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Old 09 December 2007, 09:41   #1
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safety/work boat hire

i've been running a water safety business for the last 6 years, we mainly provide safety equipment. Having been approached by a number of clients seeking safety boat hire we are now considering supplying such a service (for both coastal and inland work).

Just looking for anyones comments,

- Does anyone subcontracting out work to skippers using your our own boats, if this successful? How much is the going daily rate?

- I understand we should be coded (for the coastal work)

- What would anyone recommend for the first boat?

- I would be looking to employ skippers with all the relevant quailifications RYA, Sea Survival etc... what else should i look for??

- Is it possible to get someone trained from scratch?

And... do you have any other comments
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Old 10 December 2007, 08:07   #2
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We have been doing it for quite some time and its not something I would consider using subcontractors for.

One of our most popular boats is the Ribtec 585 (6m LOA) as its dry but yet still easy to handle. I've got one for sale with a new Merc Verado and 3years warranty if you'd like.

If your looking towards doing stand-by work for long periods I'd either go for a cabin rib or ditch the RIB completely.

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Old 10 December 2007, 13:33   #3
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I do Seal Watching but.........

There are a number of people that offer this service around the UK, us included.
We have both and open and cabin rib available.

Some of the contracts insist or "protection" for the crew so would totally agree on either a cabin rib or another type of vessel.

The guys that do most of the cross channel swim stuff have a rib but its not their "bread and butter" boats, these tend to be motor cruisers.

If going for coded vessels your skipper will need to be Advanced Powerboat Commercially Endorsed or Yatchmaster Commercially Endorsed, as part of that quall they will have VHF, First Aid, Sea Survival.
IMHO that is the right way to go then your potential client knows to what bench mark your boat and crew are up to.

I hope that is a help.

Please feel free to mail or PM me if I can be of any further help.

Good luck with the venture.
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Old 10 December 2007, 19:36   #4
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- Does anyone subcontracting out work to skippers using your our own boats, if this successful? How much is the going daily rate?

It's not easy to get insurance for this (bareboat) but possible, Hire rate depends on the boat. I wouldn't hire my boat out bareboat as the hirer may not have the wherewithal to pay for the damage they might do by not checking oil, water etc

- I understand we should be coded (for the coastal work)

Coding is pretty straitforward and you'll probably have the ability to get the equipment at the right price. However Inland safety boats on construction sites don't need to be coded, but must have all the relevant safety gear. For example coding doesn't require you to have a Jacobs Ladder but it's pretty essential for rescuing someboady from the water, and the site safety officer will be looking for that plus documentaion of your rescue procedures

- What would anyone recommend for the first boat?

That's is a question that needs expanding. Different boats do different jobs.
First you have to defing the term safety boat and what it means to your business. If it's crew transfer work then yep you need a Cabin rib. If It's site safety work or standby Rig work then you need an open boat cos you lose time gettin out of the cabin to attend to the casulaty. If It's site work then I cant see anything beating a Sea Rider 5.4 or 6m cos the flooding hull is very useful when trying to hoik somebody in and therefore is a good selling point also it's very difficult to trash the reinforced toobs.

You can't really have a safety boat that doubles as a crew transfer vessel cos there is nowhere to put the casualty. If the work is guard ship work on a windfarm then you do need a big cabin rib or a proper boat. So what type of work are you initially aiming for?


- I would be looking to employ skippers with all the relevant quailifications RYA, Sea Survival etc... what else should i look for??

I work on Rya Tickets in the Construction safety area and OPITO Tickets for offshore OIL work The OPITO tickets are expensive to obtain and a lot tougher than the RYA tickets. But not needed outside the oil indusrty.

If you are doing sitesafety it might be worth your cox having a basic site safety passport?


Any potential skipper you employ should be able to make the boat dance at slow speed, cos that\s where the work needs to be done. Don't employ anyone that can't impress you in your boat and remeber that any twit can drive a boat fast including me

- Is it possible to get someone trained from scratch?

The most important thing to look for in a Skipper is experience. Plenty of training schools will offer you a zero to hero course where after a week you are a qualified commercial boat skipper, but I don't think that's a result for the casualty.or the boat owner.

Also boats go wrong, so a novice is gonna be hard pressed to get the boat working if a problem arises and that will invoke usually nasty nasty penalty clauses. Cos if the safety boat don't work then the site doesn't and that's an expense the contractors will be looking for you to bear. Get an experienced guy and if you want a trainee take 6 months or so to train the guy up you'll wind up with a result.

Also I notice yo have an inland location. For inland work somebody that's done a lot of safety boat stuff with a sailing club would be an ideal candidate but they may never have seen a wave in there life so you can't use em straightaway for coastal work. A Yachtmaster would be wasted on inland work most construction companies are happy with a commercial endorsemant on a PB2 i'd want to sea a minimum of the RYA safety boat ticket for those jobs.

And... do you have any other comments

Define what work you are being asked for and build your plans around that, consider chartering/ leasing a boat for the first three months or so. This then gives you the freedom to choose the correct boat when you know a bit more about what you are doing.


Also the cox can't have a 9 to 5 attitude if the boat needs maintenance after the working day is done then it's gotta happen, regardless of what they have lined up after work. Also you need to make this task streamlined so good ish tools, pleanty of spare consumables, and easy and claen refuelling system, acess to fuel and a float or fuel card to pay for it. plus a signed off maintenance schedule Manuals on disk wouldn't be a bad idea



I'm back from the North Sea Tomorrow so let me know if you need any more info, failing that good luck
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Old 10 December 2007, 21:26   #5
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Originally Posted by Rogue Wave View Post
- Does anyone subcontracting out work to skippers using your our own boats, if this successful? How much is the going daily rate?

It's not easy to get insurance for this (bareboat) but possible, Hire rate depends on the boat. I wouldn't hire my boat out bareboat as the hirer may not have the wherewithal to pay for the damage they might do by not checking oil, water etc

- :
I forgot to say that if there is a demand to rent out the boat direct to the Building company that can be a good thin Make sure your contract makes them liable for insurance and neglect
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Old 11 December 2007, 06:07   #6
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We do tons of safety boat work on the sea and inland. A big factor to consider is that often we start off as a safety boat then you get asked "oh could you take this piece of gear out to the lads" and all of that stuff. You end up with all sorts of gear onboard, welders, buckets of cement, pulling and hauling at sheet pilings etc.So I dont use brand new boats for most of it, we have had substantial cosmetic damage on some long term jobs.

What I do is with every job , go look at it no matter where, then risk assess and price it accordingly, If i think the boat will end up being used as a workboat I use an older tougher boat.
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