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post #1 of 14 Old 05-01-2011 Thread Starter
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buying from a charter company

Does anyone have any experience with purchasing a sailboat from one of the charter companies like Footloose Yacht Ownership which is a subsidiary of the Moorings. They say if you buy a boat through them you'll be able to charter your boat for you and send you a check, and you get to sail your boat 9 weeks out of the year. It seems like a decent way to get started but I was hoping I could find someone with personal experience. I've seen that now is probably not the time to start a charter business due to the economy, but maybe if I'm working with a well established company I might have better luck?????? My hope would be to do this for a decade or so then trade up to a cruiser of our own, that is: not chartering.

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-01-2011
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Does this mean that all the maintenance for keeping the boat available for charter will be at your expense and their discression? Many people are able to do well with boat ownership when they are doing much of the maintenance themselves and choosing what's to be done when. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-01-2011
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dayton

10 years would likely be at least 3 boats, as most of the big guys in the business, only want "new" boats. You may do better with a smaller more local charter business that will let you stay with one boat for 5 years or more.

We had a boat in a local program and as much as you want to believe their numbers, you really need to "see" the detailed accounting for boats similar to the one you want to put in the plan....AND see the owners proceeds.

It was an awfully expensive lesson for us, so much so that we took our boat out after the first year.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-02-2011
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Having a boat in charter is a method of subsidizing other people sailing while your boat gets worn out.

Unless of course they give you a written guarantee that you will make money and cover the depreciation!

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-03-2011
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You'd be better off buying an ex-charter boat for a really good price. Granted it will need a lot of goodies added to be a decent cruising boat but they do go cheap and they're not in bad condition. At least what you see is what you get and any further degradation/improvement is expressly down to you.


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post #6 of 14 Old 05-24-2011
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Hi Dayton 49
I have a new boat that has been in charter for 2 years in the Whitsundays Australia. The returns is little as all maintenance and repairs and cleaning and hull inspections and management fees take all the money you will cover the pen fees and maintenance do not expect and income to cover loan repayments and you will get some months of negative invoices owing not receiving. The wear and tear on the boat is heavy as people do not look after your boat. Others may have had better luck with other companys. But for me I regret having done this and would not recommend it to anyone.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-24-2011
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I thought Footloose was their second run inventory, but could be wrong. Moorings themselves seem to be <3yr old boats. When the contract is up with the owner, you must either take over the payments, sell it, trade it in or put it in a second run charter program.

I understand that the new boat programs are guaranteed break even and you get use of the boat for some number of weeks, as you describe. I suspect they are less willing to guarantee the older boats. The catch is the downpayment. That is money that will be permanently out of your pocket and you have the risk of having to take ownership at the end of the contract. If you are realistically only going to use the boat yourself for a few weeks a year, you are probably better off just renting. While few are really able to use their full allotment, if you can, you might be ahead of the game. That is their business model. Offer a programs that technically works, but very few ever really fully use. It is somewhat like buying into a timeshare.

I know someone who works at Mooring in BVI who says that the boats get their best TLC maintenance right before its owner is coming to use it. After all, when your contract is up, you will be approached to trade her in and start over and they want your experience to be pleasant. You will be pursued to upgrade.

Personally speaking, I would not invest in anything that large that I could only use for a few weeks per year. If you don't have your own boat at home, I would start there, not in a charter business. If you are thinking of bringing her home when done with the contract, I dare say that the premature maintenance from its harsh usage will increase the cost, at least in the first several years she is back with you full time.


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post #8 of 14 Old 05-24-2011
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I wouldn't buy a used Hertz car. Do you know how people drive them rentals, brutally! A charter boat is an unloved boat, and an unloved boat is not a good thing.......i2f

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-24-2011
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There is a great website that details the experiences of a dude named Rob Charuk who owned a boat in a charter program in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with Barefoot Charters (not to be confused with Footloose, I get them mixed up sometimes). He had the boat for about seven years and chartered it the entire time and wrote about it all in his website. He has long since sold the boat but has left the website up for folks such as yourself to use as a resource.

The website is The Usual Suspects. For details about owning a boat in a charter program read the section called "The Boat".

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-24-2011
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So one would not buy a Hertz rental. BUT, they probably get better maintenance care than ANY other rig out there from experience.

now as far as buying a leased out boat.......that is probably a bit different than a car. I would buy a truck or car from hertz. many folks on here Zanshin in particular has bought a couple of lease boats in the Jeanneau brand and sizes. With no real issues. You will get a reasonable deal price wise, sails seem to be newish, ie less than 2 yrs old generally speaking from adds I have seen. The rest, as many say, get a GOOD surveyer of your choice!.

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