Your correct, it can be done, but it's not always as easy as you might like.* First, you can't apply until you own the boat. That means if you plan to go into the charter business with a non US built hull, you have to take a chance that you will get the waver, and buy the boat first. If the waver is denied, you will need to start over with another boat or location. Should another commercial operator decide you would be competing with them (even remotely), they can and likely will protest your application.* I know this because it happened to me.* The particular company that protested my application had a standing policy of protesting every application that included it's operating area. They employed a lawyer to write the protests, and for the most part, they were successful.*
Secondly, make sure to look into charter insurance prior to doing all this.* It is often times difficult to get adequate insurance if your operating in what insurance companies deem to be high risk areas, or if you have a boat in less than excellent condition, or made of wood. What the insurance companies tell you may influence your choice of boat.* If you hope to do dive charters, it may be even harder (IE more expensive) to get insurance.*
The best hope of developing a viable charter business is to start with a solid business plan.* If you have never written a business plan, look online, buy books and find someone with experience to review it.* Banks will want to review your plan if you tell them you plan to charter.* If you do plan to get bank financing, make sure the banks you choose to apply with even offer loans for charter boats (it's normally a commercial loan as opposed to a personal loan). Often times they don't want to finance liveaboards either, so do your homework first.
The charter business can be very rewarding and fun, but prior to spending any money, it's best to do a lot of homework to learn about as many pitfalls as possible.* Lots of folks have gotten into the business and had a great time.* It's a dream to make money doing something you love, and lots of people have been successful.* Still, someone once told me the best way to make a small fortune in the charter business is to start with a large one, but sometimes just breaking even is enough. Go for the dream, but be aware..........Arctic Traveller
Trawler training at www.arctictraveller.com