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  #11  
Old 09-08-2001
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Purchasing through Charter Programs

Purchasing through a charter company can be a mixed blessin'' but as JeffH states, he''s seen the worst. I''ve seen both worst and best and bought a 1994 40 foot Beneteau from a charter company 2 yrs ago. This was my very first boat for those who are afraid of a larger first boat. JeffH again is correct, 36 ft to 40 ft can be quite manageable if set up right.

The necessary repairs & rebuilds were less than $2500. I paid well below retail and put another $12000 worth of upgrades into the boat. The kind of upgrades most people put in almost any boat - multistage battery charger, 3-blade feathering prop, new mainsail, stripped off all the bottom paint, repalce with new barrier coat and antifoul, changed some running rigging (to 3/8" Samson Warpspeed) and upgraded the Lewmar Ocean series traveler system to the Lewmar racing series.

I recently sold the boat (for less than normal retail) and made $30,000 profit. The new buyer has a boat "where the owner already made the repairs". I''m now looking for another ex-charter boat. A 1995 Beneteau 42s7 caught my eye.

Like anything you buy, you must look hard and be somewhat informed or at least guided. I''m so thrilled about my experience, that I just formed a company to buy ex-charter yachts, restore them to "like new condition" and resell them at slightly less than fair market providing the buyers with a limited warranty.

The charter fleets sell litteraly hundreds of 5 to 7 year old charter boats every year. There will be some real clunkers and there will be some real winners. Just do your home work and be patient. Also be ready to buy - the good ones go very quickly. I missed out on 5 good boats before getting this last one because I couldn''t move fast enough. have your cash ready!

If I can be of any further help you can e-mail me at CaptainRonBVI@aol.com

Good luck!

Captain Ron
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Purchasing through Charter Programs

To jillskor,

JeffH seems very well informed. Two of my associates sell new Island Packets in the NY and CT areas. I agree with JeffH, the IP''s are overpriced and not much fun to sail. There are a lot of choices in boats. If you go with less expensive but well built, maybe you won''t have to put the boat in charter to afford one and can start sailing it now instead of 5 years from now (most charter companies make you sign a 5 year mangement contract).

As I stated, I had success with an ex charter boat for myself. Beneteaus are not he only ex-charter boats availabel either. There are Dufours, Gib''Seas, Jeanneaus, Bavarias, some Catalinas and a few Freedoms.

If you want a new boat, the Dufour Grand Classic sereies (and Gib''Sea line of from Dufour) are excellent French built boats. With the French Franc currently weak against the US dollar, they''re an excellent value. On the Dufour Classic series you get alot of "high-priced" boat features standard: Whitlock rack & pinion steering, self aligning rudder brearings, better reinforced glass hull with vacuum assisted construction for strength and longevity, volvo saildrive engine, electric windlass, Autohelm ST6000 auto pilot with ST 60 tridata and API. there are numerous other standard features in this very fast, blue water cruiser.

I compared the Dufour Classic 36 to the Sabre 36 and cost $100,000 less. I found it to be built better, with many of these standard features not even avaialble options on the Sabre. With the $100,000 difference in price, I could do alot to "tweek" the Dufour. The Dufour Classic 39 comes in with similar standard features and costs $70,000 less than a Sabre.

This is just one example. There are alot of boats out there that are well built, offer better performance and just as sea worthy as IP, Sabre or any other high priced cruising yacht.

By the way, you did not mention what size IP you had been considering.

Captain Ron
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Purchasing through Charter Programs

Hi Ron

I was very disappointed in the build quality on the Dufours that I have been familiar with. Of course, in fairness the ones that I am most familiar with were 1980''s models but even looking at recent models in the limited venue like a boat show I ame off the Dufours think that there were a number of things that stuck me as ''save a buck'' details. I have not had that feeling on the recent Sabres

Jeff
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Purchasing through Charter Programs

Jeff

I agree with you on the "save a buck" details of the new dufours but almost all production boats are that way. What I focused on was the key areas of construction features on the Dufour: Whitlock rack and pinion steering; self aligning rudder bearings (sabre is sleeved); high quality fiberglass, resins, gelcoat, scrimp hull construction and 10 yr hull warrantee; volvo saildrive engine (saber is straight shaft driven); folding prop; autohelm ST 6000 linear drive (not rotary) autopilot; electric windlass; anchor and rode; spinnaker gear; an exceptionally spacious forward berth; enourmaous storage (sabre is very lacking in this area) and assorted other standard features for $146,000. Sabre 362 is $246,000. Give me an additional $10,000 and I''ll address all the "save a buck" issues and still have a better built, fast, round the world cruiser for a lot less money. Plus, I''ll have $90,000 left over in which to spend while sailing around the world.

It''s so important to put things in perspective when looking at value and function for the money in yacht purchsing.

I made a very ellaborate spreadsheet type comparison of some of the most popular new boats, their costs, construction materials & techniques, engines, steering, electronics, interior layouts and their standard features: beneteau, catalina, saber, dufour, tartan and C&C. When I was finished it was pretty enlightening.

Hope this clears things up.

Captain Ron
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