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Starting Charter Business in Puerto Vallarta

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Starting Charter Business in Puerto Vallarta

Old 10-18-2019, 10:48 AM
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Default Starting Charter Business in Puerto Vallarta

Okay... I have always wanted to be a guide and I am curious if anyone here would have comments on the feasibility of this idea.

my wife is Peruvian, fluent in Spanish and a sharp business woman. We have our first child on the way and she would like for it to grow up in Latin America. I speak some Spanish and am confident I can master it easily with time.

Would it be possible to ship my boat to Puerto Vallarta and start a charter business? We would likely have about 1200-2500$ per month in residual income from other ventures without working at all. This should allow us to get started and we have a decent savings but hate to tap into it. I was thinking I might need to repower boat before making the trip.


What are our legal options? What are some costs I should be considering? Slip fees? Licenses? I do not have a CG six pack license as of now

Old 10-18-2019, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by finnedfanatic View Post
Okay... I have always wanted to be a guide and I am curious if anyone here would have comments on the feasibility of this idea.

my wife is Peruvian, fluent in Spanish and a sharp business woman. We have our first child on the way and she would like for it to grow up in Latin America. I speak some Spanish and am confident I can master it easily with time.

Would it be possible to ship my boat to Puerto Vallarta and start a charter business? We would likely have about 1200-2500$ per month in residual income from other ventures without working at all. This should allow us to get started and we have a decent savings but hate to tap into it. I was thinking I might need to repower boat before making the trip.


What are our legal options? What are some costs I should be considering? Slip fees? Licenses? I do not have a CG six pack license as of now


It's Mexico and you have never owned a charter business.

I suggest you contact the few Americans/gringos that have done this on this site.

Your 6 pack license means nothing there among other things that you don't have.
The language will be the least of your barriers.

Good luck with it and a nice dream that some have made come true.

I took a look and have 20 plus years in the charter business. No Buenos for me.
Old 10-18-2019, 02:43 PM
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I would first go there to the PV docks and spend few days/nights milling around, buying mates drinks and listening.....maybe even take a trip to see how they run it. Then base your plans off that intel

Good luck buddy!
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Old 10-18-2019, 03:25 PM
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I do have extensive experience in running a business—especially a service based one. I am extremely confident in my ability to offer an experience to clients that will be enjoyed.

that being said, my interest is in talking to real folks who have done it, even if it’s not a charter business. I have other business ideas as well. I have also traveled to PV so I am in tune with the area.

Hopefully someone who has done it will stop by.
Old 10-18-2019, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
Your 6 pack license means nothing there among other things that you don't have.
The language will be the least of your barriers.
.
please explain what barriers you foresee
Old 10-18-2019, 03:30 PM
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Off topic, but I'm curious why you would want your child to grow up in Latin America vs the States? Seems like it's usually the other way around.
Old 10-18-2019, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MayhemFT View Post
Off topic, but I'm curious why you would want your child to grow up in Latin America vs the States? Seems like it's usually the other way around.
rainbows and unicorns, drugs, bad fishing. The US is great but i do believe in being multi cultural.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:10 PM
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have you ever been there or fished the waters? Take a trip with an American outfitter.. You may just want to be a captain first in Mexico to learn the ropes.
Old 10-18-2019, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TeamShark View Post
have you ever been there or fished the waters? Take a trip with an American outfitter.. You may just want to be a captain first in Mexico to learn the ropes.
yes. I have been there and have fished with Mexican guides. I am not really that worried about the fishing. I learn fast and have a decent background offshore. The inshore fishing seems straight forward too—live bait and metal
Old 10-18-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by finnedfanatic View Post


please explain what barriers you foresee

I will try to be helpful so if you feel like I'm kicking you square in 'em...remember the helpful part.

You are gringo
You are gringo
You are gringo

The language barrier doesn't mean chit but the cultural one is huge, bigly even.

The local fishermen/tour operators are...locals, and understand how to be Mexican cuz they uh, are. The 10% tax they pay to the local cartel is peanuts compared to what you would be hit with never mind the resentment you would face just being a gringo divying up the pie even further.

If you seriously want to do this and have the passive income to support it move down there and spend 6 months to a year becoming part of the landscape. Buy the sorriest looking used panga you can find and learn the local fishery. Still in with a solid attitude 12 months later - proceed on sir.
Old 10-18-2019, 05:00 PM
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Okay... I hear you. I understand being an outsider is an issue. That being said, the guide I spoke with mentioned no tax to the cartel. I could see locals being pissed, but that’s part of the game I guess. I see chartering being a two day a week gig, working online a day or two and another business venture on the side.

let’s say screw the charter deal and I say I wanted to open an ice cream shop in a touristy area. Would it be as monumentally impossible sense I am a gringo? I can’t help but to think your views are a little skewed unless you have boots on the ground experience. If you do, pm me or give me a number. I’d love to hear more.

Old 10-18-2019, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by finnedfanatic View Post


rainbows and unicorns, drugs, bad fishing. The US is great but i do believe in being multi cultural.
Move to miami. Theres plenty of Latin culture there.
Old 10-18-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by finnedfanatic View Post


please explain what barriers you foresee


I have started, owned and operated several buisness in Mexico over the last 40 years while being a permanent resident. there. In fact, I am writing from there now.

You cannot be a Mexican sport or commercial captain legally. Its not allowed. You will have to hire a Mexican with his captains paper, and he will have to be on the boat. They make a minimum of $100 a day and it will cost you about another 37% to cover thier benefots. If he has worked for you for 7 days and you fire him w/o justification, he gets about 4 months wages in severence. The laws are written to favor the workers.

Boats get boarded regularily there by the Navy. They have a base there and they are strict about paper work, including your passengers.

If you want to operate as a charter you will have to start up a Mexican Corporation, get yourself an accountant, follow his advice religiously, pay monthly taxes, and then you can earn profit after the corporation pays all taxes, just like in the states.You cannot earn a wage in Mexico until you get a Mexican green card, your wife either. This is not automatic, as you are not married to a Mexican, and neither is she.

You can get a tourist visa, but you are only allowed to stay in the country 6 months a year.
I kept a hull in PV from 2000-2008. I know all the captains there. If you try to compete illegally with them, they will report you the Port Captain, Immigration, Fish and Wildlife, and Hacienda (IRS), I can assure you.
Your boat will have to be legally imported into Mexico to use as a charter. A TIP is no longer allowed.The catch 22 is that you cannot import a used trailer, has to be new. Hulls are inspected yearly by the Port Captain for all safety gear.
Fuel costs more than it does in California, and the closet fishing is about 32 miles out where you will first reach blue water. The charter flete there runs hulls that are typically 32-55 feet long. The captains there can compete will any captain in the world in terms of skill, and they will get the reports where the fish are as locals help locals,
Several top notch American captains have gone bust there.

I could go on.

Last edited by Bullshipper; 10-18-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MayhemFT View Post
Off topic, but I'm curious why you would want your child to grow up in Latin America vs the States? Seems like it's usually the other way around.
Better in Mexico, until jr high is done.
Old 10-18-2019, 06:37 PM
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OP my very Mexican wife is from Tamaulipas and we still have a ton of family there and in Monterrey and other places. They are all ranchers and entrepenurs of one sort or another so business in MX is rather second nature to me by now.

Travel back in time to 2008 and we spent the better part of a year dotting i's and crossing t's to start a hunting operation on my FIL's ranch. As in bought a bulldozer to cut senderos in the virgin brush, building feeders and bought/remodeled a house to serve as a lodge. A full month chasing out tails with the government/military to get squared away on bringing rifles and ammo over and then....the narco war broke out and we've not set foot in Tamaulipas since. Had on the order of 100K invested(5K to the local "tax man")...is kind of like that spiffy new spear gun you just built with a whopper AJ headed for the bottom and you're in tow.... ya better be ready to let go of it.

A local will never discuss any narco dealings with you but rest assured that does not diminish the reality one bit. If not for said reality I would be semi retired in LaPesca Tamps this very minute and making TC W3 smoke every day.

Bulls exacting advice is spot on.
Old 10-18-2019, 07:14 PM
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thanks guys... I had a hunch it may be borderline impossible legally- and that is somewhat confirmed. As usual, it’s better to make cash doing something else and just enjoy fishing. Go figure.

I’d like to keep exploring the ice cream idea....
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:40 PM
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If you want to do the Latam thing there are other options. Costa Rica comes to mind. I travel extensively through the region. Mexico would be among the last places to go especially with a soft border-communist president. The narcos are going to take over even more. See what happened yesterday in Culiacán.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:07 PM
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I’ll look more into Costa Rica. I need to travel there soon anyways. One of the reasons we haven’t been there or considered it is there some to be some sort of tension between South American countries and Central American countries. I have also heard Ecuador? I feel like I should almost start a new thread, “which country to raise a family in and start a business” lol
Old 10-18-2019, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 20biminitwist View Post
It's Mexico and you have never owned a charter business.

I suggest you contact the few Americans/gringos that have done this on this site.

Your 6 pack license means nothing there among other things that you don't have.
The language will be the least of your barriers.

Good luck with it and a nice dream that some have made come true.

I took a look and have 20 plus years in the charter business. No Buenos for me.
Gonna quote myself.

Seems Bullshiper hit it with details as I was going to elude to. To start with the OUPV you don't even have in the US yet.
I looked into Costa Rica as well at one point. It sounded just as good as next to impossible as Mexico.

Old 10-18-2019, 09:07 PM
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There’s a guy a know that has done really well in life who lives a couple of hours from me. He loves to fish. So he bought a sporty and has it in PV. He charters it out when he’s not down there fishing. Has a father/son combo that’s captain /mate. I talked to him once about a charter in March. He basically said this fishing was poor that time of year unless your doing an overnight charter. Very long run. Kinda sounds like more a hobby then a business hehe good for him

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