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Old 17 July 2012, 14:02   #1
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Pro's n con's of bare boat charter

I'm seriously considering making my rib avalable for bareboat charter, and would appreciate some knowledge of the pro's n con's of such, I realise i'd need to up the insurance and get the rib re-coded, but how much on average would this cost. and would the insurance expect the people hiring to have certain qualifications, or would it be up to my discretion, of course I wouldn't want any nutter at the helm, and I would insist on some proof of experience, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with experience of smaller / larger vessels wishing to try something different for a day, without having to trail there own vessel hundreds of miles. maybe I could do a package with accommodation, camping or BB included, could it work? and would anyone be interested in shares, with outlook to expand maybe.
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Old 18 July 2012, 06:06   #2
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Ive been there and done it, and wouldn't do it again. Whilst a deposit covers you for the inevitable damage, it doesn't cover you for the time and inconvenience involved with said damage. The worst I came across was someone who drove the boat at speed over a rock, shredding the prop and knackering the gearbox. We then has to drive down to where it was and tow it home, before struggling to find a replacement gearbox in a hurry. Other disasters that spring to mind were a broken windscreen and several mullered props. It's a hire-car mentality - its not mine so I'll rag the hell out of it. Whilst the customer might have all the tickets in the world there's no guarantee they've been near a boat recently, know the local area very well or that they didn't do a zero to hero course.

Solent RIB charter do a lot of it, but then they can afford to keep spares of just about everything so the boat isn't down for long, and from memory require a swipe of your card for a £2k damage deposit.

I think if its just to earn a few extra quid to cover your marina berth or similar it's not worth it. You'd be better doing skippered charters (maybe let the customer drive under your supervision so best of both worlds).
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Old 18 July 2012, 08:02   #3
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Totally agree with Tim! My experience was very similar with people just ignoring things like "water in fuel" warnings, etc.

But hey, why not have a go? Just do it with your eyes open!
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Old 18 July 2012, 09:57   #4
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Hi Tim,
Thank you for sharing your experience and sorry to hear it didn't work out for you, It certainly sounds like a risky road to go down, I supose if you could be guaranteed sensible customers then it'd be a winner, if only there where a device that could restrict speed in certain areas, I don't think i'd be to bothered with small dings where the deposit would cover replacement, and part of 2k should cover most likely items, except gear boxes of course. did the insurance cover that out of interest, or where you left out of pocket, I imagine the time and inconvenience of repair being a problem though as you say. As for skippered charter I've thought about it but there seems enough round here as is. but not many on bare boat charter,I like the sound of customer supervised though maybe for the first hour or so, make sure there not lying of experience, but would I need an instructors licence for that I'd like to know. If it could work I'd invest in a couple of sibs aswell, thanks again,
ps I would have replied sooner but I had to pop out.
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Old 18 July 2012, 10:24   #5
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Hi,

just my two penneth worth..... I agree with all thats been said re Bareboat (having also learnt the hard way.....really experienced people too......no-one looks after your kit as you do) and would also flag up that there is already bareboat in the Haven (not sure if you knew that?).....Rudders do it with a small Humber IIRC. Oh and SIBs......think that could be pretty tricky.....
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Old 18 July 2012, 10:34   #6
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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.
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Old 18 July 2012, 10:49   #7
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Totally agree with Tim! My experience was very similar with people just ignoring things like "water in fuel" warnings, etc.

But hey, why not have a go? Just do it with your eyes open!


Cheers for that Dry Run, I guess there are many issues like "water in fuel" warnings being ignored, and probably a few more I've not thought of and would appreciate the heads up on. I really do want to have a go, and thanks to Ribnet my eye's are being educated open by the minute, including the previous related threads i'm working through.
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Old 18 July 2012, 10:59   #8
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Originally Posted by Dragonhawk ficht View Post
would I need an instructors licence for that I'd like to know. If it could work I'd invest in a couple of sibs aswell, thanks again,
ps I would have replied sooner but I had to pop out.
You wouldn't need an instructor qualification to do this, but if you wanted to skipper it with customers on board you'd need a commercial endorsement (eg advanced powerboat).
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Old 18 July 2012, 11:00   #9
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Insurance is another area to research fully. It can be achieved but you need to see the users documents in advance. You will need to ensure they are who they say they are, i.e Proof of ID and also take a substantial deposit, normally a credit card.

The level of qualification is at least a PB2 with experience in most insurance cover for bareboat. I would also look at having a hidden tracker on the baot or else it could leave you on the water and then be taken off on a trailer.

The comp[anies that operate on the Solent have good experience of doing bareboat but there are more hurdles to cross than a skipper charter and you then have control.
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Old 18 July 2012, 11:35   #10
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Hi,

just my two penneth worth..... I agree with all thats been said re Bareboat (having also learnt the hard way.....really experienced people too......no-one looks after your kit as you do) and would also flag up that there is already bareboat in the Haven (not sure if you knew that?).....Rudders do it with a small Humber IIRC. Oh and SIBs......think that could be pretty tricky.....

Cheers Dan, Yes I did realise Rudders where doing it, but they have a lot of overheads to cover, and I think I could offer only 1 boat at the moment admittedly, but 30% cheaper. on a 7m that should attract some interest maybe. plus I would offer 4x4 launch n recovery included.
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Old 18 July 2012, 11:37   #11
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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 would certainly offer big discounts to trusted members.
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Old 18 July 2012, 11:42   #12
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Rudders appear to be up for sale........!

Asking price on Rightmove £2.4M
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Old 18 July 2012, 14:01   #13
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Hi,

Oh and SIBs......think that could be pretty tricky.....
Stumbled across this a while ago
SIB and outboard hire in Manchester

Boat Hire, Outboard Hire and Marine Equipment Hire :: Boats2Go

On the bareboat idea - Nothing handles as good as a hire car!
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Old 18 July 2012, 14:11   #14
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Originally Posted by SIBer View Post
Stumbled across this a while ago
SIB and outboard hire in Manchester

Boat Hire, Outboard Hire and Marine Equipment Hire :: Boats2Go
Interesting......But...... Still for hire and reward......If used in Coastal waters?????????????
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Old 18 July 2012, 14:12   #15
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Old 18 July 2012, 14:46   #16
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Insurance is another area to research fully. It can be achieved but you need to see the users documents in advance. You will need to ensure they are who they say they are, i.e Proof of ID and also take a substantial deposit, normally a credit card.

The level of qualification is at least a PB2 with experience in most insurance cover for bareboat. I would also look at having a hidden tracker on the baot or else it could leave you on the water and then be taken off on a trailer.

The comp[anies that operate on the Solent have good experience of doing bareboat but there are more hurdles to cross than a skipper charter and you then have control.


Cheers C2, I'm still looking into the insurance side of things, with the intent of useing the full 2k for excess, if proved there fault of course. Totally agree with the ID, I would need to clue up on how to spot a fake. I've been looking into trackers and looking through a few threads on the subject, so that's on the cards.
Okay here goes.
As for me renewing my dot boatman's licence, I would love to however I don't think i'd pass the required medical, due to a spinal injury which has partialy effected my right side, this is no problem to me onboard I can get around fine with plenty of things to grab to walk around the deck, thats one of the main reasons i chose a rib, I'd also like to point out the DVLA, MCA, and my insurers are aware, in fact dvla insist on retesting people after severe spinal injury, mainly checking responce time and strength, fortunatly I was found still able enough to continue driving, and the boat insurer's are happy with me going anywhere in europe with my previous experience and certification,
On the plus side I think my limp would qualify me as a good pirate.
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Old 18 July 2012, 15:33   #17
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Stumbled across this a while ago
SIB and outboard hire in Manchester

Boat Hire, Outboard Hire and Marine Equipment Hire :: Boats2Go

On the bareboat idea - Nothing handles as good as a hire car!


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,
I'm not looking to make huge profits really, just enough to cover expences and maybe a little spare for upgrades, I'm keeping the expenses to a min by trailer into secure cctv yard at the mo, so no expensive marina fee's. although I could berth her there if I do set up hire, if the customer required that.
As for hire cars, back in the day's of 20 quid deposits, well we've all been there, but would we be so wild if we thought a couple o grand deposite was at stake.
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Old 18 July 2012, 16:55   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M View Post
Ive been there and done it, and wouldn't do it again. Whilst a deposit covers you for the inevitable damage, it doesn't cover you for the time and inconvenience involved with said damage.

I think if its just to earn a few extra quid to cover your marina berth or similar it's not worth it. You'd be better doing skippered charters (maybe let the customer drive under your supervision so best of both worlds).
Very wise words


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M View Post
. It's a hire-car mentality - its not mine so I'll rag the hell out of it. Whilst the customer might have all the tickets in the world there's no guarantee they've been near a boat recently, know the local area very well or that they didn't do a zero to hero course.

.
Tim M like myself learnt this the expensive and hard way, I would never hire one of my boats to anybody and I would have to know you bloody well, and have a very high opinion of you to lend you a boat

I rented out my Scorpion once and the guy actually snapped the throttle lever in half we had to launch another boat recover the damaged one and then he asked us for his money back for giving us defective equipment (which it wasn't).

I really wouldn't recommend you do it and I suspect all the people who may have a more positive view have never actually done it!



but if you do decide to do it then have a good listen to Down Payment Blues by AC DC cos that's gonna be you that is
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Old 18 July 2012, 21:50   #19
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonhawk ficht View Post

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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 19 July 2012, 07:02   #20
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Very wise words




Tim M like myself learnt this the expensive and hard way, I would never hire one of my boats to anybody and I would have to know you bloody well, and have a very high opinion of you to lend you a boat

I rented out my Scorpion once and the guy actually snapped the throttle lever in half we had to launch another boat recover the damaged one and then he asked us for his money back for giving us defective equipment (which it wasn't).

I really wouldn't recommend you do it and I suspect all the people who may have a more positive view have never actually done it!



but if you do decide to do it then have a good listen to Down Payment Blues by AC DC cos that's gonna be you that is

Cheers for the heads up on that RW, and that's a shame it didn't work out for yourself and Tim, did either of you get many good customers to offset the cost of poor customers, I suppose I would need to emphasise exactly how much deposit would be used for each item that may get damaged, if proved there fault.
So having a check list in place, and carfully running through it with the customer would be essential, to confirm there's no defective equipment. and to point out any minor scratches and the like,
I would expect to make a loss here and there, and believe it's good business practice to realise it's not profit all the way. I think/hope I've got resonably good customer skills having dealt with literaly thousands of customers in the past, in the marine and internet environment. Fortunately I own my rib and jeep's outright, so I don't have any huge expences to keep up with, only monthly insurance payments for ease of cancelation if necessary.

Thanks again RW for pointing out issues that will need addressing.

One question I have to ask anyone reading this is, would you treat a hire rib the same way you'd treat a hire car? with a high deposit in place.
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