Originally Posted by John Kennett
On the other hand, as a potential punter I would like to encourage more people to offer bare boat charter! It makes perfect sense to me.
I've had the pleasure of being a passenger on a couple of Bareboat charters that John has done and can therefore offer some reassurance that not every skipper is as crazy and damage inflicting as might be suggested. Indeed both those boats were in tip top condition. However whilst there is a some financial sense to John's approach of not owning a big expensive rib and chartering when you want/need it, there won't be that many people with his level of previous experience who don't have their own boat. I'd guess its more likely you will have relatively inexperienced people who are over inflating their 'hours'. e.g. does "Held a PB2 for 5 yrs = sat my PB2 5 yrs ago and never been in a boat since; or does have been driving ribs every weekend for 3 yrs = drive my sailing clubs safety boat, mostly bobbing up and down and have never opened a chart in all that time; or yacht master with 30 yrs experience = never been over 5 knots "?
My own experience (not with John) is a lot of silly damage can be done launching and recovering so I'd be particularly wary of letting people do that themselves (solent rib charter are incredibly trusting and will let you tow the boat anywhere!) Especially if people are not used to the boat/trailer/slipway.
Originally Posted by Dragonhawk ficht
Nice find SIBer, so that's just over 300 a week for a small sib and over 500 for a larger sib without extras, still not back for the full week,
From a SIB perspective there are some points that spring to mind:
- you'll want people to book up in advance; but SIBs are more weather dependant so people may be more reluctant.
- for £500 for a week, plus a hefty deposit, I might be better just buying a small sib using it for a week and flogging it on.
- with 'bigger' boat charter you can appeal to the SR4/SIB owner who wants to go further afield / with family / go for a weekend without being so weather constrained etc. With SIBs you are more likely to be attracting relative novices.
- If I have booked and paid a lot of money, deposit etc - I 100% expect to be able to turn up and get a boat in perfect condition. It won't be acceptable to get told "sorry the guy last week broke the boat". Given how long it takes to properly patch a rib - that means you need a spare boat, and given the risk of dunking an engine, smashing a drive leg etc - probably a spare engine too!
If you want a little fleet of tiller steered but fairly indestructible boats you might be better with something like this: [self brand promotion] Fun Yak: SECU 12
[/self brand promotion] (there are a whole heap of sizes/styles and competitors too).
Your range might be much restricted with a SIB (or similar) which might mean you can restrict use to categorised waters and (I think) avoid coding depending on your local authorities view of renting boats - and where you are? I know of one place who seem to work this approach, with little 'run arounds' with < 10HP engines that people take to go look at the seals etc.
so no expensive marina fee's. although I could berth her there if I do set up hire, if the customer required that.
I think customers might expect that, but does a marina consider this 'commercial' and charge more?
Your suggestion of tying into accommodation is OK - but its an extra level of hassle. Unless you already have a holiday house etc to rent, then your upside there is probably minimal.
Personally I'd like to see more people offering decent ribs for bareboat charter - but unless you either don't do it very commercially (i.e. you only work by word of mouth to trusted customers) or are serious enough to set up a 'proper' business then I think it has the potential to be a lot of hassle/cost compared to the return. In terms of insurance and coding etc - I don't think it is a whole load more complex or involved than skippered charter: it is after all a common approach with yachts. Whilst everyone's initial reaction is probably the same as C2's - I'd be amazed if there is much wilful 'theft' of boats on charter, compared to the careless abuse. The problem with just taking a massive deposit is the customer needs to trust you more than you trust them! At some point you will charge a customer for a new prop when he thinks it was just a little ding and you'll get slagged off on-line; otherwise you'll end up not charging them for minor damage as a gesture of goodwill.