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Old 04-07-2013, 09:52 PM   #21
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[A]lready having the requisite USCG licensure, our plan is to ... operat[e] a crewed term charter business in the USVI, BVI and Grenadines for at least 4-5 years.... We have formed a Delaware-based LLC in which to title the yacht, and will form a Florida-based LLC for the charter business.)
That sounds fine for the USVI; but in red-flagged countries like the BVI or SVG, things will be a bit more complicated for you.

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Having our own business, in a pursuit we really enjoy, has been a dream of ours for many years.
That being the case, go for it!

I have to add that if I were you, I would probably choose the simpler option of self-funding my own sailing adventures (which you can afford, if you wish), and not worrying about turning it into a business (which for me would take a lot of the fun out of things). I would also choose a nice monohull that suited my own needs/wants, rather than a catamaran party boat to appeal to charterers.

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The catamaran will cost approximately $800K, which will be paid with the proceeds from the sale of our home and cash on hand.
By all means treat yourself if you wish; but you certainly don't have to spent anywhere near that amount to get into the charter game.

Rather than risking so much of your capital, I'd suggest buying a more modest cat in one of the models popular with charterers. The resale market will be better: so you can always trade up if things go well, or sell out if they don't. Insurance and other ongoing expenses will be much more affordable, too.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:54 AM   #22
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Sounds like a really great plan, with appropriate attention being given to alternatives. Since the BVI are a different country, you may need to double-check what is needed to operate a charter there (I assume that you do not have the right to work there). However, you can always confine yourself to taking passengers in the USVI and just taking them to the BVI as part of the cruise.

What sailing cats are you considering? We are moving into ER right now, own a power catamaran and love it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:49 AM   #23
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Hi Seabourne,

DW and I will comprise the crew. We will only accept up to four charterers at a time (five, if one is a child), so we are not targeting large groups. Most privately-owned and operated cats in the Caribbean cater to up to six guests, with larger cats (>58') usually being corporately-owned with paid crew taking the larger groups. Most owner-operators who do this full-time run very tight ships, who ensure guests have a great time while remaining safe. Thank you for your comments.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:58 AM   #24
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What catamaran are you buying? Pictures?
This is a wonderful and exciting plan. Congratulations!

Now let's hear some details on the cat!
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #25
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Hi Utrecht,
After 2+ years of research, boat shows, chartering similar models in the Caribbean, and speaking with owners, we have decided on a new Leopard 48, Owner's Version. This model was recently introduced in 2013, and replaced the Leopard 46, a very popular cruising cat (both for the Moorings Charter Company and private ownership). When we cease operating the business (or should we decide to pass on it altogether), we want a well-built, comfortable, blue water boat for cruising.

www.leopardcatamarans.com/catamarans/leopard-48
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:20 AM   #26
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Looks spectacular, congratulations and fair winds...
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:54 AM   #27
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Hi Milton,

Actually. its not complicated at all. Vessels engaged in chartering which are flagged outside the Territory may pick up and drop off PAX in the BVI up to seven times; if PAX are picked up outside the Territory, crewed-charter operators may operate within the BVI an unlimited amount of times. (There are daily, per-head fees which must be paid to BVI authorities when chartering, which mostly go toward worthwhile programs, such as VISAR, the BVI equivalent to the USCG, for rescue at sea.)

Amongst sailors, the "monohull vs. catamaran" debate is never-ending. As a monohull owner for many years, I never saw myself owning a catamaran. And then two years ago I bareboat chartered a Lagoon 440. The following year, a Leopard 46. Game over. IMO, you can't beat a large catamaran for live-aboard comfort and safety. YMMV.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:06 AM   #28
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Hi boatfishandnature,

Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on moving into ER! As a boat owner, and given your username, I'm sure you appreciate all that the boating lifestyle offers; given your ER, now you'll really be able to enjoy the time on your catamaran! Although I've only walked on power cats at boat shows, I'm sure they're great vessels for cruising and living aboard, and you don't have to worry about clearing bridges! Safe boating!
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:09 AM   #29
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To the OP : your plan sounds great. Looking forward to more pictures. Welcome to to the forum.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #30
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Obgyn65, thank you for taking the time to read my rather lengthy plan, and for your comments. This site is an excellent resource; although at the end of the day, our decisions are our own to make, IMO, it's always worthwhile to listen to those having knowledge and experience in the FIRE arena.

A for our life in ER:
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #31
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That looks like the perfect boat for your plan. I have also recently heard good things about Thunderbolt Marina. I used to occasionally go out of their on fishing trips with friends who kept boats there. I think it has changed hands and also business plan since then. I will check into it a little more closely in coming weeks and post again if I hear anything of interest.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #32
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That is a sharp looking boat! Congratulations and happy sailing.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:55 PM   #33
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I like a Cat for where you are going. Flying low level around the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos and on down towards P.R. I remember seeing LOTS of shallow coral heads.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:16 PM   #34
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carib bound, this sounds like an excellent adventure. Best of luck.

You wrote that you have employer provided healthcare. Is the coverage extraterritorial?

The thread title brings to mind this song

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Old 04-10-2013, 02:21 PM   #35
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WOW... what a great plan. Congratulations on following the dream.
My BIL (landed immigrant, Canada) has a bike tour business in Cuba, and also offers sailing cruises (out of Trinidad on a Benitau 36.). Niece now runs the business, and until recently she and her Cuban husband also operated their own (power boat) island cruise business there.
Those of us who are quietly retired in small town America will vicariously share your spirit of adventure.
Hoping that you will have time to share your experiences as we go forward.

Best wishes for fair winds and safe harbors.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:03 PM   #36
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Hi MichaelB,

Medical coverage extends through the USVI. Also, cost effective policies covering accidental injuries and med-evac are available through Divers Alert Network ("DAN", BTW, you don't have to be a diver to be a member; worth checking out if you travel) and American Express. Thanks for sharing "Sea of Joy," its already on my playlist. I wonder if younger people today even know who Clapton, Ginger Baker and Steve Winwood are, let alone appreciate them for their true musical talents!
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:21 PM   #37
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Hi imoldrnu,

Thanks for your comments regarding my plan! As you know from talking to your BIL and niece, living in third-world countries, and running businesses there, present real challenges, but offer great (intrinsic) rewards. As for DW and me, we hope to do as many other full-time cruisers, who spend most of their year in the Carib do; that is, get involved in the needs of a local community, and donate talent toward making a difference in peoples' lives. Despite years of receiving varying amounts of USAID, many of these islands still lack enough books and supplies to operate schools, libraries, etc. A little help from those who love to cruise their pristine waters makes a big difference. Here's an example of how one sailing couple really made a difference:

Hands Across the Sea
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #38
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Hi boatfishandnature,

Thanks for your comments, and congratulations on moving into ER! As a boat owner, and given your username, I'm sure you appreciate all that the boating lifestyle offers; given your ER, now you'll really be able to enjoy the time on your catamaran! Although I've only walked on power cats at boat shows, I'm sure they're great vessels for cruising and living aboard, and you don't have to worry about clearing bridges! Safe boating!

Your chosen boat looks great. The interior layout looks really good, especially the owner`s cabin. If you are going to be living aboard, you need a good cabin with a proper head, plenty of closet space and a table to work on... this model has it all. I am not familiar with this specific model, but I know that the Leopard 47 powercats were delivered on their own bottom from South Africa to the U.S., so they are clearly bluewater-ready.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #39
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jclarksnakes,

Thanks for the update on Thunderbolt. As for the shallow coral heads, a few years back I flew a C-210 from Florida to San Juan, landing in the Caicos for fuel. Lots of things in the water to look out for, including a light twin aircraft a mile or so off the runway, whose on-board fuel was just a little insufficient for the trip! (The perils of being overloaded with bales of ganji!) There is no rest for the captain when sailing that route!
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #40
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That's quite a plan. Best wishes on your sailing adventures and future business.
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