Don't Charter Your Boat Through Your Hotel, Your Airline, or Any Other Broker!
You Will End Up With The Worse Boats In The Marina.
EDIT! WOW - READ THIS - Edited Jan 2024
When you read the below blog post you can see that it is a simple presentation of a few facts in my argument that it was to the angler's advantage to book directly. Well, you won't believe the response I received from FishingBooker. They demanded that I remove this blog post because I was spreading false information. He denied that FishingBooker promoted boats based on the amount of comission paid. So, what universe is he operating in? Look at the following screen shot from the FishingBooker site.
Many of these brokers demand 35% as a commission. That's right off the top. That money has to come from somewhere and it is usually maintenance. Charter a boat for $500.00 and the charter company has to pay 35%, that only leaves you with a $325.00 boat.
For what? Anybody can start a website and be a broker. Obviously, they can be quite successful. But for what?
There is NO VALUE ADDED. Nope, Nada. Back in the day, (I'm kinda old) when we wanted to hook up with an outfitter we looked in the back of magazines and wrote letters (yeah really old) requesting brochures and then followed up with phone calls, references, etc. By the time you took your trip, you were practically friends.
Now, I realize nobody has time for that but on the other hand what are you getting from a broker? You have a guy who charges money to everybody in their directory and then list them by order of the highest rate of commission listed first. You think I am kidding? Go to fishingbooker and do a search. The boats will come up in order of "highest commission first". Okay, now click on the setting to change the listings to go by Reviews. Can't find it? It's there. Now you see the boats listed in order of "best reviews". Doesn't that make more sense?
How about this? Do you think anybody at any of these brokers has ever even seen these boats? No. The answer is NO.
How's this for insanity? A local shyster company, had every single one of their fifteen boats impounded by the Mexican Government last year. In other words, they had NO BOATS!
It took four months for TripAdvisor, and BookingBroker to take their boats off their rental list. That entire time they continued to sell trips on boats that were NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
AND THEY KNEW IT! It was reported over and over. Guests would show up and there would be a mad scramble for them to try and find a boat.
Find this hard to believe? Here's a company that is listed on the first page of the search engine results from Google. This picture is a snapshot of their website taken today, May 3, 2019, They still list these same boats as available today! It is going on seven months since these boats were even available and still today people show up looking for those non-existent boats.
WTF! Do a Google search and 7 out of the first 10 results you get brokers. People who have never laid eyes on the boat they are putting you on.
Now you have to understand something...it costs a lot. I mean a lot to maintain a proper Sportfishing yacht. The official number is 20% of the value of the boat That's a lot. Now we can get those numbers down but that's what a yacht owner is usually quoted as maintenance costs. Crazy. If your boat costs $100,000.00 you can expect to spend $20,000.00 in costs per year.
How are you going to pay that if you are siphoning off 35%. You can't. That's the short answer.
We operated for 12 years without paying these outrageous commissions. Believe it or not, we had several hotels that used us when it really mattered that they had a happy customer..
Do yourself a favor. Do your "due diligence" and find a company you're comfortable with for your fishing charter. Arranging a fishing charter is a lot different than selling you a seat at the local dolphin show.
Don't forget to read Reviews. Let the customers speak for themselves
Book through an actual captain who owns and knows boats.
The right boat and the right crew make all the difference
Don't settle for less!