T Nation

Business Idea Input Needed

Hey guys, last summer when I would go visit my dad’s sailboat at the marina I had an idea. If you’re just a casual boater w/ a dayjob, sometimes its hard to get out to your boat until the weekends. In this time, spiders and birds completely cover the boat in webs and a little bit of bird poop. God forbid you don’t get out there for 2 weeks, what a mess that is!

My idea for a business (or at least just something I can do this summer being a student and all) is offer to clean people’s boats off 1 or 2 times a week so its always clean when they are ready to go out on the water. The problem is I have no idea how to even start going about this. I think its a good idea and my dad seems to think it’ll work (as opposed to shooting it down like every other idea I’ve had). Could anyone that reads this give me some input and some advice please? Thanks a lot guys.

Probably the cheapest way to advertise would be to print out a lot of fliers and post them around the docks, and if there are any restaurants near this marina, ask if you could post a flier near their front door. Also, Pound the pavement of your marina on the weekends and give a flier out to every person working on their boat. I bet the ones that are cleaning off webs and birdshit will be particularly interested.

Just do it.

Don’t become paralyzed by too little or too much knowledge. Get some brushes, buckets and flyers and get to work.


  1. figure out how much it your effort would be worth to you.
  2. post fliers around marina
  3. make money
  4. dont report it to the irs
  5. yay tax fraud :slight_smile:

Did something similar once, many years ago.

Pretty simple, ask the management of the marina for permission to post flyers, anywhere and everywhere they’ll allow. If they are nice and OK with your plan ask for a list of boat ownwers w/addresses and mail them directly.


If really ambitious, be at the marina on weekends when owners arrive and hand them a brochure/flyer directly and ASK them for the job. You are always more likely to get what you want if you ask in person. Some people simply cannot reject someone trying to earn a living.

Maybe offer a “freebie” to show your stuff to those unsure.

Once you get started, word of mouth and other owners seeing you working will garner you more work than you want.

Good luck.


Thanks a ton guys, definitely good advice. I just dread going to the marina and having them tell me no, but I guess I won’t know till I try!

Well I’ve owned boats for many years. Here’s my two cents:

It’s easy to clean off your boat with a garden hose and it’s part of getting ready to shove off every weekend. I’d probably pay $10 for it if I knew the kid. Best way to reach me is to hand the flyer to me and tell me about your plans. Otherwise I’d probably just toss it.

More likely to pay someone to scrape the bottom free of barnacles if you know how to do some basic diving. Most guys charge per foot of boat.

If your hanging out at the marina anyway I think you could make some money by offering to do odd jobs and being available. For example “opening the boat” which would be washing it off and airing it out before we get there might be something. If I had a kid’s number I knew from the Marina I am sure I’d call a bunch of times over the course of the summer for odd jobs.

Thanks hedo your advice is appreciated. My dad said to maybe go to more upscale marinas where people have a lil bit more cash to toss around. I’ll go to a bunch of different places and see what pans out and what doesn’t.