There is hardly any regulation in Med. countries for this sort of thing so you don't need to worry too much about expensive safety gear for the boats, but stick a few life jackets on for nervous mums and that. Don't get them posh inflatable ones...the kids will just let them off and fold them up again without mentioning it.
If you are putting together a fleet of sports cruisers you will get a good deal on marina moorings, half the going rate or less in Spain, Italy or Greece. Gibralter or Costa del Sol would be a good base as this is within easy range of N. Africa. You will attract lots of clients wanting to 'do Tanger or Ceuta', a bit like South Coast sailors nipping accross to Cherbourg and of course getting some booze and a few fags at the same time.
Make sure they are decent fast planing designs. Petrol and diesel is really cheap down there so I would start by doing a good charter package 'inclusive of first tank of fuel'. If you can't stretch to £50 K per boat, Shetlands and Atlantas are a sturdy, practical alternative, but most clients will forgo a bit of headroom for style so a few Bayliners or Regals will do the trick.
Don't forget there is a strong market for rental of more classic designs, Fairline Holidays have always made good money in the charter market, must be the name!
Because there are no tides you don't have to worry about all the stipulations about qualifications like in the UK, so your potential clients are from a much wider base. If they have a full clean driving licence they should be OK on a 10 to 15 metre Sports Cruiser. If they've got a few points stick a couple of hundred quid on the deposit (Standard deposit of about 1/2% so £250 on a £50,000 S/C should cover it, in case they lose the dinghy, nick some glasses or scratch it a bit in the marina).
Good luck, and let us know how it comes together. You could post details of boats, rates and availability here. I bet that would get a few takers to get the business off to a 'flying start'.
Contr. to the learned AW, I understand that there are quite a few regulations. But hardly any seem to be observed, so I suppose it comes to the same thing. In Spain, several operations (incl quite large ones) are cash only.
Wd've thought you's need a fair bit of boat/bog etc knowledge to fixem ready for the punters, and fairly quickly too in the season.
Conor, beware of some of the other postees here, I know two of them personally and I can assure you they're taking the p**s. Neither of them have got boats but they'd have you believe that they know what they're talking about, but in reality they're just full of bull. I, on the other hand, have loads of sailing and power boating experience offshore and will therefore give you good, solid, honest advice.
First off unless you're already loaded, you'll need to arrange finance. This shouldn't be too difficult in the Med especially Spain, 'cos you'll be entitled to an interest free EU loan in Euros, especially if you set up in the marinas in Madrid or Seville. The EU only lends in excess of 10 million Euros, but since it's interest free and you can decide your own payback terms, that's not really an issue. Go for 20 mill to start. That should get you half a dozen really decent power boats, something like three or four Fairline Squadrons and a couple of Manhattans and leave you some "operating cash" for the start up period before the cheques start rolling in. You will need to get some safety gear, but don't worry too much about what sort, go for the cheapest here in case someone nicks it. Hard hats, safety boots and those dinky high viz jackets that you see on building sites are de rigeur in the Med and will be checked by the Harbourmaster. Oh and safety harnesses attached to sky hooks are good too. You'll need some maps and tide tables and other stuff too, but it's probably better to buy those secondhand in case people write or draw on them. BTW the best deal on Med tide tables is to take the 2001 Dover times for any particular day and add half an hour and deduct 2 metres. It'll be close enough that no-one'll notice.
Base the boats in different places, so that your charterers can go from place to place. Start them off in say Majorca and tell the charterers to drop off the boat in for example Cyprus or Tenerife or wherever they fancy and to give you a ring when they've done it so you can send the next bunch to the right place. If you ask each group to clean up the boat and refuel it ready for the next lot, it'll make your job a lot easier. If you want to actually demonstrate the boat to each charterer, hire a couple of busty blond girlies. The blokes'll spend so much time watching her wobbly bits, they won't have any time to query anything. Better if their names are classy like Tracy and Sharon, you know something exotic. Swedish ones like Ingrid and Agnetta who don't speak English and only wear half a bikini go down really well I'm told.
As regards marketing and setting your rental rates, give me a call and I might be available to do a consultancy job for you.
Hope this genuine advice has put the enthusiasm back into your plans, don't let the other postees dampen your plans. Go for it. Who knows, this time next year you could be a Millionaire.
Re: Hmm - thought we had intellegent discussion here.... maybe not!
Why do we need an intellegent conversation? If someone who knows nothing about boats wants to set up a charter business abroad, how do you expect the conversation to be sensible? If anyone is planning to run a business they know nothing about from information gathered from this forum they must either be only 12 years old and messing around or due to be sectioned.
Hmm - thought we had intellegent discussion here.... maybe not!
Well Conor, I advise you take the advice of Mr Wilson, he seems to know exactly as much as you do about it...
Coliholic on the other hand has the right idea as to the kind of costs involved... shame about the rest...
If you are really serious, charter one for yourself first - look at what is available, what it costs and try to find a gap in the market that needs filling rather than doing the same thing and undercutting - they set their prices very keenly and you will find there are costs you hadn't thought of.
Make sure you are adequately insured and DO provide proper safety equipment (although I take on board the point about inflating life jackets) would you want to live with 6 deaths on your concience ?
The boats you buy needent be new, but they do need to be recent enough not to be showing signs of aging - and you will need to get them cleaned prior to each rental - one contributors idea of "letting them clean them"... good way to shut your business down!
But above all do your homework - of course it can be done - people are doing it - but you need to be sure you have the expertise to do it before you set out.