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  #31  
Old 03-15-2010
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Catalinas

Another effect we noticed is that when we were in the Bahamas, the Catalina owners doing the southward trek had all "found" each other by the time we reached Hope Town and had started mostly cruising together -- so in one anchorage there might be no Catalinas, but when you catch up to the troupe, you'd be cruising along with five. They like their boats, and most cruisers are gregarious and tend to group together for safety and convenience -- and because the weather windows enhance that effect, naturally.

Weather windows effect: By the time we all left Rum Cay after a front had passed through, there were twelve boats in the procession starting out for points south! IIRC about four of them were the 36'-range Catalinas, and that's a good month or more after the initial group-up in Hope Town (and past Georgetown, which one might think of as the First Turnaround for snowbirds who will be heading back to the northern areas for the summer months -- so, many of these Catalinas were heading farther south). As it happened, our best cruising buddies were on one of the Catalinas, and we were in a 36' monohull at the time, so it was also convenient and fun to sail along hitting the same anchorages.

This time we are going to be catamaran people, but given our tendency to want to explore anchorages, that extra speed is a good thing, we may catch up to monohull sailors who are pressing on to get south -- and reunions down-path are just as much fun as meeting wonderful fellow cruisers the first time around!
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  #32  
Old 03-16-2010
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I also suspect that the market for used boats is dramatically affected by the prevalence of Beneteau in charter fleets. Chartered boats generally get harder usage and tend to command a lower price. Many of them also go on sale in the BVI or other charter locations, so moving them to locations where sailors live is a factor. I suspect there is a sharp line in the used boat market and if you go into detail, you will find used non charter boats don't go up for sale as often and command a very different price.
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Old 03-16-2010
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Slightly off topic...

Since we've chartered in the BVI, I can tell you that I would never purchase a chartered vessel for personal use. Even though the charter companies request a so-called sailing resume, they will charter to almost anyone who can pay for it. On our last charter, we knew of someone who grounded coming out of the marina because they failed to stay in the marked channel.

The charter companies have a huge marketing campaign to lure customers into purchasing boats and guaranteeing them monthly income and 10 weeks of use per year. At the end of the term, the buyer is left with the option of purchasing the boat or selling it. Have you ever seen the # of used boats for sale in a BVI marina? That tells me that most sailors don't want to own one of those boats that was used for charter either.
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