
As for your points.
1. I have seen some really nice 6 year old boats out there, I am not really trying to be a serious charter co. Just a good looking RIB that says luxury and quality but not expensive. More a decent service, relaxed but thorough.

2. I would guess that marina fees here in Ibiza are around 5k a year for an 8 m Rib (just a guess but I understand they are pretty dear). I don't think I would earn that in a year anyway. I do get the bit about it being an advert but that said, my boat would look rather pathetic next to the ones in the marina advertising. Great big 12m ones, but then they are going to be dearer. Dragging it out at the end of the day would be a pain but in all honesty, my working day or time spent is pretty immaterial to me, as is the charter time I am out. Here in Ibiza and I am sure it's the same elsewhere, charters seem to run from 10am ish to 2pm (half day 550 euros plus IVA and fuel) or 10am to around 6pm (full day 750 euros plus IVA and fuel). I am really not watching the clock and would rather my clients had fun and relaxed. What is an extra couple of hours??

3. You have found me out here! Whilst I am still carrying the hod and putting up scaffolding in the UK, I have been pretty good at it, unfortunately it's starting to hurt physically. Whilst I have been pretty successful up until now, property is ruined in the UK for the foreseeable so maybe a retirement/hobbie/career change is on the cards. We are by no means wealthy but don't need to work to pay the bills any more.
Importantly, as much as pocket money comes i useful, it's more about doing something. But if I got a booking everyday I would be out there working it.

I have been looking into the Matriculation tax and am still confused on it, for boats less than 15m its seems everyone is confused on it!
If anyone can help on that on it would be great based on the following-

Uk tax resident owner and skipper(same person and provable)
Uk boat MCA coded etc
full UK insurance
owner/skipper qualified to do what I want to do!

keep those replies coming!
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Old 05 August 2011, 17:32   #10
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What are the costs for a RYA Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence, how long does it take and is it doable for someone who is not a native english speaker?
Thanks!
English as a first language it not required but reasonable English is required as the training and exam are in English. Remember of course is always harder for those who do not speak English as a first language.

How long it takes depends mainly on what you have done before. Previous training and experience both help.

For an existing power boater who has a reasonable grasp of boat handling but is fairly new to navigation we need 5 days classroom nav, 3 days on VHF, First Aid & Sea Survival and about 7 days afloat putting it all into practice. Packages are bespoked and lengthened or shortened depending on the individual.
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