Market Research Boat hire in Kakadu.

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 10:44
ThreadID: 65967 Views:3630 Replies:10 FollowUps:1
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Many people travel to Kakadu each year towing a van or CT, it is not practical for most to have a boat for fishing.

How many people on this site for example would hire a boat to go fishing and or site seeing on Yellow water or the East Alligator river, or one of the many billabongs in Kakadu.

I am thinking of setting up a boat hire business here in Kakadu for the convenience of travellers without a boat, what are your thoughts?

If this post is out of line I apologize.

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 10:50

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 10:50
Hi Steve
Your post is not out of line and would be of great interest and benefit to members and viewers here on EO and to the general tourist trade.

I wish you all the best for your new adventure and I feel that it would be a real dollar spinner.

Cheers

Stephen
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AnswerID: 349005

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:30

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:30
Steve been up there a couple of times and each time I've said to my wife that I'm surprised that there aren't any boat hire places. Insurance and Public Liability may be a killer for you though. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.
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AnswerID: 349008

Reply By: Lotzi - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:51

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 11:51
G'day Steve

Hmm, good idea, does this mean that Chirkins is going to be modified... :p

Cheers
Lotzi
AnswerID: 349014

Reply By: stevesub - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:58

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 13:58
We would hire a boat as it is too much of a pain to tow the Tinny from Brisbane for a few days use over the whole trip. We do hire boats or go on fishing/sightseeing charters when we travel around the country rather than taking out own boat.

Insurance, permits, etc may also make it un-economical. Do your homework before you buy even one boat. Ask other boat hire companies how long a motor lasts - they do not last long when everyone drives them like they are stolen.

We looked at buying a boat hire business on Bribie a few years ago and it was a lot of hard work, a lot of expenses and not a great return. Same as when we were going to buy a couple of house boats. They were up for 2 new motors each every 2 years (expensive). We have friends who own a boat hire place and they see it more as a lifestyle rather than an income producing venture - they do have alternative income.

Stevesub
AnswerID: 349025

Reply By: ross - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:13

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:13
Having a good boat and taking tourists out to the best fishing spots might be a better propostion.
It would appeal to wider audience
AnswerID: 349036

Follow Up By: Maîneÿ (wa) has - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 18:02

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 18:02
Yep, agree with that thought, I go on Deep Sea fishing charters when in Broome because they know the local areas, supply the bait and everything else required too.

It conjures up the thought of some tourists hiring a boat and seeing how often they can run down the crocodiles in kakadu, it would be hell on the crocodile population and the props too.

Mainey . . .
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Reply By: Flywest - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:56

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:56
Steve - your rules will be different to ours because your in the territory and not one of the states.

That said - usually theres a set of rules that most agencies seem to borrow from each other, in order to try and standardise across the nation.

Withour hire ndrive rules the boats have to be in survey standard - you have to have a rescue boat to go get people who break down caosize or sink etc.

Usualluy you have to have contact via radio gps epirb etc as weell and all the usual safety gear i.e. mutliple sized lifejackets to fit all sizes of potential hirers not just 3 standard ones for each dinghy.

Theft of the boats, is a real issue - people like to pinch them, simple as that! This CAN be combatted with the same technology the hire car co's use, GPS tracking devices - so you can call in the location of the stolen vessel to the police.

Public liability insurance is big.

Under the new legislation here all your customers have to have a rec skippers ticket (meaning usually they have their own boat anyway)

Depreciation/repairs are expensive and a big part of the income goes here becaise people do drive them like they stole them.

It could be done - whether it is gonna make you an instant zillionaire is up for debate.

As for taking boat tours SOME can be quite profitable If you have all the quals and licenses etc etc - down here again - you need all the public liability insurance, and licenses from Fisheries CALM (DEC) Marine Transport and so on and so forth.

I reckon "outgoings" each year to one or another govt department to be able to legally operate are about $20K before you start..

Again it seems ot be different in the territory - every man and his dog with a tinny is a fishing guide in the Teritory and I've yet to see a Surveyed Passenger Vessel Sticker from marine transport on AAAAAAAAANY of the "tour" boats that feature in TV fishing shows catching barra out of the Top end

IN WA it is a different story and our authorities are anal about the rules and regs!

I reckon if you do it and get a foot in the door before they regulate the industry - you'll likely end up getting the eventual licenses when they are issued as long as your prepared to jump thru the hoops - and the licenses to be able to hire boats in that area might be worth something as a resle asset one day (maybe!).

Its capital intensive and when somepone does get their arm torn off by a crock - releasing a barra, THEIR insurer WILL sue you to recover their payout costs which is fine as long as YOUR insurer stand behind you!

I've seen a few examples where guys in this industry (one guy with a parasailing business in particular) who lost everything - because is insurer bailed on him - leaving him liable.

It was a weird high court decision - based on some old "marine insurance precdents" from back in the days of sail transport, called "peril of the sea" - where insurters can't be held liable for injury death or losses at sea! What was weord about it was - the accident that paralysed a lady from the waiste down - happened in the Swan river in the middle of the city near the narrows bridge.

The Insuers argued (successfully) to the 3 high court magistrates - that becaise it was summer and the swan River is open to the sea 12 miles away at Fremantle and the river can be salty and tidal in summer when fresh water flows are minimal - that the area of river that the accident happened in was "OCEAN".

Their defense of "peril of the sea" was upheld, the insurer deemed "not liable" - and thus the operator was found totally culpable for the court awarded multi million damages payout etc etc

Lost his house and boat and car - everything, the boat and parasail equip has been for sale here forever.

The risks are real - unfortunately - in water activities - its a high risk venture - the public liability & 3rd party insurances etc will be steep and as shown may NOT be worth the paper they are printed on when it all comes down to the wire.

Probably would be a good lifestyle venture.

To do the tours rather than boat hire - likely youd be required to hold a restricted coxswains cert at minimum.

If you do the tours, you'd need specialised tour punts/catamarans that could accomoate a tour bus compliment (or 2 or 3) all at the one go.

Such tours used to operate in the Gorges at Katherine from memory and at Geiki Gorge, but from memory the Geiki Gorge ones were owned / run by CALM DEC - they do seem to have a policy of keeping as much or ALL of the tourism revenues from their nat parks etc wherever they can and the Geiki Gorge/ Monkey Mia Dolphins etc are calssic examples - they even tried to put a local operator out of business in Walpole - so they could start their own tours business for the revenues.

Whatever you do go intyo it with your eyes open and do your homework.

Cheers
AnswerID: 349039

Reply By: Member - Jack - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:59

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 15:59
I have visited kakadu twice, and each time just jumped onto one of the tour company boats, complete with driver and guide.

I personally would not hire a boat up there that was any smaller than an aircraft carrier, due to crocs. But others that I have met there seem quite comfortable taking a small tinny out.

Best of luck with it though. Good to see someone out there having a go.

Jack
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AnswerID: 349040

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 18:47

Saturday, Feb 14, 2009 at 18:47
Yep, I would hire one.
When we were there camped at Mardugal, a bloke came along through camp asking if anyone would go fishing with him as his misses was sick of it.I spent half a day fishing with a complete stranger and we had a great time.
And flywest, you dont have to worry about the people who capsize their boats up there, the crocs take care of that!!!!!
AnswerID: 349063

Reply By: jezza68 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:39

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 17:39
A half dozen 12ft tinnies with 5hp outboards would do the trick and be compliant with Australian safety standards. The positive bouyancy in the dinghy's thwarts and lifejackets will be adequate in inland waters.
I would be very happy to hire a tinny from you rather than waste money on some of the cowboy charter operators I have come across in my travels.
AnswerID: 349238

Reply By: Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 22:41

Sunday, Feb 15, 2009 at 22:41
Thanks for your responses.

Over the week end a business collegue and I have made a decision, there will be a 4.35mtr Quintrex hornet ready for hire at the end of the week, and before the season we will get another one.

So Kakadu will have a boat hire this year.

This is similar to what we will have Quintrex Hornet 4.35

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 349305

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