Bringing A Boat down
Hi. I have been following this message board for awhile now and I have learned a great deal from it. The information has been invaluable as I plan my move to St Thomas.
So onto my point. I have a super nice boat, a 19 foot 135hp merc outboard, T-top, perfect boat for scuba diving, which I'm an avid fan of. I'm faced with either selling it here or trying to bring it down there. I am not sure if I could afford to keep it at a marina. Do people trailer their boats at all in the islands, or do they all keep them at marinas? Also, does anyone know if the licensing fees are the same for boats as for personal cars? I could imagine that with the terrain that trailering a boat might be a problem, is this true?
Thanks for any input and if there are any other scuba divers out there drop me a line as I'd love to get together and do some diving when I arrive in late February.
hi dave i just remember a stort my uncle who has been a fisherman there hi whole life about 7 years ago he bought a boat in fla. and they shipped it for him but it was shipped in a crate so he had to pay for a crane i believe to remove it had he put it on a trailor he could have i guess rolled it off you might want to check that out beacause i remember he said it was expensive for crane good luck kenny
bubba: Yes, people trailer 19 ft boats. You probably wouldn't want to pull it up Donkey Hill... Also there are several places where you can keep it in dry storage on racks.
is your boat one you use for salt water now? Or only in freshwater? Some freshwater boats need adaptations to run properly in salt water. You also may face corrosion problems beyond what a fresh water boat is designed for.
Give me some notice if you head to STX sometime and want to go for a dive.
Yes it's a saltwater boat. It's a 2002 Proline Sport 19. Thanks for the diving offer. I am definitely excited about the diving there in STX so I will let you know when I will be over there.
I read on USVI.net that boats brought down for charter/business purposes are exempt:
Boats placed into charter service in the U.S. Virgin Islands are exempt from all import duty and excise taxes.
Recent legislation, enacted in 1994, completely eliminates all taxes on boats, boat engines and boat parts in The U.S. Virgin Islands.
I'd urge you to do a little research and work up a little business plan. Research all the competition and see if there are any gaps in the market that you can fill, or market that's underserved (long waits for appointments, reports of poor service, etc). See what local firms are charging for a day of diving, and maybe see if it's possible to build some relationships with cruise lines or local resorts. Try to estimate the proposed income, and then cut it in half!
Have you looked into the additional insurance that comes with taking passengers for hire? The boat will have to be brought up to current USCG standards, you'll have to be properly licensed, and certified as a divemaster if you aren't already. Further, divemasters need additional insurance to protect themselves against claims underwater. The boat insurance only covers passengers while they're in the boat. You'll also have to buy SCUBA gear to rent/offer to your patrons, and certify it as "safe" before each dive. You could probably borrow some money but be prepared for some substantial startup costs. The VIMI site says there are benefits available to help startup businesses, with restrictions (of course).
Compare your estimated income to your liabilities. That quick analysis will tell you if you're looking at a potential gold mine or a life of poverty.
Hope this helps
bubba: I didn't get the idea you wanted to start a dive business, but were rather thinking of diving on your own. Am I correct? Because a 19 foot boat would not really be the kind of thing you would use for a dive boat. And, unless you are nuts, you wouldn't go to St Croix in it. A 19 foot boat is something folks use to tool around a bit during the day with their friends.
eastender: yes that's right. it's a good boat for staying fairly close in, no trips to St. Croix unless in a boat convoy on a picture perfect day. Do boats my size go to the BVI? I'm just looking to enjoy using it for myself and friends, no chartering. I won't really have the time to deal with those issues. With scuba gear and tanks I can only take 4 divers including myself,and only a 1 tank dive at that. The weight alone of the scuba equipment and divers reaches the boat's limit of 700 lbs.
So I must decide once I get down there whether to bring it down later or just sell it. I was hoping to get some ideas beforehand as to being able to store it affordably (say less that $150 month) or keep it where I live. I'm also wondering if there are similar boats for sale under $20k there. I guess alot of these questions will be answered once I get there end of Feb.
Bubba i have a home w/ separate uncovered car port that is 300 yards away from the boat ramp of the st thomas yacht club. leave the keys w/ my concierge/property mgr who lives in the guest apt and we can talk. i have a 21 robalo but not in the islands.
lip: As you know, the boat ramp at the Yacht Club is for members only. Unless you are sponsoring bubbadave!?
bubba: I have no idea how much the storage facility costs, and I can't find them in the phone book. As you said, probably easier to find once you are here. White Bay, Jost Van Dyke is full of small St Thomas boats on Sunday afternoons!
well I don't want to do anything wrong but I sure appreciate the offer!
come on east ender... ya cant blame me for trying. its not as if i wouldent have bought you a couple of pain killers at the soggy w/ some of the other regular posters. sheeese