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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Chartering
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  #1  
Old 11-27-2007
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To charter or own bigger boat?

Since Houton Texas will probably be home for a long while (both wife and my family are here) (although i am Kerrville now lol) I am wondering if chartering for a week or so every year, and buying a small trailerable daysailor(18-24ft.) would be better than looking for something bigger to own that i could sail from Galveston area to Florida, Bahamas/BVI ect. ect.

Anyways I would love help making a list of the pro's and con's of chartering vs owning biger. One of the big pro's i see in owning smaller is purchasing sooner rather than later.

I also would like some basic info on chartering costs from anyone willing to give advise/information. From my week or so of reaserch i have estamated 1k per person to fly to destination, and 3k(32ft boat) - 7.5k(41ft catamaran) for 9 days of sailing.
I figure 2 nights at a hotel, one before and one after sailing would be 200 per night per couple (could try not to get hotel i guess). After this it gets kinda hazy, but i think i am looking at being able to charter a 11-12 day trip (9 on the water) on a 32ft.er for $5,400 per couple, not including food.

How much for food/ and what else is needed? my guess=food $20 day per person would get you good meals? what else do you usually spend money on when chartering? may be to vague a question, but i am just begining to put my thoughts together.

And again the original question i guess is:
Has anyone crunched numbers comparing cost of chartering 1-2 weeks a year, to owning full time? (i would own a daysailer)

so feel free to flame my ignorance, or rant at my nubish ways, and rather long post
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Old 11-28-2007
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GulfCoastSkimmer,

Not quite your question, but I did an Excel model of daily rental versus owning to figure the cross-over point of how rental days versus owning. The buying side of the model included purchase costs, annual costs, and depreciation, and ended up buying with no regrets. However, there are plenty of ways to mislead yourself. For example, our buy assumptions included suspending annual European vacations that included charter sailing, and we haven't missed a year so far.
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Old 11-28-2007
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Do you still have that spreadsheet?
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Old 11-28-2007
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I've been looking for it and thought I'd send GulfCoastSkimmer an email message if I successful, and I have been successful. The model is a crude manual goal-seeking model and meant just for me, so I'll make a few mods so it's a bit more understandable.
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Old 11-28-2007
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GCS: My initial reaction to your charter $$$ = very high per couple. I guess if you picked a big boat, at the peak time and at the most popular place with the most expensive company, you can spend lots of $$$$.

But there are lots of ways to stretch your $$$ & get the biggest bang for your bucks.......which I actually think is fun.

We can play with an example if you give me the details of how you came up with your initial cost
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Old 11-28-2007
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how i did what i did

Honestly i picked two 10 day periods of time i would like to sail and checked a couple websites for prices. I looked at plane tickets to get there, hotel prices if needed for the night before and night after, and chartering for 9-10days. I want to say i priced sailing from Sunday Dec30-Wednesday Jan9 and Sunday June15 - Wednesday June25 but could be wrong i dont remember exactly. Then i figured i could eat for $20 a day per person if i cooked most of my meals (i dont drink alcohol). I figured the numbers for a couple on something around 32 feet, or two couples on either a 39/43 mono or 38/41 catamaran. I looked at Bahamas and Caribbean. So thats where i got my prices. Once again i am just begining to look so i could be way off.

the why -
Wife suggested i look into it, she showed intrest in the possibility of chartering afar once a year instead of vacationing for a week or two (in somethig we own) along the Texas coastline. She said "why dont we buy something smaller (ie. cheaper), and charter something biger once a year, or take a vacation where we can charter for 4 or 5 days during a 1-2 week vacation". I figure the more intrest she shows when it comes to sailing the better. so i started reasearching.

Oh and Tejas i am definately intrested in the spreadsheet.

Last edited by GulfCoastSkimmer; 11-28-2007 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 11-28-2007
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Owning your own boat is a life-style and an expensive one at that. If costs are the deciding factor, two weeks of charter will be much cheaper than a year of ownership of the samer type of boat.

The operation of my 36' runs about $5K a year, every second or third year you need to throw in another $3-5k for replacements/upgrades. The boat is paid for, otherwise you need to add the cost of interest on any loan.

In return for the ownership cost, I have the pleasure of owning MY boat, going out whenever I want, master of my fate, so to speak. No annual state inspection or anything. From April 15 to November 1 or so, I always have a list of interesting things to do, that I enjoy, not related to wifey's Hunny-Do list.

The extra cost of ownership is for the lifestyle, the whole gestault of ownership, dirty hands, gleaming hulls being launched, trips to the chandlery, struggles with puzzling devices, beers in the cockpit at sunset...etc. If you want the life-style, buy a boat.
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Last edited by sailingfool; 11-28-2007 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-28-2007
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Well said Sailingfool... Well said...
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Old 11-28-2007
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GCS: I misread your post.......when you said "per couple" , it sounded to me that multiple couples would be doing the charter.
Now the numbers make more sense.
Lets use Sunsail for demonstration purposes & BVI as the location
Christmas falls in the Peak (most expensive 12/21-1/4) season
Newer (< 2yrs) 34' monohull Boat = $510 @ day
+++ Misc - Damage Waiver, Fuel, Cruising Tax

Alternative #1
Memorial Day falls in the Low (cheapest 5/10-6/6) season
Newer (< 2yrs) 34' monohull Boat (same as above) = $ 260 @ day
Misc the same except cruising tax is cheaper

Other ideas:
Choose older boats = bet 2 & 5 yrs old...can cut rate 5-25% depending on co.
Look for specials & discounts = ie; Sunsail offers reef weeks
Look at Tier B companies
Look at Owner's time........you can get a discount http://www.sailonline.com/discount-charters.html

The more flexible You are the better deal you will be able to get. I try to take full advantage of offerings and it has worked out. Plus we often end up with less crowds (high priority) and cheaper airfare too.

In fact, I shop equally hard for the airfare & will not lock in boat (put it on hold) until I get flight reservations. Unfortunately, depending on your departure city and/or charter location, deals on airfare are not always easy.

Good luck.............but you got plenty of resources here to help.
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Old 11-28-2007
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I am not sure i get what you are saying SailingFool. Are you saying you have to own something bigger than 24ft. (ie. trailer sailor) to really have 'the life-style'? , if so, at what point would a sailboat be big enough in your expierience to really live and enjoy the 'life-style'?

I want to reiterate i am weighing owning a trailer-sailer, and chartering something like you have (36ft.) once a year. To owning something like you have full time. Although i want a multihull. So for me it looks like either:
starting even smaller but eventually owning something like a C-24 and doing a little chartering...
as opposed to....
eventually owning something like a T-28, C-31, prout snowgoose or a gemini105.

If i decide to eventually own something bigger i dont want to charter every summer, i would rather put that away for the bigger boat.

so the real question is what is the cost comparison beetween owning a bigger boat, ie yours, compaired to owning a trailer-sailer and chartering? maybe not only in price but in use as well.

Problem is I want the best of all worlds, a cheap trailerable boat that can comfortably sleep 4 adults and 4 children, and get from Texas to the BVI's in two days. It would be even better if you could find that boat for me, and if it was free, lol,
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