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View Full Version : Starting a charter business - what do you look for??



Wardy1
31-08-2007, 02:06 PM
Hi,

I'm in the process of starting up a charter business.

As part of my research, just thought I'd throw this out there & ask what you blokes look for in a charter operation??

Any feedback / suggestions are much appreciated.

Cheers

Blackened
31-08-2007, 02:14 PM
G'day

HAve a quick look at smart lisence.

Google it, it's a government organization which will fix you up with the appropriate paperwork, lisences and things like that,

Dave

Noelm
31-08-2007, 02:28 PM
I guess one thing that is handy is an all Weather Harbour, or something to cover for really bad Weather for people who may have travelled a long way for the Charter.

Scott nthQld
31-08-2007, 02:50 PM
Iíve been fishing fro longer than I can remember, but if I were someone that didnít fish much (if at all), I would be looking for a charter operation that would not only put me onto fish, but also readily offer advice on techniques and styles of fishing, whether it be bait or soft plastics and everything in between.

Also Iíd be looking for someone who doesnít just set everything up but would show me how to rig a line, bait a hook, cast a rod etc, so that I can then have the pleasure of going fishing whenever I like.

At this stage now, having fishing since I was a little tacker, I look for an operator who will show me any techniques they use and why, places easily accessible for the resources I have and also someone who is good for a yarn.

To me a charter operation is not just about hauling up as many fish as I can but a learning experience, I donít care if I go out on a charter and catch nothing, if I have learnt something new from the operator Iím happy.

Jeremy87
31-08-2007, 02:54 PM
As in a offshore charter? then good grounds with a wide variety of species. Versitility for customers so they can go for the standard lucky dip aswell as maybe jigging or trolling. Depending on the customer they may ever want to stop and chuck a slug so make sure you exhuast all the options. Also decent well maintained gear. On the charters i've gone out on i find it annoying when you get handed a kmart special or an old run down tld only a 3rd spool filled with line, it doesn't look professional. On bad days when the fish aren't biting keep moving and working to show that your doing your best, most people can apprieciate that the fish aren't always there but if you spend half the day in the same spot doing nothing then you bore the punters.

edleigh7
31-08-2007, 02:56 PM
I look for a bit of variety, so you are not just bottom bashing all the time, but if there are no pelagics around there is not much more you can do I s'pose

Ed

B_E_N
31-08-2007, 03:47 PM
location! location! location! good to have knowledge of a wide variety of options to cover your ass if the fish bugger off.
good tackle, makes life easier for everyone.
a comfortable environment to fish also, no good packing people into a boat, youll build yourself a better name and rep if you concentrate on providing great service/help/attention to the few people you have onboard imo.
there may be other things like a good feed is well liked

tigermullet
31-08-2007, 04:04 PM
That is an adventurous and tough way of making a quid. In what area are you planning to operate?

1lastcast
31-08-2007, 04:11 PM
TACKLE !! TACKLE !! TACKLE !! I reckon you have to supply your paying customers with good quality gear to use not top shelf stuff but good gear that wont let your customers down .

Service your gear regularly & dont wait until a customer complains about worn gear toss it over the side before it gets to that stage

The repeat bussiness you get from supplying good gear will soon pay for itself tenfold

Nearly evry charter boat ive been on has gear that is cheap and nasty and worn out into the bargain .

What you don`t want as a charter operator is for people to get off your boat and bitch all the way home about the gear that wasnt up to scratch it takes the shine off what was probably a top day .

In saying that i also agree with everything that scott nth qld said

Good luck with your bussiness venture i hope it works out for you

Cheers Peter

Stubbie Holder
31-08-2007, 06:41 PM
Good Tackle.
Decent Food.
Show the punters that you are doing your best to put them on fish.
Be interesting and informative.
You will have a good business for many years.
Stubbie!

disorderly
31-08-2007, 07:55 PM
Good Tackle.
Decent Food.
Show the punters that you are doing your best to put them on fish.
Be interesting and informative.
You will have a good business for many years.
Stubbie!

Just about sums it up,stubbie.
The fish are not always going to play the game and the weather is not always going to be perfect but if you can see a concerted effort to create an enjoyable and informative experience and some versatility in techniques and locations to try and get some fish and learn a bit about fishing and the local area then most people will appreciate this.
Bloody hard game though,I reckon.
I'd make sure that I had some alternative income or enough dough stashed away to pay the bills when the weather turns to shit or the punters are slim on the ground.
Good luck

Scott

choppa
31-08-2007, 08:32 PM
heaps of great info here,,,,, but you haven't advised your intentions,,,,

like most i've been on dozens of charters,,,, some good,,, some not so good,,, but we tend to remember the bad experiences in life before we remember the good

do you intend on offshore/bay/estuary????????

what capacity do you intend on taking per trip???????

and of course what experience do you have?????

not being negative,,, but these are the first points to cover,,,,, you can have the best equipment/gear/bait that money can buy,,,,, but if you don't have the knowledge you may as well stay home

choppa

tigermullet
31-08-2007, 08:36 PM
Some very good ideas have come up in this thread.

One bloke who set up a couple of years ago had the same ideals in mind.

Unfortunately he was under capitalised at around $200,000.

A long dose of bad weather, high fuel and other costs resulted in the loss of his house, wife suffering from depression and unable to continue work, nervous breakdown and a debt that still hangs over their heads.

Before you ask, I have no idea why the escape route of bankruptcy was not used to end the suffering and start again.

It was a good idea to begin with and a lovely lifestyle imagined. Perhaps with a little luck, it could have turned out differently if it had not been done on borrowed money which required their one and only piece of real estate as collateral.

"Equity mate!" Nightmares are created by such advertising campaigns.

However, you did not ask for this type of input so I will assume that you have finances and business plan in place and have balanced risk against reward and wish you all the best in the venture.

snelly1971
31-08-2007, 11:59 PM
heaps of great info here,,,,, but you haven't advised your intentions,,,,

like most i've been on dozens of charters,,,, some good,,, some not so good,,, but we tend to remember the bad experiences in life before we remember the good

do you intend on offshore/bay/estuary????????

what capacity do you intend on taking per trip???????

and of course what experience do you have?????

not being negative,,, but these are the first points to cover,,,,, you can have the best equipment/gear/bait that money can buy,,,,, but if you don't have the knowledge you may as well stay home

choppa

Ah yes...Knowledge...that says it all...

Mick

SNAPPERCOFFIN
01-09-2007, 08:26 AM
I would be a bit worried about setting anything up at the moment in the sunshine coast area with all the green zone talk going on. And this trend will only follow in other areas. I would also be looking at putting a bit of soft plastics on board.

Mark

Wardy1
01-09-2007, 11:07 AM
Thanks heaps - some very good points there, and thankfully most we've already thought of & planned for.

We have a boat being built to survey - capacity of 6 - skipper, deckie & 4 clients. The skipper (not me, my business partner) has over 20 years experience in the area (which I'm not telling yet - it's unchartered waters, but proven fishing!) & knows what he's talking about. Top guy too. It will be mainly offshore & barra, but we'll mix it up a bit with some mud crabbing.

Another question - how far in advance do you generally book your charters? First 3 day charter is planned for Feb 08, but we won't be ready to advertise until October...

Thanks again guys - these are very exciting times for us, and we want to make sure we get it right from the start.

Cheers
Ward

tobig
01-09-2007, 07:42 PM
hope its not your only form off income its long hours and a lot off work been there done it and would never do it again .
but good luck

choppa
01-09-2007, 08:10 PM
Thanks heaps - some very good points there, and thankfully most we've already thought of & planned for.

We have a boat being built to survey - capacity of 6 - skipper, deckie & 4 clients. The skipper (not me, my business partner) has over 20 years experience in the area (which I'm not telling yet - it's unchartered waters, but proven fishing!) & knows what he's talking about. Top guy too. It will be mainly offshore & barra, but we'll mix it up a bit with some mud crabbing.

Another question - how far in advance do you generally book your charters? First 3 day charter is planned for Feb 08, but we won't be ready to advertise until October...

Thanks again guys - these are very exciting times for us, and we want to make sure we get it right from the start.

Cheers
Ward

now thats more like it!!!!!!!!!,,,, experienced skipper,,,, fish,,,,crabs,,,, offshore,,,
sounds great,,,,, hoping that ausfish members get a discount;D ;D

a couple of things that i found a bit disturbing on some of my trips,,, and perhaps other members can add to,,,,without repeating the above points

lack of communication,,,,,, (afterall we are the PAYING clients and some of us like to know whats going on)

boredom,,,,,, coincides with above really,,, but theres nothing worse on a charter

lack of humour,,,,,,, c'mon we all like a laugh,,, especially if your with a bunch of people that you will probably never see/meet again,,

elbow room,,,,,,,,,,,this is by far the worst disaster,,,,,,,,, if you can fish a comfortable 6 fisho's,,, don't book 7,,,,, it only takes an inexperienced one to stuff the day up for another,,,,, especially with tangles,,,,

good luck on your adventure,,,,,,, hoping you stick around and keep us posted on the journey

choppa

Kleyny
01-09-2007, 08:29 PM
choppa said it all.
once you get it up and running and keep the punters happy you wont have advertise as much as happy punters alway tell their mates.

if i was to organise a charter i would book say 2-3 months before.
i would also only book a trip with a boat that carries 6 if i could fill the boat with mates. Nothing worse than getting a stick in the mud or a w*nker that you have to put up with for the whole trip.

neil

GazzaB
01-09-2007, 10:52 PM
HI wardy
LIVE THE DREAM!!:D

I think you can't do any better than really really good CREW. Having been on a few chaters, the ones that stand out in my mind are not allaways the ones where the most fish were boated, but where we had a good friendly, knowledgeable, expereinced, and in a lot of cases patient crew.(and then secondly the fish!! ;D )

STUIE63
03-09-2007, 12:59 PM
I normally only go on charters at small to no notice when I am out of town on work and get a day off. one thing I would like to see and it would cost bugger all is the charter take a digital camera and take some photos and email them to the people that were on the charter. what would it cost bar the digital camera and maybe 10-15 minutes time?
Stuie

hungry6
03-09-2007, 06:48 PM
Been out on a fair few charter, and one thing I have to say, old salty gear is a turn off, worst still is a deckie with attitude!!!
I would pay double the charging price to go out and learn how to fish and catches fish, in general have a nice day even I diddn't catch fish, but learn a few new techniques.
Also pay some attention to those poor sods who are seasick, as I've seen plenty of charter shoved them into a corner and forget about them. They are also paying customers.

rumy1
03-09-2007, 06:58 PM
Make the deckie a blonde bombshell in bikinis and you can't go wrong !

Scott nthQld
05-09-2007, 02:27 PM
Make the deckie a blonde bombshell in bikinis and you can't go wrong !


Why didn't anyone else think of this;D , good one rumy!

So to review the list:

Priorirty Number One: A super hottie that wanders around in bikinis all day every day (She doesn't need to do anything else and if need be this will also prevent boredom):o ;D

-Knowledge of area
-Knowledge of potential species
-Good quality, well maintained gear
-Be free with information, such as how to read a sounder, why this technique works etc).
-A good crew that's is not only knowledgeable but good for a laugh
-Show the punters you are working hard putting them on to fish by using different techniques, moving spots, burleying, etc.
-Don't ignor those who are seasick, take some emergency kwells or other remedies along for the ride.

Jeremy87
05-09-2007, 03:39 PM
I'm liking the female decky concept.

Being nice to the green outs isn't always that easy when you've still got a deck loaded with punters who need taking care of theres not much you can do but keep the water in them and give then a few words of encouragement. The one and only time i have ever deckied was also the first time i ever chundered out at sea. There was 8 charteries and a few of them started catching the bottom, i had to tie a few more rigs up and then it was all over, i was sick as a dog for the rest of the day. If you think greening out is tough try tneding to 8 punters at the same time (half of whom also greened out at some point) not a good day.

2rods
05-09-2007, 04:06 PM
I like everyone here has been on a number of charters... Most on boats out of Darwin and a few out from the Sunshine coast...

What to do:
Supply good gear
good food
GOOD BAIT
FRIENDLY DECKIE
nice boat
good electronics
Know your fishing grounds

Don't:
treat the customers as gumbies
be grumpy in the mornings
get grumpy if people bring thier own gear


Some people should just not have dealings with the general public IMHO..... a friendly posative attatude goes a long long way....

Vic1
06-09-2007, 07:23 PM
I'm liking the female decky concept.

Being nice to the green outs isn't always that easy when you've still got a deck loaded with punters who need taking care of theres not much you can do but keep the water in them and give then a few words of encouragement. The one and only time i have ever deckied was also the first time i ever chundered out at sea. There was 8 charteries and a few of them started catching the bottom, i had to tie a few more rigs up and then it was all over, i was sick as a dog for the rest of the day. If you think greening out is tough try tneding to 8 punters at the same time (half of whom also greened out at some point) not a good day.


Geez Jeremy, your making me sick just thinking about a day like that:P

breamnut
06-09-2007, 08:01 PM
depending on how big your boat is going to be you will have to go and get your coxwains ticket.(something im doing now) which allows you to charter a vessil up to 5m i think and bigger you have to get your master 5.
its bloody hard to get!

NEWBY
07-09-2007, 01:32 PM
Good Tackle.
Decent Food.
Show the punters that you are doing your best to put them on fish.
Be interesting and informative.
You will have a good business for many years.
Stubbie!
HERE HERE, well said mate. I went to the swaines in July aboard the Norval out of Gladstone. Now I have been on many charters and I have to say that it was the best trip ever and the weather didnt really play the game either. The skipper was knowlegable and worked hard to make sure we hit good ground and boy could he cook.