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Old 01 March 2012, 14:30   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Boat name: Seaing Red
Make: Larson
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yamaha 140hp V4
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 38
Starting out

Hi,

I'm really keen to use my love of boating to earn a living. I am PB 2 qualified, not commercially endorsed, which means I need to work my way up the qualification ladder(which I'm actually quite excited about).

In the mean time I was wondering if buying a Rib to charter out to other commercial skippers or even bareboat would be a good idea? Just to get going in the industry and perhaps provide a bit of income to help me on my way etc!

Would it be commercially viable in the first place?

Any thoughts and advice is very welcome

Thanks
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Old 01 March 2012, 14:44   #2
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Country: UK - England
Town: Solent
Make: Phantom 21
Length: 5m +
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Posts: 138
I expect there will shortly be a flood of advice from regular posters on here about what to do etc. but here's my 10 pence.

My advice would be to have a long hard think about trying to make it in this business before you jump in with both feet. It's a lot harder than people think and not the "dream job" it always appears to be. The charter business is fiercely competitive from the point of view of running a company and there are many large setups that have all the key areas covered. I have never tried to make a living from this industry but I know people that have and failed.

Secondly, trying to make ends meet just from skippering is nearly impossible (depending on your lifestyle I guess) as it's very seasonal work.

In terms of buying a boat to charter out, it's an expensive venture that requires some pretty substantial initial capital. There are also many hoops to jump through in the process and this can be an uphill struggle.

I'm sorry to p**s on your bonfire a bit, but I'm just giving my honest opinion.

If you can make it all work, then good for you! I think it's so important to enjoy what you're doing - I would hate to dread going to work and thankfully I don't but some people do.

J.
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Old 01 March 2012, 17:36   #3
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Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Boat name: Seaing Red
Make: Larson
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yamaha 140hp V4
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 38
Thankyou Jonny,

Any advice is welcome even if it is a bit negative. I'm quite realistic and have already done a fair bit of research....an idea is only an idea until you make it happen!!
I do believe I have the enthusiasm and business sense to make things work but that doesn't make the phone ring or fill up the diary with bookings! I was thinking start small and try to go from there while I have other income as well.

I would probably be operating out of Chichester as that is where my boat is based currently...

SR
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Old 01 March 2012, 18:01   #4
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Country: UK - England
Town: Solent
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Length: 5m +
Engine: Mariner 200hp V6
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Posts: 138
Well that's great, and I hope it does work for you! There is a huge wealth of experience amongst the posters on this forum and they are a great source of knowledge and advice that you'll be able to tap into. 250kts is a regular poster and he recently set up a sea safari type operation out of Poole. He's been going two years now and things seem to be going well I believe.

I did some skippering work for a sea safari company in Plymouth during 2010. They have since stopped running things as they were struggling to get the business. I learnt from that, that marketing is SO key to success!!

At the end of the day as long as you've done you're research and you're realistic with yourself, then you give yourself the best possible chance of success.

I'm very local to Chichester, it's absolutely lovely down there
Jonny.
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Old 02 March 2012, 04:36   #5
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Country: UK - England
Boat name: Seashell
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Length: 7m +
Engine: Inboard diesel
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Posts: 5,263
Hi SR. I've been there and done that, and I'm afraid as Jonny has said it's a tough slog, especially on the South Coast where there is so much competition. Fine if you're not looking to make much money and do it as a lifestyle type business, or you have the money to hit it hard and compete with the big boys like Solent RIB charter (who own a very smart fleet of over 30 RIBs) but if not I would have a good think about it before hand. I was doing it to make a living and it was tricky; things do go wrong (I had engines blow up, gearboxes go, all very expensive to fix and less than ideal if it happens the day before a big job!). All of that said, there are some smaller companies doing very well out there at the moment. C2 RIBs seems busy during the season, Seadogz are a newish company who've just ordered a new Redbay so they must be doing something right, Action Boat down at Chichester were out a lot last year. However, I don't believe any of the above are people's main jobs - they're either retirement businesses or second incomes.

If you do bareboat charter, insist on a sizeable deposit on the customers credit card before you hand over the keys.

I got out of chartering boats out a couple of years ago now and never looked back! Good luck. PS. I would look at getting your advanced ticket before you do anything else; this will give you so much more credibility to a potential employer than a level 2.
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Old 02 March 2012, 08:19   #6
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Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Boat name: Seaing Red
Make: Larson
Length: 6m +
Engine: Yamaha 140hp V4
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 38
Thanks Tim,

Yeah I'm looking into my Advanced PB and Day Skipper Theory for starters. I do want to do things properly even if I don't make it all the way. A second income is probably the way forward for me at the moment!

There's always what seems to be more negatives to most businesses, and I need people in the know to try and talk me out of it so that I have a much more realistic picture!

As for deposits for bare boat, I would guess that a deposit should be the cost of the insurance excess or more maybe? Insurance is probably the only costing I haven't done in much detail. Any ideas on cost?
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