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 Smitty's Haulin'

How do charters make money?

Old 02-09-2012, 07:15 PM
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You also have to look at other possible money making investments that the boat is preventing you from making. When the economy goes south things like charters are the first things people stop doing. Charters are a losing investment.
Old 02-09-2012, 08:27 PM
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uh the sport fish I run burns 12-16GPH.
and there is 0 money in charter fishing. UNLESS you are a multi passenger vessel..
head boats can make money during season.. I would say they do the best out of the fishing fleet down here.
A good charter business down here may clear 60k a year if its a owner operator deal.. If you pay a captain forget about profit
Old 02-09-2012, 08:40 PM
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I know a couple of the boats here in FL set up fresh fish operations at the dock. Legal and licensed. NOTHING gets released except billfish. A lot of down time is spent at the dock, doing maintanance and tackle repair and cleaning etc., so the "store" is usually open. These boats have some regulars who come and pay some real good bucks for some real good fish. I hate to see a school of dolphin get wiped out, with 250 fish in the boxes, but that is how they pay their bills.

Also I know some captains have a "real" job....a couple of them are firemen which is ideal....24 hours on, 48 hours off. (work a day get a weekend) They can tag team their schedule and always be available.

Chartering is hard exhausting work, when it is good it is wonderful, but when it is bad it really really sucks. (I know) I am not surprised there are a few hard drinking charter guys.
Old 02-09-2012, 09:14 PM
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Default charter fuel

most of the charter in louis. are + fuel now. so they get there 1400.00 a day and then tack on the fuel.
Old 02-09-2012, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by osage View Post
most of the charter in louis. are + fuel now. so they get there 1400.00 a day and then tack on the fuel.
That's how I run my charter. Fuel prices are all over the place. I can't change my prices as often as fuel market prices change. In addition it's not fair to someone who wants to go bottom fish to pay the same amount as someone who wants to go trolling in the gulfstream. I zero out my fuel burn gauges before the trip and show them how much we burned when we get back. Customers also don't tip on the fuel costs which is fair.
Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 PM
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I have mated for years and got my license to run a charter here and there, I have worked with a bunch of guys here in the bay area. I have heard and agree that you measure the success of a fishing guide by how much money his wife makes.
Old 02-09-2012, 11:19 PM
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Although I started out on big boats (just as a mate almost forty years ago now...) I left it for several reasons. Years later coming back to fishing full time I was working a small skiff charging less than half what the big boats charge - but with far, far fewer expenses. Most of the time I'm barely able to keep my nose above water. If anyone says they're making a good living fishing.... just laugh, it's appropriate.
Old 02-10-2012, 04:18 AM
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The only real way to make money as a "charter" captain, is to get yourself a full time gig with the rich guy that owns a 65-90' Sportfish and is willing to pay you a real salary ($75,000+/yr) to occasionally take his clients on private charters.
The biggest problem with charter operations is the perceived costs by the public and the real costs for the boat owner aren't in the same realm. There are lots of reasons for this: if you ask non-boat owners how much fuel a 35' boat burns, they will assume because it has two engines, it will be double that of a suv - so 7-10 mpg, when the reality is 0.7-1.0 mpg (1/10); they have no idea what boats, bait, tackle cost; and they really have no comprehension of what a crew of two should be paid for what is a 12 hour day (for an 8 hour charter) - despite knowing what they earn. Comparing those preceptions-realities together the gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Old 02-10-2012, 05:45 AM
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only place to make money chartering is hatteras or oregon inlet. Relatively short runs to the stream and there are always other charters out there which means you can get away with a single diesel and a slower boat. both add up to less fuel burn. Plus an abundance of tourists at both place and legendary fishing. Some of the boats out of hatteras burn around 60-70 gallons/day and are fairly well booked so they have a shot at making some money.
Old 02-10-2012, 06:02 AM
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Default 30' boats

in venice, la lots of charter are running 30, cc with twin's get them 1. gal per mile and thats a great rate and I would say 90% do the fuel charge to the customer I think that is one reason they run those boats, people want to fish for as cheap as they can to fish more dates. lets face it most guy's say I got x$$$ this year to fish AND WE ALL WANT TO FISH AS MUCH AS WE CAN.
Old 02-10-2012, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
One of the moor popular offshore charters out of Cape Canaveral " The Ticket" run by captain Ed Dwyer sold their boat recently. It was a 55' custom carolina sportfisher. He was around for a long time and was one of the better know captains.
That was a nice boat and helluva nice guy...met him at Pirates Cove last year. Wonder what's next for them?
Old 02-10-2012, 06:08 AM
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In my experience many owners charter their boats just to defer the costs of boat payments and maintenance. I think more money can be made in chartering sailboats. A lot less in fuel costs.
Old 02-10-2012, 06:18 AM
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In Palm Beach gulfstream is 2-10 miles out, and unless you are chasing weedlines 30mi+ half way to Bahamas - most day trips are 20-40mi total with most of it trolling
Old 02-10-2012, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SuenosAzules View Post
In my experience many owners charter their boats just to defer the costs of boat payments and maintenance. I think more money can be made in chartering sailboats. A lot less in fuel costs.
Don't forget to ad the tax benefits.
Old 02-10-2012, 06:26 AM
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You know how to make a million dollars in the charter boat business???......

......Start with two million...... I've found this out the hard way....
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:32 AM
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I always assumed that the charter guys don’t run a charter business to make money. In my experience if the captain owns the boat, he runs charters to offset the cost of the boat, and has a day job. If someone else owns the boat, he runs a charter in order to keep a full time competent captain on the boat, who always knows where the fish are.

In either situation the boat is a business, and all the expenses can be written off as such.
Old 02-10-2012, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
does 56 foot viking cost $1600 to charter??
it was a private boat. but there are viking charter boats yes. that are bigger. I am sure the 61's+ burn 120gph at cruise. Vikings are heavy
Old 02-10-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Patton222 View Post
I have mated for years and got my license to run a charter here and there, I have worked with a bunch of guys here in the bay area. I have heard and agree that you measure the success of a fishing guide by how much money his wife makes.

and the truth shall set you free
Old 02-10-2012, 08:22 AM
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Most of the time its just enough for you to pay for your addiction to fishing. You've gotta love it. As far as the 55+ sportfishes, Oftentimes they are a tax write off for a large company somewhere. They don't mind the 140gph combined at cruise fuel consumption. I know very few people who are fishing that made their money fishing to buy a large boat and keep going. Many have/had a second career to "get them in the game".
Old 02-10-2012, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dolphin hunter
I was wondering how do charter boats make any money? Im from eastern NC and the average charter is about $1600/day for offshore fishing. Went on one last summer and the captain said he was burning about 60 gal/hr. It was about a 2 hr ride from the dock. So thats 240 gallons just riding. I figure about 80 gallons trolling. So 320 gallons and lets just say diesel is $4.50/gal that will be $1440 just in fuel. Im sure the mate gets paid something other than tips, plus bait, insurance, dock fee, regular maintenance on boat, etc. Dont see where they make any money.
Unless you were in a 50' - 60' footer you probably weren't burning that much and the NC boys do it as a way of life so if their making a few hundred their not upset , 60 gph is probably a bit much but their booking trips daily when the fishings hot so expenses build but their making $$

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