Pensacola Fishing Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
C-Hawk 245 Pilot House
Joined
·
5,257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Toying with the idea of using my boat as a state water charter boat. Looking for a list of requirements and cost for each.
Obviously, operator would have to have a Captain's license.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,354 Posts
Register commercial, captains license, and a license for passenger's to have fishing license, . If fishing or diving for fish. That was years ago when I had mine. Might have changed. Also was for 6 passengers or less.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SHunter

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
I run charters so will try to answer your question. Insurance that covers charters, mine runs about 2k a year. All required safety equipment for your size of boat. State charter permit is 400 bucks. The cost of the captain's license varies but you will have somewhere around 1k by the time you get it all done. You will have to have rod and reels for up to six people to fish at the same time if bottom fishing. Spare rod and reels and lots of tackle. Depending on how many charters you run you will have more frequent maintenance on your boat and motors. Like 100 hr services. You have to have somewhere to pick up clients, if you keep your boat at a convenient marina check and see if they will allow you to run charters out of there. Many of the marinas and places on the water charge you to pick up clients there.

If you are hiring a captain you either hire a really good one, which will be expensive, or you will have to be on top of them almost constantly. No one will take care of your boat the way you do. It seems like it is human nature to only do as little as is required so don't let them get by with anything early on and you can train them to your expectations but you still have to check up on them.

Lastly is the cost of advertising and the sky is the limit there. As has already been stated, it is a very saturated market.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,314 Posts
Captain's course is about $600. Physical at Baptist of Sacred Heart is about $150 with drug test. CPR/first aid class depending on where can be $100. Getting the license through USCG issuance is $45 and evaluation of your paperwork is $100. TWIC card is $130. Then there is insurance mentioned by Bluecape and equipment which you may already have plus a license for charter fishing -four passengers or less is $201 and 5-10 passengers about $400 and a then there is a business license. These are off the cuff estimates from me, but it does take some money to do it and a gosh amount of paperwork. Even with a saturated market, if a captain is good at putting someone on fish and has the personality to make customers come back it can be done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
The market may be saturated, but for someone who already has the boat, the ability to write off a few years worth of fishing expenses will quickly offset the cost to start the business.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,513 Posts
What the business is over saturated with is people wanting to be called "Captain" and say they have a "Charter Boat" Look at how cool I am....

What the business is in short supply of is, there is simply not enough people that have the true desire to allow people make memories that they will remember for a life time..... You master this, you'll understand the rest and it will all fall into place....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,943 Posts
You also need a high tolerance of assholes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
My thoughts are that when you start doing something for a living (or hire out to make money), it stops being fun and becomes a job.

Neighbor worked in the boating area in Ft Lauderdale. They would rent out a customer's boat for say a week to someone once a year. Owner was able to take a lot of tax breaks for expenses etc. Would have to get an accountant to figure it all out. Plus you would have to trust the person pretty good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,797 Posts
What the business is over saturated with is people wanting to be called "Captain" and say they have a "Charter Boat" Look at how cool I am....

What the business is in short supply of is, there is simply not enough people that have the true desire to allow people make memories that they will remember for a life time..... You master this, you'll understand the rest and it will all fall into place....
Very astute point. A true 'customer service oriented attitude' is tough to find these days. I have met some really kind and cool charter captains, but I have also run across many who almost act like all the people around them are unwashed masses getting in the way of their God given right to own the water. Even if someone doesn't treat me directly like that on a charter, if I see them treat others like that, I know their true mindset and I won't be back or recommend them.

The folks who come at it with grace and kindness are rare birds, and that attitude of doing what it takes to make it a fun and enjoyable memory for everyone is what really 'spreads the word' about a good charter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SHunter

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
The market may be saturated, but for someone who already has the boat, the ability to write off a few years worth of fishing expenses will quickly offset the cost to start the business.
Definitely talk to an accountant/Tax attorney about this. It is not as simple as buying a new piece of equipment for $X and then being able to write of $X on your taxes. The way it was explained to me was that you can only write off the portion that was used for commercial purposes. If you spent $1000 on something and 90% of the time you used it was for personal use you can only write off $100 not the entire $1000

That is not to say you may not be able to get creative. You and some friends go out pleasure fishing and spend $200 in fuel. You may be able to get away with saying you were scouting spots. I think if you try to write off the entire cost of a re-power you are asking for trouble if the majority of the time the boat is not used for commercial purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,602 Posts
The market may be saturated, but for someone who already has the boat, the ability to write off a few years worth of fishing expenses will quickly offset the cost to start the business.

My average business expenses of running a 26' boat for charters is about $35k a year. Do you spend $100k to fish in three years?!
 

·
C-Hawk 245 Pilot House
Joined
·
5,257 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My average business expenses of running a 26' boat for charters is about $35k a year. Do you spend $100k to fish in three years?!
How many chartered hours per year does the $35k expenses reflect? Does this include a deck hand?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top