How To Start A Charter Fishing Business – Owning a fishing supply business is a dream job for countless anglers, but only a few take the plunge. That’s too bad because once you learn how to start a fishing business, you’ll realize that it’s a lot easier than most people think.
Of course, there are certain requirements that you will have to meet, and it will take some work – just like starting any type of business. But once you have a few important boxes checked, you’ll be able to get by and do what you love, being out on the water hauling in fish every day.
How To Start A Charter Fishing Business
Taking out paying passengers on your boat means you will be a government captain and requires you to obtain a Coast Guard captain’s license:
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Determining whether you need a separate driver’s license depends on which state you are in. Some have licensing requirements that can be huge, while others don’t have any licenses at all – so be diligent and find out what the requirements are for you live.
There can be liability involved if you are a licensed captain taking paying customers out on the water. Furthermore, your boat has become a big part of your business so getting the right insurance is a must. Fortunately, fishing boat insurance is available in many places.
Remember, part of what your customers will judge is how you decorate them. Good fishing charter operators understand that they need to provide their customers with quality gear to keep them satisfied.
This is another job that depends on where you live. The laws and paperwork required for setting up a business will vary from state to state and are above federal laws and requirements.
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If you have never started a business before and are not sure which type of organization is best for your needs, you may want to get the help of an attorney. Setting up an LLC is easier than you might think, and not too expensive.
Once you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted yours, you’re ready to take people fishing. But like any business, you need to let the public know that your services are available. This is the hard part.
Almost all fishing-charter services require advertising or public relations to some extent, but since you are just starting out, you may not want to invest a lot of money. If you have a following on social media, start there. You can email friends and family and websites like craigslist and Facebook market for free.
Running ads in a local crab wrapper or paid ads on FP and Google can be expensive, so start slowly.
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A painless way to get in the game is to book your service among Boatsetter’s network of fishing charters. Since there is no upfront cost, you can create your listing without spending a dime, and over 1,500 guides choose to list their services on Boatsetter.
Okay: ready to jump? Now more than ever, people are realizing that doing a job you love is more important than anything else when it comes to being a happy person.
And, what better job could there be than taking people fishing every day? If you’ve ever thought of starting a fishing business, there’s no time like the present. If you’ve ever thought of trading in your suit & tie and air-conditioning, deck shoes and salt air and running your own business, then get a boat. entrepreneurship may be the thing you need to feed all your business and outdoor interests.
Here is a simple but effective guide, inspired by our charter boat owners, on how to successfully start your own boat business in Australia or New Zealand. Watch Pete Johnson’s video from Pegasus Charter to see his story.
Steps To Starting Your Own Charter Boat Business
If you have absolutely no knowledge about boats of this size, a good place to start is to take boat lessons or boat electronics, related to the type of boat you hope to have. This can be informal from a friend or through a sailing club, or more organized through a sailing training program.
Sign up to your local boat club as a member and you’ll be on the water in no time. Or if in Sydney, join our Multihull Cruising Yacht Club as a member. Visit here: https://www.multihullcruising.org.au/
In association with the Pacific Sailing School we offer training to both Qualified Crew and Day Skipper level with the RYA syllabus.
Charter boat operators are always looking for good, reliable and willing hands to help in their charters. This is a great way to learn the ropes of the charter boat industry and get a taste of what charters can expect. This will also help you to get the required hours on the sales boat so that you can qualify as a sales manager.
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If you plan to use your charter boat in Australia, you will need the right documents and these qualifications depend on the length of the boat. There are training institutes around Australia that provide the necessary training.
If you plan to run a boat less than 12 meters in length you will need a Coxswain Cert II ticket (common and easy to get). See the courses offered by Seaschool here: https://www.seaschool.com.au/commercial-certificate-courses/coxswain-cert-II
If you plan to operate a boat over 12 meters but under 24 meters, you will need Master Engine Driver 3 certification. This is a rigorous course with many additional hours. See the courses offered by Seaschool here: https://www.seaschool.com.au/commercial-certificate-courses/marine-engine-driver
It is important to work with your accountant to build a business plan. Things to consider are hourly rates or tickets, how many charters per week or season you can get, and where new opportunities are emerging. Then consider costs such as the cost of the deck (or skipper if not qualified), maintenance, insurance and marina / mooring fees. How will the boat you want fit into the current market? Below is an example of how the Seawind 1160 Resort charter boat PNL can look based on Sydney Harbour.
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Charter boat operators in the Whitsundays and Sydney are already seeing strong bookings as Australians regain their yard, despite restrictions on mid-range travel. To view a full replay of the Webinar Interview with Trevor Rees of Whitsundays Escape <>, or with Russell Waddy of Pittwater Yacht Charters <>
We can recommend a professional charter boat accountant for professional advice. Contact Peter Jabour or Andrew Schilling from Jabour Accountants on 02-4626 9900
Like any money from a banking institution, there are usually two important factors including: 1 – Security and 2 – Serviceability.
Getting financing on a boat is not always easy as banks don’t like floating things that can move over bricks and mortar. So it is very useful if you have equity in the property that can be used as collateral for the financing of the boats which also means lower interest costs and longer and lower repayments. When it comes to employment, unless you are buying to continue with several years of financial records, the income that can be earned from the future boat should not be considered in terms of employment so the income is evaluated.
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We can recommend a professional financial broker for financial assistance. Contact John Eldick from Sumplus Mortgage Brokers on 1300 761 197.
In order to operate a trade with paying passengers in Australia or New Zealand, your vessel will need to be trade compliant or in a ‘Survey’. In Australia this is a national system so if your boat is approved in one country you can operate with the same restrictions in another country.
Use the following table to create your ship’s service category. For example, a passenger ship carrying 30 passengers and operating out to 15 nautical miles has service category 1C.
Standard classes for our survey boats are built to include 1E (for large groups in smooth water), 2C (groups of up to 12 offshore charters), and 4D (barbering in rough water).
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Receive a Quote To get a quote and information on a charter boat to use in Australia, fill out the form below. Running a fishing charter is every angler’s dream job. You wake up in the morning, meet clients at the port, and go fishing. However, running a charter boat is a tough job, but if you prepare properly, you can start a successful business that will last for years. Learn how to start a fishing business the right way!
If you are going to start your own fishing business, you should work on a boat for at least a year to gain experience. This will give you an intimate understanding of all the unseen things that go into the industry.
Like starting a business, market research is important. It is important to know the answers to these questions before you begin:
The answers to these questions, along with other research you do, will help guide your opening.
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Hidden costs such as fleet maintenance, equipment replacement, insurance costs, etc. can add up. Fishing boats have a lot of unexpected expenses, so you need to save a big pile of money to protect your business from these expenses.
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