Originally Posted by beamishken
Does anyone know the coding requirements for self drive hire for say 4-6m ribs? I've thought for a while there was a business opportunity there to cater for the sail coaching parents and holidaying divers and people wanting to get out on the water without the expense of purchasing
Its not dependent on the length of the boat, but the range from (home) port. So assuming it can go anywhere by road to cover the setup you describe, then
you are trying to cover requirements for MGN 280(N) rather than a local harbour authority requirement.
Here are the categories in MGN:
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.
Category 5: To sea within 20 miles from a nominated departure point named in the certificate in favourable weather and daylight.
Category 4: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven in favourable weather and in daylight.
Category 3: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven.
Category 2: Up to 60 miles from a safe haven.
Category 1: Up to 150 miles from a safe haven.
Category 0: Unrestricted service.
So - assuming you are happy that divers and sail coaches will be in favourable weather and daylight, but are not restricting them to 20miles from your home port you are looking at a Cat 4 requirement. That would probably cover most people's requirements.
Bear in mind, your vessel now needs to meet the MCAs requirements for stability 20miles out. I don't know but for a 4m RIB that may or may not present a challenge. Certainly proving it presents a cost.
You need to comply with ISO 6185 Part 2 or 3
Lifebouys x 2
Lifejackets for all on board (plus as they will be inflatable) 2 spares.
DSC VHF Fixed Unit
Battery for the above needs to be non-swampable.
Flares (2 x Red hand, 2 x Smoke)
Thermo Protective Aids
Fire fighting equipment (specifics need checked)
2 Anchors with chain (10m chain and 20m rope each), 1 >=8kg & 1 >=4kg,
Cat C First Aid Kit
There are technical details on all of that.
The anchors can be a pain because they are quite large for the size of boat you are talking about, and carrying 2 with a lot of chain becomes a stowage issue.
The Liferaft is also a major PITA. Especially as it needs to be SOLAS etc not just a cheap-ass one from the yachting equivalent of poundland. Plus it needs to carry the max crew for the boat (I assume you could down plate the boat?)
As with the liferaft, lifejackets will need to be serviced etc.
So - you would probably pick something the size of a SR5.4 to meet your spec. Plated for 8, but you might reduce that to 5, but you'll need to provide 7 life jackets! Frustrating as the coach will probably wear a PFD and be 100m from another boat who will fish him out if he goes for a swim. Plus you need a 6 man life raft that will never be used. But there is no option if the boat wont be operating from its named port. If its using a named port, like in the Solent only, you can get the local council to certify it instead of MCA.
I'd guess just maintaining lifejackets and raft will be ~£1k per boat per year?
There may be other details I've missed.
How much will coaches pay to rent the boat? Would they collect it or you deliver it to them?
How will damage and faults be handled.
You can buy a SR 4.7m with a 70HP on a trailer for £4k - located near you. You could probably get that through the coding (if you can get the stability tests etc) but you'll spend another £2k+ on getting the kit tweaked etc, and have insurance, trailer insurance/breakdown to cover , annual costs for licences and servicing costs plus the fees etc. I'd guess first year £4k, then second year on £2k. Lets assume it will last 4 years* your cost of ownership will be £12k, so £3k per year. (*I am assuming at that stage the boat has no residual value at all which may be unfair.)
Hire will mostly be for the weekends and mostly in the summer. I guess max 12 weeks of the year. Lets assume Fri - Mon hire. You need £250 hire each time just to cover your costs. If you actually wanted to make profit and have some safety blanket in there for rising costs, uncovered damages etc you will need £350 for a weekend hire.
Coaching Dad wants that boat 3 times a year. That costs him £1k. But if he can afford £4k he could buy that same boat, have less hassles of getting it and returning it and knows any damage is his problem rather than a lost deposit etc. In 2 years time, used the boat 6 times he sells it. It would sell for £3.5k+ unless he has trashed it. He has saved £1.5k...
So... the only benefits I can see are if you deliver the boat to the venue for him and retrieve it. But that means you are now towing boats all over the country...
In short - I'd love there to be a hire service, but I don't think the ££ balances out. You'd likely hire a much newer boat... but as an owner a newer boat just means more depreciation.