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Old 29 June 2012, 14:11   #1
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Thundercat Hire

Ive been thinking now for a while about hiring out my thundercat from the beach or doing through a site like buy a gift & then when i have some more money buy a second to expand it alittle. But im not sure how & what you need to get it going!? Anyone out there done it before or does it now have any advice??
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Old 29 June 2012, 14:17   #2
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Originally Posted by lukewhiting View Post
Ive been thinking now for a while about hiring out my thundercat from the beach or doing through a site like buy a gift & then when i have some more money buy a second to expand it alittle. But im not sure how & what you need to get it going!? Anyone out there done it before or does it now have any advice??
Huge issues with Public Liability Insurance would be the first thing that pops to mind.
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Old 29 June 2012, 14:19   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukewhiting View Post
Ive been thinking now for a while about hiring out my thundercat from the beach or doing through a site like buy a gift & then when i have some more money buy a second to expand it alittle. But im not sure how & what you need to get it going!? Anyone out there done it before or does it now have any advice??
You'd have to run it during the day and only in favourable conditions, not sure if you can code a thundercat (liferaft issue??)... I've got the paperwork here so I'll have a look through for you and pull out the relevant sections...
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Old 29 June 2012, 14:23   #4
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yeah seems abit of a headache to get it running but in the long run would be good! People have already done it so its definatly possible...just getting going

& thanks!
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Old 29 June 2012, 14:39   #5
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You could code it as a Cat. 6 vessel;

Area Category 6 - to sea, within 3 miles from a nominated departure point(s) named in the
certificate and never more than 3 miles from land, in favourable weather and daylight;


but then you still have to have a liferaft;

13.2.3 Vessels Operating in Area Category 2,3,4,5 & 6:-
.1 should be provided with liferaft capacity to accommodate at least the total number of
persons on board;


Plus lifebuoys, grab bag (TPAs, Medikit, Flares, Tools)...

Honestly by the time you have fitted all of these on your thundercat I don't think there's gonna be space for many passengers...

[All info from the MCA's 'The Small Commercial Vessel and Pilot Boat Code']

But drop the MCA a line, there may be exceptions I've missed (148 page doc)...
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Old 29 June 2012, 15:03   #6
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ahaa dont think there'll be much room for anything after that!! i went on a zapcat experience down at hamble a few years back they only went like 100 metres offshore but they had no of that stuff with them at all?!
thanks for your help though, gives me a few ways to look into it
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Old 29 June 2012, 17:12   #7
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Where are you based? Your best bet is to find a local authority who will code it within local waters - they're often more flexible when it comes to how much kit you need. For example, it's still possible to code a boat for Solent waters (cat d) without a raft. The guys that used to run on Southampton water had to have a rib nearby to act as mother ship so you may find that appears on your shopping list. Insurance is also very very hard to get and very expensive for this particular activity, but it can be done.
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Old 29 June 2012, 17:53   #8
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id do it from poole/swanage area. & i know insurance is gunna be loads but just trying to get an idea to i prepare as soon as possible haha
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Old 30 June 2012, 04:36   #9
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Coding to Cat 6 is not viable for a thunder cat.

Not sure there are many local authorities left that exempt the raft from Cat D waters either. Cat C however is more common.

Ignoring coding for a moment though you can't run a safe thundercat operation without a safety boat of some form or by limiting to very tame and small engine. Assuming you want the product to be exciting then the safety craft is a given. As soon as you bring in a safety boat you open the door to not coding the thunder cat. Defiantly a local authority deal though.

All that however is irrelevant if you don't have a sound business plan. Selling a low margin product through high commission agents is a tough business. Vortex threw loads of money at it and still could not make it work!

Cats, helmets, dry suits, changing area, briefing area, safety boat etc make it a bit more complicated than simply launching your cat of a beach. The operational side of this sort of business will require regular fuel top ups throughout the day. Petrol purchase and storage then becomes an issue. The nature of this particular product is that people do get hurt. Contingency plans need to be in place for this situation. I'm not saying its impossible but as a stand alone business I don't think it can work. The support you require would make your business to top heavy unless that same support could be utilised outside of your very short season (summer weekends with good weather).
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Old 02 July 2012, 12:03   #10
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Lagoon Watersports in Brighton do this I think, may be worth checking out their operation!
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