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I am considering buying a seaplane to be docked in Chapala to travel between Lake Chapala and Chacala beach. About a one hour flight. I am looking for 2-3 pilots to partner in buying the plane and maintaining it, as well as flying me there and back. I am not a pilot...and would prefer not getting my license, but if necessary I could. Any thoughts, ideas or am I just crazy for considering this idea? I have talked with a couple of the guys at the Aeroclub but they do not have a plane that can land on the water. Thanks for your thoughts.

Billy

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52 minutes ago, Seaplane Billy said:

I am considering buying a seaplane to be docked in Chapala to travel between Lake Chapala and Chacala beach. About a one hour flight. I am looking for 2-3 pilots to partner in buying the plane and maintaining it, as well as flying me there and back. I am not a pilot...and would prefer not getting my license, but if necessary I could. Any thoughts, ideas or am I just crazy for considering this idea? I have talked with a couple of the guys at the Aeroclub but they do not have a plane that can land on the water. Thanks for your thoughts.

Billy

I like your idea and hope you are successful in accomplishing it.

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I always wanted a Lake Buccaneer when I was a young pilot. They built them near Houston and we saw quite a few of them. Jimmy Buffett owned one thinkiing he gly around the Caribbean and land where ever he wanted.  He soon learned that seaplanes take special government permissions in most of those countries and make you land at an airport to meet customs and pay some bribes. His book indicates that it didn't work our well from him. Taking off and landing in the same country must be easier.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=lake+buccaneer&ia=web

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As a former airplane owner, I know what it costs to own and maintain an aircraft.  It is not cheap,

 You can buy a 50 year old amphibian for under $75,000, a float plane of similar age will be well over $100k. Expect to invest $2k-$3k a year for inspections and upkeep.  Also you will want to save to engine replacement account $20 for every hour you fly it.You should have a place to store it out of the water preferably in shade.

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As a former airline pilot with thousands of hours, and a past owner of a Cessna 175, think again of your idea. Unless you get the option of land/water landing equipment, this could be an investment of gigantic proportions. And then there is the insurance, Mexican regulations, maintenance, and just the worry of the "what ifs" of this investment. 

 

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Warning lots of stuff sticking up close to the surface on this lake especially when the water level goes down.   I would want to survey your lake runway and not stray away from it.  I know it doesn't take much water but ask around and folks will tell you how much stuff in on this lake bottom from the days when the lake was dried up quite a ways out.  It can be done but not without a lot of work.

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Far better off with an old piper cub fitted with fat tires. Join the Chapala aeroclub, put up a hangar, then from here to the coast and land on the beach. Much cheaper. No need to worry about the risk of beaching the plane in the surf etc.

 

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I flew with this guy twice. Oaxaca- Puerto Escondido and back... a one hour trip. This is what I am considering. A Seaplane or Lake makes more sense than trying to land on the beach. https://retireearlylifestyle.com/aaa/aerovega.htm   Thanks again for your comments. Basically I am looking for 2-3 pilots with $30,000 throwaway money. If it works out we all might breakeven or better if people from Lakeside want to go deep sea fishing or a beach get-a-way. AeroVega is busy! I have 28 years of living Lakeside and know about the lake levels. Yes, it is a concern but the boat captains know the lake well and can be a great source if info. Thanks again. 

Billy

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 To charge you would need a commercial rated pilot who has a seaplane endorsement. The plane you are looking at can carry about 780 lbs of people & luggage - 200lb pilot that leaves 580lbs or 2 people with luggage. or 3 people zero luggage. 

Don't fool yourself  A plane is like a boat = a hole in the water that you throw money into.. the difference is the plane will cost many times more. Even if you only fly it 1 day a year you will need an annual inspection...for that plane should be $2000+.... Seaplane insurance is very costly as well,  and you will need dry storage close to a ramp from the lake... Or hanger it at the aeroclub which will cost a lot for the initiation and your monthly dues. If that plane is left in the water more than 2 or 3 days you will have problems.

The term seaplane is a misnomer ....it should be water capable plane. Landing in the ocean with any surf and then trying to beach it is a very dangerous task.   You would need to land offshore, and have a boat meet you to get the passengers then fly the plane to an airport or back to Chapala.  

But hey  it's fun to dream.   

 

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Yes it is fun to dream...and sometimes those become reality. There is a ramp in Chacala in a small protected cove ...no worries there, here..there are many options. This is why I want to partner with other pilots who would fly it to where ever they want so that the plane is used. I am familiar with the costs and divided by four would not be an issue. I would not charge therefore no need for commercial...there are other ways. Have you ever been to Chacala? If so you would know it's a mild bay especially in the mornings....other than a few months of the year.  https://www.surfline.com/surf-report/chacala/584204204e65fad6a77091f0   Thanks for your input...keep it coming. ... What's the worst that could happen? Probably best to leave that one alone...:)

Billy

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20 hours ago, Seaplane Billy said:

I am considering buying a seaplane to be docked in Chapala to travel between Lake Chapala and Chacala beach. About a one hour flight. I am looking for 2-3 pilots to partner in buying the plane and maintaining it, as well as flying me there and back. I am not a pilot...and would prefer not getting my license, but if necessary I could. Any thoughts, ideas or am I just crazy for considering this idea? I have talked with a couple of the guys at the Aeroclub but they do not have a plane that can land on the water. Thanks for your thoughts.

Billy

They had a seaplane listed for sale awhile back. They used the Ski Place near the aeroclub. I have been looking at one. It is Icon and has moved there facilities to Mexico from California. It is called the Icon A5. It's only a 2 seater but a great little Amphibious plane. I have even looked at lakefront property to just let the wheels down and drive it out. We both have the same idea

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I have been looking at one. It is Icon and has moved there facilities to Mexico from California. It is called the Icon A5. It's only a 2 seater but a great little Amphibious plane. I have even looked at lakefront property to just let the wheels down and drive it out. We both have the same idea.

That's GREAT!!! Keep at it. This area is perfect for these. For me 4 seats work better so I need pilots interested in partnering. 

Billy

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I'd be concerned about all the debris floating on this lake and the stuff that is just below the surface as the lake level continues to drop.  If this drought continues we may be looking at a repeat of when the lake got so low the shoreline was a mile further out.

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I'm pretty sure you all are not going to change his mind about his novel idea no matter your experience.... 

Now if you've got an extra $30k hanging around that's a horse of a different color.

 

 

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Where do you land and park in Chacala Beach?   I’ve lived in beachfront property and have never seen a seaplane land or parked. If you have to rent a boat slip in Nayarit what would be the cost?   What a mammoth undertaking, best of luck.  

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Been to Chacala many many many times (always in the winter for me 'tho). Yes, there is the small  bay which is not as rough as the sea but not nearly as protected a bay as say Bahia de Banderas in PV but is also very often 'full' of large sailboats and pangas.

And IMO, calling the boat dock where the local fishermen tie their boats a "Marina" and that there is a "small protected 'cove' near the Marina" (sic) is probably..... grasping for straws. And IMO, beaching a seaplane on that tiny bit of sand beach.... maybe 50 feet wide and often full of children/families wading in the water.... probably ain't going to go over very well with the village population. But sometimes well-off gringos with not much sense of beach ownership nor rights of others do what they please in Mexico. 

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