If owning a sustainable business in paradise has ever been a goal of yours, there’s never been a better time!! Nica Sail Catamaran is based in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
Founded in 2011 Nica Sail has maintained a reputation for quality, safety, excellence, and trustworthiness. We strive to provide our employees with the best working environment and customers with the best possible sailing experience. Our sailing crew consists of 4 locals. 2 of which are captains (Byron and Gerardo) and have been with us since day one. Make no mistake about it, this crew is the dream team.
In a town, San Juan del Sur, with extremely high turnover and seasonal tourism, it’s no coincidence that we’ve got the best sailors. We take care of them because they take care of us!
Our most common trip is our 1/2 day trip which includes a 2-hour sail to Playa Blanca, hanging out on anchor for 2 hours, and a 2-hour sail home. All of our charters include an open bar featuring local beer, and rum-based cocktails.
One of the goals in building this business in Nicaragua was to have it structured to allow for an absentee owner. I’ve been fortunate enough to obtain autonomy with the help of a great team. I did live there for 2 years but it was not crucial to the operations of the business. The new owner would have the option of operating the boat or, continuing to let it run as it has since 2011.
The Boat – She’s a 1999 Fountaine Pajot Athena 38. A catamaran with 4 cabins and 2 heads. She’s powered by a main sail and a head sail, with 2 Yanmar 30 hp engines connected to SD20 sail drives for use when the wind is lazy. The electronics are minimal. We went this route to promote a “lower maintenance” lifestyle! She’s an absolute work horse and spacing 20-25 people around for a day sail is easy and comfortable for everyone. Its required to paint the bottom about every 2-3 years. This requires a trip to Costa Rica and a haul-out. We time it so we’re gone during stormy season. The main sail lasts about 7 years, and the head sail is good for about 7 as well. The net up front gets replaced about every 4 years and the Bimini top lasts about 3-4 years. We have a few mechanics who know the boat inside and out. All of them have parts manuals and they collaborate with our team and establish orders which get forwarded on to our parts vendor, complete with part numbers and quantities.
Nationalization – As one might imagine, bringing a foreign vessel into a developing country in order to service a business brought on quite the challenges. While going through 4 lawyers, and $45,000 in taxes we got the boat nationalized after about 6 years. It was a tumultuous process to say the least. I view it as a MASSIVE barrier to entry for prospective competition. We’ve also developed quite a few helpful connections along the way. We’ve been assured that all foreign vessels will be required to follow the same protocol we were held to in 2018 – no operating until the nationalization is complete (yeah, have fun with that).
Records and Taxes – We have meticulous records dating back to 2014 which show profit, loss, revenues, expenses, daily trip numbers, etc. It goes without saying that there is an element of trust in such dealings. But asking around town is the best way to validate our history.
Busy Season – Since the boat is moored in the bay (no marina present) we take great precautions during the stormy season, October. Usually its the best time to head to Costa Rica and haul out for repairs / maintenance. If not, we have located a small and protected cove which is about 3 hours by sail. Its not uncommon to see 5-10 other boats from town head there as well.
Mooring – We built and sank our own mooring built from a trash can full of concrete. There is a small fee to keep the boat in the bay, but its minimal. We’re responsible for maintaining the mooring and chain. Every night our watchman sleeps on the boat. His name is Max and he’s been with us from day 1. He’s an old salty dog and knock on wood, he’s never had any issues with anyone trying to come aboard. I also think Max has never missed a day of work.
Management Structure – We have a solid organizational structure with checks and balances. Juliette, our manager is in charge of everything that happens in Nicaragua. She oversees the hosts, crew, and deals with any government issues. She’s the go-between for me and the crew / mechanic. She also oversees the company treasury and pays salaries, commissions, etc. Juliette has said she’s willing to work with new ownership. If a new manager is brought on, Juliette is willing to stay on board and train someone as needed.
Agreement – I am willing to remain accessible for questions for a given period of time. The crew members are like family and I want to ensure their continued success!
Payment – payment terms will be contingent upon legal recommendation by our attorney. It is likely that portions of the final amount would be sent to Nicaragua, the USA, or a combination of both. I will also accept (and prefer) to be paid in crypto currency.
The entire operation of Nica Sail is being offered at $239,000. This includes all real property, intellectual property, and existing social media. Nica Sail is presumably one of the more profitable businesses in San Juan. We’re the longest-running sailing company in the country. Have a look at our reviews! #1 sailing company in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
We will provide financial statements to qualified buyers. Serious inquiries are welcome.
This business is truly an opportunity to capitalize on the good life. I wouldn’t trade the last 10 years for anything. However, its time to pass the torch on to someone who is ready to make the leap into a lifestyle change! You won’t regret it!