I chartered the Jenneau 45 (Jeanneau 45 ~ 1999
) over new years this year.
Overall a very pleasant experience, would go back again and charter with them.
The intruments at the port side helm station were not working, the main sail was difficult to raise (had to winch it the entire way), and the heads all back filled a little, so you had to be sure to pump lots of raw water through them so when they did back fill, it didn't stink. the GPS was an antique, and I don't think it worked either (not that we needed it, plus we brought a handheld)
As for the interior, the cushions did show their age, and there were a few small tears in the covers, but the sheets were clean and pillows comfortable.
The only mechanical issue we had was the engine raw water pump failed about 4 days into the 10 day trip, while going through the narrow between Beef Island and Little Camanoe island the engine temp alarm went off, we quickly raised the sails and killed the engine and with a few quick tacks, made it through the channel fine, and sent the dinghy ahead to locate a morring ball in trellis bay so we wouldn't have to run the engine for long.
The next morning they sent someone out to replace the water pump, and we were under way by the time we finished breakfast.
Unfortunantly, they guy that came out wasn't a conch employee, he was a local mechanic they hired, and he put in the wrong impeller. We got another over temp alarm on us again the following day, this time as we were coming across virgin gorda sound. We were sailed it almost to the ball, and only ran the engine for a minute or two while picking it up (probably could have done it entirly on sail if we had tried). This time they sent someone from their staff out and he put the right impeller in, and cleaned out the chunks of the old impeller that were clogging the water pump. In all both water pump changes combined cost us about 1 hour of time out of our trip, and added some excitment along the way.
so in summary, Is Conch the best company out there? No, but they try hard to make sure you have a good trip, and yes the boats are not as new or clean as the moorings, but you also don't pay the same rates. Going out on a conch boat is kinda like going out on a friends boat, it's never quite perfect, but it gets you where you need to go, and you're comfortable while getting there. So stop picking apart everything that isn't perfect on the boat, and just enjoy the islands, and all the good food and drinks they have to offer.