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Old 08-16-2010
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Boat ownership through charter

I just read a glowing article about the concept of eventual ownership of a sailboat through a charter company (like Sunsail). THere was not a single negative about this either financially or otherwise. They compared them to such wonderful things as Condo Timeshares, which from what I know, are a terrible investment. Is this a crock? Has anyone looked into or done this?

Dave in New Bern NC aboard Sugar Too
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Old 08-16-2010
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It is a terrible idea. The wear and tear on a chartered boat will lead to premature aging of your boat. Also, not all of the charter companies are fair and honest, and you'll end up losing value due to gear being broken and being replaced with sub-par gear.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Old 08-16-2010
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I wouldn't do it myself, but I can understand why some people do. Of course, any article about it that discussed absolutely NONE of the downsides (and there are some, obviously) was not really an "article"--it was a sales pitch.

Buying a boat off of charter is comparable to buying a car from Hertz or Avis. When you do that you get a car that has a LOT of miles on it for its age, and has been used by people who didn't care if they abused it. On the other hand, it also got regular maintenance, every time it was brought back in. It may well have gotten far better maintenance than the low-mile car owned by the little-old-lady down the street who only drove it to church on Sundays.

So, is it a really terrible idea to buy a former rental car from Hertz or Avis? No, not if you understand what you're getting. Lot's of people do it and end up very happy. A few go into it with their eyes closed, don't consider the trade-offs associated with a car that has been a rental, and end up feeling like they were cheated.

Same is true for former charter boats. Understand what you're getting and you may be very happy with the purchase. Ignore the trade-offs and you'll probably end up feeling cheated.

I would also add that, while I might consider buying a former rental from Hertz, I most definitely would NEVER buy one from "Friendly Bob's Rent-a-Heap!" I am certain that Hertz does a reasonable job of maintaining their vehicles in between rentals. I'm not so sure about Bob!

Likewise, while I might consider buying a former charter from The Moorings, I wouldn't buy one from "Beach Bum's Boat Charters."
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I'd point out that not all the charter companies, or even all the charter bases of the large charter companies, especially in this economic downturn, are doing the maintenance and repairs that they should be doing. As long as they boat still floats, they're ahead of the game getting by with minimal maintenance and repairs.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Its a CROCK of BS. Your 'investment' will be trashed to oblivion within a few months. Just 'hang around' any major 'chartering areas' and watch the abuse done to these boats by unknowing 'charterers'. A better investment would be gelcoat and repair services near any such charterers ... youd be able to buy a good boat outright in no time.

Ask yourself one question ... why do the chartering companies have such a HIGH TURNOVER of new boats? .... because they are so soon 'trashed' and so grossly abused that they couldnt keep such in service very long .... considered 'disposables'.
:-o
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Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
It is a terrible idea. The wear and tear on a chartered boat will lead to premature aging of your boat. Also, not all of the charter companies are fair and honest, and you'll end up losing value due to gear being broken and being replaced with sub-par gear.
Well...... I don't see the problem as long as you price them correctly. If Moorings and Sunsail sell their in a significant cheaper price than the non chartered boat. I would consider.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
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Ask yourself one question ... why do the chartering companies have such a HIGH TURNOVER of new boats? .... because they are so soon 'trashed' and so grossly abused that they couldnt keep such in service very long .... considered 'disposables'.
:-o
Because their clients prefer new model year boats. It is hard to charter a 1990 Beneteau that has been stored in the warehouse in the last 20 years.
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Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Its a CROCK of BS. Your 'investment' will be trashed to oblivion within a few months. Just 'hang around' any major 'chartering areas' and watch the abuse done to these boats by unknowing 'charterers'. A better investment would be gelcoat and repair services near any such charterers ... youd be able to buy a good boat outright in no time.

Ask yourself one question ... why do the chartering companies have such a HIGH TURNOVER of new boats? .... because they are so soon 'trashed' and so grossly abused that they couldnt keep such in service very long .... considered 'disposables'.
:-o
Interesting perspectives which may very well be correct in some instances. I've seen things from a different perspective first hand. Not all charter companies use the same business model and thus shouldn't be lumped into the same group. I've spent a fair amount of time around boats that where put into charter more than a decade ago when new and just recently pulled out. Their owners were so pleased with the financial outcome that they have bought brand new boats and put them right back into charter again. Some may ask why one would rent a ten year old boat. That answer is simple, low cost. As I've been known to tell my wife...The cocktail from our simple 30 year old boat tastes just as good as it does on the new million dollar vessel anchored next to us.

Many people that charter a vessel want something very new with all the bells and whistles. Which of course is fine as can be witnessed by the popularity with companies like Moorings/Sunsail. So if one follows the "I want a 1-5 year old boat" crowd then it wouldn't make sense for the charter companies to keep them longer. It is debateable as to whether they are truly so "trashed" that they can't be in service for very long or whether it is just the business model to turn over the inventory. i know of more than a few SN members who've purchased ex-charter boats and been very happy with them. I also have a very good friend who took his boat out of charter and had to threaten legal proceedings against the charter company to take care of all the non-functioning sytems on his five year old boat. He is still finding cobbled up repairs to this day.
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Old 08-16-2010
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I'd also point out that the winches and blocks on a lot of charter-fleet boats are undersized, since many of these boats are primarily used as motorsailors by the charterers. A person in the industry told me that the Beneteau boats that go into the charter fleets are rigged with lower quality blocks than the boats that are sold to private individuals.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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