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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-09-2001 07:30 AM
Purchasing through Charter Programs


I agree with you on the "save a buck" details of the new dufours but almost all production boats are that way. What I focused on was the key areas of construction features on the Dufour: Whitlock rack and pinion steering; self aligning rudder bearings (sabre is sleeved); high quality fiberglass, resins, gelcoat, scrimp hull construction and 10 yr hull warrantee; volvo saildrive engine (saber is straight shaft driven); folding prop; autohelm ST 6000 linear drive (not rotary) autopilot; electric windlass; anchor and rode; spinnaker gear; an exceptionally spacious forward berth; enourmaous storage (sabre is very lacking in this area) and assorted other standard features for $146,000. Sabre 362 is $246,000. Give me an additional $10,000 and I''ll address all the "save a buck" issues and still have a better built, fast, round the world cruiser for a lot less money. Plus, I''ll have $90,000 left over in which to spend while sailing around the world.

It''s so important to put things in perspective when looking at value and function for the money in yacht purchsing.

I made a very ellaborate spreadsheet type comparison of some of the most popular new boats, their costs, construction materials & techniques, engines, steering, electronics, interior layouts and their standard features: beneteau, catalina, saber, dufour, tartan and C&C. When I was finished it was pretty enlightening.

Hope this clears things up.

Captain Ron
09-08-2001 05:13 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

Hi Ron

I was very disappointed in the build quality on the Dufours that I have been familiar with. Of course, in fairness the ones that I am most familiar with were 1980''s models but even looking at recent models in the limited venue like a boat show I ame off the Dufours think that there were a number of things that stuck me as ''save a buck'' details. I have not had that feeling on the recent Sabres

09-08-2001 03:47 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

To jillskor,

JeffH seems very well informed. Two of my associates sell new Island Packets in the NY and CT areas. I agree with JeffH, the IP''s are overpriced and not much fun to sail. There are a lot of choices in boats. If you go with less expensive but well built, maybe you won''t have to put the boat in charter to afford one and can start sailing it now instead of 5 years from now (most charter companies make you sign a 5 year mangement contract).

As I stated, I had success with an ex charter boat for myself. Beneteaus are not he only ex-charter boats availabel either. There are Dufours, Gib''Seas, Jeanneaus, Bavarias, some Catalinas and a few Freedoms.

If you want a new boat, the Dufour Grand Classic sereies (and Gib''Sea line of from Dufour) are excellent French built boats. With the French Franc currently weak against the US dollar, they''re an excellent value. On the Dufour Classic series you get alot of "high-priced" boat features standard: Whitlock rack & pinion steering, self aligning rudder brearings, better reinforced glass hull with vacuum assisted construction for strength and longevity, volvo saildrive engine, electric windlass, Autohelm ST6000 auto pilot with ST 60 tridata and API. there are numerous other standard features in this very fast, blue water cruiser.

I compared the Dufour Classic 36 to the Sabre 36 and cost $100,000 less. I found it to be built better, with many of these standard features not even avaialble options on the Sabre. With the $100,000 difference in price, I could do alot to "tweek" the Dufour. The Dufour Classic 39 comes in with similar standard features and costs $70,000 less than a Sabre.

This is just one example. There are alot of boats out there that are well built, offer better performance and just as sea worthy as IP, Sabre or any other high priced cruising yacht.

By the way, you did not mention what size IP you had been considering.

Captain Ron
09-08-2001 03:25 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

Purchasing through a charter company can be a mixed blessin'' but as JeffH states, he''s seen the worst. I''ve seen both worst and best and bought a 1994 40 foot Beneteau from a charter company 2 yrs ago. This was my very first boat for those who are afraid of a larger first boat. JeffH again is correct, 36 ft to 40 ft can be quite manageable if set up right.

The necessary repairs & rebuilds were less than $2500. I paid well below retail and put another $12000 worth of upgrades into the boat. The kind of upgrades most people put in almost any boat - multistage battery charger, 3-blade feathering prop, new mainsail, stripped off all the bottom paint, repalce with new barrier coat and antifoul, changed some running rigging (to 3/8" Samson Warpspeed) and upgraded the Lewmar Ocean series traveler system to the Lewmar racing series.

I recently sold the boat (for less than normal retail) and made $30,000 profit. The new buyer has a boat "where the owner already made the repairs". I''m now looking for another ex-charter boat. A 1995 Beneteau 42s7 caught my eye.

Like anything you buy, you must look hard and be somewhat informed or at least guided. I''m so thrilled about my experience, that I just formed a company to buy ex-charter yachts, restore them to "like new condition" and resell them at slightly less than fair market providing the buyers with a limited warranty.

The charter fleets sell litteraly hundreds of 5 to 7 year old charter boats every year. There will be some real clunkers and there will be some real winners. Just do your home work and be patient. Also be ready to buy - the good ones go very quickly. I missed out on 5 good boats before getting this last one because I couldn''t move fast enough. have your cash ready!

If I can be of any further help you can e-mail me at

Good luck!

Captain Ron
08-29-2001 08:59 AM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

I charter with Sunsail. All good experiences. The boats sometimes have faulty systems, but they seem to be able to repair everything to get you going. However, go over the boat most carefully. I sail the charter boats as my own, but many do not. Also, I sat in the bar in St Vincent, and had a drink, and watched them bring the boats to the near docks for cleaning. They used the docks and the boats on either side to stop. They back in doing it seems like 5 knots, slam it into forward to slow down, hit the dock, and step off and tie up. I knew that there were no charter owners in the bar, as if there were, they would be down there screaming. I would much prefer buying a boat from a 15 year owner who has carefully maintained than through a charter. Nothing new here.

Regards and good luck,
08-20-2001 03:23 AM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

I purchased a f.g. Farr 38 (11.6) up in Maine, which was intended as more of a cruising boat than a racer. The boat that you are thinking of began life as an IOR 1 tonner race boat and actually is not as fast as the boat that I bought nor does it have the accomodations and tankage.

I did visit your site but I was having problems with my ISP so as I recall I was not able to open the photos. I really need to get back to there for another look.

08-19-2001 07:39 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

congrats on your new purchase.
which farr 38 did you get ?
is it the glass over wood one that is about 8100 lbs?
what year was she?
what did you think of kimberlites photos?
08-19-2001 02:14 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

I am considering a boat purchase from SunSail. If anyone has had charter or charter boat ownership experience with SunSail I would like to hear about that experience wether good or bad.
08-16-2001 07:32 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

I think that it is a misconception that lighter boats can''t carry enough gear and supplies be good distance cruisers. Some of that perception comes from earlier lighter weight designs that truely were limited in their ability to carry enough gear to go cruising. But some of it comes from looking at L/D as a be all-end all while ignoring the absolute displacements involved.

It is very common for people to search for boat solely on length and the need for specific accommodations. I really think that the displacement of a particular boat says a lot more about its ''real'' size.

In other words, traditionally, the classic texts used to suggest that a distance cruiser needed 5,000 to 10,000 lbs of displacement per person. With an L/D typically in the mid to high 300''s this meant that an ideal single-hander was somewhere around 29 feet and an ideal cruiser for a couple would be somewhere around 32 to 35 feet or so. If you look at the boats that were used for distance cruising in the 1930''s on up to the 1950''s this was pretty much the case.

Better hardware has permitted that ideal weight to creep up a little and the current trends in loading boats up with all kinds of heavy extras has pushed that range up to closer to 10,000 to 14,000 lbs of displacement per person.

I personally prefer to cruise more simply and so prefer to use displacements in the more traditional range of 5,000 to 8,000 lbs of displacement per person. That says that I was looking for a boat in the 10000 to 20000 lb displacement range for two people cruising and

But today, with better structural engineering, higher tech materials and careful decisions in the choice of fitout, boats with an L/D as low as the 150 to 160 or so range can make good distance cruisers. If I go back to the classic 10000 to 16000 lb displacement range for a couple, and decide to try to stay at the lower end of that range but go to a lighter L/D, I end up with a 37 to 39 foot boat.

I had decided that 36 to 39 feet was about the right length. Smaller than 36 feet it is hard to get the kind of accommodations and capacities that I wanted in lightweight boat. Over 38 feet or so, single-handing became considerably more difficult.

I have concluded that staying at a traditional weight range but lighter L/D results in a longer boat which is a good thing. One thing that has consistently come out of the studies of the Fastnet tragedy and the Sidney-Hobart disaster, is that there are a lot of factors that determine whether a boat is a good sea boat or not, but nothing succeeds in heavy weather like length.

So I focused my search on boast that were light in weight, considering a partially loaded weight under 12,000 pounds dry was my ideal. Properly engineered and constructed, a dry displacement of 10,000 to 12,000 pounds can easily provide all that is needed for a couple to go cruising for long periods of time.

You often hear the old saws about heavy displacement being necessary in a cruising boat. You often hear comments such as, "light boats don''t have the capacity to carry enough gear and supplies to really go cruising." Or "they loose their speed advantage when loaded to go cruising". These kind of statements ignore that boats in this size range are often raced with 1,500 to 2,000 lbs. of crew weight and in distance racing, an equal weight in racing gear and provisions for this crew.

One of the reasons that I chose the Farr 38 (11.6)was that they had an excellent record as distance cruisers. When I began researching the Farr 38, I came across multiple references to their use for long distance voyaging with large and small crews alike.

While I don''t believe that light weight boats are ideal for everyone, for the kind of coastal cruising with an occasional longer passage that most of us do, a lighter weight boat will serve us far better. Their easily driven hulls offer better sailing performance in a wide range of conditions and their longe sailing length can result in a more comfortable motion for a given displacement.

08-16-2001 01:19 PM
Purchasing through Charter Programs

I may agree with your impression of the IPs; but, will wait until you''ve loaded your Farr with a few thousand pounds of gear and stores... and see if you have the same story about the Farr when she is sailing low in the water with a full cruising load.
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