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Old 22 May 2006, 17:40   #1
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Help needed with costings

Hi everyone. I know this is a bit cheeky but.... my sailing class is trying to identify a reasonable level of re-imbursement to offer class members who use their own boats in support of various "on the water" activities such as rescue cover and coaching time. The typical RIB in use is between 4.5 and 5.8 metres with a 40 -75 hp motor 2 or 4 stroke and about 3-6 years old. Because of the high level of cover required for large junior events nowadays we find it necessary to augment the host club's boats with our own and sometimes commercially chartered boats also. So without divulging too many trade secrets what would you people feel would be a fair compensation for the use of a RIB per day (say available for 8 hours less fuel costs which are found) This would be cost to the owner with no profit element. We already have a towing cost but there is some discussion as to the real cost of supplying a RIB ready to be used. It is likely that we would not actually use the full figure but some portion as agreed between the owners and the class. Any information would be helpful and if you wanted to PM it I will make sure it stays private and no attribution will be made.

Many Thanks
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Old 22 May 2006, 18:15   #2
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Is there a danger that by recompensing the operator that they will need to be "coded"? I'm no expert...

I would have thought the sort of boat you are talking about depreciate at roughly £1000/yr (although that is obviously dependant on boat, care, usage, engine size etc). There seems to be a general rule of thumb that leisure boaters do around 100 engine hours a year. So on that basis the depreciation is around £10/hr. Servicing and other repairs probably cost £200/yr for that size of engine.

So I would have thought you are looking at £12/hr + fuel (and oil for 2 strokes) MAXIMUM. Obviously if it is a commercial operation you would expect it to be more.

I am surprised you can't just refund fuel costs and make people happy. £100 a day + fuel sounds like a lot of money...

Does this mean you can be more prescriptive of the standards of equipment and training you expect from the boat/crew? If it was my "little angel" out there I would have different expectations from totally volunteer rescue crews and crews who were being "paid" to do the job (even if it is not profitable).

Just a final word of warning. I used to do a lot of work for a big name charity (occassionaly still do). They pay all out of pocket expenses. Their fuel mileage and food allowances etc. were quite generous and there were certain people who used to use their vehicles unnecessarily or eat more extravagently that they would normally to try and gain from it. It was all too easy for people to forget "why they were there in the first place".

Just my thoughts... ...perhaps now that I have suggested a figure people will argue higher or lower.
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Old 22 May 2006, 18:51   #3
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Thanks for starting us off there! I understand your point about some people taking "advantage" and it's definately a point to be aware of.
The class does actually require drivers to have a PB2 and in many instances a "safety Boat" ticket. Emergency kit is generally issued by the class or organisers as are VHF sets. Many parents have PB2 or better plus quite a bit of experience righting and soothing young hopefuls! Drivers and crew are often able to carry out running repairs and even carry critical parts on board. Nearly all parents are well known to each other and many form regular crews, including a surprising number of doctors. so we reckon we are well equipped to cover the 100 plus fleets now seen regularly on start lines.
The issue really is that the alternative to parents' boats is commercial charter. This would force up event costs dramatically (we need a ratio of around 1 safety boat per dozen sailors) However in order to retain the Goodwill of parents (who are already spending a scary amount on their kids sailing) it is only fair to recognise that the provision of a RIB at an event is a real additional cost and cannot be taken for granted.

Your initial figures are interesting and I would welcome further input from anyone who has some insight into this area.

Thank you.
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Old 23 May 2006, 04:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart
I am surprised you can't just refund fuel costs and make people happy. £100 a day + fuel sounds like a lot of money...
We look after a nice new (5 metre) XS It's well equipped and the owner is well qualified and a keen J class sailer. He was asked to provide the cover you are talking about last week ,he did so they slipped him a hundred quid to cover his expenses and he was delighted. He would have done it for free but he will be a lot Keener next time

Volunteer arrangements can be beneficial to both parties but you can not compromise safety in these instances. so make sure the boat is right it's properly equipped and the cox is trained and experienced
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Old 23 May 2006, 07:18   #5
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I have done safety cover in the past for large events, and the usual procedure is to cover your fuel costs, provide a packed lunch for the crew and send you home with a full tank. When using my own boat I have been quite happy with this arrangement in the past and have also done it for free for charities such as Sea Scouts etc. If im driving a sailing club rib im usually quite happy with a packed lunch and a free ticket to the event socials. They generally provide hand held VHF's etc and im PB2 qualified, although have done a fair bit of dinghy rescue in the past, should really go and do my safety boat
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Old 23 May 2006, 14:48   #6
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Perhaps you could start at the other end of the calculation and see where it ends up?

So you have a requirement for 1 RIB per 12 boats. Lets call that 1 per 10 to give yourself some leeway (well actually to make the calculations easier!).

How much extra are you willing to add to the cost of entry (or are the participants/parents willing to pay) in order to reimburse the rib owners. If that is £5, then you give the owner 50 quid; if its a tenner you can go to 100 quid.
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Old 23 May 2006, 15:54   #7
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That's an interesting thought and a nice simple calculation Polwart. There is already a significant cost of entry for the events and I believe that these costs have been recognised in that figure for some time now. The difference is more related to the increasing entry size which has now got to the point where local availability of RIBs has been stretched beyond capacity and boats are being begged from further afield. As I mentioned the quality of boat and driver is rarely the issue. Its more a case of saying "thank you and can we rely on you in the future" to private owners. It's quite a lot of extra hassle for them to bring a heavy RIB as well as 1, 2 or even 3 race boats to an event. I myself have helped my club out for a drink and some fuel but it's a bit different when one is looking at a 2-300 mile round trip plus a lot of extra work on site. It makes sense for the class to build up a reliable and committed group of owners as it makes organising event safety so much easier and the briefing process is much simplified by having regular faces show each time. This only happens if the majority are happy with the compromise struck between the class association's gratitude and the practical economics of providing the facility to the events.

Hence my enquiries on this board.
Thanks for the input everyone. All opinions are gratefully recieved.
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Old 16 June 2006, 11:27   #8
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Event Safety cover

We regularly provide ribs and experienced helms for various events. Our time is given freely on the understanding that we get at least event fuel and a packed lunch in return. Usually, the cost of getting the boat to and from the event is also covered, and for week long events somewhere to camp.

This works well for us, as rib owners it is good to get out in all sorts of conditions and actually use our skills and we often get to go places where the 'public' cant because we are helping on an event.
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Old 19 June 2006, 04:03   #9
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Doing safety cover for dinghy events and kids sailing is what got me into this!

The problem with offering to pay for cover means that it becomes a commercial operation and the regulations change and life become expensive fast ie coded boats and commercially endorse drivers etc.

You will find that a lot of people especially in sailing clubs and some dive clubs will crew boats for a packed lunch and a thank you if asked nicely.

As for getting the safety boats thatís often the problem, favors can be traded, i.e. you provide a boat for their regatta and they provide one for yours. This normally works well in a port or amongst local clubs.

But if you are looking at a series moving around the place as the Topper series you mentioned and the other smaller sized class, I understand the problem having been safety officer for one inlands and helped on numerous inland and coastal events.

When we have been doing events at home its normally fuel used that day, a packed lunch and often an invite to the social (free or reduced cost entry).
For away events the above and free camping and some free food if the club is catering.

I understand the issue about cost of getting the boat there, if you need to draw in lots of boats to an area to get the safety ratios you might want to consider paying some transportation fees. You might want to talk to the National Schools Sailing Association as they have similar issues for their bigger events.

To get the safety skills up the class association could do some deal with a local sailing club and offer a cheap / free safety boat / first aid courses if they help out with the series.

The idea about budgeting in safety cover into the cost of the event should already be in the event costing, the problem often is that you can make the cost of entry too high and people canít afford to do it or they may not come back next year.

I seem to remember RYA suggests a 1:10 ratio for events but this is no hard and fast rule, ie on an inland on a nice day, with good sailors you could be able to have less safety boats, but a coastal event with marginal weather etc you would want more.

The worst case plan is always required; nothing attracts the bad kind of press as the coast guard / RNLI being called in.

Also if it gets round that you are paying people, it becomes a commercial entity and those who have given up a weekend or week out of good will or wanting to support youth sailing can feel a bit miffed and not help again. Hence some of the other suggestions I have made to avoid this.

The biggest problem I have seen is when the class association goes off and does the prize giving and does not invite the host club and helpers and does not say thank you.
You would be amazed how much a thank you and the resulting good will goes!

Rgds
James
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Old 19 June 2006, 04:51   #10
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Class Associations need to realise that safety boats are integral to their events.

No safety boats = no events.

We are lucky that there are no legal obligations at the moment so class associations need to organise a good quality safety fleet.

At the moment we regularly travel the country attending events and we expect our expenses covered.

If you ask for anymore money you may need to comply with the Work Boat Code of Practice and in the near future the Code of Practice for Rescue Boats. Its not worth getting in to it.

I would personally avoid cash lump sums. Get your boat skipper to provide an invoice for mileage (50p per mile towing a reasonable sized rib is the RYA rate) and accomodation, food etc. This can then be reimebursed after the event.

At least that way both the event organiser and the boat skipper are covered for income tax and coding requirements.

Plus lets be quite honest here, the safety crews get a nice day (Hopefully) on the water enjoying themselves. If you demand cash for doing the work your only going to end up not asked back the next year!

Chris

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