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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of daily charter service...

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Drifter, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Let's hear the Good, Bad, and Ugly experiences of owners placing 48-55 foot sedan bridge or other sizes/layouts into day boat (9-5) charter service with a licensed captain (not the owner). What is the range of possible profit margins with the increased insurance premiums? Do guests typically cook lunch in the galley or mostly bring coolers? How is the wear of soft goods and head plumbing? Is there a more favorable boat layout? Would you buy a nicer/more expensive boat if you had a reasonable assurance of some rental income? Would a power cat command higher rent due to greater stability? Best websites to advertise?
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The best way to have a million dollars in the charter business is to start with three.
  3. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    3 yachts? Seriously? Does it work like vacation homes: pay down the mortgage using charter revenue, owner uses it occasionally until the loan is repaid, own vessel for a fraction of the cost? Or is there too much wear and tear?
  4. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    My own Brother chartered my boat. The fight made frontpage news in the papers. Not pretty.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    No start with 3 million dollars. Sounds like you might be looking for something like the Moorings.
  6. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Overnight bareboat sounds like the extreme wear and tear that I’d like to avoid. Daytime only charters with a captain seem like they would be far less wear on the boat since most guests would rather be topside during their short time aboard. I will only be able to use a boat a few times per year in the short term so I am trying to hack a way to buy soon and day charter it so it cash flows, versus wait and buy years from now for my personal use only. It sounds like I should wait. But I enjoy boating up north enough 5 months per year that I thought it might be worth investigating the business angle to get a boat in south FL sooner rather than later. Perhaps I should be renting from the business model I’m seeking but I would want to bare boat.
  7. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    No direct experience but I docked at Miami Beach Marina for 3 days last summer and there were atleast 3 boats in the size you are speaking of that were doing day charters. The sides were scarred up because the current runs swiftly and people smoking on the boat, pumping music, and in general partying. Not judging just saying it looked like absolute bedlam to me and there is no way in hell I would do it with my boat. But a boat to me is a personal possession and I don’t want it trashed. I have not seen any numbers but I can’t imagine it is profitable and it is for sure not doing the boat any favors. Not to mention the risk one is taking with little to no reward.
  8. alvareza

    alvareza Member

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    It’s not a all like a vacation home. Boats depreciate and real estate tends to appreciate. After 15-20 years the boat will be worth a fraction of the new price, your vacation home might be worth more and is unlikely to be worth a lot less. The charter wear and tear will further accelerate the boats depreciation.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've seen many people try to do this, both in Ft. Lauderdale and on LI, and there's been very few takers. In fact one client of mine tried in the Hamptons. He got one customer and he bounced his check. Basically anybody who could afford to do it can afford to have their own boat. In fact you would be exactly the customer you're looking for. So ask yourself why you're not renting a boat rather than buying. My best suggestion would be to seek out a fractional ownership situation. It's an idea the works for me in theory and works with things like time-shares for condos, but most people who shell out a half-million or more for their boat just don't want to share it with partners they don't know and most who know their partners find that it's a great way to end those friendships. Maybe you should try to rent a boat for the day, check out the kinds of boats offered and what's charged. Also check with your attorney about the liability you'd face should one of these guests get injured. Here at YF we only have a couple of members that I know of who charter their boats around that size, and they generally live on board, do mostly overnight charters and with that I don't get the impression that they're getting rich by it.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Things have changed a lot and not for the better. In addition to more boats being chartered the quality of the guests has gone down the tube in the last 5 years. We did a lot of day charters on a 70 footer from 2008 and 2016 and don’t do it on the 84 I m running now. Not worth it anymore. 90% of the groups chattering are people you don’t want on your boat... at least the crowd here in Miami. Loud rap, twerking double wides, wife beater wearing, pants hanging down and designer sneakers... sometimes you wonder how they can afford to charter but if they all pitch in $200 to $300 that’s enough for a half day charter.

    Some boats provide the food But most let the guests bring what they want. Insurance for occasional crewed chartering is often including one policies or with a free / cheap rider.

    yes there is more wear on soft goods but with a good crew it s not too bad at least back when we Were doing it. Nowadays we only do weekly charters on the Exumas.
  11. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Day charters are much more rough on a boat. But then again that size boat isn’t suitable for anything else. But when someone poops down a couple grand for 8 hours they are going to get their monies worth a likely ignore rules like no smoking. And yes they will still want to go below.
  12. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    I do sight seeing charters in Fort Lauderdale, but usually not with party crowd, in many cases tourists wanting to see the waterways, the harbor, the ICW, etc.
    I encourage people to bring their own drinks while the boat provides a cooler, ice, cups, napkins etc.
    Have been lucky so far, no wear and tear, just nice polite people sipping wine while we cruise at low speeds around Fort Lauderdale.
    Been doing it for about 4 years, but quite infrequently as I don’t advertise and am not pushing for business, just low key, the income goes to a tank of fuel, or the annual insurance, etc.
    Pretty good tax benefits, but that will end soon as I have not shown a profit and never will at this rate. :cool:

    www.odincharters.com
  13. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    I did some day chartering this summer with my 70' MY and, yes, it can be hard on a boat. Many people were there just to party their butts off and get as drunk as possible. One of the ways we addressed this issue was to ban all smoking. And the key to that is having a good crew who will protect the boat and enforce the rule with "gracious tenacity." We ended up having the first mate call all the charter guests ahead of time and making sure they understood the rules, especially the rule about no smoking ... anything! That seemed to cut out some of the club crowd.
  14. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Is that a Johnson 70 on your avatar?
  15. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    It sure is. :)
  16. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    After owning a houseboat for 8 years, I took the plunge into the world of yachting. To say that I've learned a lot would be an understatement. She's a great boat and I feel very grateful to have her. But I often tell people that this is a rich man's (or woman's) sport and since I am neither, I do a little chartering to help with expenses.
  17. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Wow, I guess that’s why I’m on the tamer West Coast. I guess I envisioned 50 to 80 year old well dressed country club types but that’s why am posting to put out feelers for info.
  18. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    We have a 41 foot cruiser up north that we use here 5 months per year. It’s too tall to put on a trailer without significant expense of removing a top that wasn’t designed for that to transport to South Florida 2x per year and running it back-and-forth on water would cost $12-15K each way each spring and fall plus the wear and tear. The thought of having the expenses of 2 large boats (and we would only use the one in FL 4-5 times per year) got me trying to hack a way to help the FL boat become less expensive by partially paying for itself, but that’s not looking so favorable after all this discovery talk. But that’s why I posited the question in advance.
  19. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Thanks Cap! I really appreciate your thoughts. Please see my response to Alvareza so I don’t repeat. I’m trying to find a way to hack a second boat without losing my shirt. My wife loves the sun and the way she looks in a bikini will have me buying practically anything...
  20. Drifter

    Drifter Member

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    Great points. I wonder if the demographics are a little tamer here on the west coast. Or if strict rules is the answer.