Starting a boat rental business

latitude19

Active member
May 29, 2011
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Hi, My fiancees brother (a dominican commercial fishing boat captain) wants to ship a boat here to rent around the Cabarete area. He asked me if he could make money doing this. I did not have a clue.

His boat is a 19 foot "regular" Maco or Mako- I do not know this type of boat. It has twin 60 hp 4 strokes.

He would rent it out for fishing, diving, sightseeing, whatever. Anybody have ideas as to whether this would be worth the effort?? thanks, tom
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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A lot depends on where the boat is now.

Talk to Ken here on DR1 about anything nautical....he knows about the taxes and the stumbling blocks.

Don't you go putting money into it until you know a lot more about it...

HB
 

karlheinz

New member
Oct 2, 2006
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I'd love to know the answers to this one also. I have a lovely 27' Nimble Kodiak yawl sitting on her trailer in Maryland. Holding only 5-6 people at the most and traveling at 5-6 kts on an 18 hp diesel engine she surely would not be thought of as a candidate for the people or drug trade but with a draft of 2'8" she will go damm near anywhere.

 

Ken

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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Is the brother a Dominican citizen living in the DR. If so, he knows who he must see and what permissions will be required for him to use the boat in the proposed way. Among those who must be consulted is the Port Commander. The Marina de Guerra controls the ports and enforces the rules which are strict. Unlike the US and most countries in the Caribbean, you can't just leave the harbor whenever you want. You must get permission, which might be required every trip or some other arrangement might be worked out with the Port Commander

There is a catamaran type power boat in Sosua that takes people out fishing. I think the owner/captain has an arrangement with hotels. I have no idea how much business it has. I understand there are fishing boats that go out of Puerto Plata, but don't know about the boats or their success.

The problem with going off shore on the North Coast is that during the winter tourist season the sea is often quite rough. When the fronts pass that bring us rain they also kick up big wave. I would not want to be out in the sort of boat you mention.

The sea off the south coast is better for a small boat, but I don't know any thing about the demand, etc.

But wherever he goes with the boat in the DR, you can be sure he will have to deal with the Comandante del Puerto.
 

latitude19

Active member
May 29, 2011
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Hey Ken, Thanks for the post. Very informative. Rosa's brother Edward is a Dominican citizen.

I do agree that it is probably too rough for a smaller (tourist) boat and it seems that there is not all that much tourist boat traffic even during high season. Well, not really much boat traffic of any type at all around Cabarete unless you count kitesurfers!!

Is the brother a Dominican citizen living in the DR. If so, he knows who he must see and what permissions will be required for him to use the boat in the proposed way. Among those who must be consulted is the Port Commander. The Marina de Guerra controls the ports and enforces the rules which are strict. Unlike the US and most countries in the Caribbean, you can't just leave the harbor whenever you want. You must get permission, which might be required every trip or some other arrangement might be worked out with the Port Commander

There is a catamaran type power boat in Sosua that takes people out fishing. I think the owner/captain has an arrangement with hotels. I have no idea how much business it has. I understand there are fishing boats that go out of Puerto Plata, but don't know about the boats or their success.

The problem with going off shore on the North Coast is that during the winter tourist season the sea is often quite rough. When the fronts pass that bring us rain they also kick up big wave. I would not want to be out in the sort of boat you mention.

The sea off the south coast is better for a small boat, but I don't know any thing about the demand, etc.

But wherever he goes with the boat in the DR, you can be sure he will have to deal with the Comandante del Puerto.
 

karlheinz

New member
Oct 2, 2006
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very good question !! - I have been thinking of having it shipped to PR and then sailing across the Mona Passage.
 

Ken

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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Before you make any decision about bringing your boat, make sure you are going to be able to use it here. The Dominican Republic is not boat friendly and does not permit free use of a boat like the US, PR and the other islands of the Caribbean do. The authorities want to know why a boat leaves the harbor and where it is going.

Regarding crossing the Mona Passage, it is definitely not Chesapeake Bay. It is an open ocean, 30-36 hour passage in good conditions in a boat with 5 kts across a body of water famous for rough seas.

I lived on a cruising sailboat anchored in Samana Harbor for many years and made a number of trips to PR for boat maintenance. When going to PR we waited for what looked like a weather window and hoped for the best Most boats going south wait in Samana for the same reason. If you ship a boat it will probably go to San Juan and that is not where you want to start from. That would mean going off shore the entire length of PR and continuing off shore to the DR. You would be even more exposed to bad weather. The usual crossing is to Boqueron on the south west corner of PR.

But first make sure you will be able to use your boat in the way you want.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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A big issue might be real insurance. I wouldn't be surprised if there is none for theft.