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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > To buy or to rent, that is the question...
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Thread: To buy or to rent, that is the question... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-21-2001 10:29 AM
JohnDrake
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

I feel your pain. I got my first boat some years ago after years of crewing on other people''s boats. Then a few years ago suddenly got boat fever. Went through nearly a boat a year. BOTH power and sail. Had two at a time. Whew. I am TRYING to cure myself AND trying to sell the boat I have now to go to a larger, classic, like a Morgan 382. Nice boat that can take me anywhere, classic lines, sturdy and much lower cost.

I think low upfront cost is a key factor. As you know, there are lots of expenses in owning a boat. You constantly want to upgrade and improve her and make her look nice. Thus, the logic is get an older boat in good condition that you can upgrade and make look good - something you would want to do anyway.

Just my $0.02

Good luck
John
06-21-2001 10:18 AM
quicksilver
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

I must say, I''m liking the charter idea less and less. I am terribly fussy with boats. Particularly when they are my own. I think seeing a mounting collection of ding and scratch (not to mention premature engine wear and other biggies) would give me an aneurism. I have a hard enough time reconciling my own screw ups. I don''t need the added worry and stress. Oh well, it was a thought.

I will certainly look into the older Pearson 35 and C34. However, the "newish" Catalinas are what got me into this mess to begin with. Them and the "newish" Hunters. Well, okay, they were brand new (no ish). I knew I had no business going aboard these boats at the yacht broker. I just couldn''t help myself. I''m a weak, weak man when it comes to sailboats and things related.



06-21-2001 08:52 AM
JohnDrake
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

Hi there. I can definately appreciate your point of view (I have to stay away from boat shows for the same reason).

I think the two boats you mentioned would be too small. I do believe you could find a C34 for around 50-60 in very good condition. They are very nice interiors for their size.

Another choice, something really classic that people tend to keep in very good shape: 1970''s vintage Pearson 35. Beautiful boat, larger than the others you mentioned, but no qtr berth (not sure how many berths you need. Not very fast but you can pick one up for 30 something.

Another option, if you are looking at boats in that size range, you might want to consider a newish Catalina 32. It is suppose to have an astonishing interior for a 32 and I would think you could find one at a very good price. Also in that size range at a good price (not sure what price though) a Beneteau 311 or 331, whichever pops up. These boats would also do well in the charter biz, should you decide to go that route (that being said, I am told that boats 36-40 ft are the top charter''s).

Keep in mind one thing with charters, you are probably just going to break even, not make money. Also your expenses will be considerably higher because of increased insurance costs and slip fees (you will have to keep your boat at their marina, which will be a popular one). Expect to have to replace the engine and repair the interior and exterior before selling the boat at the end of the charter biz. The way you sort of get ahead is with the tax benfit of the capital depretiation (depending on your tax bracket).

Charter brokers make money because they have NO capital investment. Their exposure is nothing. Their overhead is very small in comparison to their economic backup (the owners boats they charter out).
06-21-2001 07:37 AM
quicksilver
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

Thanks again John. I will certainly read and understand all the fine print before I agree to anything these charter companies are pitching me.

Thanks for the alternate suggestions. I''m affraid, right or wrong, we''re kind of stuck on the "condo like" interiors. We realize, of course, that they come at a price. We just may have to bite the bullet and go for a newer and more expensive boat to get what we want.

We found at least one boat that is in absolute immaculate condition. It''s a 1972 Hughes 29. The boat was entirely restored to pristine, better than new condition by it''s current owner. He is selling it for 2/3 of the renovation price (I saw all the receipts) because he decided to sell his house (he''s retired) and live aboard in the Carribean instead of keeping the Hughes 29 and only sailing it on day and relatively short trips.

This boat is really in top shape and the price is right. The problem is that in is only 8.5 feet beam. A bit too confining for our tastes. It kills me to pass it up - especially since the present owner is such a nice man who has a genuine love for his boat as well as a deep desire that it end up in good hands.

Also, I''m about to look at a 1988 Bayfield 32 Cutter. It also sounds like it''s been babied by its only owner. Fresh water boat. It has wintered indoors every year (wow!). Lot''s of add on equipment and features. It''s considerably more expensive than the Hughes but it should offer more cabin and cockpit room. Not to mention how pretty a Bayfield cutter is with all that wood and bow sprit.

Do you know much about these boats? Any advice?

Decisions.... decisions.....

How can a sailor get anything done with all these work related interruptions?!
06-21-2001 04:36 AM
JohnDrake
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

Hello

I can only speculate, since I don''t know the company and have not seen the agreement but...

That seems like a terrific responsibility on their part. But I think the fine print would most likely be: they are NOT responsible for ''normal wear and tear'' (hard to interpret), cosmetic damage (like chips cracks and crazing of your gelcoat, which really can devalue not to mention delaminate your boat over time), etc.

Also, my charter co demanded that *I* insure the boat for charter (AND list them as co-insured for personal and property damages). SO, if we assume the same for your instance, I would guess that their end would be the deductable. Of course, with claims your insurance costs will go up.

Just a guess.

Still, many people go the charter route. It IS a way to greatly limit costs. I think the two more successful instances of this are 1) people who buy new via a program in the Islands where charter is lucrative and they only use the boat a couple times a year, can appreciate the favorable tax benefit of depreciating the boat and then dump it after 10 yrs or 2) people who own older larger less expensive boats like O''Day''s that have depreciated to nearly nothing and they stick them in charter broker fleets because they will not be using the boat again or just rarely and don''t care what happens to it.

Just my opinion.

Of course the other way to go is to simply get a much older boat (maybe a classic) with an initial low cost. It is possible to find some that have been well cared for, not easy, but possible. You will likely not get the great condo like interior of a modern boat, but your cost is very very low. For example, you could get a Catalina 34 or 36 (you said you were looking at these), mid 1980''s vintage for around $50k. The mid 1980''s C''s were built pretty well and hold their value. You could use the boat for 5 yrs and get what you paid. You could also dump it into a charter fleet if you moved and possibly gain some income.

John
06-20-2001 01:00 PM
quicksilver
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

SailTeachr/JohnDrake -

I will certainly take that under advisement. I must say I have not gotten much further in understanding the benefits/short comming of having your boat in a charter fleet. I''ve been very busy at work these days.

However, I do have one questions. How do I interpret the claim (which at least one charter boat company has made to me) that they will assume all costs for damages incured to my boat while it is in their fleet?

Are they just lying or do they really only mean major damage like a gaping hole in the hull or fire damage in the galley?

I plan to do very comprehensive research before making any kind of decision in this area. I won''t be satisfied with this option unless I have written guaranty that my boat will remain in pristine condition during it''s chartering life.

Thanks.
06-20-2001 09:58 AM
JohnDrake
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

I would definately confirm that. I had a boat that I put into charter. The very first time it went out it came back with significant damage to the gelcoat and hull that cost $1500 to repair. Luckily, since it was the first time, the charter co agreed to pay and thus is was a faily cheap lesson for me. You will notice that most boats - that are owned by private individuals - in charter fleets are older boats that are at their max depreciation point. Then its not a bad deal, especially if you don''t care if you see the boat again.
06-20-2001 09:49 AM
sailteachr
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

DON"T DO IT!!!
I am a sailinginstructor for a charter company in the Pacific Northwest. I teach on charter boats from 28-48 feet. I have seen first hand the way that charter boats are treated by the so called well intentioned "Experienced Charter Guests" I have experienced and heard the horror stories of the things that these people do to boats. I could rant for hours on some of the exploits and pure lunacy that charter guests go through, and they think nothing of it, why... Because it is NOT THEIR BOAT. Charter boats for the most part are the abused neglected step children of the sailboat world. There is a reason that companies, like the one that you were looking at on the Chesapeke, get NEW boats every 4 or five years. This is because after 4 or 5 years of abuse even the best maintained charter boats start to die. A diesel can only take so many shifts without throttling down before it throttles you with a HUGE rebuild bill, and I have seen it many many times. Not to mention that charter boats RARELY pay for themselves in a charter season. Out of 30 boats in our fleet, last year only ONE paid for itself (maintenance contracts, moorage, insurance, and other hidden charter costs to the owner)
If you want to go sailing on a regular basis but want to avoid the cost of ownership, I would suggest looking into a sailing club of some kind in your area. Most of these organizations have their own boats, and their members pay monthly dues and have either free or highly discounted use of a variety of vessels.
I apologize for rambling but I hate to see people get into the Charter Owner situation without hearing from someone on the inside, about what REALLY can happen to YOUR boat. Remember, at the end of the charter season, it is still YOUR boat. I hope that this helps and I am sorry if I offended anyone.
-Keith
06-18-2001 06:19 AM
quicksilver
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

Thanks Jack.

We are exploring the idea of owning a charter vessel. I must say I have not done much homework in that area and am currently getting familiar with all the ins and outs (pluses and minuses) of this alternative.

As to your second idea - flying - don''t even get me started. I''ve been itching to get my glider''s license for a while now. Lack of time rather than will has been the biggest enemy. I started to take private flying lessons a few years ago but then we had our first child and I was starting my own business at the same time. The timing was just all wrong. Also, I decided that being trapped inside a small and noisy plane was not the hight of the flying experience for me. Soaring is much more interesting to me and my wife. It''s all that harnessing of nature''s powers by skill and wit thing. You understand. It''s a lot like sailing vs power boating. Both are fun but the former offers a more unique challenge.

Anyway, thanks for your contribution and thanks for reminding me about another hobby I''ve neglected to cultivate..... ;o)
06-15-2001 05:40 PM
jack_patricia
To buy or to rent, that is the question...

QS:

I''ll toss out two add''l thoughts re: your dilemma, since neither has been mentioned.

First, you sound like a candidate for ownership in a charter boat (by which I mean a boat that suits the family, the family budget, and is managed by a good firm on the Bay). Even if you move, you''d have "visiting privileges" and a way to vacation & enjoy the infinite pleasures the Bay offers, at times of convenience to you. I''m not sure that''s your optimum alternative, but it would fit some of your described needs and there certainly are lots of charter firms in & around Annapolis.

The second thought is heretical; guys like Jeff will lynch me if he reads this! <g> We faced a similar situation when sailing back from the Caribbean some years ago: son off to high school, us back to the Work World...how could we justify keeping the boat when we would have so little time to use it. But how could we give it up, with the sense of adventure it brought and serving as alink that kept the family close(r) and mutually involved in something? In our case - and maybe yours? - the answer was to move temporarily (well, for 10 years...) to an activity that offered many of the same rewards, was more portable, cost about the same, was fun, etc. So we all ended up becoming pilots. In fact, as I write this I''m at my son''s apartment in Pensacola, where he just got his Navy Wings. We gave up 10 years of local sailing but we got a lot, too. Perhaps an occasional sail with friends is all your family - or maybe just you - needs now & then, and there''s a more suitable activity you''re overlooking.

Jack, who''s back aboard with his wife & cruising in Trinidad
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