Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
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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."