Monday, July 24, 2006

A boat!

I had left my business cards with a couple of folks on Saturday while in Miami in hopes that somebody would help me locate a boat that would be willing to take me and a few other brave souls to Cay Sal Bank. When I arrived a work today (Monday) I had a voice mail from Lindsay Davis at the Florida Yacht Charters & Sales office saying she had something for me. That sounded tantalizing!
I just got a chance to call her back about 5PM and she said that she had located a boat with somebody willing to take a group to Cay Sal. The boat is an 85-foot Hatteras that had just gone through a $700K refit. A boat that might be similar appears below (or not similar, I know nothing about boats):
Random boat image of a Hatteras
The boat would be $3000 per day. Plus, I'm sure, some gratuity for the captain of about 15% more. So, figure 8 days and the budget will need about $28K for the boat. Wow. That's a lot. For a six person crew that would be $5K a head. For a four person crew (my original idea) that would be $7K a head!
The last group had a 55 foot troller and (though I can't find it in my notes) put up about $12K for the trip. That was when diesel was about half the cost it is now, of course. That has to be factored in, but doesn't explain the differential.
I am thinking as I type and I have a couple of observations. The first one is I don't need a boat that makes me feel like Onassis when I'm getting to this island. Linsay was talking about plasma TVs, state rooms, circular couches that seat 20, etc. That's not what we're looking for here. The second one is even more simple: this boat is almost twice the size of the one the other fellows chartered so I'm almost certainly looking at too much boat!
All that said, I'm extremely encouraged that in only a half day's worth of digging I was able to find somebody interested in making the trip. Also, the good folks at Florida Yacht have done a very good thing by treating me politely during my visit then quickly locating what I asked for. I didn't set a price range as part of my criteria so they contacted me with the first thing that fit the facts as they had them.
I should now think though how much I think is reasonable to spend on this part of the exercise and follow up with Florida Yacht. I might make another call to Joe (W8GEX) first, though.


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