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Starting a charter company - advice for cousin

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Starting a charter company - advice for cousin

Old 02-13-2020, 07:43 PM
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Default Starting a charter company - advice for cousin

Trying to get some insight for my cousin. He has a 48 Sabre in South Carolina and he’s looking to start using it for a business venture. Plan Is to hire a licensed captain to run the boat for casual non fishing charters.

He will have all the insurance and legal paperwork handled but looking for any other advice on where to start. He’s looking to be able to carry more than 6 people to run things like dinner cruises, private outings etc.

Anyone have tips to start on folks who have done this before, proper permits etc ? He’s called the local coast guard a few times and hasn’t heard anything back.

Lastly, Making a ton of money on this is NOT Priority 1A so please refrain from the inevitable ‘he’s going to lose money, why does he want to do it, wear and tear on boat, legal liability etc’

Grateful for any advice
Old 02-13-2020, 08:02 PM
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First place getting the Coast Guard to Certify the boat for more than 6 is going to be a PITA. As a retired Coast Guard Officer I have had to deal with this quite a few times. Boats that carry more than 6 that are under 100 gross tons have to be inspected because this is a charter, not a commercial fishing vessel. Tell him to contact the Marine Safety Unit in Savannah before he spends any money on this and find out if it's feasible first. Here's a link https://www.atlanticarea.uscg.mil/Ou...-Safety-Units/
If he stays with 6 or less he can use a recreational boat without it having to be inspected and certified by the Coast Guard.
Old 02-14-2020, 02:21 AM
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In order to take over 6 paying customers, the boat will need to be inspected. Lots of stuff involved with getting a COI.
Old 02-14-2020, 07:43 AM
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Usually boats that can carry more than 6 are built expressly for that purpose. Most boats would not qualify and a major renovation would probably be required

Originally Posted by OIReelKeeper View Post
Trying to get some insight for my cousin. He has a 48 Sabre in South Carolina and he’s looking to start using it for a business venture. Plan Is to hire a licensed captain to run the boat for casual non fishing charters.

He will have all the insurance and legal paperwork handled but looking for any other advice on where to start. He’s looking to be able to carry more than 6 people to run things like dinner cruises, private outings etc.

Anyone have tips to start on folks who have done this before, proper permits etc ? He’s called the local coast guard a few times and hasn’t heard anything back.

Lastly, Making a ton of money on this is NOT Priority 1A so please refrain from the inevitable ‘he’s going to lose money, why does he want to do it, wear and tear on boat, legal liability etc’

Grateful for any advice

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Old 02-14-2020, 07:53 AM
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Thank you guys, this will definitely be an education on all fronts. The brain trust here generally has some excellent starting points and advice, so I figured I would start there
Old 02-14-2020, 09:35 AM
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he wants to offset some of his costs. there is a reason everyone doesnt just do it
Old 02-14-2020, 02:28 PM
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His captain would need a pre-employment drug test and be subject to random drug testing through a random testing consortium.
Old 02-14-2020, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JAGSARE1 View Post
His captain would need a pre-employment drug test and be subject to random drug testing through a random testing consortium.
and he will want to run this by his insurance company also. FWIW ....a Sabre of any size is damn nice and I couldn’t imagine chartering one if I owned it....
Old 02-14-2020, 04:25 PM
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His three least favorite letters are going to become CFR.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:43 PM
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[QUOTE]His three least favorite letters are going to become CFR.[/QUOTE]
Ditto
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:29 PM
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He’s in a fortunate financial position please keep the advice coming !
Old 02-14-2020, 07:30 PM
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Start by reading CFR 46 subchapter T.

Odds are getting a 48 Sabre certified for over six is a bridge too far.

Collision bulkhead?

Compartmented hull with bulkheads?

Scupper height 10" above waterline?

Stability test?

36" high rails?

32" door and passageway widths (I may be off on this - maybe 34")

USCG certified fuel tank with documentation (USCG paperwork on the fuel tank(s))?

Fuel shut off access?

Wiring schematics?

Line drawing of vessel?

Fireboy in engine compartment?

That is just off the top of my head - much better to buy a boat with a current COI or have one built by a builder familiar with the USCG certification process.


Old 02-15-2020, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Tawn View Post
Start by reading CFR 46 subchapter T.

Odds are getting a 48 Sabre certified for over six is a bridge too far.

Collision bulkhead?

Compartmented hull with bulkheads?

Scupper height 10" above waterline?

Stability test?

36" high rails?

32" door and passageway widths (I may be off on this - maybe 34")

USCG certified fuel tank with documentation (USCG paperwork on the fuel tank(s))?

Fuel shut off access?

Wiring schematics?

Line drawing of vessel?

Fireboy in engine compartment?

That is just off the top of my head - much better to buy a boat with a current COI or have one built by a builder familiar with the USCG certification process.
This all the way^^^^^ Most boats are purpose built to meet COI and I am sure there is more requirements than listed here.

Then of course, local requirements for serving food and beverage. I am fairly sure it is gonna be like any restaurant, just a floating one.
Old 02-15-2020, 06:58 PM
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Not even remotely worth it. Particularly when there are boats out there making money doing it with 6 pack only.

I know one guy that does 3 hour and 5 hour trips in NJ with BYO wine and cheese for $300 and $500 respectively 6 people max and he does over 100 trips a season as a side job in retirement. Boat pays for itself and he lives on it all winter down in FL.
Old 02-16-2020, 05:16 AM
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As most everyone is telling you, an over 6 person charter boat is a whole different animal than a 6 person boat.
This is a link to the requirements for an under 100T more than 6 person and under 150 passenger vessel https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text...I/subchapter-T
You will see that retrofitting a boat like a Sabre really isn't an option.

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