Would you support a change in pricing for Open Party Boats?

NukeDawg

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Mar 27, 2008
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dub-dub-dub
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17' Arima Sea Angler
If you have an opinion, let it be heard.

I'd like to see open charters change their pricing model to reflect cheaper fares for fuller boats. I originally posted this as a suggestion in a different thread (paraphrased below):

http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/of...esnt-anyone-want-fish-year-5.html#post1379581

The general idea is that tickets get cheaper as the boat gets fuller. Hypothetically, lets say a boat won't leave until they collect $1000, so if 1 person goes their ticket is $1000. if two people go the ticket is $500, etc. now as more people go, the ticket prices for everyone, including the people who already purchased a ticket decreases in brackets such that the charters still make more money the more people go, but its getting cheaper for the individuals as the group gets larger. hypothetically, same scenario as above, if 10 people go, its $120 a ticket, that means the boat collects $1200 instead of the initial $1000.

I think this will benefit the charters and the fisherman. For the charters, they may be able to get by in this economy. For the fisherman, if you don't like crowds, buy the more expensive ticket on the less crowded boat. Conversely, if the crowd was unruly, at least they helped save you some money. Either way, the fisherman gets the most value out of the fishing experience.

So my questions are:

1. would you be more inclined to support a pricing model that reflects the crowd size?
2. do you see anything wrong with the pricing model?
3. would you be more inclined to join a charter with this pricing model?
4. other suggestion to improve/change the pricing model?
5. other considerations that would have to be made?
 

BOILER

No Fat Chicks
Mar 11, 2009
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I like the idea but if you had a cap on the number of people that could go to keep it from turning into a nightmare. For example, an overnight trip tops out at 32 peeps, a 3/4 day trip tops out at 40 peeps so on and so on...If you don't put some kind of cap on it the boat will be loaded with too many people that got a great price but sacrificed the limited load atmosphere and fishing. JMO..
 

dan1

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Feb 7, 2008
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I think that's an excellent idea, I'd be more inclined to support a boat with that pricing model. I think it would even give more non-fishermen an incentive to go.
 

Mean-Machine

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Feb 21, 2005
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Not sure but I would think only newbees would enjoy this pricing stuff. I'd rather pay more for less people. I would rather fish less trips for better quality and comfort than more freqeunt trips on crowded boats. I am not sure how it all works but you better add some seriously dedicated deck hands / guys that never take breaks when your running full capacity. To me it's just not worth the time and money spent on a trip with a crowded boat. Instead of "that one guy" your going to have a few of them and the frustration is a factor.

only my 2 cents so fire away
 

Wily Wahoo

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May 16, 2007
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Jorge
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Still dreaming and wishing
Interesting Idea.....I agree with what Boiler said about the MAX cap.....I would add a minimum required.

As one who has to count my money and plan in advance for my 3/4 day trips and scant overnighters - it would suck to be told that my $120 trip is now $1,200.

I've been on a few boats that say "We need 10 to be able to break even" - and between my father-in-law and my buddies- we've bought those extra tickets.

So - I agree with the idea - I'd like to see how it works out in reality. Because the current real option to the party boats (at $ a trip) is to buy your own boat (at $$$$$$$ a trip).
 

wils

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May 31, 2003
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I think that you should buy yourself a boat, use your own business plan, and report back as to how it works out for you.

BTW: many private charters DO use your model but your thread was titled "open party"
 

Swarthy Dago

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Aug 20, 2008
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Why not just pay $ 135.00 the load is limited to 18 on an overnite and don't worry about it ?
 

Bigfish69

Dirty Fisherman
Jun 19, 2006
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JOHN
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I like the idea of cheaper rates but dread the idea of more heads!

69R
 

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
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If you want to run on limited loads there are boats that do that.

I think they are in business to make money or at least that's what I always thought. The more people on the boat the more it costs to run it?
 

Ali

Master of Nothing
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Apr 24, 2003
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Good idea.

I'm sure all the super rich charter captains would love this idea.

PLEASE get out and support these guys at any cost.

This has been a very tough season for these guys thus far and they need all the help they can get.
 

FlyinFishOTI

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Aug 5, 2005
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Bad idea because no one is willing to take on the risk of going out on a light load. If the trip is in a week, and there's only 12 guys signed up, most people won't risk overpaying if the boat doesn't fill.

Even worse, say there's a half day leaving tomorrow morning, but it only has 10 guys on it. Say the fishing is mediocre right now. Would I really want to pay $10 or $20 more than the usual 1/2 day price if no one else joins the trip when fishing isn't so good and I'm not really aching to go? NO!

If fishing is great, boats will fill. If its okay or crappy, people won't risk overpaying.

You could set a cap at the advertised general rate, and reduce it from there if the boat fills... but then you're just losing money that people are already willing to pay you...

If the sport boats go away, I don't fish. I can't afford a boat. Simple as that. So I support them as best I can so I will have a means to fish.
 

NukeDawg

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Mar 27, 2008
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dub-dub-dub
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Just a couple of clarifications...

1. truth be told i didn't really think the pricing would apply to half day boats...i guess it was really to make 1+ trips more affordable. It seems most half days are crowded when fishing is good and within price range for many.

2. the 1+ trips are "limited" by bunks, so i think there would be a cap.

3. I do think there would need to be a way to allow some of the early buy-ins to opt-out if the price doesn't reach some minimum

In general, the assumption is that the fisherman's perceived value of the trip diminishes as the capacity of the boat fills. This would be a way to keep the value steady because a fuller boat would be a cheaper ticket. It would also give people who can afford it a way to pay more for a lighter boat. The idea would be that more people would fish more often because the ticket prices are more affordable. For the charter, i think it would benefit them in the short term, by actually fishing instead of sitting on the dock because they can't get enough people to go. And long term, the more people that fish, the more likely they are to continue to do so, involve others, and it gives them a chance to make money on things other than ticket fare, e.g. galley, merchandise, etc.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

FishStalker

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The biggest problem with this scheme is that it ignores capitalism. The person or people that own the boat have made a capital investment in the operation. They are trying to make a profit.

Sure, $3k may be my break even point for a trip but I'm not going to set my ticket prices at $3k for the whole boat...I'm going to try and actually make a profit. If I can get 25 guys paying $200 a piece that means that I make $2k profit over and above my fixed operating costs so every guy above 15 is gravy.

Now, if you want to sink a couple of million into a charter boat operation and run it your way, nothing is really stopping you.
 

TurdRoller

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Mar 22, 2004
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i like the creativity, but 3--6k dollars is what it takes to get an overnighter out ...plus what others have said. operating a sportboat, in any sense, is expensive
 

MightyMach

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Aug 17, 2007
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how is this not capitalism? Assuming boats are not leaving the docks because numbers are too low is a perfect case scenario of supply and demand. the supply of fishing boats remains constant yet the demand to get on boats is low (for whatever reason $$$??). Beings it is a free market, boats can chose to use the proposed plan or not. Either way...it's pure capitalism. look at the price of flat screen tv's over the past few years...they've dropped simply because supply has increased. Gasoline over the past year has dropped because demand has dropped (more than supply). If this idea were to be mandated by law...then we've escaped capitalism. It's entirely up to the owners but in tough times in order to stay in business customer service has to be top notch as well as creative thinking/marketing. I think there would be a market for this plan...and would be best used by a boat not leaving the docks very often. Of course, the price wouldn't be set at a break even point but rather pick an amount you could still profit from.

cost to run- 1000.
in this case the boat wants to make 1000 profit on a 1 day
1 pass 2000
2 pass 1000
4 pass 500
10 pass 200
20 pass 100

if your boat leaves every trip and your making profit....if it aint broke dont fix it
 

bigpecks

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Nov 16, 2008
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matt
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?
NO! as a deckhand for seven years you guys need to look at it a different way.90% of these boats are not owned by a landings! you need to look at the cost of gas,bait,food ext...... i dont mean to be a dick but these boat owners are trying to make a penny too!!! there not rich as most people think!!! its all about fish counts a crew!!!! i mean i made it out last night with 9 people and we caught 4 fish per head and we didnt make it out tonight. im sorry but most of these bvoats are NOT PAID OFF!!! Most boat owners have a fam to take care off too! and open party trips you dont really make that much unless the boat is damn near full!

kill fish!!!!!!!!
 

Smudge

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Mar 11, 2005
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I'm just a deckhand...
For open party this scenerio just isn't feasable. This is basically the Private Charter model repackaged slightly. How would you maintain crew? The size of your crew is determined by the number of passengers. You would have to artificially inflate your base price to maintain the maximum number of crew at all times, even if business is slow, just in case the fish pop and you suddenly fill the boat to max capacity. Basically, a muti-day boat that has a max capacity of 35 pax isn't going to carry a full crew of deckhands when they only run with 10 people. But their profit margin doesn't increase when they carry 35 people, so they would have to keep the base price high enough to always be able to have enough crew on hot standby....
 

fishnazzi

Mostly just LURKING anymore...........
Feb 24, 2008
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Which one.............
Just a couple of clarifications...

.

2. the 1+ trips are "limited" by bunks, so i think there would be a cap
Not really............Most of your overnight boats are lis. by the CG to carry MANY MANY more then they have bunks for. So to save a little more maybe a guy could bring a sleeping bag and sleep on the deck.:rofl: It is what is but I have got agree with Arvin................Also just as a footnote for a CHARTER boat ...........100 trips to break-even for the year. Profit starts to be made after that..............
 

NukeDawg

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Mar 27, 2008
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dub-dub-dub
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17' Arima Sea Angler
couple more points...
1. The way the pricing is setup the charters would still make more the more people would go. Instead of the conventional charter model where ticket price = fixed amount/number of people, in this case the total amount would increase as the number of people do, to offset gas/deck hands/supplies + more profit.

2. It is capitalism, if they aren't filling/running boats, there may be something that could be addressed with the pricing model to fix it.

3. if the boat has a magic number, e.g. 14. And those guests are willing to pay 250 a ticket. then they collect 3500. But if they lower the ticket price to 225, they may be able to get 6 more people, so 20 * 225 = 4500. Assuming the amount collected outpaces gas/supplies/crew for the 6 extra people...then more people on the boat, *hopefully*, means better fish counts, and more more from galley, merchandise,etc.
 

get some

So Cal Editor
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May 1, 2005
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3--6k dollars is what it takes to get an overnighter out
Dude are you smoking crack?
It doesn't cost $3-6K to run an overnight trip...
If that were the case, no one would be in the business because the boats can't hold enough people to make the business profitable even if they went out full every day.
 

sitonmyface

SEXNOW
Oct 20, 2008
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Dude are you smoking crack?
It doesn't cost $3-6K to run an overnight trip...
If that were the case, no one would be in the business because the boats can't hold enough people to make the business profitable even if they went out full every day.

He's not smoking crack, do the math buddy. 20 guys at $200 a piece makes $4g's. Makes sense to me. The business isn't that profitable, why do you think independent owner/operators are few and far between?
 

walkerman

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May 7, 2008
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I think it should be done the way taxes are done. The more you earn, the more you pay. If your earnings are below a certain level, then your fare is tacked on to the ticket price of the top five percent of the earners buying tickets.
To make it even more equal, those with the most expensive fishing rigs should have to give 50% of their fish to those with the cheapest rigs, because it obviously wasn't a level playing field when it came to catching fish. If no fish are caught, then the top 5% have to go to the fish market and buy enough fish to give to the bottom 5% of the anglers (earned income fish credit). Lastly, at any time during or after the trip, the bottom 55% of the anglers can vote to take as much fish from the top 45% as they want.
 

FishStalker

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3. if the boat has a magic number, e.g. 14. And those guests are willing to pay 250 a ticket. then they collect 3500. But if they lower the ticket price to 225, they may be able to get 6 more people, so 20 * 225 = 4500.
You could say the same thing about Shimano and Accurate. If they dropped the price of trinidads and boss reels by $75-100 I'm sure they'd sell a hell of alot more of them.

This all boils down to fundamental economics and price equilibriums. If lack of passengers is driving the price down, the smart boats will respond and offer some deals to get people on board. Of course, some may have a thin operating margin and lowering the price may put them under water (but so will not fishing) so it's a call that EACH BOAT has to make based on their business--some boats are cheaper to run (fuel, etc), owned outright (so don't have a payment to make, with interest) or are at a different landing (and pay higher/lower fees).
 

get some

So Cal Editor
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May 1, 2005
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He's not smoking crack, do the math buddy. 20 guys at $200 a piece makes $4g's. Makes sense to me. The business isn't that profitable, why do you think independent owner/operators are few and far between?
Yes, he is smoking crack.
He said that it COSTS the boat owner $3000-6000 per day to run an overnight fishing boat.
That is ludicrous...

Lets look at the math...
Worst case scenario he runs the boat non-stop for 20 hours and he burns 15 gallons of fuel per hour. That is 300 gallons. At $3.00 per gallon that is $900.00 (part of this cost is offset by fuel surcharges). Let's say that they are paying 5 crew members at $100 each for $500. Then add boat payment, insurance, etc. for another $200 per day. Bait percentage and landing percentage come out of the total ticket sales, so they are not a fixed cost.
So when you total it up you are looking at $1600 cost to run a trip at most...