Making money with boats

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Greenseas2, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Greenseas2
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Greenseas2 Senior Member

    This should be of interest to those who love being on the water and making money in the process. The fact that most people don't understand is that tiny businesses earn more for the amount of time you spend running them than large ones. As an example, an old friend wanted his own business on the water. First he bought plans for the Dynamite Payson Lobster skiff, and built 11 of them over the winter while he was still employed at another job. In the Spring after he had gotten a permit from the town to set up a boat livery of 20 boats, he began renting the boats with oars. Money from the rentals paid for 10hp engines for each boat and he also began selling bait that his son seined in the morning as well as selling coffee, buttered hard rolls and soda to fishermen. The first season netted $62,000. The boats rented for $55 a day, plus fuel. The same boats rent for $90 a day, plus fuel today.
    Over the years we have cataloged 12 tiny marine businesses that are good income producers. Even small commercially built 26 foot pushboats and barges earn up to $2,200 a day and no captains license is needed unless the pushboat is over 26 feet in length. The possibilities are endless for those willing to do the work. Key to success in tiny marine businesses is paying for it while you are still working. That way when you open your doors the money is yours and not payments to a finanial institution. Let's hear from other small marine business folks.
     
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  2. Gerard DeRoy
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Gerard DeRoy Junior Member


    Interesting.
    My son(bank manager 31 years old) and his bride(master degree marketing 27 years old) have both quit their job last May(2006). They have been cruising the Caribean for the last 9 months on my sailboat by themself. Now they want to live from jobs related to water closed to the nature. They are looking for the kind of business you mentioned. Now that I have succeeded in destroying their career, I am trying to help them to live from jobs they would love. I would appreciate if I could have more information on those tiny marine business you have cataloged.
    I will post whatever I find on my side. At this time, one opportunity I am studing is simply the winter storage of pontoons. Around 200 of these pontoons are used on a large lake in summer and moved 40 miles to a winter storage location? Storage should be next to that lake. Is that fair competition? Water recreation is at beginning in this area. It could start with all kind of watercraft rental, sailing class, etc..
    Keep you informed on this projet.
    Starting small, staying small seems to be one signal in your text.
    Thanks
    Gerard
     
  3. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    One critical aspect to consider is liability insurance. I'm sure laws concerning the former vary considerably from place to place.

    I used to be a professional whitewater guide and know my employer payed a large percent of his gross towards it (insurance).

    One near universal truth is that "signed waivers, ect.." are not worth the paper they are written on.

    Of course insurance would have a much greater impact on a rental type business.

    With all that said, it would still be an ideal job, especially if it involved being on the water alot.

    Gerard,
    Good fortune to your son & daughter-in-law.

    Take care.

    TGoz

    Take care.
     
  4. MarkC
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    MarkC Senior Member

    A small marine buisiness that I witnessed was in Sydney Harbour.

    We needed a mooring for our folkboat - the company cast a new mooring out of concrete with chain, swivels, line and float. They motored out in their 30foot barge with crane and put it in the chosen place.

    We had it serviced every year by the same company. They pulled it up, inspected it and placed it back down.

    Two and a half years later when we had to leave the country I called them to see if they would buy the mooring - "NO - we dont deal in secondhand moorings". I sold it privately to the next person on the mooring list for less than half its price. :( I was overseas, didnt have much persuading power and the Waterways authority inspector for the area was suggesting I give it away!!

    Not a nice example - but they knew how to make their money. - Just build one of those 30foot barge cranes (plans from Atkins), cement, a form, some hardware - make the moorings on the barge - and Bob's your Uncle!
     
  5. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    If you ever want to sleep at night, avoid the marine moorings business like the plague. When a gale hits, I worry about my boat. The mooring guy worries about every boat he has provided with a mooring, every inspection he has done, every shackle he has wired (or not) ......

    Brings a whole new dimension to 'expensive liability insurance'.
     
  6. Gerard DeRoy
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    Gerard DeRoy Junior Member

    Thanks for this critical aspect that was forgotten from my part.
    Much appreciated.
    Gérard
     
  7. MarkC
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    MarkC Senior Member

    Another 'small' marine business that I saw on TV was a former East German who migrated to South Australia (Port Lincon). He started a company taking dive tourists out to see the great-white-sharks. He uses a large motor-cruiser, takes approx. 6 guests for 2 nights. Has built an aluminium shark cage. He has one hired helper. Motors out to the seal-colony, anchors boat, throws cage in the water, adds blood and guts, ties tuna-tail to a line with a bouy and yells 'Here fishy!'. The dive-tourists were stoked!
     
  8. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    Gerard,

    Your kids, with their business educations would surely have thought of it. I thought of that after my post.

    I'm sure that will be a part of the criteria when they choose a location.

    Take care.

    TGoz
     
  9. alaskamokaiman
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Palmer Alaska

    alaskamokaiman Junior Member

    DeRoy,
    Looking for a rental boat? I have turned many people on to a little boat that is doing well as a rental contact me if interested.
    Cheers
     
  10. Gerard DeRoy
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    Gerard DeRoy Junior Member

    over protecting

    TGoz,
    They should know every thing with their backgroud.
    But I will keep the insurance item on my check list, just in case.
    Hard to acknowledge they are growned up now. Despite the facts that they beat me in area where I used to win.
    Chess, lobster spear fishing, small budget provisioning on cruise, ...
    That is life
    Best regards,
    Gerard
     
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  11. AK-uniflite
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: Ester, Alaska

    AK-uniflite Junior Member

    I am hoping / planning / dreaming of starting an Eco tour business here in Prince William Sound, Alaska. I am close to spending the $2500 to order plans for a 48' diesel duck, which I will construct in steel over the next year or so. A six pack license and insurance are the main items needed to make it fly. I think taking out 2-4 people at a time out for up to a week, kayaking, fishing, diving, hiking, exploring, etc.. along the way would be a hard job to beat. This boat would be big enough to be decently comfy for 6-7 without being too crowded. I like the "eco tour" idea, where your clients can do any number of things, essentially renting the boat and captain. Add more variety to keep it intereseting. Any comments, suggestions?
     
  12. Gerard DeRoy
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    Gerard DeRoy Junior Member

    Domain of the future

     
  13. AK-uniflite
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    Location: Ester, Alaska

    AK-uniflite Junior Member

    Thats a good thought. Sometimes I think I should be living in Canada anyway. I'm looking at about $125,000 US to build this thing myself, not including my labor of course. My family and I actually own a small canoeing, kayaking, rafting outfit located in interior Alaska, so this will be the next step. Time to start saving and get started. I do like the thought of being out for a few days, rather than quickie tours. You get to know your clients a lot better, maybe not as much money but better suited to me I think, We'll see what happens.
     
  14. timgoz
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    timgoz Senior Member

    AK,

    I think Gerard's estimate of $250,000 is much, much more realistic as to construction costs. That is in U.S. dollars, not Canadian. That is also with you doing the majority of the work.

    One year for construction time would be quite a feat also. They usaully say, come to your best etimate, then double the cost & triple the time.

    Have you made a detailed cost breakdown? There are so many things to consider. Such a breakdown might be an awakening.

    Thats for fully & properly equiping the boat for the type of work you envision.

    I agree with you that longer trips like you mention would be more enjoyable. Money is not everything. Quality of life is a stronger criteria for me.

    There is a fellow down in SE AK doing something similar to what you are considering. Lynn Schooler is his name, I think from the Juneau. He wrote "The Blue Bear" a book you should check out.

    Take care.

    TGoz
     

  15. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    There are so many older boats around that can be gotten for a whole lot less than what it would cost to build new that that should be seriously looked at. They don't neccessarily have to be in the area either, as they can transport themselves large distances.

    A few people around here have converted shrimp boats, as shown in the picture, 50-70', to charter boats that they motor people around in for a week or so, look at the birds, fish, visit towns etc. The shrimp industry has tanked due to farm raised imports so boats are cheap, other fisheries have gone away elsewhere so there must be large ocean capable boats available for low prices also.

    Greenseas, have you published or posted descriptions of the tiny businesses you have researched? Sam
     

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