By learning how to start a boat business, you can capitalize on your passion for boating while getting paid to do it. But before you launch a boat charter business, there are a number of things to consider to get it off to a strong start. 

  1. Create a business plan. Consider weekly charter rates, the number of charters a season you can realistically do and the percentage you expect to be booked. Consider expenses such as costs for salaries, maintenance, insurance, and marina / mooring fees, as well as business expenses for accounting, marketing, commissions, etc.
  2. If you are a boat novice, a great place to start is to take sailing lessons. Ideally, learn on the type and size of boat you eventually hope to own.
  3.  Buy the right boat with the necessary upgrades for luxury charter or for your chosen niche. The boat that you buy should be suitable for crewed charter with comfortable cabins and enough space for entertainment. Catamarans, 45ft and bigger, with maximum cabin layouts are the preferred vessel for crewed charters.
  4. Consider your exit strategy. Don’t overspend on the boat and don’t buy a boat that will be hard to sell at the end. Do your research and get good advice.
  5. Get the right qualifications and licenses.
  6. Unless you have a very good network you can tap into to source charter customers from, don’t go it alone. It is hard to break into the market as a novice or newcomer. Start out with an experienced charter management company or charter broker, even if only for the first season so that you have a safety net. It will make the learning curve a lot less steep.

When you first decide to start a charter boat business, it might seem simple enough. Just buy a boat, fit it out with some toys, put it the water in some exotic location, and start chartering, right? Well, it’s not quite so simple and it will take some thought and planning.


Join Our Community!

Get the latest on catamaran news, sailing events, buying and selling tips, community happenings, webinars & seminars, and much more!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Recent Posts